Week 5. Oh what was week 5 again? California two roll double feature! I think there was a theme, like repeating patterns or something like that… I maybe took it into consideration, but didn’t want to be too restrictive on my photos.
These rolls of film were scanned by me, then digitally edited in Lightroom. I probably went through the editing process about 4 times – this is tricky! I started editing them like I would my bird photos, but that really detracts from the magic of film, so I restricted my editing to just the exposure, highlights/lights, shadows/blacks, and temperature correction. I didn’t play with the contrast, clarity, vibrance, tone curve, or split toning like I normally do. This is more or less “au naturel.”
Well enough technical talk, lets look at those photos!
Uh oh, my first photo is the best one of the roll.
Its like when Chumbawumba makes an entire album but the best song is just the first track…
That little speck in the top left corner is a guy on a bike.
I like the little valley; feel like composition is interesting.
It is just that the color seems a little off to me.
Too green? It was soooo green though, this one proves difficult to deal with pre and post editing.
What a happy little tree
Turns out I love Oak trees.
California is a pretty good place for them.
These first hilly oak photos were taken in a place called Coyote Canyon.
When doing landscapes the goal is usually to have distinctly separate layers.
I feel like this photo is almost there; I think this oak tree just needs a little bit of room to breathe on its crown.
If I were able to take the photo from a few feet higher, I’d be able to separate it from the smaller trees in the background and it would be a very good photo.
This photo was tricky because I was shooting in the shade, but it was very bright on the hill.
Film is very impressive at how much detail it captures in the shadows, so I tried to expose for the sun and hope the foreground would retain some detail.
It did! I really like this photo a lot (except I forgot to crop the black frame of the negative)
I love the path going from the bottom and then continuing on the hill in midground
I love the framing of the shadow and the little tree and white cloud framed in the center.
I am pretty happy with this one!
I took this photo because the light was hitting the grass in a really nice way.
After looking at the photo, I don’t think this translated as well as I wanted it too.
Framing of oak and shadows is okay, composition is okay, just not exciting.
Photo taken in shade with no real interesting light.
I took the photo because I like the separation of the little trees,
though the ones on the right are a little busy for my liking.
Trail has some nice lines, but what it is missing is good lighting.
Our second day in the bay area we went to Santa Cruz.
As I was waiting for my “California Omelette,” I noticed how nice the light was hitting this plant.
The sun-rays make for an interesting photo, as does the decor,
Though I am kind of torn on this, just because the subject is functionally just a potted plant.
One of the most important lessons I learned from this journey is how delicious avocados taste in California.
This fisherman almost immediately started telling us ghost stories
I asked if I could take his photo and he said he wasn’t a “Wanted Man” so it would be ok.
He was nice, and I am really happy with how this photo turned out.
I need to just take more photos of strangers,
But they are hard to approach.
But I am usually happy with results when I do it.
I need to be brave.
The fisherman told me this boat was haunted.
I like the colors of this boat; the splash of red at the bottom.
This photo gets obvious bonus points for having a bird in a corner.
(This may be the reason I took this photo).
I think this photo is okay, it doesn’t really tell a story, you can’t tell it is haunted.
But… I am okay with composition, and it is a reasonably interesting subject…
Not incredible, but not terrible.
Is this photo Cliché?
It must be, because I like it a lot.
Things it has going for it:
It has 3 objects, odd numbers are pleasing.
Rule of thirds (nothing is directly in the middle)
Framing: the middle palm is framed by the outside 2
Nostalgia: it reminds me of how warm and nice Santa Cruz was.
Things going against it:
Uhhh… I don’t know, being critical of your own work is hard sometimes…
It might have been good if I did f22 and tried to get everything in focus
I like this a bit, though I bet this photo has been taken thousands of times.
I like that the rocks leads in a reverse c shape
I like that there are cormorants and a gull throwing its wings in the air
This photo could be more interesting if it had a long exposure and the waves were smoothed out and ghostly.
Also, the angle isn’t that exciting; you can’t really tell there is an arch.
This photo is okay but nothing special.
The horizon at almost half with a boring blue sky was probably a mistake
Framing/composition could use some work on this guy.
This was a bit trickier photo of the same arch rock
I set up the camera and waited for a human to occupy the gap between the two rocks.
I knew it would be mostly a silhouette because I was shooting into the sun.
This photo has some pleasing blur/glare/lack of sharpness due to the sun reflecting straight into the lens.
Composition seems pretty strong. I like the repeating lines of sand/water/rocks.
I think this photo is pretty good.
This is a eucalyptus tree and it smells amazing (though you can’t really tell digitally).
I thought the light was hitting this tree in a nice way and I liked the texture of the bark.
And the smell was great too.
Now looking back at this photo though, I don’t really think it is that exciting.
Light and texture are there, but not really sure how I feel about the subject.
Bubble guys! These guys had big buckets and made even bigger bubbles.
It was a difficult scene to capture
Though I do like the composition
It is nice to have subjects doing something in frame
And having an object lead you across the frame.
I don’t really like that I cut off a person on the left… A little more in or out would be better.
I tried again when the kids had gathered.
I am glad I waited a few minutes and tried a second time because I like this one better.
Kids having a good time.
I also like it a little further back and having the bubbles against the trees makes for a bit of a better composition.
Before the wedding we headed to IN-N-OUT
And we LUCKED-OUT
We were greeted by a pre-Quinceanera party.
This girl matched the restaurant’s theme perfectly.
She was also happy to let me take her photo.
I also like the kid in the back left.
I am happy with this shot, though shooting into the sun and having the face be in shadow makes the photo a little less crisp feeling than I want.
Overall, pretty good though.
This photo is okay.
I think the photo I should have got is the kid in the black jacket and glasses playing the drums.
He has a sweet mullet that you can’t really see. I should have just gotten closer.
I took this photo mostly for the cool Palm tree
But thought it would be enhanced by a model.
I love Jenny’s glasses and her shadow in the bottom left.
I also like how the shadows play on her dress just highlighting her face/necklace/and bracelet.
We practiced posing a lot with a cell phone first, and I am happy with how this turned out.
My last photo in California
Well this photo was a mistake
I mean, I took it on purpose, but I was tricked by taking cell phone photos out the window.
I don’t think I focused this one when I took it.
I don’t like it at all, muddy colors, out of focus, not crisp, not interesting.
Oh well, can’t all be winners.
Back in Portland
I have driven by this structure a lot and it fits my alternating pattern theme that I neglected in California.
I thought the most interesting angle would be from underneath.
It is pretty interesting, though I don’t really like the white sky above…
I should have waited for clouds or underexposed or something.
It has potential, I may try again in the future.
I loved the clouds and sky and wanted to take their photo
But then I thought just a photo of clouds wouldn’t be interesting enough
Well then with that logic this is very interesting.
And also disjointed and chaotic feeling.
Is it bad? Is it good? Is it art?
f12 5.6 1/125
This was more of a proof of concept photo
I had rushed photos previously where the subject was out of focus and wanted to try again.
Moving objects are difficult.
On this one I had to lower the aperture so the shutter speed could be high enough to stop the action and not blur.
Though with a smaller aperture I have a smaller window where the subject will be in focus.
So I pre-focused my camera for the little bike on the asphalt and did my best to take a photo when the cyclist was right over it.
Not incredible photo, but it was crisp, so I am happy with that.
Overall, California photos are very pleasing to me, I feel like I am improving, and I am still having a really fun time.
I just did a chicken photo shoot, and some other random stuff for my next roll of film, so look forward to that in our next episode.
I appreciate all of your comments and feedback in whichever forms you give them to me. Thumbs ups, shares, comments, I love it all. Thank you guys for reading!