Shoot daily photo challenge :: week 1 roundup

Rarely am I ever fully surprised.  But on Christmas morning I unwrapped two gifts that rendered me completely speechless.  In one hand I was holding on to a Sony FE 35mm lens and the other clutched the Sony A7r camera.  I couldn’t speak in complete sentences for a good five minutes afterwards.

In light of my new toys I’ve set a challenge for myself to shoot daily for the whole of January.  Part of the objective is to get acquainted with the new camera and figure out its capabilities/limitations and the other is to challenge myself to “see” with differently.  My intention isn’t to photograph portfolio worthy pictures but to explore alternative perspectives, compositions and lighting.  In other words, it’s my attempt to exercise a creative muscle.

Each Thursday I will post a round up of shots from the previous 7 days.  There are some days where I’ll post more than one to show the different elements I worked with.  I’m also attempting to work with a particular theme each week but we’ll see how that goes.  For this 1st week the theme is lines & patterns.

Day 1: Bloomsbury at night


I was really unprepared on Day 1. I hung out at the Waterloo Bridge for an hour in the cold without my mittens. I took the usual landscape photos, completely unimpressed with any of them. I shot this on my way home b/c I found the light & shadows interesting.


Day 2: Brunswick  park


I was out on a coffee run at 9 am then decided to walk around the park for a little while since the light was so nice. I love the stillness of the morning when people aren’t out and about yet. I also shot some silhouettes of the barren trees with branches stretching in different directions but I’m drawn to the green grass, light and shadows in this shot.


Day 3: British Museum
I knew I could find interesting patterns at the British Museum. It’s also about time I took advantage of free admissions in London museums! I circled the ground level of the museum twice trying to get the perspective I wanted from the ceiling pattern: where the curvature stems from, then fans out.




Day 4: Tavistock Garden
I did not have high expectations for Day 4.  It was a damp day and all I wanted to do was stay in and watch a movie with the Brit.  I went to a garden nearby and figured I’d shoot for just 15 minutes.  I ended up staying close to an hour circling the small garden and finding random subjects to work with.  They are not impressive photos by any means but it’s not something I would normally photograph which is what this challenge is all about for me.


This light and scene reminds me of Seurat's pointillist technique

This light and scene reminds me of Seurat’s pointillist technique


Day 5: Natural History Museum


I visited the Natural History Museum to shoot but became obsessed with their dinosaur exhibit. No interesting shots came from that but here’s a view of Hintze Hall. Stunning architecture, no?


Day 6: Marchmont Community Garden


In full disclosure, I was on my way to get some groceries so decided to get some shots of the community garden next door. I took pictures of other patterns on the wall but seeing as how we’re in the midst of winter, seeing some life in the form of flowers is a good change of pace.


Day 7: Somerset House


In addition to great impressionist paintings, London’s Somerset House also has an extremely photogenic spiral staircase. I’ve taken photos looking down from the top floor for an old Project 365. I like this different perspective better… and composition wise it fits the golden ratio.

What I learned from the last few days of shooting is that once you spend enough time with a subject you start noticing things you didn’t see before.  I found the process very exhausting and time consuming (as expected) but worth the trouble.  As a creative, it’s pretty powerful to not feel the pressure to get “the shot” but rather to experiment & explore.  Let’s hope this still stands next week! 🙂

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