This week we took our first step into the world of photo blogging. We started with a few tips and tricks for composing a photograph, allowing us to appreciate the communication potential and dimensions of photography. We started by reviewing different photography tips and including them in our own photography. I took this as an opportunity to understand perspective, lighting, and the Rule of Thirds (and how to break it).
To learn by doing, we executed a 15 minute photoblitz Safari which brought me to DuPont Circle on a sunny weekend. There I was forced not to think too much about the detailed criteria and shoot with my gut. This was an interesting exercise because it help me realize how much second guessing (or over thinking) really prevents us from truly exploring the potential image. During this exercise, my mind set was “read-look-shoot” not “read-think-look-think-look-think-shoot”
The 5 Card Flickr Story exercise allowed me to take off my photographer hat and put on my story teller hat. Aside from getting lucky with a pretty easy series of photos, the exercise demonstrated how subjective stories could be and that the story in this case (not beauty, necessarily) is in the eyes of the beholder.
I had a little more trouble with the visual assignments, given I never really had a mastery of photo editing outside of what the MS Photo program every allowed me to do. Using Pixlr.com, I was able to try my hand at some concepts like color splashing and the lasso tool. After a little self-led learning and a few YouTube videos later, I was able to complete my first assignments. In the process, I also recalled found memories of a favorite movie of mine, Amelie, which used a similar play on colors to create more of an indirect effect on it’s audience. I’m not sure what the technique is called, but it’s one of those thing you have to watch a movie 3 or 4 times to catch.
I look forward to learning more, but only wish that some of the help links were more helpful…thank goodness for Uncle YouTube.
We wrapped up the week with another stab at finding Storified/Un-Storified content around imagery. I looked at a Nike billboard and briefly discussed how images inherently have a level of subjectivity to them. Though some are intentionally meant to be abstract and vague, others can benefit from a storied approach. In the case of the Nike billboard, it relied more on the novelty that it was literally a wall that one could run into. Clever, if one assumes the audience makes that connection (especially if they’re not busy holding an icepack to their head after colliding with the wall). The image could be tweaked to be a bit more direct, or perhaps be complemented with a video that builds out more of the story for the audience, rather than assume they will connect the dots between the content of the image and it’s physical dimension.