A New Year, A New Challenge


Week One:  Self Portrait with a twist. 

A brand new year!  I have started something called a 52 week challenge.  A photo a week.  I got the bug to do some kind of challenge in the past couple of weeks and began my research.  I came across a few, settling on one whose starting picture was that of a self portrait.  Of course, I decided I might tweak their list a little bit, making part of it my own.  Yeah, an artist with a little bit of that individualistic spirit.  So I began writing on my dry erase board my ideas and a list of items I need to pull them off.  Here, have a look:


Yep, I decided to write it in fluorescent markers.  Blame my individualistic flair.  Plus, I do most of my photography at night and I have my studio decked out in led blue fairy lights.  Which makes things glow nicely.  What I found was that I had a lot of ideas that involved still photography.  Luckily I had been working on a DIY (Do It Yourself) project...

Of course, in the past few weeks I have decided to build a light box as well.  It started out as a PVC cube.  I ended up building it into a rectangle.  I found that with just the cube, if I took pictures with a black background that I wasn't getting it completely black in the pictures.  So by putting distance between the object and the background I could get completely black.  It took some research to discover this.  I then bought a wooden box (a cake box believe it or not from World Market), bought a LED strip light (from Amazon) to put inside of it that has a remote control that I could change the color on, that I could put underneath the PVC light box with squares cut out.  I did this so I could light an object up and get rid of shadows cast by my lights on the side and from above.  I put a lot of research into this project but it has already paid for itself in happiness.  Here are a few pictures:


 For the white background.  The sheet (cut to size and no sew seams ironed on) is to diffuse the light.

 For the black background.  Black felt covers the back side of the rectangle.

 Covers off  to see the insides, and the board cut so the wooden box can go underneath.

Here is the light box that goes underneath.  I actually went to a Glass/Mirror company and had a piece of glass cut to fit the box.  5 minutes and I had custom glass!

I very well could have bought a light box from Amazon.  Yet none of them combined everything that I wanted, and, well, building is in my genes.  And I spent the same amount of money and built exactly what I wanted.  Bonus, it can all collapse and be ported to another spot.  Portability was important as well. 

So now I have a list of ideas on my dry erase board, a list from the internet, and a year to do a photo a week.  My plan is to do the planning and gather supplies during the week and then take the picture on the weekend.  I am looking forward to seeing what I can come up with!  Of course, this year Canon is updating their stable of full frame cameras, so I am waiting for those to come out before I buy my new camera.

I have learned a few things about myself.  I love using prime lens (instead of zoom lenses).  I love building the DIY projects for photography.  I've learned what I want in a camera now, my next one will have those things that will elevate my level.  But most of all, I've learned how much I love photography.  It is the process I love, the creativity.  Not every shot has to be award winning as long as it tells as story.  Like the first picture above.  I saw this type of picture on the internet and had to recreate it.  The hardest part, getting the lighting right for the two pictures involved into combining one.

I thank God for this gift that has allowed me to find my voice.  Here is to, hopefully, at least 51 more posts this year, hopefully more!

Baa
 



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