October Manifesto Sunday, Oct 3 2010 

In my September Manifesto, I set some goals designed to get me more involved in photography. Overall I did pretty well – I posted eleven portraits on my Flickr page; I shot a roll of medium format film and I read the book “First Light”. The goals I fell just short of were the number of blog posts (six instead of projected seven), and I did not make the 11×14 prints I wanted.

Despite not completing the list, I’m pretty pleased, and it definitely helped to define the goals in order to stay driven. It makes me adjust my October goals slightly, based on available time and opportunities to do photography-related activities. So, here they are:

Write 6-8 blog posts. Six is a good number – not too much so that I would have to blog too often, and not too little either so that I can stay motivated. I still have to get some ideas out there, so this should not be a problem.

Post 8 photos. I still have some maternity shoot photos to post, and let’s not forget that I shot a roll of medium format film that I could scan and post a few keepers.

Read “The Camera”. It was great that I was able to satisfy the September requirement by reading “First Light”, but that wasn’t really the achievement in reading. It was definitely amazing to learn the experiences of five great photographers, and even more inspiring to see their photos, but there wasn’t much text in the book, and I finished it in a few hours. However, “The Camera” is a little more substantial and requires some effort, perhaps even taking some notes. Still, I can’t wait.

My favorite photo from October 2009

Make 11×14 prints for portfolio. (From the September Manifesto) This is what I do to show people my work, and also to evaluate the possibilities of making even larger prints. All the Yosemite shots should be in here, as well as a few others; there are serious candidates for drum scans there, I just need to be able to visualize what I want.

Streamline Flickr page. Right now, most of the stuff is there, but there are some orphan sets, and a few things need to be tied together. It’s a vague goal, but any step would be a step forward.

I could also invest in a frame for one of the prints I made, and shoot another roll of medium format film, but this is enough for now.

What’s your plan for October?

Advertisements

Model Shoot: Crystal Friday, Oct 1 2010 

The third model in my July shoot (besides Elizabeth and Diana) was Crystal, who put the whole thing together. That’s what she does; she’s very passionate about modeling and keeps coming up with ideas for shoots. I met her last December at a hangar shoot organized by a local photography club. She was one of about a dozen models I shot that day, but just about the only one who followed up with me afterward.

A few months later, she had an idea for a shoot at a cemetery near downtown Dallas. She did hair and makeup herself, and even showed up with a few props. We had a great time shooting, and she wasn’t afraid to roll around in her dress, make faces and try different things. The weather was chilly (it was February), and it even rained a little, but overcast sky was friendly to our portrait mission, as there was no harsh shadows.

Crystal organized the July shoot pretty quickly, with a few photographers and models she worked with before. Even though she had a studio shoot earlier in the day, she came prepared with a couple of outfits and lots of energy. Time got away from us quickly and I got to shoot with her again only briefly toward the end of the shoot. We were joking around and most good shots ended up being candids, like this one here. You can see a few more shots of her on my Flickr page and her Model Mayhem page.

Model Shoot: Diana Sunday, Sep 26 2010 

Here’s another set from a shoot I had with a few other photographers and models in downtown Dallas. The model is Diana Graves, who specializes in horror, fetish and alternative pin-up modeling. I’m normally a straight-forward portrait/headshot photographer, so I wasn’t really sure how to approach Diana’s unique look.

I caught a lucky break a few minutes into the shoot. It was late afternoon and the sun was close to the western horizon, so the light was very warm. As it bounced off a skyscraper, it caught her hair from behind, wonderfully enhancing its fiery red color. We worked with that a little bit, trying to find the best way to capture the flowing waterfall of red hair. I think this shot shows her fierce presence the best.

A little later in the shoot, when the sun was even lower, I tried using sunlight even more, with and without flash. It was a bit difficult to wrangle the harsh shadows, but I found that this shot looks very good, with Diana’s silhouette and the red mane dominating the frame.

Diana was very easy to work with and actually smiled quite a lot. Although I think smiles are usually great for portraits, her intensity was better used in different ways. Shooting with her made me work outside my comfort zone a little, but at the same time reminded me to quickly identify the model’s best features and build the set around them.

September Manifesto Thursday, Sep 2 2010 

July was okay in terms of my involvement in photography. I took a few photos on my trip to Bosnia, I polished and posted a few photos from my June trip to Yosemite, and I even managed to participate in a mini-meetup session with a few models and photographers just before the month expired.

August, on the other hand, was terrible.

My shutters were completely silent; not a single exposure was made. I barely even got my gear out of the bag since that July 31 model shoot.

This could not go on. Therefore, I made some quick notes about how to reclaim my zeal for photography in September. Nothing big, just a few basic things to get things going. Here they are, in no particular order.

* Post 5-10 portraits. Model shoot with 3 models, studio maternity/pregnancy shoot, as well as the rock show I shot for my good buddy…. there’s got to be 10 good shots in there somewhere.

* Write 7-10 blog posts (not counting this one). I only wrote a few posts in August, and I know I could have written more, even without posting new photos. They don’t have to follow the portraits mentioned above, I have things to write about.

* Make several 11×14 prints for the portfolio. This is what I do to show people my work, and also to evaluate the possibilities of making even larger prints. All the Yosemite shots should be in here, as well as a few others; there are serious candidates for drum scans there, I just need to be able to visualize what I want.

* Read a total of one book on photography. I already have the books to choose from: “The Camera” by Ansel Adams, and “First Light” by a group of authors/photographers (including Scot Miller, who signed my copy!). The way I worded this leaves some wiggle room; since I like to start more than one book at the same time, I can read half of each book or any similar combination.

* Shoot at least one roll of medium format film. Digital snapshots are easy, but you know you’ve been out shooting when you have a roll of exposed medium format film in your bag. On my Mamiya, that means 15 exposures. I actually have a plan for this, but I’d really like to go beyond the minimum of one roll and shoot more. I have many films to choose from, but they’re sad and lonely in my fridge, their only company a carton of eggs and a bottle of tonic water.

One of my September 2009 shots...

That’s about it. Nothing too fancy, just a pledge to get out there and shoot, come back and post, think and write. There could be a few minor additions to the list along the way (my Flickr page needs a makeover), but these are the main objectives.

What’s your plan for September?

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Suad Bejtovic Photography etc.

Photography and more