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Canon Photo5 2011 Macro Brief submitted (Foam)
Canon Photo5 2011 Competition entry
#1 Through a Pet's Eyes//Open Brief
This brief asks you to look at things a little differently. Capture the world as it’s seen through the eyes of an animal. Use any effect or
technique you like to capture their point of view, their side of the story.
Judge's Notes: Get creative and think laterally with this brief. Pets see things from peculiar angles, but they also have a different
understanding of the world than we do, communicating this will be the challenging and fun part of this brief.
Carefully spying and avoiding a worming tablet
Taken from inside the basket. Some animals suffer fisheye and have IR vision. I wanted this photo to represent their view. The tablet was hard
to make white. I used IR 700nm, screw on Fish Eye lens. Tuna, Tablet and a ball. Cut a hole in the basket. I will let you guess the animal.
They can see normal colour and some IR. The animal peers out to the tablet.
Camera: EOS 350D
Lens: EF 24mm f/2.8
mickyj, IR, Fish Eye, basket, tablet
This brief encourages you to look at everyday things by getting closer to them. Take this ordinary soap, turn it into foam and make it
amazing. See how it interacts with light, what shapes it creates, try colouring it. Get creative, just stay close.
Judge's Notes: A macro lens would help with this brief, but it’s certainly not crucial. As your lens gets in closer to your subject, your
depth of field will get narrower, so note where your focus is. Take some time to experiment with the foam and what you can do with it before
you start shooting. Also consider what the foam is on, as this will dramatically change how the light plays off it.
Refraction and beauty
This is the raw bubble without modification to the solution. No food colouring etc. Place the bubble on a DVD disk (With a teaspoon) and then
bounce light off of it. Get really close with your lens and try to get the correct focus. Use a remote release and tripod. Used halogen globes
Camera: EOS 5D
Lens: MP-E65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro
Mickyj, buble, foam, DVD, light, rainbow
#3 Sequins//Low light
This brief forces you to really consider the way you use light when you don't have very much of it. Think of sequins like little mirrors
reflecting light, they're your accents in the scene, use them wisely and feel free to get more and use as many as your vision requires. Just
remember, low light photography is all about getting detail in the dark.
Judge's Notes: In low light photography you need to concentrate on the black as much as the light. Sequins can define the shape of things they
are placed on, but also can be a backdrop for something placed in front of them. Get creative with your light set up, you don't need to have
expensive equipment to make the most of this challenge.
An angels halo
Created very small angels with pins as heads. Glued red sequins to the pins. These are very small. Laid the remaining sequins at the feet of
the angels but tried to make the angels the focus. Turned off the lights, turned the angels heads to the camera, exposed for 10 seconds and
used a torch to "light paint" just the angels in the foreground. The backround did not espose at all as it was dark.
Camera: EOS 5D
Lens: EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
mickyj, angel, dark, halo
#4 Powder//Fast Shutter
This breif is abount capturing a fleeting moment using powder in a surprising way. You can use the powder provided or find your own. Use a
little or a lot. Combine colours if you like and expeariment with light and setting. And don't be afraid to make a mess.
Judge's Notes: Think about whether you want to make the powder the entire subject of your shot, or an element within it. Given this is a fast
shutter brief, your photo could be about the movement of the powder itself or about something within or around it. Either way, creating a
dynamic shot is key.
Painting ZigZags in Canon Dust
This is harder than it looks. Manual focus, blur background with F stop selection. 3 halogen globes. Black background.Spoon, draw a zigzag in
the out of focus area. Use the spoon to drop the dust in the in focus area. Pray you get the shot right.
Camera: EOS 5D
fast, powder, dust, mickyj, spoon
This brief is about movement of both camera and subject. The challenge is to make your subject central to the image (in or out of sharp focus)
while it, or the camera, moves. The subject does not have to be the ribbon, but the ribbon must be
All the time in the Spring, 8 seconds
I finished up my St. Johns Bridge class last Thursday and spent my Saturday evening and Sunday teaching as well. But now it is Wednesday and I have had some time to reflect on those experiences and thought I would share some of my thoughts on how I like teaching and my experiences in general.
This shot is a good place to start. One thing I always feel a bit awkward about on workshops or classes is shooting myself. I never feel quite comfortable with taking a lot of pictures while I am out teaching others, for starters, I am being paid to be out there to help them take photos, not for them to watch me take them. But on the other hand I had a student sest that I should actually try to shoot more than I do because it could be a helpful tool to them to see what I do while they are out in that area. Which is a good point.
Newspace does an awesome job structuring workshops though in such a way that generally allows me to work around this. The classes I teach there are generally broken up into three components. The first class session is a few hours long in the digital studio and involves lecture, discussion and a slide show. This is when I generally show my own photography and talk about the area we will be shooting or the topic covered. The second is generally the in-the-field portion, with the third being a follow-up/critique. Almost like three classes in one really.
But to get back onto the topic of shooting on the workshop itself, I think there is a poor practice amongst some photographers, who think that it would be a grand idea to get a bunch of people to pay them to go out somewhere, teach a few fundamentals and then get to take a bunch of their own photos, in essence getting a free trip. Thankfully none of the photographers I know of teaching on Flickr fall into this category. In fact, I have heard great things about those workshops led by many of the Pacific Northwestern photographers I know. But in the past few workshops I have taught I have had a few students comment on having experienced this firsthand. So my advice if you are planning on starting to teach workshops is to forget about your own cameras. Leave them in the car if you have to. You are not on assignment to shoot, but rather to make sure everyone else brings home the shots.
The other interesting experience I have been having is that not everyone takes a class to be taught. I have found that generally half of my students are truly beginners with lots of technical questions. The other half tend to be photographers who are not looking for education as much as they are looking for inspiration. For them, a workshop is a guarantee they can put on their calendar that they will get out with other photographers on this day, get to see how they shoot, pick up new ideas themselves, interact and so forth. I always consider my job then to be part teacher and part cheerleader. It isn't enough just to explain shutter speeds and apertures and then turn them all loose. You have to keep feeding them bits of inspiration here, new ideas for angles there, and I find that even with a group as small as three, I am kept hopping around pretty much constantly.
But it is enjoyable too. Take my last workshop up at Rowena Crest for example. We made a break to head back down to Mosier and decided to stop at the cherry orchards on the way back for some shooting. I was working with one fellow who had been shooting a lot of macro when I spied some grass blowing in the wind. The stalks made a really nice abstract pattern, so I went and hooked this fellow and showed him what I was seeing, or at least I thought I was, turned out I wasn't though. So he set up and took to shooting this little clump of grass enthusiastically and I wandered off to check on my other students. I came back a few minutes later and he showed me some of his shots on the back of his camera. They were completely different than what I had envisioned, and completely beautiful. So much so that I actually got down on my belly in the grass next to him to enjoy the angle as well. It was a great moment where my inspiration fed his, and he in turn realized a completely different perspective that inspired me and showed me something that I had not seen. In a workshop that included a lot of good moments like that, this one was one of the best.
Phew, now I am running late for work, so though I have a bit more to say, I guess I had better save it for a later post. But hopefully there are a few helpful nets in what I have written today.
This image by the way was one of about five total pictures I took during my St. Johns Bridge workshop. I shot two pinhole shots, and about three with my Pentax all evening long. I couldn't pass this one up though, despite my many trips here I had never quite seen it from this perspective before.
PS, not a shot by one of my students but this shot by one of my co-workers is nonetheless an interesting image of the bridge. If you have n
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