52frames – 2020-08 – Pairs

This week the theme for 52Frames was Pairs. I submitted late last week, so I submitted early this week!

I didn’t have too many ideas – until I realized I could plan my lunch to get a pair of eggs in there (and that’s exactly what I did when I finalized the menus for this week :P). Sometimes photography creeps in other places of my life! πŸ™‚

52Frames – 2020-07 – Intentional color palette

I try to submit my 52frames entries earlier in the week, but it didn’t work out this week – I still submitted on time (which makes this week my 7th week in a row, yay me!).

This week’s theme is “Intentional color palette“, with an extra credit for “Flatlay” – that I claimed as well. I’ll admit it was a “lazy shot” – you want color, get some dice on a plate, light’em somehow, click picture, done. Probably to “compensate” the laziness of the shot, I ended up going for slightly more “creative” edits than I usually do – I even added grain and vignetting, what has this world come to!

52Frames 2020-06 – Rule of Thirds

The theme for this week’s 52frames challenge is Rule of Thirds.

I’m participating to a test-drive of “photo mentorships” – more on that later, probably, it’s still in closed beta πŸ˜‰ Buuut part of the gist of the task for this week was to try and get the composition “right” in camera, in particular when it comes to framing the right things – not too much, and not too little. It was, incidently, a very interesting exercise – despite the snow that accompanied me for most of my walk today. And the constraint was to post it “straight out of the camera”, which is… a challenge for me πŸ™‚

I’d like to say that this picture is exactly one of these “straight out of the camera” pictures – but I can’t say it is – there’s been a bit of fixing horizontals, a bit of cropping, and a bit of color edit on this one.

The “extra credit” for this week was “street photography”. I must admit that I did hesitate claiming it – for sure this doesn’t fit the “canons” on street photography. But, to me, street photography is about people and humanity, and I find the act of adding that poppy where it is to fit very well with that idea πŸ™‚

52Frames 2020-05 – Shoot from Above

This week has been somewhat complicated; I had a couple of plans for a bit of exploration to get the “Shoot from Above” picture for 52Frames, but neither panned out. Buuuut I took the train around golden hour the other day, and I snagged that one. A bit of cropping to center the center, and a Google predefined filter later, boom, I have a submission for 52Frames.

Which makes my streak running to 5, which means that THINGS ARE GETTING REAL – now if I miss a week, it DOES feel like I’m losing something πŸ˜‰ Which is exactly the point, I presume.

52Frames 2020-01 – Self-portrait

New year means – trying once again to restart 52Frames, and hope that it sticks, and if it doesn’t stick, well, it will have lasted for as long as it will have had, and hopefully I’ll get a few reasonable pictures out of it.

Traditionally, the first 52Frames theme of the year is the self-portrait – it’s actually a pretty good idea to kick-off the year, I think πŸ™‚

Last year, Pierre bought a few Yongnuo 300-III LED panels with which I hadn’t yet taken the time to play. So this self-portrait is my first foray into “proper” portrait photography with a three-point lighting – main light left and above, secondary light right and a bit lower, and light behind to separate the subject (err, me) from the backdrop (err, my black curtain in the TV room.)

I then ran a few edits on Darktable – fixing the exposition and whatnot, removing a couple of really major skin blotches (considering what’s left, I’ll let you imagine what I removed πŸ˜‰ ), and SHIP IT!

And I decided I was happy enough with it to change my 7+-year old Facebook profile photo – so you may have seen that picture already, but now you get a tiny bit of behind the scenes too πŸ™‚

Photography Scavenger Hunt – Round 26

The Round 26 of the Photography Scavenger Hunt took place in the past couple of months, and the reveals are all done. We had 10 words for this Hunt, all related to the Wizard of Oz… which I haven’t seen! But oh well, the words could be interpreted in any way, as usual, so that was not a big issue. I only submitted 4 this round – lack of inspiration conspired with lack of time… or more precisely with time used in other ways. To compensate, someone in the Scavenger community gave me the idea of doing a “behind the scenes” type of post, with “this is the original picture, this is the picture I submitted”, so here we go!

Selective Color

The first word that was revealed was the first one I shot, coincidentally πŸ™‚ Here’s the picture I submitted:

The idea came by chance – Pierre made some chocolate meeples to start experimenting with making his own chocolate molds (with ComposiMold), and he had put a red plastic one in the bowl as a joke. I played with a lot different configurations and structures before settling on this – which I took quite some time setting up in my lightbox with a ruler and everything! And then I spent quite some time experimenting with the lights and the different angles and so on, until I ended up with this in camera (that’s the RAW exported in Darktable as JPG without any extra processing):

The physical setup was my lightbox with my seamless background paper and a couple of LumeCubes to illuminate the scene. Post-processing was essentially cropping, fixing the light levels, and quite a lot of detail clean-up (turns out, chocolate on paper tends to leave some traces…).

Courage

For this one, I had a very clear image in my head of what I wanted, which is VERY rare, and I actually managed to pull it off, which I’m very proud of. This is what I submitted:

This is one of the most personal images I ever made, especially associated to that word – I wanted to convey the courage that comes with showing vulnerability and offering/opening one’s heart to another person.

And this is the main part of the image:

The photography setup was, well, me, a tripod, a remote (I don’t remember what I did there, I’m assuming I put a delay and put it back in my pocket before posing, or something), and a LumeCube with a red filter and a barn door to orient the light where I wanted it. One of my fellow Scavengers had made a talk during the Meetup about his Ghostrider image (you can see a speed edit here) and I definitely had that talk in mind when I got the idea of using the cube as a placeholder for the heart to give it a glowing aspect. I got the heart from PixelSquid, another resource I heard of during the Meetup. And then the final image was essentially finding the right image in the gazillion I took with that light, editing it to my liking in Darktable (crop, levels, that sort of things), adding the heart in GIMP, and adding a bit of shadows on the heart so that it looked reasonable – which is ALSO something I learnt about during the Meetup. All in all, I find it funny and kind of wonderful that I call this one of my most personal pictures ever, and it’s all assembling things that I learnt/saw during that meetup πŸ˜€ (Oh, the LumeCubes were also a post-meetup addition to my collection :D)

Sepia

I believe my Sepia submission is the weakest of the four I submitted, but eh, better a weak submission than no submission, so THERE.

I started playing around with calligraphy recently, and I do own a bottle of sepia ink, so that kind of felt like a natural fit (and it suited me better than trying to do a sepia post-processing of something else). And then I also looked for inspiration on what to write, I looked for quotes, and I quite liked this one (which also has the advantage of ending with the word sepia, which I liked for “making things obvious” reasons). The longest part of making this image was to write the quote – I made multiple drafts on lined paper before I felt confident on this one – and still ended up hyphenating a word, which I would have preferred avoiding, but oh well. I also ended up needing to thicken my ink before I was able to do something reasonable with it (note: arabic gum works really well πŸ™‚ ). And it’s a Nikko G nib and Rhodia white paper, if you’re wondering. And that’s the picture out of camera:

As you can see, pretty minimal edits on this.

Rainbow

Rainbow is probably the picture that took me the most time for this Hunt. Here’s what I submitted:

I was first thinking along the lines of playing with a prism, or doing SOME variation of the well-known Pink Floyd album cover, until I got a flash of “ooooooh, I know how to get rainbows!”. I started playing around without much success, until I called The Internet to the rescue and read this: How to Make and Photograph Rainbow Water Droplets on a CD.

And here’s the “out of camera” RAW-to-JPG conversion:

For this one, I have an extra picture, which is the “studio setup”:

So: CD, white table, room that can be darkened, tripod with a tilting center column (<3 Manfrotto), a way to make water drops and to remove dust, and a LumeCube. Also to be noted: there is a SOCK on top of my camera, because the very white PENTAX logo was reflecting in the CD on my first attempts (which sucked). The idea for the rainbow CD picture is to have a fairly long exposition (I had 20 seconds there), and to move around the CD with a light to create the rainbow effect. It took me A LOT of experimentation and A LOT of shots to get the one I finally decided for. And then it took me A LOT of time to get a clean image. It turns out that CDs tend to be slightly scratchy, slightly dusty, and even if you don’t see it on naked eye, that’s ALL YOU CAN SEE when you have an enlarged picture of them on your screen. So I spent a lot of time in Darktable to clean up the image.

All in all, it’s nothing much more than a very “technical” image – I’m still quite happy with it, and I feel it was worth the effort, because I quite like it πŸ™‚ Funny coincidence, though: the day after the deadline for the Hunt, I took a double take on that wall in the office:

I must admit it made me smile (and then hunt down HOW that rainbow actually appeared – I think the bottom of one of the glass doors was hit by the sun in just the right way at the right time πŸ™‚

The other words!

As mentioned, we did have ten words, although I only submitted four – but here’s the full list, with links to the albums of pictures submitted by my fellow Scavengers!