On December 18th, I made this GoodReads Status ⬇
I received only positive feedback and decided to share my experience with you. I’ll start by showing you the image I took, and then explain the story behind it.
Day One: Antique
I already had some type of idea for what I wanted to do for this one. My mom has a few antique kodak cameras which close up into a little compact black box. When you open it, out comes the lens. I chose one of the two cameras and gathered up a few very old newspaper clippings we found when we first moved into my house. (One even features the Berlin Bombing). I didn’t know which angle or position to photograph from and I must admit I was slightly frustrated. My mom (a photographer of 14 years) said these words to me… “Put yourself into an old time journalists position, imagine you just came back to your desk after a long day of photographing for the paper and you throw your camera down to get started.” I reply with “How do I do that?” and I had to think about it for a little. Don’t make the image look staged, make it look like it was just placed there, normally. I actually used my mom’s camera instead of my own for this one, Nikon D90 with a 85mm lens, Aperture-1.6, F-stop: f/2.5, ISO-200, Exposure-1/50sec. I took around 25 images and when straight to work. Adobe Lightroom 5.4 was the first application I opened, adjusted my exposure, cropped, straightened, decreased grain and lens corrected. Send over to Adobe Photoshop CS6, and this is where the fun began. I was in search of a high contrast black and white, and this probably took around 5 minutes to find an action I really liked. Figured out my opacity, exported the file, added my watermark and Bah-Bam!
Day Two: Macro
I was contemplating this one for a while, and was undecided between this and something else. I have always loved my typewriter and been so in love with the whole idea of it. Macro’s are my favorite to shoot aside from portraits. For this one I used my own camera Nikon D5000, 60mm lens, Aperture-3.3, F-stop: f/3.2, ISO-5000, Exposure-1/100sec. I actually placed my typewriter in the same exact place I put the old camera for Day One. I have a nice bright window in my living room that gives off exceedingly beautiful natural light mid-afternoon. I look several pictures of the typewriter keys beneath the hood (out of the box idea) and of the gears, probably another 20-25 images for this one as well. I take the same steps with most of my images when going into lightroom. Adjust Exposure (if needed), Check Lens Correction and tune the rest to my liking. Over to Photoshop, I wanted black and white but a lighter contrast.
Day Three: Portrait
I’m still learning so much..to say the least. My mom is basically an expert and I look up to her so much, but with that comes a lot of comparing my work to hers and coming up short in correlation. Portraits is something I absolutely adore doing most in photography, but I am not very good at it and I don’t have anyone to really photograph so it’s hard to expand my knowledge in this area. It was extremely cold on this day but I was in desperate need for the image. I did my sister’s (19) makeup, braided her hair, gave her an outfit and we went outside. I again, took many many photos before I found one I liked. My biggest question I asked myself was.. “How do I make a portrait look vintage?” Although I have an extraordinary amount of ideas on Pinterest, I came up still questioning myself. I have this beautiful subject and no idea how to give her essence justice. I love vintage photographs and I honestly wish I did better on this one, but it’s all about the practice. Nikon D5000, 55mm lens, Aperture-5, F-stop: f/5.6, ISO-320, Exposure-1/200sec.
Day Four: Nature
My mom came up with this idea. We have some beautiful berries down our backdrive and they’re quite photogenic if you ask me. (lol) Nikon D5000, 55mm lens, Aperture-5, F-stop: f/5.6, ISO-640, Exposure-1/20sec. I wanted to keep this image simple, no huge color changes. I made the foreground a bit brighter, the temperature a touch warmer, and the background more shadowed to create emotion. I felt this was vintage because the whole concept of berries gives me an older impression. Not many stop to enjoy the little things our world provides for us, naturally.
Day Five: Cellphone
This was easy and challenging at the same time. I’m very accustomed to using a phone camera, but typically the images don’t come out quite as sharp as my DSLR. In this case, everything was in my favor. This was before it snowed, and since I live in the country, it’s always so beautiful and I have ton’s of opportunities to photograph something magical. These backroads are the traffic on my heart and every element of this part of our world is inside me. I felt the need to capture it for this one. Samsung Galaxy S5, 5mm Focal Length, Aperture-2.28, F-stop: f/2.2, ISO-40, Exposure-1/1500sec.
Day Six: Reflection
This has to be the most challenging and best image I took in all six days. I struggled a majority of the day trying to come up with an idea. I had a few concepts I wanted to seek out and understand, but none of them worked out. My favorite idea was to do a metaphorical reflection and a real reflection in one image. I was going to use a bear from my childhood and have the reflection of it in a window. However, the lighting wasn’t cooperating and I couldn’t get it, which was fairly frustrating. That is what I wanted to do, but sometimes things don’t carry out. I have a glass chess set I got from my great gram a few years back that sat lonely in my attic. What’s more old-school than chess? Since it’s glass, it’s reflective. I already had a mirror idea with the chess set, but this was even better! In front of a bright window, the reflection was more. At the correct angle, this could be amazing. My mom cleaned up every single piece and the board so it was squeaky clean and clear. I took another 25ish images from different angles of different pieces and found which one really caught my eye. (I always picked 5 out of the 25 and asked my mom for her opinion on which she liked as well, just to feel it out). This was the finest one. Nikon D5000, 35mm lens, Aperture-4.7, F-stop: f/5, ISO-800, Exposure-1/200sec. I’ve never been more proud of an image I have taken. I did minimal editing in Lightroom, and Photoshop is where I really brought it to life. I wanted a hazy matte finish, a nice balance of contrast and of course black and white for the vintage feel.
I learned a lot about myself and how to manipulate settings in order to achieve what I see in my mind. This was probably the best photography challenge I’ve ever took part in, and it was so worth the struggle of figuring out what to photograph. I learned to work with different light situations, and how to edit without overdoing it. I’d definitely do it again if given the opportunity. This was an essential experience in photography. I can’t wait to expand my knowledge even more and really dive deep into the world.