Friday, May 18, 2007
Motivation, improvement, and the making of "Heartbreak".
(click on the photo to view it on my Flickr page where larger sizes are available)
There's a growing number of people who subscribe to the idea that taking and posting a photo a day to your web gallery can help your photography improve by leaps and bounds. I tend to be a person who drives past photo opportunities because I don't like stopping the car, or I don't pull out the camera because I only have a half hour until I have to do something. So, I thought I needed the little extra motivation that a "photo a day" goal would give me.
So, last night was to be "Day 2", but Ed and I got back from dinner late and we only had an hour before we were supposed to be in bed, so I thought "Great, I failed "photo-a-day" on Day 2"! ...I started getting ready for my shower while thinking of something photo-worthy that I could either get quickly tonight or at least get a photo for tomorrow. Several things crossed my mind, but nothing good until...
While washing my hair, I looked up at the cracking paint on the ceiling of our bathroom. The people who owned our house before us must have used the wrong paint in the bathroom and the steam from the shower has it coming off in sheets. Blah. I hate painting. Seeing it cracking and peeling cheeses me off. Showers used to be my little retreat, a place where I could relax, but that paint and the future work it symbolizes stresses me out every time I take a shower. But this time I smiled...
A few weeks ago I noticed this heart-shaped patch of bare ceiling where the paint was peeled completely off. What was frustrating before, though, had become really interesting now. -I had my photo op! -I quickly finished my shower so I could grab my camera.
I only took about 8 photos because I was running out of space on my memory card and didn't have time to go through and delete stuff. (I'm really militant about getting my 8 hours of sleep!) But, I framed it 4 different ways and exposed it a couple different ways for each to ensure I'd get a good shot. Then, I went to bed.
When I got to work, I downloaded the photos and they were a little "blah". -I couldn't get the balance right between getting the paint a warm white-ish tone, but leaving the ceiling (the inside of the heart) warm like the incandescent lighting made it look. I played and played with it, but in the end I had to make 2 layers in Gimp and use the erase tool where I wanted the warmer color to appear. -It took me about 4 hours in software playing with it before I got a result I was happy enough with to upload.
In the end, I love the photo. The lesson learned is that it doesn't take a lot of time to take a good photo or a magnificent place to find a good opportunity. Just keep your eyes open, and having a goal of a photo a day can be a helpful way of motivating yourself to take more photos, which many suggest will speed up your learning curve by a lot!