I joined a beginners photography group recently, and have been trying out some of the challenges the group assigns. Some of them are weekly challenges, and they can be quite tough. It’s a way to push us creatively though, so it’s great! I’ve added some of my entries here (just the ones that I think came out most effectively)
Curves – I didn’t take too long to find my subject for this assignment. My brother’s guitar was right there, and boy did it have curves 🙂 The challenge here was to depict the curves, so that the viewer knows that’s my subject and not the guitar itself. So I braced the guitar against a wall, and let the light cast a shadow of the guitar against the wall at an angle that will highlight the curves.
Symmetry – Ok this was tougher. I could not find/think of a subject for days, and was sincerely flummoxed. Scouring the neighbourhood, searching my entire home, the internet for any subject of interest was just a futile endeavour. Expanding my search radius didn’t yield any results either. I had almost given up the search for good when this puzzle block caught my eye. It was perfectly symmetrical any which way I turned it, and was quite nice to look at as well. Subject found! Huzzah! Oh but now comes the other part – how to photograph it to show that ‘symmetry’ was the subject? Need to think. Should I place it on a table? The floor? Should I suspend it using a string? Should it be in colour? Or will the colours be too distracting? Well..I tried all the above for the next couple of days – the table, floor, suspension, colour, b&w etc. etc. Drove my mum mad. She couldn’t quite figure out why I was so obsessed with the damn puzzle block. When I explained the challenge, she just nodded her head like she understood (but I know she didn’t, really) and left me to my own devices. In the end I realised it had to be the table, and without colour. The colour was a little distracting – you couldn’t see the point I was trying to make was about symmetry and not the block. The result was pretty good, I think. However, looking at it now, I realise I need to work on my lighting. Lesson learnt.
Shadows – My trip to Indonesia had me obsessed with shadow puppets (Wayang Kulit) for awhile. So I thought of using my experience of that for this challenge. I had a version of one of the puppets, and used my bedsheet and a torchlight to recreate the shadow puppet effect. It was quite a challenge to get the light hit the puppet and the sheet at just the right angle, so that I could see only the shadow of the puppet. It took me a couple of hours to get it all alligned properly, and awhile longer to ensure the allignment will stay that way without me needing to hold the puppet and torchlight while I took the photograph. Phew!
Body parts – Sounds gruesome doesn’t it? Yea I thought so too.
I knew what I wanted as my subject, but I wasn’t sure how to portray it in a more creative manner. Then, inspiration struck. My cat, or rather, in this instance my muse decided that he wanted to play. So, I thought why not make him a part of it? Smart eh? And the look of ecstasy on his face? Priceless. 😉
Minimalist – Nothing much to say about this, really. I just tried to take a shot as ‘zen’ as possible. No colour. Just a feeling of solitude and contemplation. Took this photograph outdoors, on an overcast day.