This posting has two types of reflections — my progress, appropriate to this time of the year, given that New Year’s Eve is tomorrow — plus the image itself. (smile). It is hard to believe that I am already halfway through Project 52! Committing to this project has given me motivation to shoot on a near-daily basis in order to post an image on a weekly basis. This has led to a steady improvement in my camera skills. I still avoid posting recognizable images of people out of respect for privacy, and my focus for this project is on sharing unique moments. I’ve noticed that my ability to capture “the decisive moment” using available light is improving, and while I have a long way to go, I’m at the point where I can actually identify how I can continue to improve.
Because I’ve put so much effort into developing my available light skills I’ve used flash and supplementary lighting very rarely. Even so, I’ve found that my little built-in flash on the G11–despite all advice not to use it–can be very useful for creating unexpected moods (e.g., the ghostly Christmas tree in No. 28, the dead bee drone in No. 44). I deliberately avoided most post-production manipulation techniques, apart from the usual film darkroom techniques such as colour correction and occasional conversion to b&w images. Still, I did have some fun with pushing several GIMP functions for a few images (the Halloween spider in No. 33, C2G-converted leaf-shaded fence boards in No. 36, and highlighting the two passing cars in No. 37.) HDR may be next, but I would like to avoid the “flatness” that many HDR images exhibit.
Anyway, my little Canon G11 recently suffered a little scratch on its lens while I was climbing one of the dunes in the Mohave. I am really sad about it because it is not fixable nor I can replace the lens. But luckily it is a small scratch that can be remedied post-production, so the G11 will become our new underwater camera once we obtain the casing for it. For Christmas, Cosmoboy gave me a Pansonic Lumix G2 which also has an articulated screen. The image here is the first one for the blog from the G2, the product of a collaboration between us last night. I dragged Cosmoboy to downtown where we braved winter temperatures and straight-off-the-lake winds in order to experiment with some nighttime photography on the new camera. This image is a medium-length exposure of the untypically quiet Kingston waterfront, just days before the ice will cover the entire lakeshore. We took a 10-sec and a 15-sec exposure at 200 ISO, and we liked the 15-sec exposure better due to the bigger flare around the lamps. At full scale, there is a lovely amount of detail, including the buoys along the dock, but unfortunately some of that detail is lost when shrunk down to 510 pixels for this blog — even so you can make out the buoys on the left-hand side. 🙂
Happy New Year to everyone, and best wishes for a wonderful 2011 from both of us!