One of the good things that came from Google+ is the Photography Scavenger Hunt, originally organized by Chrysta Rae, and since then taken over by Lauri Novak.
A few times a year, there’s a “call to Scavengers” – people subscribe to the Hunt (there’s a limited number of spots; in practice I don’t think the Hunt has been full in the past few editions at least), a list of 7 words is provided, and everyone has a few weeks to shoot and submit pictures that correspond to each word (one picture per word).
The 24th Scavenger Hunt was the seventh in which I took part – all of my previous entries are on my SmugMug profile.
For this edition, since I want to get more content on my blog, well, that’s exactly what I am doing by presenting my entries along with a few words of explanation 🙂
For “Balance”, I wanted a take on the book-stacking problem – basically setting up a bunch of identical-enough elements in a way that made the highest element go above the gap next to the surface where the pile was standing. After trying a few other things, I finally ended up stacking a pile of DVDs – to the question “how many times did you re-stack these?”, the answer is “A LOT”. I’m not entirely happy with this picture – I would have wanted the background to be entirely white and not white/grey (but I don’t have enough white wall, and I didn’t manage to fix it in post processing), and the stack itself is not as perfect as I would like.
The full album of my co-scavengers is here: Balance.
My first train of thoughts for “Diamond” was along the lines of the thing that ended up in my submission for “Trunk”, but ended up being an “opportunity” shot. We were in the region of Dijon during the timeframe of the Hunt, and we visited the Hospices de Beaune; I noticed the pattern of this floor metal plate and it ended up becoming my “Diamond” picture. I had a few other opportunity shots for this one – it’s amazing the number of diamond shapes you can find if you look for them!
The full album of my co-scavengers is here: Diamond.
I knew from the start what I wanted to do for the “Olive” picture. I knew it would be a very “technical” shot – but I have only worked a little bit so far with product photography and glass, so it was a good opportunity. I actually hacked together a small soft box for this picture (and I also bought martini glasses… and olives 😉 ). The shooting itself was pretty straightforward, once the soft box and the light was set up; I shot a fair amount of them with one glass, two glasses, and different apertures before deciding for this one.
The post-processing is actually a monochrome filter with selective saturation on the olives – I thought this would work best, and I’m actually very happy with this picture.
The full album of my co-scavengers is here: Olive.
I was feeling kind of stuck on the “Forced Perspective” topic. I had tried a few “look it seems like I’m touching Grossmünster whereas I’m quite far away from it”, but nothing near from convincing; had had a few ideas around the Opera house but nothing I had time to implement. So I did what I typically do when I’m out of ideas and of time: a self-portrait 😉 I wanted my hand to look much bigger than the rest, and I knew I probably wanted to do that on a very short focal length. It turns out that the shortest focal length I have is on my 18-200, which… does not cover the full-frame sensor; I was expecting to fix that by cropping, and I started experimenting by putting the camera on the floor and triggering it with the remote. It turns out that I ended up finding that the vignetting added by the lens border was actually pretty neat. A bit of tone/color post-processing, and there, Forced Perspective 🙂
The full album of my co-Scavengers is here: Forced Perspective.
Another late shot – I was also feeling quite uninspired with “Sign”. I had some vague ideas around the Zodiac signs, but nothing that ended up materializing. In a moment of “meh.”, I went to my board game collection, thinking “… is there anything I can use there?” and my eyes fell upon Elder Sign. Shortly after, I had set up a solo game of Elder Sign, and my tripod with the camera on top of it (it’s the first time I was able to use my fantastic “90° rotating column” on my tripod!), and I took a bunch of pictures while I was playing the game. (I ended up losing very quickly because of bad decisions – which happen when you lack focus because you’re busy trying to make sure that everything fits in the picture!)
The full album of my co-scavengers is here: Sign.
This one was also a case of “urgh, I have no idea, do I have anything that looks like a trunk in my games collection?”. And, lo and behold, I do: Diamant has a lot of little plastic gemstones (including transparent white ones that I considered using for my “Diamond” shot)… and little trunks where the players can store them. I knew I also had some scenery that I could use for that kind of purpose (from the time we still played Warhammer 40K), took me a bit of time to find it (it was in the cellar), found a LEGO minifig and a die to prop her (yes, it’s a die), put the whole thing in the aforementioned soft box, and tadaaa! I had a base for my picture. To that I integrated some blue skies from a previous picture, and done, a Trunk submission. I’m actually pretty happy with it 🙂
The full album of my co-Scavengers is here: Trunk.
That one, I’ll admit it, was the least thought out shot of the set – it’s actually a “backup shot”. That’s a game of 7 Wonders – that I lost very badly, by the way – and that’s definitely a case of “let’s throw that one in the mix so that I get the full set”. Eh, a bad shot is better than no shot 🙂
The full album of my co-Scavengers is here: Wonder.
Onwards to the 25th Scavenger Hunt!
You may have noticed that I added links to G+ for the albums, and you might wonder what’s happening for the next Hunt. It turns out that before even the announcement of the demise of G+, there was some activity around “let’s get a new home for the Hunt”, and so the next Hunt will probably take place there. As a test drive, the Dream Team picks and winners for this round have been announced there already: https://scavengerhunt.photography/. I am very happy that things are in motion, and that the Scavenger Hunt should survive despite the death of the platform it’s currently living on 🙂