My 40 Photos

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So the other day I wrote about an assignment to shoot 40 shots using a single lens and no zoom. I must admit, I really was happy with the response as a number of people commented about taking up the challenge and I look forward to seeing the result. I found this assignment very fun and challenging. Like they said on D-Town TV, it does get challenging to come up with different shots after you shoot about 20 or so frames.

For this project I chose a traditional Korean sword that I got when I was training in the Korean Martial art of Kuk Sool Won. This is a single-edged straight blade, unlike the more curved Japanese-style swords that most people are familiar with. It also has the traditional mother of pearl inlay on the “kal-jib” or scabbard which is particularly like.

I limited myself to my 50mm F1.4 lens and used various angles and apertures to create different effects. I played a lot with the depth of field as I wanted to focus on the different parts of the sword and it beauty. It was a challenge to create so many images with just a single subject. I also tried a white backdrop and off-camera flash to see if that could bring out some different styles or effects.

Once I brought them into Aperture 3, I really started getting creative with different treatments and settings. However, I stuck mostly to only changing the white balance, black and white conversion, and tonal adjustments. I cropped in one shot but it did look that great. I really tried to get creative with processing the photos. So much so that I got burnt out after 25 shots and couldn’t think of what to do with them.

This assignment taught me so much about the “art”  of photography and the creative process. This was more of a visionary experience rather than just a “it was there and I photographed it” In the day and age of digital cameras that can do pretty much everything, many photographers run on autopilot. They rarely step back and look at the scene until they get back on the computer. I have been like that sometimes and these 40 shots taught me a lot about finding the details that make up a subject. It taught me that I need to play more with my photos and go beyond my common settings and post-processing techniques to find the creative side of myself.

I am really curious to find how the rest of you did. Drop me a line below and I will try and link as many I can.



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