In between working on complex photoartistic composite images, I do like to do straight photography too. This year, Linton and I have been doing the 2017 Dogwood weekly photography challenge, which alternates through technical, story-telling, and artistic challenges, and forces us out of our comfort zone to learn new things. All good stuff! We're a quarter of the way through so I thought I'd pop up a gallery with progress to date.
Week 1 - the rule of thirds (Story)
Off we went to the Botanic Gardens, cameras ready! I'm not sure if the pot of tea was exactly rule of thirds, but it got "explored" on Flickr, so is now one of my most popular images. Prints are available on request.
Week 2 - straight out of camera (Technical)
A lovely afternoon and evening kicking around Makara Beach and Island Bay and a chance to play with all those unused features on our cameras, leading me to double-down on my claim that why the hell would anyone want to use these when they can just use Photoshop instead! But I diligently tried some double-exposures, such as this grass blowing in the wind; some inbuilt modes, like this "toy" setting; and some tricky lighting situations, such as shooting into the setting sun.
Week 3 - Land (Artistic)
I had some ideas for this challenge, which didn't come to fruition and the weather wasn't behaving either, so this is the best I could manage. From Te Ahumairangi hill for a vista over Wellington City. And some additional toning to meet the "artistic" requirements. I do like the movement in the toitoi.
Week 4 - Mirror (Story)
I ran out of time trying to get this story to work! Using a mirror in a photograph is hard! I was trying to get the little mouse to be looking at his reflection in the mirror, but with the reflection being a big rat. But the rat ended up looking tinier than the mouse... argh! Plus I needed to composite it to get everything in focus too... I'm a bit embarrased about this effort, but this is all part of being challenged so I'm posting it anyway :)
Week 5 - Ten shots (Technical)
This was a fun challenge - take 10 shots of the same subject with different angles, distances, and focal lengths. Petone Wharf was our destination.
Week 6 - candy (Artistic)
Not as simple as it might seem... the organisers ask for the theme of candy but candy is not allowed in the photo! The resulting photo I called "Nature's candy".
Week 7 - Forgotten (Story)
Week 8 - one shot (Technical)
I agonised as to what to choose for my "one shot". No do-overs allowed! But then an overhead skrark meant the local kākā were visiting, so I grabbed my camera and ran upstairs to a good vantage point. This was going to be it! I continued to take more photos of my favourite birds, but this was the first shot. Note to self - it continues to pay off to always ensure there is a fresh a battery and card in the camera at all times - you never know when you might need it!
Week 9 - Still Life (Artistic)
I'm in Kim Klassen's Studio 2.O so have been doing more and more still life, and surprising myself at how much I'm enjoying it. It's the complete opposite to wildlife photography. This is titled "Still life in the hope of ratatouille". Prints are available on request.
Week 10 - Perspective (Story)
I'm addicted to online courses and am also working my way through Brooke Shaden's Creative Live series. Those familiar with her work might notice a strong influence! This image is titled "Did they fall or were they pushed?"
Week 11 - split-tone (technical)
I use split toning and other image toning techniques all the time so I couldn't get too excited about this week's challenge, so I settled on a simple toning of some early-morning clouds.
Week 12 - Orange (artistic)
Orange subjects are not something that I go out of my way to photograph, other than perhaps kākā, but this wee nasturtium was putting up a good front after the rain. Not as spectacular as Linton's dahlia photo though!
Week 13 - GOlden Hour (Story)
The story here is that we had nothing but shitty weather for over a week so we weren't able to complete the challenge on time, but eventually we did get some nice mornings and evenings. Back to Petone Beach for this one!
A quarter of the way there and some difficult challenges ahead! Stay tuned for more...
Access Octomono Masonry Settings
Art of Birding Blog by Judi Lapsley Miller
Fine art inspired by the stories of birds and the natural world. Starting with photographs, I let my imagination take me on flights of fancy. What is real and what is imagined is blurred. What is physical and what is virtual is disrupted. Bursting with colour and life.
Did you enjoy this story?
Get more stories like this in your inbox, be the first to find out what's happening, and get special offers - sign up for the VIP newsletter today!