50mm Challenge: Wrap Up

50mm Challenge Outtakes

Well, I managed to complete my challenge. Although my discipline waned on the 7th day, I did manage to get a unique photo for each day.

The real point of this adventure was for self improvement. When I was being beaten schooled in chess, I was told that self reflection was the number one way to improve. I believe that holds true for most things in life.

I think the best photo from the challenge is a toss up between Day 2 and Day 4. The photo of the signs for Day 2 makes excellent use of colour and composition. The two fences create a predictable, pleasing pattern, and the depth of field focuses you on the signs. Day 4's flower shot also utilizes colour, and the lighting really pops the flower out. The depth of field for the flower photo separates it from 'another flower photo', while the lines of the stem and leaves pull your eye around the photo.

Day 3 is the worst of the set. It is just a simple capture of the cat. There is nothing spectacular about the subject, or it's composition. The photo is marred by the purple light coming from the television, and in several places it's hard to differentiate between the cat and the blanket on which she is laying. There is a pile of improvements that could have been made at the time to make this a much more memorable photograph.

Second from the bottom would have to be Day 5. The subject of the photograph is very weak. It is just a bunch of borderline dried peppers. A little misting, or water drops on the peppers could have pushed the quality up a bit. The lighting was also very flat. I was so concerned with the yellow and red gels, that the fill was not given any serious thought. In hindsight, I should have used a snooted speedlight, to focus the attention on the middle of the photo. Furthermore, if the snoot cut off light at the edges of the pile, the yellow light on the rightmost peppers would have been pulled out and made a lot more noticeable.

The middle three are very close. Day 6 is a slightly better photo in my opinion, but I wouldn't defend that view too rigorously. The photo exhibits an interesting pattern, that does separate from the background. My only wish would be that I aimed more perpendicular to the window, so that the focus would be consistent throughout. I enjoy the sunlight reflections in Day 1's photograph. To bring this photo a little higher, I would have either made the pole perfectly straight, or quite crooked. The little bit it's off parallel right now, just doesn't sit right with me. I should also crop that little bit of bush out of the lower left hand corner. The bacon weave that was used for Day 7, is an alright photograph of an interesting subject. The light is nice, although I should have pushed the pan a little bit more into the sunlight, as to light up more of the bacon. Furthermore, I should have focused a little bit more towards the front of the photo, because the large unfocused area right at the front stands out so much more than the slightly unfocused area at the back. I knew better.

A couple of outtakes deserve honourable mention. The brick wall photo, and the yellow flower photograph, are both above average shots, but they did not beat out the red flower that was used.

I'm going to plan for another challenge in the future, as I found this to be a good experience. I have learned a little more about myself and my craft, and that is never a bad thing.


50mm Challenge: Day 7

50mm Challenge Day 7

Using this photo could be cheating. I did not take this photo on Sunday, but on Saturday instead. I never even picked up the camera on Sunday, so I decided to use another quality photo from the day before.

Mmmmmm, Bacon

This shot isn't technically strong. The light is natural sunlight coming in from the window, but I feel focusing a little closer to the front of the weave would have been better. The strength of this photo is in the subject, as the mind has to figure out what it is looking at. There is familiar elements in there, but in a configuration that is rarely seen. This image was cropped to remove the edge of the stove and make the focused area a little bigger as compared to the entire photo. Other than the crop, no adjustments were done.

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50mm Challenge: Day 6

50mm Challenge Day 6

I did in fact go out of my way on Saturday to capture this image. Although, some circumstances happened that resulted in me not being in a state to make a quality posting about it. I learned years ago, that you don't drink and blog.

Standing out in the cold, attempting to get as close as possible with my 50mm and still keep things in focus, I tried my damnest to capture this rare Calgarian frost.. My 50mm 1.4 has a frustrating 1.5 ft minimum focus. Shorter than most lenses, but still far enough away that you really can't get in there. If you feel like nitpicking on the original sized image, you can see that the bottom is markedly softer than the top, but still reasonably sharp. At a smaller size, it's impossible to tell, and even filling the monitor the image looks alright. I did make curves adjustment to get the frost to jump off the window.


50mm Challenge: Day 5

50mm Challenge Day 5

Again, the 50mm challenge again caught me for time, and I found myself wondering what I could photograph to fulfill today's requirements. I found inspiration in my recent grocery acquisition, and nothing in the pile is more interesting than the Jalapeno peppers. I decided to make use of some lighting for this shot, and positioned the peppers on the kitchen table.

To camera right is a speedlight with a yellow gel on it, and on camera left is a red gelled speedlight with a grid on the front of it and reduced by 1-stop of power. The master for the system was on top of the camera and pointed at the ceiling. The master was set to over expose by 1.3 stops, and the majority of the work was spent framing the shot so that no edges were in the background. I took about a dozen shots trying to find the right balance of the red highlights and the yellow and white fills.

I'm not fanatic about the quality of this shot, it is just a shot of some peppers after all. Two improvements would be for fresher peppers so that the dried out skins and stems don't draw from the shot, and a lower angle with a wider spread of peppers. I couldn't utilize a lower angle shot in this photo because the kitchen table is loaded with crap, and I was surprised I managed to get this much empty space.


50mm Challenge: Day 4

50mm Challenge Day 4

Today I took some time fulfilling the daily requirement for the 50mm challenge. I was downtown during lunch, and made my way to the Telus building where they have potted flowers along the +15 walkway. I found this guy at about the half way point of the walkway, and found the backlighting caught my attention. After a while on my knees I produces a pile of out-takes and a couple nice shots. This one I like because the backlight focuses attention around the flower. Not that it needs it, being of the hit me red variety. A lot of the lines draw you into the base of the flower, which exhibits a nice soft focus. I then find my attention drawn back up the stem towards the odd red flower. The leaf jutting towards the viewer in the bottom left shows off the depth of field. If you can't see it, make sure to check out the full sized version.