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  1. #1

    Photo Assignment 01/26/08

    I've been ruminating on a thread idea, and‘«Ųwith your indulgence‘«ŲI'd like to switch things up a little bit this week. Change can be difficult, though, so let's bear in mind these simple rules:

    • Photos must be shot between 01/11 and 01/27/08.
    • You must provide the EXIF information if asked. If you need help, we can show you how to find it or even link it to your photo.
    • No photoshop alteration (we're looking to improve your skills with your camera, not software).
    • Your photograph must adhere to the theme, which will be described below.
    • Post only once, with three photos in one post. Those attaching photos can post three posts in a row, each with one photo.
    • Title your post. Do it. Do it.
    • Post only your final photos in this thread. A separate thread for test photos, commentary, and chat can be found here.
    • And the most important rule: Have fun! We're looking to spread the joy that many of us derive from taking pictures, particularly ones that tell a story of some kind.

    This week's theme: "My Town"

    This week's photo assignment is a photo essay. Don't just show us, but tell us about where you live, and do so only by showing us three photos. Please no text except for a title. Do it. Remember, this is not your house, but your place, town, or location. Of course not all of us live in towns or cities, but you get the idea. Illustrate where you live photographically. You may post only three shots, no more or no less, please. The three shots can be shot at the same time, or at different times, or even on different days. All three must be shot within the time limit above, though.

    Spend some time thinking about what you want to photograph, then set out to do it. Consider whether you want all three shots to be similar or wildly different, and what that says about where you live. Perhaps you want all three different, one wide, one telephoto, one close up. Indoors or out? Daytime or night? Snowy or sunny? I've extended the time because we're all dealing with weather, but I didn't want to wait until spring. These photos will be of locations, but will you include people? Will you put your bike in one of the shots?

    To recap: Three shots, no text, post test shots and comments over here, and have fun. Show us your town.
    Last edited by BubbaZanetti; 01-11-2008 at 07:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fly Over Land
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

  3. #3
    Registered User paulj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Prairie Grove, Arkansas



  4. #4

    Feedback I

    Well, better late than never I always say. This "week's" photo assignment has gone on for a few weeks. I think the results show that some folks really invested a great deal of time and thought into their work.

    First up is BMWDean

    Photo #1 - Mule deer in the Sonoran desert:

    Photo #2 - Sunset behind Wasson Peak, Tucson vicinity:

    Photos #3a & 3b - Two views of my town, Tucson, AZ. First is a fisheye (replete with photographer's shadow):

    The second is a more conventional view of downtown:

    This is an especially nice series, one that conveys much of the feel and geography of where Jeff winters. I like the shot of the deer--they're hard to get. The cactus and the tree provide a natural frame, too. The little fella almost appears to be posing and he's not dead-center in the frame, either. I've seen a lot of sunsets. This one is particularly rich, though, and the cacti add visual interest to be sure. Is there a more iconic plant? I really like to two city-scapes, A and B. The fisheye shot is great--an unusual application of this lens and one the lends a unique perspective to a familiar scene. As Jeff already pointed out, it has a distracting shadow. Waiting several hours for the sun to move would probably have been the only solution. The second city-scape, more standard, is a nice shot, too. I would have liked to have seen it shot perhaps a bit lower with the mountains higher in the frame. Hindsight makes these observations easy. Beautiful model in these shots, by the way.

    Statdawg returns with three shots of a very different winter indeed.

    These three images evoke the sort of dreary winter that many of us labor under, myself included. One of the photographic details that I think contributes to this feeling is the lack of a discernible subject, especially in the first two shots. No.1, not uninteresting, is predominated by brown grass and has the dreaded horizon bisection. The rule of thirds might have helped here. The title helps to point to the contrast of the barn and the school. What if one had been foregrounded to the other? No. 2 is quite a bit more interesting, and it could be argued that the store is the subject. You're to be commended for composing the shot so that the viewer is not looking straight down the street, but that it is off to the left--especially given your title. The yellow of the store adds a splash of color, albeit muted, in this photo. It's an interesting and visually appealing shot of your town. No. 3 eludes me. I'm sure the flag is the focus of the faith 'till death, but I'm not tracking. The fence bothers me, though the framing through the trees is good. I'm thinking this might be a church, though I can't see for sure. I would have liked this to have been taken over the fence. Nice series. I have a real sense of where you call home from these shots.

    Redclfo is back with an interesting series of where he calls home.

    This is really quite an interesting series. No. 1 is a great shot. I love the composition, even off-kilter as it is, as that mirrors the construction of this building. I also really like the patch-work of the facade, and of course the Sarge and/or the door are not dead-center. He emerges from the darkness within, adding even more visual interest. No. 2 is equally appealing. I love the composition and the upward perspective of the barn. I normally dislike things shot through trees, but this works. Perhaps due to the simplicity/size/color of the subject, and that the snow on the branches adds contrast and interest. This is a neat shot. No. 3 doesn't work for me, for the same reasons that No. 1 does. Subject too small, too far. There appears to be quite a bit of motion blur, too. This was shot at too slow a shutter speed to be hand-held. Increasing the ISO can help.

    One point of interest here: As has been mentioned by others in previous posts, compare the shots in posts 9 and 10, the latter having been uploaded to my SmugMug account. The ones posted on my site appear slightly richer, more saturated. I find this surprising and interesting. . . .

    Grossjohann is back this week with a particularly appealing series of his town.

    All three, very nice. No. 1 is a great perspective of Main Street. The festive red ribbons are the subject: one if foregrounded to grab the viewer by the collar and say, "I'm the subject!" The scene recedes nicely into the distance and it's a bit unusual in that it's vertically composed. No. 2 made me think immediately of Foundation holiday cards. It's a very nice scene as well, and like No. 1, clearly evokes a holiday spirit. Having underexposed this just a bit more might have helped retain the detail in the tree lights and lighted clock face, even isolating them in the composition. Definitely a bit darker. No. 3 is a complex exposure as well. I think I might have shot this a bit darker, too, but here it is arguable. To have done so would have lost the interesting sky. The restaurant sign is a bit hot, but not bad. The beer signs are over-exposed. The range of light in this shot exists over a wide latitude, so some sacrifices would have to be made. You may just have struck a happy medium. It's a moody, evocative shot, one that a weary, cold traveler would be happy to come across.

    Monkeywork is here this week with three particularly nice shots of his town.

    No. 1 is a nice composition, not only in terms of structure but also of color. The theater marquee jumps out of the corner of this text-book example of the golden-mean composition. No. 2 reminds me a bit of Grossjohann's street-scape. Also vertically oriented, it has a pleasing receding perspective, but it does lack a discernible subject. Still evokes a cold winter afternoon, though. No. 3 is very interesting. Shooting in B&W was a good choice here, I think. This viewer wants you to take five steps to your left and view the church between the trees and not behind them. May not have been your intent however. These are very interesting trees with complex systems of branches that are really visually interesting with the snow to lend contrast. This might be worth reshooting to experiment with various perspectives.

  5. #5
    Mad Scientist monkeywork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Eastern Upstate NY
    the great thing is, that last pic of the church... is color.

    the scene itself lacked it.

    I could be the voice you're hearing.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeywork View Post
    the great thing is, that last pic of the church... is color.

    the scene itself lacked it.
    Wow. You got me. I made a similar error on one of Gail's shots a while back. Interesting. . . .

  7. #7

    A Cold Day in Daytona Beach Florida

    Deserted Downtown

    Fire Station #1

    Bad Vacation Planning

    aka Kartcon

  8. #8
    Thanks for the feedback, Tom.

    I should have taken more time and bracketed, perhaps. Again, I had assumed the assignment was for one weekend, only‘«™ I ran out Sunday evening and shot all three in haste.

    Not only does the 2 week assignment give you some time to catch your creative breath between shoots, it gives us some more time to experiment. One thread for discussion, and the other for application‘«™

    Great concept.

    Thank you,

  9. #9
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Tucson, AZ, & Madison, WI
    Photo #1 - Mule deer in the Sonoran desert:

    Photo #2 - Sunset behind Wasson Peak, Tucson vicinity:

    Photos #3a & 3b - Two views of my town, Tucson, AZ. First is a fisheye (replete with photographer's shadow):

    The second is a more conventional view of downtown:

    Last edited by bmwdean; 01-21-2008 at 06:51 PM.
    Jeff Dean − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin
    Co-founder, 1972, of BMW MOA
    '17 R1200RT, '15 R1200RT, '67 R60/2, '69 R60US, '55 R67/3, '49 R24

  10. #10
    Picture #1 Outside of Nerstrand, MN, my town, USA My Dog Sarge
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by redclfco; 01-12-2008 at 09:57 PM. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
    Picture #2 Side of the barn where the birds fly in
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Picture #3 Where I go to fly away..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by redclfco; 01-12-2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: eliminate text

  13. #13

    Redclfo's Series


    These are nice shots that tell me a story about where you call home and--I think--at least some of what's important to you. I hope you don't mind, but I put reposted them all in one post by transferring them to my smugmug site. By doing so, I gained access to exif data. Here's the exif for your first picture:

    Date Modified 2008-01-12 09:08:00
    Date Taken 2004-08-12 02:13:05
    Camera AIPTEK DV 8800
    Exposure Time 0.0113s (11321/1000000)
    Aperture f/2.8
    ISO 100
    Photo Dmsn 480 x 640
    File Name BMWMOA 01.12.2008JPG.jpg
    File Size 78.35 KB
    JPEG Quality 618952/3072016.13029316
    Flash flash did not fire
    Exp. Program normal program
    Exposure Bias 0 EV
    Light Source unknown
    Sensing Method one-chip color sensor
    Color Space sRGB

    This gives me a lot of info: date taken (you might want to change the date on your camera's calendar), date modified, exposure, aperture and shutter speed, file name, size, etc. This is rarely essential information, but sometimes it's nice to access, especially if there is a problem. All your digital photos have this; you simply need a program to access it. A smugmug account (or other photo-sharing website) will do it. So do many photo processing programs like PhotoShop or LightRoom.

    Hope this helps. Again, nice series.

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