365-292 “It’s for an art project”

As I was taking some photos of a building today, a woman came out of a door that I just shot and said “may I ask what are you taking pictures for?”

I replied, matter of factly, “it’s for an art project!”

She stared back blankly, followed by a brief silence and then muttered “Hmm……..OK.”

I use the “art project” reply whenever I’m asked what I am doing or when I am asking to take photos. It seems to stump people and they usually have no recourse but to say “OK”.

Just a little anecdote from my day. And speaking of my day, besides a rainy mess and being stuck in limbo in Charleston waiting to see if the weather is going to mess up work for one day or three, I shot some photos as the day progressed, always thinking my usual thought that I just need to get something shot in case I don’t get any chances later. And seeing that the weather was so lousy, I really didn’t feel like shooting much anyhow. But I managed to get a few somewhat interesting photos during the day and I chose one of the last things I shot for my 365 photo. I thought I would practice some night shooting since I rarely do any and I’ll probably won’t have much chance to do any daylight shooting next week because of work.

I am also going to show some shots I took during the day in reverse order just to show my thought processes. When I took each shot I thought that it would make a decent daily photo and if I didn’t take anything else that would be fine. Then I would find something else later and then that shot would be my daily. Repeat. I do this quite often when I don’t have any clear cut subject or vision. Sometimes the last photo I take becomes my daily and some days the first ends up being the best. I don’t know which of these photos is the best, they could all be a 365 shot in my opinion, but I kind of like them all and I wanted to share them. All with Pentax K20D, DA17-70, DA 55-300.


I like this color version also

Prior to taking the above photos I stopped at a Best Buy after an early dinner just to waste some time. It was almost dark and still raining but I saw this tree in the parking lot and parked beside it and grabbed a few photos of the berries (if that’s what they are) before it got too dark. I did a texture treatment on this photo but decided it was too similar to yesterdays photo, at least in execution.

Earlier in the day I shot this red stairway. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was the red or the textures. This was where I was asked what I was doing.

And finally (first?) I started the day with a photo of raindrops on the windshield of my truck, parked in the motel lot with the lights of a Cracker Barrel adding the highlights. I shoot raindrops too often so I knew I had to find something else but at least I had this as a backup!

By the way, I do read and appreciate everyone’s comments. Knowing there are people out there that enjoy my work makes me work that much harder. But I also have a “day” job and it has an unpredictable schedule along with taking me out of town on occasion. So I end up reading most of the comments on my phone and respond to some of them but I find cellphone typing awkward so I don’t overdo it. When I get home I like to catch up on replies as well as visiting as many blogs as I can.

  One thought on “365-292 “It’s for an art project”

  1. October 19, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Those are really great looking shots, I most prefer the first two shots. I get a 40s noir feel from the first, and a dirty 50s underbelly feel from the second. Then again, that might not have been your point at all!

    • October 20, 2011 at 9:58 am

      I had a very similar reaction to them. The first one definitely made me think in general of classic noir detective films. The second, however, came with something far more specific: The beginning of the Italian restaurant scene in The Godfather.

      • October 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

        You both hit on the moods I imagined, so I guess I did well. 🙂 I really like B&W urban night shots, especially when the streets are wet to equalize the contrasty light. They just have a cool mysterious feel.

  2. October 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    The raindrops shot is beautiful.

    • October 20, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Very. I like the sense of warm melancholy.

  3. October 20, 2011 at 1:06 am

    They are very well captured!! I particularly like the “berries” one 🙂

    • October 20, 2011 at 10:09 am

      I think the photo of the berries is my favorite. Again, there seems to be a reflective sense to the image, invoking memories of bye-gone days. Then again, maybe that’s just my mindset right now.

      • October 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm

        Thanks. I like the challenge of taking “busy” photos and making them work. Shooting through branches can get a bit cluttered and make your eye wander too much.

  4. October 20, 2011 at 6:03 am

    My favourite happens to be the ‘red stairway’ No idea why, but the texture and colour works very well! I can much imagine it on giant canvas in one of those skyscraper offices…But all in all WOW! I do really like your work! The first pictures had an awsome atmosphere…you wonderfully capture some unlikely settings!!

    • October 20, 2011 at 10:11 am

      I like the fact it doesn’t overpower the other photos in the set. With such striking color and texture, it could easily have done so.

  5. October 20, 2011 at 10:19 am

    One thing I’ve noticed about these photos as a set is, as I pointed out about the raindrops and berries photos, there seems to be an overall sense of warm melancholy in these photos, bordering on nostalgia. They all remind me of the scenes in movies where one of the main characters is by himself and begins to reflect on his past, and we get to see where his mind goes. The first two shots are the only ones that even remotely provide some other connotation, but that is only when viewed separate from the entire grouping of these 5 shots.

    • October 20, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      Must be all of the gloomy rain plus the fact that I was away from home. Just being a stranger in a strange town wandering around. The grouping wasn’t meant as a “set” but I like your analogy of how they work as one.

  6. Nathan Stitt
    October 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    You’ve really nailed your texturing over an image. It’s a great effect and I agree with PCGuyIV’s last comment.

    • October 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks Nathan. I’m still an amateur when it comes to textures so I take every opportunity to practice. At first I simply laid a texture over an image and played around with opacities. Now I’m working on selective masking over certain details. I don’t want it to become my “calling card” but I want to be able to execute the effect when I think the image will benefit from the treatment. I’m still collecting images to create my own textures but saving that for a winter project.

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