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32 Discovery Projects

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32 Discovery Projects:

The 32 discovery projects aimed to be fulfilled by the time I reach 32.
The 32 discovery projects are part of 读万卷书,行万里路,圆万个梦。

# Project: Use OUR MIND as a cognitive camera. When we begin to learn to see like a photographer, we will notice arresting photos everywhere.
# Project: Do our homework. Spend time in a good bookstore / library, look through the work of some of the great photographers from different photographic traditions. AWARENESS of the work of others is of great importance to our own personal development. Choose fav photos, assess why we like them, what the strength of each photo, how the photographer achieved the end result.
# Project: Build a scrapbook / soft folders. Contains our fav photos, drawings, paintings.
# Project: Compile a series of leisure images. Contains people, places, abstract (chairs, colours, shapes, texture).
# Project: Practise capturing human interactions. Watch groups or pairs of people to see how they’re interacting before quickly taking a snapshot. People’s eyes and hands. Look out for juxtapositions and contrasts, funny, humourous images. PATIENCE is the main virtue with street photography.
# Project: Try the paradoxical approach. Set up a tripod on street.
# Project: The art of remaining unobserved. Shoot from the hip.
# Project: Build a makeshift studio.
# Project: Fashion shoot on an interesting location. Take full-length photos. Try tighter compositions. Experiment with natural sunlight and use reflectors.
# Project: Set up a professional shoot. Contact a model agency to see if they have any people who would like to work with us. Contact some young designers to borrow some clothes for a shoot.
# Project: Create fashion magazine mock-ups. Use the layout of any well-known fashion magazine. Ask others for an honest feedback.
# Project: Traditional still life. Use a great painting by an old master as a ref source. Arrange a table of fruit and food taking great care with every element of the process. Try to create the feeling of a Biblical-style table of food.
# Project: Create a low-budget still life. Use toy figures. Get down to the toys’ level and treat the shot as if they were actural people.
# Project: Small is beautiful! Macro shoot.
# Project: Visit well-known scenes depicted in art. E.g. famous waterlilies in Monet’s Japan-inspired garden in Giverny, France.
# Project: Photograph landscapes in black and white. f64 group: Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham. Try using a red filter to darken the blue sky.
# Project: Use reflector.
# Project: Create an interesting self-portrait. The trick is to position our camera so the shot is not obviously a self portrait.
# Project: Shoot a photo essay.
# Project: Research photo essays. New York Times, Time, LIFE, Sunday TImes Magazine, Paris Match, Picture Post, National Geographic. Study the use of photography, the caption information, the narrative structure.
# Project: Write a synopsis on our next photo essay. Aim. Duration. budget.
# Project: Analyze the colours in magazine / advertising. Taking phots use the same color scheme.
# Project: Shooting film noir. Film noir (black film) is the genre of Hollywood film 40s and 50s. The subject is lit by narrow beam of light. Long, dark shadows create a menacing atmosphere. Watch great film-noir movies: (1) The Third Man, 1949, Carol Reed, (2) Touch of Evil, 1958, Orson Welles, (3) bunny Lake is Missing, 1965, Otto Preminger. See photo work by George Hurrell.
# Project: Portrait on an overcast day. There will be no direct light to cause unwanted shadows on our subjects’ face.
# Project: Same place, different time. 1. Daytime. 2. Sunset. 3. Dusk. 4. Night.
# Project: Reproduce the chiaroscuro effect.
# Project: Frame within a frame.
# Project: Photograph a blue-collar worker. Inspiration from Peruvian baker. What is the relationship of the person to their job, do they enjoy it or hate it?
# Project: Generate a concept for a series. E.g. global recession. Be creative and try to come-up with an unusual idea that will make sense to a wide range of people.
# Project: Be a collaborator. Find a partner from a different field to work with on a project. Learn how others might interpret the same idea. E.g. clothes designer. Typographer on a range of shirts that carry social message.
# Project: Create a multimedia piece using sound, text, and stills. Final Cut Pro, Flash, iMovie, Slide Show.
# Project: Practise identifying the end shot in a series. Blueroselady said “Every story has an ending, and another beginning.”

Other tips:
In art, still life photographers search for meaning, symbol, and metaphpor in their compositions.
The 45/45 is a classic lighting model in portraiture: the light source is at a 45-degree angle to the subject and 45-degree above them.
2 rules of the colour wheel: (1) Colours on the opposite sides of t whell build a sense of TENSION and drame (e.g. red vs green, orange vs purple), (2) Neighbouring colours create a sense of HARMONY and TRANQUILITY.
Midday light is worst to shoot in, as the light is harsh.

If we want to take portrait with detailed background with flash: underexpose by 1-to-2 stops to capture the colour and detail of the background and sky, then use fill flash to light up our subjects.
We can use a simple umbrella and light stand set-up to give a softer, more flattering light very easily.
Learn the rules, then break them. p96. The rule of thirds does not accommodate the idea of symmetry yet symmetry can make a composition very strong.
Black and white are the colours of photography. TO me they symbolize the alternatives of HOPE and DESPAIR to which mankind is forever subjected. Robert Frank (Legendary American photographer).
A good composition establishes a sense of HARMONY between light, lines, balance, framing, timing and the full range of photographic techniques.

Inspirations from book “150 workouts for student photographers” by John Easterby.

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Written by blueroselady

August 9, 2010 at 4:11 am

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  1. […] Practice! Mini shoot. Photo shoot session as a date (cheaper than fine dining / watching movies). Discovery projects Study work by others (the same goes for every field of professional pursuit, though I am […]


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