"Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." —John Wooden

Things CritiquePhoto Genesis - A Motivational Visual Design Exercise

Post Reply
User avatar
Charles Haacker
Mentoris Primus
Mentoris Primus
Posts: 1749
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 7:20 pm
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Photo Genesis - A Motivational Visual Design Exercise

Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:17 am

For a coupl'a weeks I've had this exercise at the back of my mind (or the bottom of my shoe, kind of interchangeable). I cannot help but notice that nobody else has attempted it (hint hint). So I finally got me a round tuit (they sell 'em at the hardware right next to the bulk nails). I cast my virtual magic 6-sided die and here's what she gave me:

o. Mineral, glass, metal, stone or concrete
o. Low angle
o. Close up
o. vertical, horizontal, or curved diagonal
o. directional single source, side or back

So here is the resultant pitcher:
DSC00768.EMlr.jpg
Sony RX10
Exposure Time 2.5 seconds
F Number f / 16
Exposure Program Aperture priority
ISO Speed Ratings 80

This object is a geode, sawed and polished on one face (the left) and no larger than the palm of an adult hand. They form naturally in bubbles or voids in volcanic rock. The bubbles in lava harden and over time water with dissolved minerals enters and causes natural crystals to grow inside. The best ones are hollow. This one is solidly filled in but still pretty (those aren't shadows on the face but different colors of minerals). If it looks as if it was lit from two directions, technically there was only one main light, a CFL in a spun alum. reflector in a low 3/4 back position camera left. The highlight on the back of the object, camera right, is from a small Voldemart 2X magnifying mirror placed there to "spotlight" the back, give some texture and rimlighting. That's why I say "technically" it's one light since the other is a mirror. You c'n deduct points if ya wanna.

The backdrop is one of my black tee shirts wadded up artily-like. I used the blue curve in Lightroom to add a little blue to it just 'cuz. In fact I used the curves tool to do all the adjustments, my first time attempting it instead of sliders. I used the little put-it-in-the-picture-and-slide-it-up-or-down deelyboppy thingy. Worked great, less filling. The set was on a tabletop because I can't do not no low angle no more (not and still get back up anyway). Yes, I used a tripod. Yes, I actually own one. No, I didn't forget to turn off the stabilizer thingy this time. I had it in mind to zoom out and shoot the whole set but I forgot. (?) I think it's a pretty cool exercise. This time of year I have even less motivation than usual so it was good for me to cast a die and do something (they tell me it take two years to get past it). So there y'go. Waddya think?
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

User avatar
Duck
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2338
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:31 am
Location: Shelton, CT
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Duck » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:41 am

Beat-cha tooit! (Cousin of the Round-tooit)

That article was the precursor to a challenge event I am starting in January. I posted the preliminaries in the Challenges section earlier.

However, it is nice to see someone actually using the system. The end results are pretty cool. So, share with me; did using Photo Genesis get you to try something new? Was it helpful in overcoming any mental blocks or did the cast of the die start generating all kinds of ideas?
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Image ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
Charles Haacker
Mentoris Primus
Mentoris Primus
Posts: 1749
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 7:20 pm
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:49 am

Duck wrote:Beat-cha tooit! (Cousin of the Round-tooit)

That article was the precursor to a challenge event I am starting in January. I posted the preliminaries in the Challenges section earlier.

However, it is nice to see someone actually using the system. The end results are pretty cool. So, share with me; did using Photo Genesis get you to try something new? Was it helpful in overcoming any mental blocks or did the cast of the die start generating all kinds of ideas?

Yes to all. I don't wanna go on a big downer but the reason this time of year is rough is that Daphne died a year ago, on the 23rd. You may or may not know that I've been circling the drain on and off for most of the year. I get excited when AndiGail is the subject, but far too many days I find it difficult to even bother to get out of bed, plus it's winter, but while it was quite a while before I actually got up gumption to make this shot I had already cast my virtual die and jotted down the results. It just took me until today to actually do it. If I weren't in a funk too much of the time (I cover with silly humor sometimes) I would cast that die rather a lot. I've always found self assignments difficult, but this tool makes it far easier. I think it's terrific. I'm told things will get better with time and I expect to be casting the die more often! So thanks again, Duck-Man! :thumbup:
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

User avatar
Duck
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2338
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:31 am
Location: Shelton, CT
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Duck » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:56 am

You are not alone, my friend. I've battled depression my whole life, so I know the feeling all too well. I too "cover it up" with humor. It helps. A lot!
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Image ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
minniev
Mentoris Legatus
Mentoris Legatus
Posts: 3018
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:55 am
Location: Mississippi
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by minniev » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:34 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:For a coupl'a weeks I've had this exercise at the back of my mind (or the bottom of my shoe, kind of interchangeable). I cannot help but notice that nobody else has attempted it (hint hint). So I finally got me a round tuit (they sell 'em at the hardware right next to the bulk nails). I cast my virtual magic 6-sided die and here's what she gave me:

o. Mineral, glass, metal, stone or concrete
o. Low angle
o. Close up
o. vertical, horizontal, or curved diagonal
o. directional single source, side or back

So here is the resultant pitcher:
DSC00768.EMlr.jpg
Waddya think?


What I think is that you're to be congratulated for carrying this rather difficult roll of the dice to completion, and you've done a magnificent job of making us all feel guilty for not taking this wonderful project to heart! I will beg off till after the first of the year. I'll also offer up an alibi, that I actually did try it once, with a far less stellar result, so I didn't post it. Yours is much better, and you got a tougher roll than I did and you used it to create something original and interesting within those constraints.

And yes, it will help us all. I hope we'll all take part in some sort of new project for the coming year - a self-directed 52 project like Matt's, a dice roll like Duck's, or something else that we may come up with singly or among ourselves.

One of the beauties of projects is the structure it can provide to keep us going through the bleak periods where we feel unmotivated, unworthy, untalented, uneverything. Before I had a forum that promoted the structure, I made my own, and it was much harder that way. I have a little area that I chose as my project area, a messy little spot with little to commend it. When I'm in a bleak spot, I make myself go there with one lens pulled blind out of the lens cabinet, and shoot at least a dozen images of something, then come home and edit at least one. I am grateful to now have fellow travelers in the up and down journey of life and learning!

(and I still maintain that pM is entirely different from any other photography forum out there.)
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

User avatar
LindaShorey
Mentoris Secundus
Mentoris Secundus
Posts: 1398
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:50 am
Location: Yakima, WA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by LindaShorey » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:55 pm

A fantastic result, Chuck. I tend to be rather fearful of, or stressed by, challenges such as this :( I enrolled in two online photo courses simultaneously about 3 and a half years ago, and the week that I had to produce SEVEN images - with much structure involved in what and how to shoot - I was a very unhappy camper!

Please take each day as it comes, and know that your friends are here.
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

User avatar
Psjunkie
Mentoris Secundus
Mentoris Secundus
Posts: 1258
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:20 am
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Psjunkie » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:52 pm

Well done image Chuck no matter what inspired it...

User avatar
Duck
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 2338
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:31 am
Location: Shelton, CT
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by Duck » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:53 pm

LindaShorey wrote:I tend to be rather fearful of, or stressed by, challenges such as this :( [...] with much structure involved in what and how to shoot - I was a very unhappy camper!


When I adopted this 'game' I purposely kept the structure loose. Actually, I thought for a while that it was too loose until I got some feedback on it. The motivator was to inspire, to get the mental juices flowing without really dictating too much. After compiling the list the results should be a very open guideline for the photographer to interpret.

Interestingly enough, I have had some people tell me that it wasn't structured enough for them. All I could think of was they were not confident in their creative abilities and wanted the whole entirety of the image planned out for them. There are all types of photographers out there and the goal of exercises like this is to (gently) force someone out of their comfort zone. That's what a challenge is. Some challenges are self motivated, others not so. It's a matter of introspection and recognizing where our limitations are and challenging ourselves to overcome those limitations.

For me, as an example, I have a lack of confidence when doing portraiture. I've been stressed out when its come to doing head shots. This stems from not having enough experience working with an actual human body. I've started challenging myself to overcome that deficiency by setting myself some self portraiture tasks and with volunteers as I find them. As a commercial photographer I have to have the confidence to be able to provide results on demand and if I don't have that skill or that confidence then my job suffers from it.

For a hobbyist, the outside demand may not be there but most serious photographers I know of have an internal drive to push. This 'game' can be used as one of those tools that helps with the push. It's about finding the right tool for the right job and this is just another tool. Besides, if you don't like the results you can always keep it a secret. No one needs to know but you and that can be a motivator in itself. "The next time will be better!" ;)
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
Image ImageImageImageImage

User avatar
LindaShorey
Mentoris Secundus
Mentoris Secundus
Posts: 1398
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:50 am
Location: Yakima, WA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by LindaShorey » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:20 pm

Duck wrote:When I adopted this 'game' I purposely kept the structure loose. Actually, I thought for a while that it was too loose until I got some feedback on it...
You've reminded me of two happier experiences :D

Last year a photographer on another forum suggested we photograph architecture that was unique to our area; it reminded me that when I first moved here 15 years ago I was captivated by the tiny coffee kiosks on every corner - I couldn't imagine how they made enough to earn a living. So for the challenge I went out and photographed more than 10 in a short period, and did a collage.

Another time Minnie had a share topic on mushrooms, and I wondered if there were any at the state park where I've photo'd all kinds of other stuff. Yep, it was the right time of year and a lot of fun to discover a new subject.

Thanks Duck!
"What's important in a photograph and what isn't." http://photographylife.com/whats-import ... -what-isnt

User avatar
Charles Haacker
Mentoris Primus
Mentoris Primus
Posts: 1749
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 7:20 pm
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Social Media Opt-In: No
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Charles Haacker » Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:23 pm

minniev wrote:
Chuck wrote: Waddya think?


What I think is that you're to be congratulated for carrying this rather difficult roll of the dice to completion, and you've done a magnificent job of making us all feel guilty for not taking this wonderful project to heart! I will beg off till after the first of the year. I'll also offer up an alibi, that I actually did try it once, with a far less stellar result, so I didn't post it. Yours is much better, and you got a tougher roll than I did and you used it to create something original and interesting within those constraints.

And yes, it will help us all. I hope we'll all take part in some sort of new project for the coming year - a self-directed 52 project like Matt's, a dice roll like Duck's, or something else that we may come up with singly or among ourselves.

One of the beauties of projects is the structure it can provide to keep us going through the bleak periods where we feel unmotivated, unworthy, untalented, uneverything. Before I had a forum that promoted the structure, I made my own, and it was much harder that way. I have a little area that I chose as my project area, a messy little spot with little to commend it. When I'm in a bleak spot, I make myself go there with one lens pulled blind out of the lens cabinet, and shoot at least a dozen images of something, then come home and edit at least one. I am grateful to now have fellow travelers in the up and down journey of life and learning!

(and I still maintain that pM is entirely different from any other photography forum out there.)

Thanks, Min! About pM I think you are 100% right! About motivational tools I conclude diff'rent strokes. What works, works. Like Linda, I shy away from heavily structured exercises, such as 52s or 365s. To me they bear a relationship to New Year's Resolutions. They don't motivate me so much as burden me. This simple little literal roll-of-the-die thing seems to work for me because I can do it or not. I'm more likely to do it for not having a figurative gun to my head. :p
LindaShorey wrote:A fantastic result, Chuck. I tend to be rather fearful of, or stressed by, challenges such as this :( I enrolled in two online photo courses simultaneously about 3 and a half years ago, and the week that I had to produce SEVEN images - with much structure involved in what and how to shoot - I was a very unhappy camper!

Please take each day as it comes, and know that your friends are here.

I HEAR ya, Linda, and thanks for the compliments. Glance at what I wrote to Min above. And I know I have friends here! And I truly appreciate it! :yay:
Psjunkie wrote:Well done image Chuck no matter what inspired it...

Thank you, Frank! I enjoyed it, and now I just need to get up off duff and do again. :)
Duck wrote:
LindaShorey wrote:I tend to be rather fearful of, or stressed by, challenges such as this :( [...] with much structure involved in what and how to shoot - I was a very unhappy camper!


When I adopted this 'game' I purposely kept the structure loose. Actually, I thought for a while that it was too loose until I got some feedback on it. The motivator was to inspire, to get the mental juices flowing without really dictating too much. After compiling the list the results should be a very open guideline for the photographer to interpret.

Interestingly enough, I have had some people tell me that it wasn't structured enough for them. All I could think of was they were not confident in their creative abilities and wanted the whole entirety of the image planned out for them. There are all types of photographers out there and the goal of exercises like this is to (gently) force someone out of their comfort zone. That's what a challenge is. Some challenges are self motivated, others not so. It's a matter of introspection and recognizing where our limitations are and challenging ourselves to overcome those limitations.

For me, as an example, I have a lack of confidence when doing portraiture. I've been stressed out when its come to doing head shots. This stems from not having enough experience working with an actual human body. I've started challenging myself to overcome that deficiency by setting myself some self portraiture tasks and with volunteers as I find them. As a commercial photographer I have to have the confidence to be able to provide results on demand and if I don't have that skill or that confidence then my job suffers from it.

For a hobbyist, the outside demand may not be there but most serious photographers I know of have an internal drive to push. This 'game' can be used as one of those tools that helps with the push. It's about finding the right tool for the right job and this is just another tool. Besides, if you don't like the results you can always keep it a secret. No one needs to know but you and that can be a motivator in itself. "The next time will be better!" ;)

Takes all kinds! There's more than one [thingy] on the market for a reason. Everyone learns/is motivated/whatever at a different pace by different things, but one thing I suspect is fairly certain, and that is that no one much likes to be forced to do anything. It's better to volunteer than be drafted. 'Course Duck, if you want to get better at portraiture, do; if you do not, do not (I'm tempted to add "there is no try" but I'm not trying to be cute). Nowhere is it written that to be any kind of photographer you must be all kinds. :)
LindaShorey wrote:
Duck wrote:When I adopted this 'game' I purposely kept the structure loose. Actually, I thought for a while that it was too loose until I got some feedback on it...
You've reminded me of two happier experiences :D

Last year a photographer on another forum suggested we photograph architecture that was unique to our area; it reminded me that when I first moved here 15 years ago I was captivated by the tiny coffee kiosks on every corner - I couldn't imagine how they made enough to earn a living. So for the challenge I went out and photographed more than 10 in a short period, and did a collage.

Another time Minnie had a share topic on mushrooms, and I wondered if there were any at the state park where I've photo'd all kinds of other stuff. Yep, it was the right time of year and a lot of fun to discover a new subject.

Thanks Duck!

See, there y'go. Great motivators! Whatever works! :thumbup:
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest