52 Week Photography Challenge
Week 2 – Technical: SOOC

Woo hoo! Look at me! I made it to week two of my 2017 challenge.

I know that might not seem like much but the way the weather and work have been going I seriously doubt my ability to go exploring to grab images. And not only for this goal I placed in front of myself but for my sanity. Getting out and capturing images is my escape. It is definitely my me time. Not to mention the cruel trick Mother Nature is playing on me… I mean, come on, right after I buy the snowshoes we have a streak of 50 degree weather and rain. That is downright mean! LOL

But I digress. The challenge this week is to capture a compelling image and post it straight out of the camera. No processing. No helping yourself improve an ‘almost image’ by tweaking it. Plan your shot. Nail your composition. Set your exposure and click!


MLCreations Photography: 52 Week Project &emdash; Arches - SOOC


On Wednesday this week there was a big meeting with a customer starting after lunch. It was a post award conference with lots of customer representatives. To calm any jitters I typically get I jumped out during lunch and escaped to the Old Erie Canal Park nearby. Even if I didn’t capture any compelling images, the act of crawling around the canal puts me in a better place. I had a good time! And, I was able to capture a cool view of the aqueduct over Butternut Creek.

I really liked the play of light in this image. The light on the inside of the arches contrasting with the dark walls and water. The pattern (only two) of the shape for the arches with the line of each bringing your attention down to the creek and the white, frothy ‘rapids’. Definitely not an award winner but there is potential, and for this challenge I think I ended up fairly well with an image right out of the camera.


MLCreations Photography: Monochrome &emdash; Arches


Technically (pun intended!) we are suppose to save the original for processing later in the challenge but I couldn’t let this one sit. I knew how I was going to process this image as I was capturing it. This was always going to be a monochrome image. I needed to crop slightly to remove the one strand of errant grass in the lower left corner. I also thought the balance would be better with the image ratio changed to 4×5. Although I liked the pattern in the image changing the ratio removed the perfectly same sized arches and added a little visual tension. After that it was a few minor adjustments in Lightroom and a trip into my black & white plugin from Topaz Labs.

Let me know how I did for this week’s challenge. I always welcome your thoughts and comments.

A New Challenge

52 Week Photography Challenge
Week 1 – Story: Rule of Thirds

A new year is suppose to bring a new set of goals. That is the thought behind New Year’s resolutions, right? I have been pretty good at listing resolutions, I have been terrible at following through on them. This year I did not list any. Why put myself through the guilt when I do not achieve or sustain what I thought I would do this year. But, I did want to try something to push myself creatively this year.

I remember when I was doing the weekly themes with some friends I had met on one of my Disney trips. We would pick a theme for a week and share three images that we created and comment on each other’s work. It wasn’t a competition, it was a way for us to keep in touch and learn. I had a lot of fun when we were doing those themes. Some weeks I would plan specific images and other weeks I would wander around seeing what jumped out at me that would fit the current theme. It helped me when I worked either way… if I had an image in my head I would plan everything out and then go execute. If I allowed myself to wander around it was teaching me to see differently or expand how I looked at my surroundings.

To get me back into that mode of operation I decided I would work on a 52 Week photography project. Rather than rely on myself selecting a theme and working on an image I found a project/challenge online that I am hoping will keep me focused. Dogwood Photography is doing a second challenge after what looked like a successful one last year. Reading through the challenge list it appeared to have themes that I could contribute to as well as push me along my goal of increasing my creativity. You can view the weekly challenges here.

If you are looking for something to help jump start your own photography I encourage you to participate in this challenge. I had tried a 365 Project once but only made it through 25% before I gave up. The challenge of creating an image every day eventually wore me out. I think the guilt when I missed a day was the worse and was what truly forced me to stop. I thought with a weekly challenge I will have more opportunities to create the image I want and not feel stressed out about it.

Week 1 – Story: Rule of Thirds

The challenge for the first week is to tell a story using the rule of thirds. This is probably the first “rule” of photography everyone hears about or learns. Digital Photography School has a nice article about this technique if you are interested. Basically the technique involves dividing your image into thirds both horizontally and vertically. To create the most compelling image you would want to have your subject near one of the dividing lines or even better is to have your point of focus at one of the intersections.

The challenge this week though is more about telling a story by incorporating this rule of thirds. I had an idea about what I wanted to do and last night was my first opportunity to execute. The image I created is of the Bed & Breakfast next door. My neighbor had turned his house into a B&B quite a few years ago to capture some of the travelers looking for a place to stay near the miles of snowmobile trails in my area. One trail crosses the road about a quarter mile from my house.

I will admit this is not one of my best images technically. I should have bracketed my exposures to give me more detail in the highlights. I chose not to as I thought it contributed to the story. You will notice if you can visualize the image split into thirds that the truck on one of the dividing lines. I also played with the concept of the rule of thirds a little by creating three zones in this image. There is the snow zone which has the driveway and tracks leading to the truck. The middle zone is the house and then the last zone is the night sky.


MLCreations Photography: 52 Week Project &emdash; Night at the B&B


Not a great start to the challenge but I did start! I keep the list on my desk so as not to lose focus. I welcome any comments and if you do decide to participate, let me know so I can follow along with your progress.