The Odd Mix

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Location: Virginia, United States

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Bit More on the Challenge


Lookee what I did! I made a banner... um, a badge... er, a button... hmmm, a whatchamacallit! Whatever it is, The Weekend Word Challenge now has one. I'm no graphic designer, I know, but I think it will do.

So... a couple of things to hopefully ease some concerns and make a couple more of you willing to risk playing along with us.

First, Quality. By saying I would like to see "Quality Photography" I had not intended to imply that only "skilled" or "tallented" or "experienced" photographers should play. I only meant that I would like to see you take the time to think about the way you are shooting. Sometimes blurred focus is intentional; sometimes we deliberately skew the horizom; sometimes (most of the time, actually) it is a good thing to place the primary target off center in the frame. Just think about why you do what you do and you will see a dramatic increase in the "artistic quality" (there's a loose term for you) of your photos.

Second, Critiques. The only way to improve in any area is to practice. With photography this means making the shutter click many times. Then you look at what you got, think about how you got it, decide what you should do differently, and make the shutter click many more times. Lather, rinse, repeat. Along the way, it is often helpfull to have another set of eyes take a look and make helpfull suggestions, not criticisms. It is my desire that through these challenges we have a safe, comfortable opportunity to get these critiques from our peers.

My comments will usually run along the lines of "You have captured the expression in her eyes beautifully. If you soften the focus, perhaps the gorgeous collor will stand out even more." Or, "What an adorable child. If you frame the image so that he is off to the left it may draw the viewer into the scene even more."

Third, Tools. I have one digital camera I use - a two year old, mid-line point-and-shoot Canon. I do not use Photoshop; I can barely start using Paintshop Pro (the whatchamacallit taxed my skills to the limit). I do use Picasa, a free program from google, which gives me basic tools to crop, adjust, and convert to monochrome. Thats it!

While I have serious camera lust when I look at the hight end Nikon and Canon DSLRs - and nearly pee myself when I look at some of those L series lenses - they are not what this challenge is about. This is about using your imagination to find a way through straightforward photography to express a concept to your viewer. Yes, there are skills involved; yes, nice equipment helps; yes, experience is important. But the key is your imagination and a willingness to share with, learn from, and trust in the rest of us who are putting our work out there, too.

I want to share. I want to learn. I trust you. Let's play!

UPDATE:
A couple of people (notably, Kristine and Lucky Lum - both of whose opinions I value) have suggested that I keep it at one word to make it easier. If I get much feedback that way I can certainly do that. However, I actually gave three words to make it easier. Sometimes, I just can't find an image for one word, but if I have three to work with I can usually find something creative to do with at least one or two. You do not have to respond to all three words. Please let me know what you think.

10 Comments:

Anonymous krista said...

so the challenge is for the words, peace, reveal and challenge.

When do I post if I participate?

9:04 AM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Mama C said...

Thanks for the explanation. I'm looking forward to playing.

9:09 AM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Odd Mix said...

krista - Monday. I thought we'd do this like Kristine handles SPF. I will post mine on Monday and everyone who plays can comment on mine to let us know.

delaine - I'm looking forward to seeing your submission :D

9:16 AM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Tink said...

And we post the pictures on our own blogs but comment in yours to let you know we participated?

I like having a choice of words. I wouldn't want to limit it to one, but I wouldn't mind if it went down to two.

10:36 AM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Charlotte in Pa said...

I like the choice of words... especially without pressure to post for all 3. This is a GREAT idea, although Sue will probably be the one to play because she's a much better photographer than I am!

1:49 PM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger MomToTracyNSheri said...

Holy crap, you do all this with a point and shoot digi cam? I'm not up to the competition. I have a great camera and I SUCK in the imagination dept.

8:24 PM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger Sue said...

I am so excited to play and so excited to get critique from such an accomplished photographer.....off to find my challenge!

9:40 PM, May 05, 2006  
Blogger LoriLaurieLauri said...

I like having a choice of words...I know that some weeks will be busier than others (like this one, where I'm not even sure I will have time to take a picture) and there will probably always be at least one word that will pop out at me and I won't have to think too much! lol!

Oh! And I love the banner/button!

9:01 AM, May 06, 2006  
Blogger KTP said...

Hey OM,
I love this idea. I can't wait to play. I will HAVE to wait, though, until my *&^%-ing camera comes back from Samsung. Argh. Anyway I want you to know that I appreciate your thoughtful comments over at HOP. I rarely comment on others' sites but I am working on that.

9:59 AM, May 07, 2006  
Blogger Lucky Lum said...

Choices are good.

Now I better get going so I have something to show tomorrow...

10:38 AM, May 07, 2006  

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