The 52-week smartphone challenge was released last year by Khürt from Island in the Net and I suspect several eager photographers, as I had, jumped on the opportunity to participate however Khürt re-aligned the challenge to the start of the new year. By doing so, Khürt has provided plenty of motivation and inspiration to photographers with all skill levels to participate and I applaud Khürt for undertaking this project and curating the submissions each week.
This weeks theme is a selfie without showing your face and this was going to prove to be difficult. I’m not one for taking selfies (secretly hoping that trend stays in the last decade) and I had no idea on what to create the second time around.
Deciding to ask the one person I can trust, my wife, to provide advice and feedback about what to produce, she simply said that she could ‘take a photo of the back of my head!’ Not that great of an idea due to the bald spot starting to look like the surface of the moon, but as any husband knows, listen to your wife and run with her suggestions. Happy wife = Happy life!
With hat in hand, to hide the bald spot, it was off to the beach to create a selfie without showing my face. Is this, in a true sense of the word, a selfie? probably not but it is a photo of my self and no sign of the bald spot.
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I’m looking forward to seeing all the other submissions. Until then, see you next time.
Strangely enough, the coincidence that this post is no 20 in The Friday Snap series and the first post for 2020 hasn’t made it any easier to post something thoughtful or insightful, considering that a considerable area of Australia is being ravaged by bush fires and crippling drought.
Even though I am located in Western Australia, on the other side of the country, I have become glued to news broadcasts, almost hourly, learning of a new area that is under threat only making my concerns for not only family and friends but also the everyday Australians that are fighting the fires and those suffering grow significantly.
I have been around awhile and I have lived through previous bush fires however this is on another scale all together and the impact of these fires will be felt for a considerable period of time.
A test of resilience by all Australians will be if a large cyclone or a major flood in Australia’s far north hits and potentially causes loss of life and massive damage either at the same time or immediately after this is resolved to an acceptable level.
If you can, donate to the fire appeal. Link is here, here and here.
My thoughts are with all Australians affected by these fires and the drought.
This week sees The Friday Snap go into double figures and there maybe some conjecture that this week’s submission was captured using a smartphone. Let me assure you that it was and it’s all in the crop.
Cropping the image to isolate the subject reduces the number of distractions and focuses the viewer in on the subject.
Don’t be afraid to crop your photos.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.
Not every photo or photo opportunity works out, some times no matter what you do or how hard you try, it just doesn’t happen and that’s what happened to me. Late December, I spotted a group of race horses training on my local beach and an idea formed to photograph these beautiful horses. I conjured up images of horses galloping or swimming on the beach with moody clouds in the background, maybe even a little fog or early morning mist. To achieve that I needed everything to align including the Weather Gods to do their job at the same time the horses were training on the beach but alas it was not to be.
Yep, its a horse on a beach, with rocks in the background!
I don’t know why but several weeks went by with no luck of seeing any race horses however there was plenty of evidence that they had been there as they had left hoof prints in the sand. Taking this to mean that they must train either pretty early in the morning or only on specific days. For the next couple of weeks, I got earlier and earlier every day determined to spot these horses, finally spotting a lone race horse.
Excited like a 5 year old in a lolly shop to finally see the lone racehorse caused me to forgot the basics and I didn’t ask myself any questions. Over time these questions become second nature these questions are asked and answered pretty quickly before I hit the shutter which reduces the amount of mistakes that could be made in a high pressure situations when getting it right counts.
- What’s in the background’? Rocks! – Move to improve!
- Am I shooting into the bright morning sun?’ Yes, maybe photograph down the length of the beach with a telephoto lens would be a better option.
- What’s at the edges of my frame?
- Where is my focal point? Is it on the subject
- Is it in focus? Do I need to put my glasses on for it to be focus? Sadly the answer is Yes, I need my glasses to see the LCD screen/view finder clearly.
As I said these questions form part of a mental checklist in an attempt to reduce the amount of mistakes but there are occasions that the answer you get may not be answer you want or neded. This then provides you the opportunity to determine then and there on the spot if you need to change anything to improve or accept the result.
I may have come away with something different and something that I was happy with if I had asked myself any of the above questions, but I didn’t ask any questions. Maybe I’m being a bit to hard on myself, I’m not sure however these horses train reguarly so there is ample opportunity to improve the overall result.
When I achieve something decent with this project, I’ll post an update until then I’m off to the lolly shop, anybody want anything?
Oh and remember, Move to Improve!
Experimenting with a GoPro Hero Black 5 has been loads of fun. Its an impressive little camera and is very easy to set up for time lapse video or as i have done is stuck it to the roof of my4WD to capture a a track being driven through thick bush.
This footage was taken at Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia nearing the end of winter, I know, winter right! I’ve also attempted a night time lapse whilst camping but all I managed was complete darkness. This is probably down to a couple of errors, such as not enough ISO for the sensor or I failed to set the camera up properly, which is probably the most likely reason.
To achieve 12 seconds of footage, I needed more than the 20 or so minutes that I spent on the beach watching the sunrise and in hindsight, I realised that if I had some patience for another 10 or 20 minutes I would have captured a lot more footage but I was pretty eager to see the end result. It certainly would have provided more footage for editing and wouldn’t leave you with a feeling of an incomplete sunrise.
I found this to be a real fun and easy way to capture a time lapse, however the only downside is the battery doesn’t hold enough charge for any long time lapse videos say for an hour or more (a lot of patience needed). Even though, I have plans to do more in the future and I have a location in mind over looking a light house.
I could get used to being a surf photographer only because of the sand between your toes and the beautiful sunshine but I had no idea how to photograph a Surf Lifesaving Club Enduro Swim.
What I do know is that camera gear is not water proof and I figured that I could go up to my knees if I needed to get some shots.
But the opportunity to photograph the competitors ends once they sprint into the water and start swimming. So I waited around the finish line for about 40 mins and looked around to see if I could photograph anything else.
I also never reset any of the settings from previous shoot so my ISO was set at around ISO 50 or ISO 80 which was probably way to low for what I wanted to achieve. I need to remember to reset the settings after each shoot or at least check them when before I start.
Shirts optional when you’re photographing an event at the beach.
It was at this point that I realised I was on the wrong side of the finish line. All of the competitors ran to the left of the finish line and I was on the other side. I’m not sure how to fix that, maybe try and work out where I think they would run and move to that side before hand, either way its going to be guess work.
I also realised that a Sony A7 with a 28-70mm lens is insufficient and that a DSLR with a selection of lenses would have been much better suited to this type of event. I would have liked to photograph more of what was going on in the background however there wasn’t much happening at the time which is probably due to the event starting at 8.30 am.
resolutions goals I had set for myself at the start of 2017 were never going to be easy especially when you have to get out of a nice comfy bed at 3.30. The drive itself is an hour and daylight saving had to be taken into consideration. Sun simply comes up early, real early during summer. I hate daylight savings!
However the sun didn’t arrive as usual but this time sort of slinked into the office behind the clouds. Didn’t even stop by to say hello, just slinked in trying hard not to be noticed. But we, the assembled photographers noticed alright and they, me included had to work hard to get good images that we were going to be happy with. Simply put the Sun let us down.
After some much needed coffee I decided to head over to Bondi to see if I could capture any decent street style shots but by the time I arrived the rain had really set in and it looked as though there would be no let up for the rest of the day. I’d come this far and I wasn’t staying in the car so I got out with the camera in one hand and an umbrella in the other and walked the length of Bondi seeing if there was anything worthwhile.
There weren’t to many people about except for a few that had decided to look on in hope from under their umbrellas that the rain would stop and the sun would shine bright.
A few of the locals did venture out for their morning walks, run, swim or surf. On the way back I found this fella tied up to the railing as he kept watch on his owner out in the surf. The rain didn’t bother him and he wasn’t real interested in me photographing him either. He just watched on and waited patiently for his owner to return.
Apart from getting out of bed incredibly early and Mother Nature not being kind, shooting the landscapes at Cronulla was really enjoyable and a good learning experience. I’m not ticking this one off as ‘completed a goal for 2017’ but I think that I’m going to do more landscape photography before I can say, Tick !
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