Friday, 25 September 2015

5 a.m.

I finally managed to get all of the photos from the 52 frames project up on this blog, so to celebrate this is one of the photos that I took for the 'night' week: a blue city scene captured from my balcony at 5 a.m. Hope you like it!

Week 38 - My Personality

I feel most like myself when I'm with friends, talking about interesting stuff and enjoying a sunny Sunday. I am a social person, I like to listen to my friends and get involved in their hopes and dreams, and help them achieve them if I can. Sometimes I can even be a little addicted to other people, when I am all by myself for long I don't feel well. So, I had coffee with friends today and thought about taking a photo of our drinks and snacks. I decided to cut three of the four circles to make the shot more interesting, and tried a little cross processing as well. All in all, a simple Sunday photo.

Week 37 - Run

As my daughter is learning to move faster and faster, she is always happy to chase us around the park. I thought I would take advantage of this and use her as my model for the run theme. Unfortunately, a bout of bad weather left me with little over an hour of bad light to shoot, and trying to use a fisheye lens for the first time left me with just three photos to choose from. I did not get the dramatic exaggerated photo I had in my mind, but I think this one is ok as a start. I am looking forward to playing with the fisheye some more in the future.

Week 36 - Dreams and Fantasies

Getting out of the subway, on the escalator, I am suddenly painfully aware of my breathing. It has become fast and I cannot slow it down, closing my eyes doesn't help, I'm only making it worse, what happened, did I see something weird on the way here? am I having a heart attack? I feel sweaty and my heart is racing. Think! I can't do it, my heart is pounding in my chest, in my head, in my mind, where am I, I cannot concentrate on anything but this empty escalator! Was it always empty, I feel like there were other people around, where are they, something horrible is going to happen, I can feel it in every fiber of my body, and it's just me and this hazy world and the escalator... help!

Week 35 - Fire

Inside a church that has no electricity, a candle illuminates a spring that people believe will heal all ails. The spring is visible mostly because of the light reflected in the water, as the whole enclosure is rather dark. The icons on the walls are blue, and the small flame burns inside a blue ceramic receptacle, and the general mood of the place is something between mysticism and eeriness. I hope I managed to capture at least some of this...

Week 34 - Wabi Sabi

I loved this wooden hay rake from the moment I saw it because it is a good symbol of living in a village in Romania. The hay rake is a very important household tool and even today villagers know how to make wooden ones, and some still use them. I love the details that break the symmetry of this one, like the imperfect curves of the wood, and the fact that there are five teeth on the left of the handle and six teeth on the right. I am not sure that I managed to get the perfect wood textures and contrast, but I am still fascinated by this object, maybe because it feels like it has been used and loved.

Week 33 - Night Photography

This is the night sky over Viscri village, Romania, captured with a 30 second exposure. I shot with a very wide angle, so there is some perspective distortion but I decided to leave the photo as it is because it adds to the strangeness. I love the weird colours of the grass and house, achieved by a combination of street light with different colour temperatures. I also like the eerie shadows from the trees, I think all in all the shot is very mysterious.

Week 32 - Edited by Someone Else

We had a reunion with my husband's friends from college this weekend, so between drinking beer, running around with kids and hanging out with people I've not seen in a long time, I had little time for shooting. I also let my husband choose which photo he wanted to edit, but neglected telling him about the 'extra credit' for a portrait shot... this is the photo he chose

Week 31 - Magic Hour

This picturesque scene is 1 minute away from Bucharest's most crowded square. I cross the bridge in the background every day on my way to work, but I can't say I really noticed the boat and the strange structure in the middle of the river until yesterday. After spotting the scene, I walked around to get a different angle and I found some plants growing by the river. I decided to take the photo through them, for an added dose of mystery.

Week 30 - Unusual

Not much to say this week... I liked the way the colours looked like behind these glass doors, so I waited for a person to pass and give me an eerie silhouette. What do you think?

Week 29 - Street Photography

This is more of a consistency shot, as I barely had time to take 20 photos on my way to and from work this week. I tried shooting from the hip but my results were horrible, so I chose this one taken in one of the most interesting subway stations in Bucharest. I had a slow shutter speed so I am not sure about the sharpness, but I otherwise like the lonely commuter in a big industrial 'landscape'.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Week 28 - Repetition

The downside of going back to work is that it's hard to find time for taking photos when your days are filled with office-home-work-baby stuff and your weekends are busy with chores you were unable to do during the week. So for my repetition assignment, I lugged my camera in my purse the whole week, in hopes of finding something interesting. Alas, the most interesting thing I could find is pretty ordinary, a fixture in the ceiling of the cafeteria at work. I do like the repetition of lines and rectangles and the different light sources in the shot, but I don't think I would hang this photo on my wall.

Week 27 - Water

This was a 5 am shot after a crazy night partying at a wedding. The boys from our gang were set on having a swim before the night was through, so after some of the 'older' guests started leaving, they dared each other until one of them jumped in, and eventually the got even the groom to join the 'madness'. I took several shots of them swimming in the eerie blue light of the pool, but this is the one I like the most. Maybe because the subject is my husband!? :)

My one wish was for a bit more breathing space to the left side of the shot, but the pool was small and crowded and getting a sharp shot at 5 am was achievement enough.

Party on!

Week 26 - Negative Space

I am not a fan of the 'negative space' syntagma, but I loved the reference to the Japanese "ma" from our assignment email. I am far from that ma, however, since my first idea of a moody figure against the sea was spoiled: I could not find a good vantage point and the seaside was just too crowded to get my minimalistic composition.

So I went for a different approach: reducing clutter through a clear sea-sky background, all shades of blue and white. I was lucky that my subject is also wearing white, so his face stands out even more in the photo, and I used the low angle and wide frame for added drama. I like the shot because it tells a different beach story, the one of the food vendor working while others are relaxing, but I want to revisit my first idea as soon as possible.

Oh, I almost forgot! This week is the halfway mark through the one-year project! Happy to have reached it, I hope to last the whole year!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Week 25 - Dress Up

I am not a fan of costumes and dressing up, and this week has been my most hectic yet, so I shamelessly tried a knock off of an idea I saw online, and tried to 'illustrate' my baby's dreams. As a first attempt it's not horrible, but I think I still have a long way to go.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Week 24 - Transportation

As luck would have it, I was preparing to go back to work after maternity leave when transportation week came along, so I had to run around town with various errands. I snapped this in the afternoon when people were starting to go home from work, but there was still enough light to produce all the interesting reflections.

I thought a lot about whether to crop the upper part up or not. Cropping would have brought the people more into the spotlight, but would have required a "panoramic" format. On the other hand, I liked the reflections in the top window, and the alternation of window space and open space, even if it "distracts" from the subjects.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Week 23 - Focus

I don't like to photograph flowers, but I have a weakness in this respect: I cannot resist wild flowers! I simply love them. They remind me of Summer, freedom and unspoiled beauty, and if you pick them from the field all the magic is gone, so I photograph them. As it happens, I was in the vicinity of a wild flower field when this week started so I had my choice of subject. I tried to get a flower in perfect focus, with the rest of the field blurred behind but still recognizable. I also liked the natural frame of the wooden fence and its texture, and the cute shadow of my lovely flowers.

Now Summer is almost over and I am looking forward to a long and warm Autumn (fingers crossed), but I still like to look at this simple photo and be reminded of the beauty of nature.

Week 22 - Advertisement

Week 22 had us thinking of an advertisement, or a photo that could be used for one. Since I was on vacation in a remote village in Transilvania, I got to thinking how I would make a campaign advertising the area for tourism. As we live in an age when a lot of people have no experience with countryside living (going as far as kids from urban areas having never seen a real cow or another farm animal in their lives), I thought of 'selling' a way of life instead of an area.

The idea came to me of a series posters showing real life from that village: people making haystacks, cows coming home from pasture, horse-drawn carts, chicken in the yard, milking cows, etc. - all the photos in the posters would be as 'raw' as possible, as opposed to showing an idealized image of the village. As a slogan I could only come up with "the authentic countryside experience" and for my shot I chose to photograph the cows coming home from pasture. What do you think of my poster?