Not too long ago a friend of mine posted this article on my Facebook page…with the message, “Thought of you.” The article opens to unfold images of famous places…one the way you are used to seeing it, and then another from an entirely different perspective. Some are unexpected juxtapositions of the classics with modern life like the Pantheon through the windows of McDonalds while others expand your view like the picture of a tree-lined path in Central Park that pans out to allow you to see the park in the larger view of the city.
I love the ways that photography helps me see the world…and present the world in ways that are beautiful, unexpected, unique, and interesting. And I like that I can take the same picture in many different ways. One of the most important lessons that I continue to learn as a photographer is that it’s up to me to create that image through my lens.
You don’t take a photograph, you make it. – Ansel Adams
As I considered this month’s challenge, I wanted the opportunity for us to play around with the idea of taking the same shot/image and doing something different with it. So…will this mean posting two photos each day? I think maybe it will. And to encourage this experimentation, let’s try a different category of creation each week.
June 1-8: Frame of Reference
Every day take two shots of your subject, each with a different frame a reference. In this example I took this shot of the lighthouse in the distance. It shows the rocky jetty…and people walking on it toward the lighthouse. The second shot is much closer and captures more of the movement in the water. You might use a collage app to post your pictures side by side, or you can post each separately.
June 9-15: Cropping
For this week, take a photo each day and use a cropping technique to create two different shots…the original and the cropped version. With cropping you can eliminate some of what we can see in the photo, change the place where we see the central image, or draw our eye in a new way to where you want us to place our focus. My original photo here was of the hot air balloon rising. My iPhone camera struggles a bit with distance shots…and there is a lot of background in the picture. Using Camera+ I was able to crop the photo, eliminating the ground, the trees, and the other balloon, focusing your eye on the balloon in the sky.
June 16-22: Filters
This week use a filter (or two or three) to create a new version of your photo. There are many apps that offer filters…from Instagram and Camera+ to Vintique, Picfx, Snapseed and more. Be playful…try something you hadn’t considered before. With this photo, I loved the original and the way the tall palms play with the low-lying clouds. And then I was playing with Picfx and found this brown filter that makes the clouds even more prominent.
June 23-30: Use a combination of techniques
For the last week of June, try combining techniques to create a photo two (or three) ways. You might crop and filter, shoot from different angles and crop…explore the ways that layering techniques change the composition and effect of your photo. Here’s one I tried a few different ways. The original was a long shot of the Cleveland skyline. In the second version I cropped to eliminate the extraneous foreground and used a “scene” in Camera+ to brighten the photo. And then in the third I imported the cropped and brightened version into another app to apply a filter.
So now it’s your turn. Experiment with creating your own versions of one photo, two ways. After you shoot, post a photo (or both) each day with the hashtag #sdawpphotovoices to Twiiter, Instagram, Flicker, Google+ and/or Facebook (the more the better!), so that we can all enjoy the posts. If you are game for some extra action, compose a blog post about a photo, a week’s worth of photos, write a photo essay, try a learning walk, or write some poetry or even a song! You are invited to create a pingback by linking to this url or post your blog address in the comment section. It’s fun for me to see what others are doing with the same prompts I am using!
With summer beginning, it’s the perfect time for some playfulness and experimentation…try something with your photos that you have never tried before! You can post every day, once a week, or even sporadically throughout the month…whatever works in your life. Be sure to share and tag your photos with #sdawpphotovoices so we can find them!