One of the ways you can keep motivated to take pictures, stay focused, and to accomplish personal goals is start photographic projects. One of several photo projects that I have been working on for some time now is photographing classic houses in northern Utah. This project is about documenting houses mostly built in the first half of the 20th century. Houses that have some history and a unique look or style. Some houses I discover roaming around the older neighborhoods in our cities. Others homes I find as I drive around the countryside that surrounds the cities.
Part of my goal with this project is to preserve the memory of the homes that are these houses. The more important part of my project though is to artistically depict the settings, sense of nostalgia, and wonder about who built and subsequently lived in these houses. And finally, I want to show the houses as beautiful structures in their own right. Almost as if they are statues, sculpted by their builders and attaining the worn patina of time that adds to the beauty of their existence.
In this blog post I will present some images that I think illustrate the project that I've taken on. A project that I intend to carry on in the years ahead.
House in Brigham City, Utah.
Farmhouse in Weber Counry, Utah.
House in Ogden, Utah.
Farmhouse in Farr West, Utah.
House in Ogden, Utah.
If you want more motivation to keep going out and taking photographs come up with some projects. If you want focus to create a more unified body of images, work on the projects you've taken on. Pictures for your photography projects don't have to be the only pictures you take but it's helpful to have some specific goals you can work to achieve. And finally remember, with practice and the skills practice develops, you can take photographs in any light and at any time.
One of the of common pieces photography advice we hear is to return often to take pictures of the same site or subject. By taking photographs at different times of the year, day, or under different conditions you can get different results. Sometimes very different results.
In this blog I will share two pictures I've shot of an antique fire truck that's displayed on the grassy strip between a busy highway and the parking lot of local auto body shop. These photographs were made after I'd already taken pictures of this fire truck on at least two previous occasions. But these two most recent images are the most successful I've taken. At least so far.
This first image (above) was taken about 10:00 AM on January 3, 2018. I took the picture with my Sony RX100ii compact camera which I carry with me almost all of the time. Driving past the scene on that day I noticed how nice the blue sky looked above the truck and did a quick (though safe and legal) u-turn. Getting out of the car I took a wide variety of pictures of the truck from many different angles and distances. This one pleased me the most because it has a linear composition, where all the elements of the picture lead the eye through the frame from the upper left corner to the lower right corner. I also loved the shade of the deep blue sky I got from shooting away from the sun on the very bright day.
This next picture (above) was taken today, February 1 also about 10:00 AM. I purposely set out to re-photograph the fire truck in the hazy overcast light of this particular day. I knew that a shot made on this day would be much lower in contrast, so it would be much softer than the previous picture. I took this picture with my Sony A6000 and 18-105mm f4 zoom lens. After again taking many pictures from different angles and distances I choose this time one taken from the right side of the fire truck and looking across the highway to include the spook-house castle that's only open in October for Halloween.
So the common advice to return often to the same place or subject for different but still good pictures is true. As in this case where I've shot two pictures of the same truck at almost the same time of day for results that are very different. Lesson learned, don't to be afraid to get out and take photos in any light anywhere, even if you've been there before.
Driving past a car dealership I noticed balloons on all the the lamp posts. A second glance showed me that you can find a great photo at any location.
Positioning myself almost underneath one of the posts I arranged my composition to capture this unusual sculpture. I think the faint gray tones at the bottom of the image fading towards the top draw the eye upward to the main elements of the sculpture. Using my RX100ii compact camera I set the ISO to 400 because of the overcast light.
The Ogden Mona Lisa. Ogden, Utah like many cities, has embraced wall art to add to the beauty of it's buildings. Still, how was Ogden able to persuade the great artist Leonardo Da Vinci to come and paint another Mona Lisa on an empty wall on one of our main streets. We didn't. This painting showcases the talent of one of our own great artists. I love to explore this wonderful city of Ogden to discover and document its' historic homes, unique buildings, urban landscapes, objects of interest, and people. Using my wonderful little compact Sony RX100ii camera I tried to capture the picture's classical beauty, yet show it off its one of a kind urban canvas and frame.
A while back I blogged about a neighbor who had a vintage Nash automobile. I thought, wow I've never seen one of those models before and I made some pictures. Then this past week taking my daughter to horse riding lessons I see an old car for sale on the side of road. Stopping and getting out with my go anywhere Sony RX100ii camera I discovered a second Nash automobile here in Weber County, miles away from the other. So I took a bunch of pictures in the waning light and once again was glad I carry my cameras everywhere I go. Two Nash auto's in the same rural county, who would have thought. If there's third sure hope I find it.
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