How I completed my photography project

A year ago, Boris told us about his idea for a project around 52 words. Even though it didn’t take long for me to feel impatient about it, at first I wasn’t excited. I couldn’t have believed that I would be able to complete this project and not miss a single week.

The problem with SiPgoes52

One of the reasons I wasn’t excited is that I’m not a fan of 52 (or 365) projects. Particularly, those where the goal is to take one photo a week or a day.

There are days or weeks where I’m not inspired or motivated enough to take good photos. Also, as an outdoor photographer, the weather is important and not always cooperative. Finally, in late December and early January, I was in Belgium where I would most likely lack time, motivation and inspiration for photography.

This meant I couldn’t start a project with completely new photos, nor have a common theme common across all of the 52 words like Julien did.

What SiPgoes52 was truly about

Picking old photos

I started my project by looking at photos.
Photos I had already posted.
Photos I had already taken but not posted yet.

Instead of taking photos, I was choosing photos. The challenge for me wasn’t about making a photo based on a word. It was about finding the words within existing photos.

I took this photo in December while we were planning SiPgoes52. After taking it, I knew it was a keeper and wanted it to be part of my photo project. So I browsed the list of words to find the one that would be the most appropriate. (It ended up being “sensuality”.)
Continue reading “How I completed my photography project”

Sharing the Adventures in The North of my Plastic Friends.

Gathering Assets

In this blog post, I want to continue to talk about the lessons I learned from my summer project. This blog post is also largely inspired by my recent reading of Todd Hido’s  “On Landscapes, Interiors, and the Nude”.

After my summer road trip, I had to take some distance from taking pictures.  Then, for the past four months, I’ve been taking photos at the same spot, with a very limited number of figures.

This is what I call “gathering assets”. (This term is borrowed from a few recent podcasts from Brooks Jensen.)

So what does it mean? Continue reading “Gathering Assets”

Sharing the Adventures in The North of my Plastic Friends.

Building a book

The book project

Back at the beginning of the Summer, Boris challenged us with making a book to show to our friends during our Scottish Adventures. More than four months later, I still haven’t really reported about it. I gave some hints about its content in my last blog post but that’s nearly all. Now that the amount of daily daylight is getting real short here in the North, it’s about time I reflect on it. (Moreover, this month’s word is “book“, and October’s month was “printing”.) Continue reading “Building a book”

Sharing the Adventures in The North of my Plastic Friends.

Outdoor toy photography with intention

I like to create photos like some people like to cook – a little of this, a dash of that, stir the pot and then see what comes out of the oven. While outdoor toy photography definitely has a chance effect about it, similar to experimenting in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean that outdoor photographers, like myself, aren’t crafting our photos with the same attention to detail as all  photographers. Continue reading “Outdoor toy photography with intention”

The Thing with Ideas

I tend to immerse myself quite deeply in work related projects, they are usually fast assignments that don’t last long, but if they bundle up or are longer than usual, they may get quite intense and leave very little room to focus on much else. The state of deep immersion never lasts long, though, and after a deadline, when the work is done, it’s gone.

I love my job. Continue reading “The Thing with Ideas”

Full time illustrator, part time photographer. As such, I created blizzards with Star Wars Lego and had an influence on how The Lego Movie looks like.

Time

Gone are the days when I had endless time for fun activities. As I’ve grown older and gained more responsibilities my time is no longer all my own. I have a full-time job, and when I’m not at work there’s cooking, housework and all that stuff. The same is true for most people, yet there are plenty of us that still manage to make time for our favourite hobby of putting plastic in front of cameras.

Weekends are still when I get to do most of my photography. I normally have the freedom to dedicate a chunk of time to experimenting with new techniques or working on a project,
but I don’t postpone all of my photography until the end of the week. I have had to optimise my photographic process to fit into my limited weekday time.

I’m lucky enough to have a room in the house dedicated to photography so I can leave lightstands, tripods and half-finished sets lying around. This is super-handy when I want to take a quick shot, or try out an idea that’s popped into my head. I can get a simply lit shot done in a couple of minutes.

I also leave my camera set up ready to shoot. I always have spare batteries charged (with extra batteries for flashes), I leave my most commonly used lens attached, and make sure the camera is easily accessible and not packed away in a bag. I even have a separate box of commonly used LEGO mini figures so that I can grab a Stormtrooper quickly if I need one!

It probably sounds like I go way overboard with the preparation, but this workflow has built up over time bit by bit. I used to have all of my lights, stands and umbrellas stored away neatly in a cupboard, my cameras and lenses all packed safely in padded bags and cases, it was a nightmare to try and shoot anything quickly! So much so that I wouldn’t even try half the time.

These days I just open a cupboard and grab a camera ready to shoot. My tools might get knocked around a bit more than they did before, but they are just that, tools, I’m not precious about my cameras and lenses. Removing the obstacles to taking photographs has been very beneficial to me, and I shoot more because of it.

With the long summer days upon us in this hemisphere it’s nice to be able to come home in the beautiful fading evening light and know that, should the mood take me, I’ll be able to grab a shot before the light disappears.

So how do you make the time?

-Mike

A Vanilla Post

I was supposed to post to SiP today, I had a nice idea for it and all it would have taken was a moment to write it down. Easy, but, alas, I got caught with other things.

What happened was that I rebuilt an old Lego model just for fun yesterday. It was a motorized AT-AT Walker that had donated a lot of parts to other models over the years, I simply wanted to see it walk and look generally wonderful again. And, perhaps, compare it to the other two walkers we have.

The Three StoogesOnce built, walked and compared with, I had no choice but to put all three on a table and start photographing them. In fact, they were begging to be photographed together.

Hours went by and I got nothing. I actually gave it the first go yesterday, but I started over this afternoon and it didn’t go much better. The thing that helps when you keep banging your head to a wall is to keep pushing until something comes out of it. That something can be a nice photograph to post somewhere, or a closure in form of declaring the idea or concept as something I can not do.

I got a photo of the session today, it has a nice atmosphere to it, but it’s not the photo I was after. It’s missing the story that should be there.

I’ll be walking the walkers again some day soon, I’m not done with them yet…

The Three Kings

It’s now 3.15. am. over here and I really should be sleeping

 

Full time illustrator, part time photographer. As such, I created blizzards with Star Wars Lego and had an influence on how The Lego Movie looks like.