For this mission, we got some practice thinking on our feet. While there are several elements to think about when taking artful pictures, secret agents don’t always have time to set up the perfect shot. So, to practice incorporating these elements quickly we did a photo blitz. Using this nifty website, I generated a list of seven ideas for quick photos I could take. I had up to twenty minutes to take as many of them as possible. I’m happy to be able to say I was, just barely, able to get all seven pictures in twenty minutes. I tried to incorporate some of the elements we read about earlier this week. Here was the list :
- Make a photo of something you wear coat, gloves, scarf, hat, you name it!
- Make a photo containing stone, water and clouds.
- Take a creative photo without aiming in the viewfinder
- Create a photograph that illustrates connection.
- Glasses help many folks bring the world into focus each day.
- Make a photograph that features a circle today.
- Your feet, show what kind of day you’re having
For the first photo, I decided to try and incorporate balance because a picture of just my coat would be boring :
I wanted to use contrast of the light carpet background to make the coat pop out despite the shoes and the scrabble board in the background. I also felt like the lighting added some interesting elements to the photo, because it was right underneath one of my lamps.
The second photo was a bit tricky. I could have walked to the pond in my neighborhood for the perfect shot, but twenty minutes didn’t give me enough time to do that. Instead, I decided to take a picture of a silly painting I did for fun at Paint Nite. It included clouds and water, but the stones I used were from a beach in Seattle when I went to visit:
I liked the texture of the smooth wood next to the rough stones and the canvas. I still wish I would have had time to go to the picture that inspired this painting, which was a pond near my house.
The third picture turned out surprisingly well, considering I didn’t aim:
In this picture there was contrast between the white walls and the darker wood / decor. I also liked that there was balance, and the decor stuck out even though there were easily identifiable elements in the background such as the table and the door to the bedroom. I wanted to keep the perspective angle close to the wall to make sure that the focus of the picture was the decor on the wall.
The fourth picture was my favorite one. It illustrated connection, but symbolically it also meant a lot to me personally. My brother and I got these two stuffed foxes a long time ago, and they’ve become quite the characters (it’s a running joke between my brother and I):
I also tried to incorporate the contrast of lighting here, as one of the stuffed animals was right next to the lamp, but the other one was farther away. The sheen to the left fox really made the texture more apparent. It wasn’t intentional since my brother was studying, but I think the white paper and the notebooks make the composition of the photo more interesting as well.
The fifth picture was a bit ambiguous. I decided to take a really zoomed in picture to throw off the focus of the lens:
This was a picture of my curtains, and since I’m very familiar with the textures I can see the resemblance. However, I wish I had an older camera to play around with the focus a bit more. Auto focus is a blessing and a curse at times, and I’m sure there are several other options I wasn’t familiar with that could have made the picture more interesting.
The sixth picture was a simple concept. This was one of the most time consuming pictures, surprisingly, because there were so many different ways to incorporate circles (and I’m really indecisive about photographs!) :
I really loved the way this picture turned out. There is the circular top to the lamp, and the lamp cover just looked so cool with the lightbulb accentuating its texture. The base of the lamp was also circular. The most visually pleasing part of this picture for me is how apparent the lighting effects are. The middle of the picture is incredibly bright, but even a few inches away from the lamp you can see how much darker the environment is by contrast. The contrast also makes it easier to see the texture of the wall, which makes the background more interesting than it would have been otherwise.
The final picture summed up my inability to be decisive today. I decided to take a picture of my shoes I wore to dress a bit nicer than usual today, but I couldn’t decide any other part of my wardrobe at the moment:
Again, I wanted to use the top down perspective angle to elongate the different shirt sleeves. I was hoping this would emphasize the variety of choices in front of me, and make each part of the photograph interesting. I felt that the light carpet provided interesting contrast, and my shadow provided a contrast in lighting.
Overall, I felt that I learned way more than I thought possible about photography in twenty minutes. It seemed like many of the elements we read about earlier this week combined with the time constraint forced me to subconsciously choose more interesting pictures quickly. I felt that even some of these pictures that took a few minutes to take were significantly more interesting than some of my previous work that I spent longer thinking through. With practice, I feel that I can continue to improve my photography skills exponentially.