Yesterday I decided to tackle the Photoblitzing assignment for this week. The warning that you should go somewhere with the potential for a diverse range of subjects is really important to completing this. The larger the location, the better. Your house might work, but your apartment probably won’t. The office suite I work in would never have been a good choice, but just outside the building was perfect. So I spent 14 minutes traipsing around the grounds of Wellesley College outside of Clapp Library to complete my photoblitz. I’ve created a slideshow of all of the pictures I took to give a sense of how many you have to take to get a few good ones (unless you are a natural at photography, in which case I am supremely jealous). Discussion of the best ones follows.
The first photo I want to highlight happened by chance. I went over to a fountain/artificial pond next to the library to take pictures of the supremely ugly fountain, but found that there was this one patch of light peaking through the trees overhead that created a light flare on the surface of the water. The light flickered in an unpredictable way. It took several tries, but I managed to get a picture of it at its largest size, creating an interesting effect:
Make an ordinary object look more interesting, almost supernatural.
In looking at the picture, the sci-fi/fantasy fan in me wants to think there is something below the water – a glowing, magical orb, the phospholuminescent eggs of some alien species, a spirit – even though I know it is just a light flare.
I spent a lot of time chasing after interesting shadows. One of the things I found both interesting and frustrating about my shooting location was the fact that there were trees casting shadows everywhere. They formed interesting patterns, but also made the lighting less-than-ideal for a lot of shots. In this particular shot, I managed to get the angle right so that the shadows dominate the image so much that the the area not in shadow is completely washed out thanks to my camera’s autofocus. If you look through the entire collection of photoblitz pictures, there is another with just a tiny bit more of the area not in shadow and you can fully see it because of the camera’s automatic adjustment to the lighting. This one I like because it creates a sort of world’s-edge effect, as though everything drops off after the shadow ends.
Take a photo of an interesting shadow.
One of the trees in the area where I was shooting is a popular picnic spot for students, as it has a great view of the lake. The tree is covered with aging carvings, many of them lovers’ hearts and initials. This particular one I liked because it has been so distorted with time you can’t actually make out the initials, though the heart is still recognizable. Extrapolate whatever trite metaphor about love you like.
Take a photo that expresses a human emotion
This next one happened purely by accident – it was a walking-around-holding-my-phone-in-camera-mode-with-the-thumb-dangerously-close-to-the-button photo that happened to turn out looking great. It looks like it could be one of those weird distortions Mac OS’s Photo Booth has, or possibly a painting as the lines look almost like brush strokes.
Make a photo that is abstract, that would make someone ask, “Is that a photograph?”
Sometimes the accidental photos turn out to be some of the best ones you take.
This last one I like to think is my most creative interpretation of the photoblitz requirements. The entrance to the library is guarded by a pair of statues, one armless, the other with a finger pointing to the sky. I believe they represent the two aspects of Minerva, war and wisdom. So I took a picture of Minerva’s hand pointing upward to symbolize knowledge, or perhaps because she’s just had the perfect idea for how to conclude her term paper:
Take a photo of someone else’s hand (or paw)