52 WEEK PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE 2017 Week 2 Straight out of Camera (SOOC)
What happened to my photography innocence? It was barely 15 months ago when I purchased and started using my first mid-entry crop camera. I was care free, taking shots without much knowledge and exposure to any editing software like Adobe Lightroom let alone applying complex photo manipulation available in Adobe Photoshop.
The second week of my 52 weeks challenge is to produce photos "Straight Out Of Camera" or SOOC. This reminded me of the simplicity in photography and capturing moments "as is".
I was somewhat contented with the numerous shots taken at the early stages of owning my Digital-SLR camera. One of which was a majestic Bald Eagle perched high up on a pine tree.
This photo of a Bald Eagle was taken hand-held with a 300mm lens at ISO, aperture and speed based on experimentation. (*officially not used for week 2)
Back in the early days of my photography, I have to admit having the purists outlook and mentally questioning photo edits, even of my own instructor. (How rude!) I was click-happy without a tripod or used any editing softwares.
Experimenting with the settings of my camera resulted in consistent failures but at the same time produced some terrific shots. One of which was the hand-held full moon.
Fidgeting with the control knobs several times, back and forth looking up to the full moon like desperate wolf without a howl.
I finally pulled off a decent image right outside my home. Even my instructor commended the shot, saying it was a good use of my tripod. But I did not have one!
Not a supermoon but super for my feeble standards (*officially not used for week 2 challenge)
"Straight Out Of Camera" was the perception I had, of how all photos are made, great ones. Edits in my mind were corrupt.
The perceived stigma never did lasted long. Little that I knew that between 80% to 95% of all published photos out there are products photo manipulation.
Presenting photos "Straight Out Of Camera" would be ideal but just like any other work of art, refinements, cropping, framing the photo, applying Rule of Thirds, adjusting correct exposure, clarity, sharpening of images and many more bring forth the best in photography, just as we humans refine ourselves with learning life skills.
Week 2 in my photo self-challenge kicked off with freezing temperature conditions. Winter is already a challenge for getting shots outdoors that are meaningful, but the situation did not get any better at minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit the first time I grabbed my camera in week 2.
Minus 15 Fahrenheit = Minus 26 Celsius
I did not get far. Without warm and toasty gloves on my hands and the validation on the dashboard displaying the frigid temperatures, I was resolved to get back into the house. SOOC can wait for another few days.
Many common places where kids and parents congregate such as the town park is abandoned in Winter.
The 24 inches powder dump that day brought much excitement to everyone in town steering them away from the park to the mountains for skiing and snowboarding. Forget about tic-tac-toe indoors let alone in the hidden park.
Nothing technical about this shot but just showing SOOC.
So I started to take some photos of the park. Not a single soul was in sight. I looked for something interesting but I all I saw was a series of playground stations half buried in snow.
I realized afterwards these images could be improved with some alignment and exposure edits but none were not compelling enough in my own mind as required by week two's challenge. It may fit-in to tell a story but just not captivating.
Early morning snow warriors plowing the roads.
In the meantime snow keeps piling up where it was pushed to the side during the previous snow onslaught.
On my way to work I pulled over getting out of my car with my tripod to capture the tenacity of daily work in winter for someone with no qualms, whatever the temperature may be.
Slow plowing enables the local economy to function day-to-day. Roads are driveable, kids go to school, businesses open and operational, the mountain welcomes skiers and snowboarders. There is order.
I captured this image consciously with these observations. In some way mentally thanking him for the work he does. Life goes on in winter. Another image "Straight Out Of Camera".
My chosen photo for SOOC was taken under the dramatic Red Cliff Bridge.