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5 Top Tips On Photographing Shop Signs & Window Displays For A City Photo Project

5 Top Tips On Photographing Shop Signs & Window Displays For A City Photo Project

Shop Sign

 

Previously, we’ve spent some time looking for interesting shop fronts to photograph but now we want you to lift your eyes a little higher in search of a good shop sign and pay more attention to what’s actually on display in the windows. 

Displays in shop windows are designed to grab our attention and steer us towards the entrance of the shop in hope we’ll part with our money. Some stores, particularly at Christmas, spend hours planning and then preparing their window displays. A lot of thought goes into how to use the space, what colours the mannequins should wear and how they should be posed making them an interesting photographic project as you walk down the High Street.
 

1. What Gear Do I Need?

A medium zoom lens will get you close to the signs without you having to borrow some ladders off a window cleaner and it’ll also work for capturing shop windows too. You’ll also need to carry a tripod if you plan on returning later in the evening when the neon’s get switched on. It’ll also help if you have a camera that performs well in low light and if you don’t want the street reflected in your shot take a polariser along as well.  

 

2. Have A Walk Along The High Street

There are lots and lots of shops on the High Street which means you don’t just have to settle for the first shop you come across. Spend some time really looking at the displays paying attention to the colours, poses and other items they use to really make the window stand out. Remember, a more interesting display will give you a better-looking image so a short observation walk is worth it. See if you can find shops that aren’t chains. In Sheffield, there are several retro clothing stores and a joke shop which always have unique and sometimes entertaining window displays. Fancy dress shops are another one that’s almost guaranteed to have a loud and amusing window display to photograph.

 

3. Minimise Reflections

Unless you want a photo that shows the display as well as what’s happening on the street, which can work well sometimes, you’ll need a way to minimise the reflection. Stepping further away from the window and using your zoom lens to fill the frame can help but the simplest and if you’re on the edge of a road also the safest way to do it is to fit a polarising filter. This will reduce the reflection and give you a clear shot of what’s inside. If you find the sun causes glare just move your feet to remove the problem or if that doesn’t work come back later on when the sun’s changed position.  

 

4. Work From A Higher Level

When it comes to signs when you stand on the street and look up at them, it’s fine when you’re looking for the nearest bakery but in your photos, it won’t always work. To combat this, just step a little further back or better still find something to stand on that will give you a little more height. You could try holding the camera above your head but this won’t help you with framing unless you have a camera that features a vari-angle LCD screen. 

 

5. To Zoom Or Not To Zoom? 

If a sign’s particularly interesting or amusing zoom right in and fill the frame with the sign. Or are you going to put them into context showing some of the street or the shop front in the shot? If you do include the store pop on a polariser so you don’t catch your reflection in the windows. This works particularly well with old buildings or with unique stores that have displays that will add to the image.

Standing at one end of the High Street quite close to the buildings looking up will give you the chance to capture several signs all in one shot or try waiting until the sun’s began to set and photograph the many neon signs that decorate our streets. Just watch for camera shake as you’ll be using slightly longer exposures and take a look around your image to see if there’s any flare from some of the lights. Having said that, this can work well sometimes, especially on wet evenings.  

In busy towns and cities, you’ll find plenty of signs, often grouped together, along the tall buildings that line the streets. If possible, find a higher spot, as you do when shooting a cityscape, and use a wider focal length to capture the signs and buildings in one image. They can look busy, but the bright signs and bustling surroundings will really sum up the feeling of a busy city. 

 

You’ve read the technique, now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition  

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Kickstart Your Creativity With An A – Z Photo Project Today

Kickstart Your Creativity With An A - Z Photo Project Today

Bring the alphabet to life in an interesting and challenging photoshoot than can last a few hours, a whole day or how about an entire year?

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Creative

Kickstart Your Creativity With An A - Z Photo Project Today 1

 

Shooting an A to Z photo project is a more versatile area of photography than you might first think. You can, of course, shoot items that begin with each letter of the alphabet, but it’s much more fun and testing at times if you shoot things that are shaped like letters.

 

What Gear Do I Need?

As letters can be found in various locations at different heights and angles you’ll probably want to take a zoom lens out on your journey with you so you can shoot wide and also at longer focal lengths without the added weight of multiple lenses weighing your bag down. 

 

The Search

Some letters will jump out of the subject at you with ease while others will take a little more thinking about. Make sure you carry a checklist to keep a track of letters you’ve captured and you may find it easier to think about one letter at a time rather than hunting for several in one go. 

This project will have you walking all over so wear a comfy pair of shoes and of you have kids, this is a great thing to get them involved in, too.

 

Some Suggestions 

Branches make good candidates and also rocks with holes in can make great ‘A’s or ‘P’s. Anything that looks even remotely like a letter will create a quirky and fun piece of photography. A lamp-post, for example, will make a great ‘I’ while the end of a bench looks like an ‘L’ if you look closely enough. Once you’ve found all of your letters, try turning them into one big collage that you can hang on your wall. You’ll probably find yourself capturing the near and far, the small and large, the straight and the curved, in sunshine and shade so this project is a great way to challenge yourself and your photography skills.

 

Kickstart Your Creativity With An A - Z Photo Project Today 2

 

A Twist On The Theme

The other thing that you could try with this theme is an A – Z of photography styles. B for Black and White, S for sepia, etc. This is probably suited to more experienced photographers who know more terminology, though.

Another more fun thing you can try is getting a group of friends to pose as all the letters of the alphabet or as mentioned above, capture objects that begin with each letter of the alphabet. If you’ve already tried an alphabet project why not take on a number challenge instead? 

Be experimental with this – there are no real rules other than that the photos must represent the alphabet in some way. You could make it more challenging by limiting yourself to inside or outside objects, for example. But most importantly, though, it’s about having fun and enjoying your photography!

 

You’ve read the technique now share your related photos for the chance to win prizes: Daily Forum Competition

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Amazon US,
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An Interview With Jenny Lam: A Long-Form Project Photographed Entirely on a Smartphone

An Interview With Jenny Lam: A Long-Form Project Photographed Entirely on a Smartphone

Most of us have smartphones these days, and all of us with these smartphones have used the camera function on them. Every few years, when a new phone is released, the camera is often marketed with images taken on the phone.

In her series, “Mobile,” Jenny Lam decided to take this to a whole other level by creating a long-form project spanning nearly seven years of curated images from 2014-2021, the caveat with her series, of course, being that they were all photographed on her smartphone!

I feel like I wear many hats!

Jenny is a Chicago-based visual artist. Her main mediums are drawing and illustration, but also sculpture, installations, and writing. In addition to this, she curates independent art shows. From her long list of talents, her main passion is curating art shows. She enjoys the community aspect as well as helping others shine through their work.

An Interview With Jenny Lam: A Long-Form Project Photographed Entirely on a Smartphone 3

Jenny mentions that she brings a lot of her visual arts background to the images she photographs — a specific way of seeing and framing things. The things she draws and the things she photographs are stylistically similar with each medium being a different way to see the world and express herself.

I was very stubborn about not getting a smartphone for a very long time.

Sometimes, a series of images is created with the intention to create a particular body of work. “Mobile” did not necessarily begin this way. Instead, Jenny’s first real camera was a simple point-and-shoot. She enjoyed the fact that it was light and flexible and she could take it with her almost anywhere. Once she finally purchased her smartphone in 2014, she realized that the smartphone camera was also as good for the types of images she was making.

In her own words, she became a “one woman tourist bureau” for Chicago. The series started, and essentially ended, in Chicago. However, it does include other images from travels abroad. She focused on creating images that were like tourist photos, but from the perspective of someone who lived there natively. She chose to share locations or ideas that were a bit more hidden or not as seen. This way of highlighting lesser-known locations is a carryover from the way she sees the world. For example, Jenny mentions that she prefers to write about lesser-known art shows that may be happening. Or when she curates works herself, she prefers to include lesser-known artists.

It’s more about the artist behind the camera. It’s not about the camera itself.

Working with the smartphone offers a certain immediacy. She wasn’t waiting for hours for images to appear like some street photographers. Additionally, unlike some traditionalists working with film (or even digitally), she wasn’t dedicating time to developing film or even retouching digital files.

It was another way to make myself take better photos.

Given her camera choice, she also had to be intentional with the images she did photograph because of the limited storage she was working with. Given the planned obsolescence of modern smartphones, Jenny was very aware of battery life and storage as well. These weren’t challenges but rather constraints to work within for her series.

The lifecycle of my phone died ‘at the right time.’

Much the same way the project began, the project ended with a surprise software update to her phone. To clarify, her phone had stopped receiving updates a long time prior due to its age. However, its crash coincided with a recent Apple update. The two events were correlated, but one didn’t necessarily cause the other. She had already been thinking about putting together a collection of images she had worked on. Once the phone died, it was a serendipitous way to end the collection.

What sets this series of images apart from those on most peoples’ camera phones is the intent. Jenny worked with the intention to not only capture a certain type of image but then took the extra step to curate the images in a way to show a specific visual narrative.

The work isn’t about any particular image, even though the individual images are amazing on their own. But rather the work speaks to multiple other ways of viewing: it’s about finding beauty in the lesser-known and taking the time to explore the world around us, but also about appreciating what we do have and working within the confines of what we have at hand. The series speaks beautifully to rejecting social norms and embracing a culture of fixing and embracing things that don’t work perfectly rather than simply throwing them out and getting a new one.

Images provided by Jenny Lam. Used with permission.

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Creative lockdown project: make a ‘kaleidograph’

Creative lockdown project: make a 'kaleidograph'

Creative lockdown project: make a 'kaleidograph' 4

Your guide: John Wade
Regular AP contributor John is best known for his classic camera articles, but occasionally he comes over to the dark side and dabbles with digital. Find him here

‘Kaleidograph’ is a name I have invented for a technique I first saw demonstrated in the days before digital. Using film, it was a difficult process to master. In the digital age, it’s a doddle. As a starting point, there are two simple processes to learn, needing only an elementary grasp of Photoshop.

Creative lockdown project: make a 'kaleidograph' 5

Top left, original picture; top right, rotated and segment 1 identified; bottom left, segment 1 in place with the other three flipped and positioned; bottom right, the finished kaleidograph.

Copy, flip and paste
Choose a suitable picture, rotate it 45° and crop a square section out of the centre. Call this segment 1 and copy it.

Open a new document, adjust the canvas size to twice the width and height of segment 1 and paste that segment in the top left corner.

Copy segment 1 again, flip it horizontally to make segment 2 and paste that beside segment 1. Copy segment 2, flip that vertically to make segment 3 and place it beneath segment 2.

Copy segment 3, flip it horizontally to make segment 4 and place it beside segment 3 and below segment 1. This will have automatically created four layers on one background, so flatten the layers. You’ve just made your first kaleidograph.

Twist, flip and paste
Copy any kaleidograph you have made with the above technique and paste it into a new same-size document. Open the perspective tool, grab the handle that appears at the top left of the image and distort it by dragging the handle all the way to the right. This will turn your image into a kind of ‘egg-timer’ shape on a separate background.

Copy that shape, flip it 90° and fill the background with it. Use the distort tool to make small adjustments until it fits and fills the available space. Flatten the image. Now you’ve made a second type of a kaleidograph.

Repeat the process
Both of these processes can be used as the basis for even further manipulation. Instead of starting with a normal image for the first version kaleidoscope, you can, for example, use an already created kaleidograph as your starting point and repeat the processes all over again. The more you do it, the more abstract the design becomes, creating unexpected and often beautiful images that seem to materialise from nowhere.

Taking things further
Here an image of a bed of tulips has been turned into a kaleidograph, then a circular portion cut out of the centre and subjected to Photoshop’s Extrude filter.

Creative lockdown project: make a 'kaleidograph' 6

Photoshop’s twirl tool turned loose to twist a kaleidograph made from a sunset sky (below). Photoshop’s polar coordinates tool is a strange filter that takes a square or rectangular image and warps it into a circular image.

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Apply it to a kaleidograph and you get weird effects. The original subject for this was a back-lit tree, while the egg-timer shape was created from a sunset over the sea kaleidograph.

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The two halves were then copied and swapped to lay flat side against flat side with points at each end. Copying and pasting four versions of the same image together created the glowing diamond effect below.

Creative lockdown project: make a 'kaleidograph' 9

Further reading

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Learning from a documentary project that stands the test of time

Learning from a documentary project that stands the test of time

The early 1980s in Britain. A time of Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher, rising unemployment, industrial action, war in Northern Ireland and New Wave music. Black & white photography dominated, the 35mm camera and 50mmm lens prevailed. Front-page press photographs were stark and often shot close. Martin Parr had published his first book, Bad Weather, in black & white. Colour photography was rare, it was happy, decorative, largely derided and dismissed by the photo-establishment. Colour was used by amateur photographers for family and holiday snaps.

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Little Chef In Rain, St Neots, Cambridgeshire, May 1982

Throughout 1981 and 1982, photographer Paul Graham photographed the life and landscape along Britain’s longest numbered road. A year later, he self-published A1 – The Great North Road. It was large-format photography, shot in colour, at a distance. It was controversial. It was brilliant. When I first viewed the book at art college in 1990, I knew it was a journey I would one day make. I’d never seen or been to the places Graham photographed. The cafes and service stations more exotic than a David Attenborough documentary.

Learning from a documentary project that stands the test of time 11

Young Executives, Bank of England, London, November 1981

I’m not the first photographer to have been significantly impacted by the book and with MACK having recently republished it, I doubt I’ll be the last. (Graham went on to complete Beyond Caring, 1985, documenting the conditions in social security and unemployment benefit offices across Britain, and Troubled Land, 1986, dealing with signs of deep political division within the landscape of Northern Ireland at the time of the Troubles – both of which became iconic bodies of work and also to be republished by MACK).

Learning from a documentary project that stands the test of time 12

Cafe Assistants, Compass Cafe, Colsterworth, November 1982

Photographer, educator and recipient of the 2015 Jerwood/Photoworks Award, Matt Finn, recalls Graham coming to talk at the University of Derby in 1991 where Finn was studying photography: ‘I’ve met him since and he’s the consummate professional, at ease with his persona and photography. Back then he wasn’t. It had been eight years since the A1 was published and he was slightly disheveled and not the confident person he has come to be with he bodies of work he’s done.

What really interested me about the A1 was I’d never seen a British photographer do a road trip. That seemed to be the preserve of American photographers – Robert Frank’s The Americans and Lee Friedlander’s The American Monument. That struck me. It was of topical substance there and then. It’s gained traction over the years, with Thatcher and how people have looked back at her. It paved the way for British colour photographers like Nick Waplington, Anna Fox and to a lesser extent, Tom Wood.’

Context
Independent photographer, filmmaker and Leader of BA (Hons) Photography programmes at The Northern School of Art, Jamie MacDonald, believes the work remains necessary to teach today.

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Couple, Washington Services, Tyne & Wear, May 1982

‘I think it’s good, it has purpose and sets out to achieve something. It’s interesting for students to understand what the photographs mean by having them attached to a context that has a beginning and a middle and an end. Some students find the pictures boring, some nostalgic, others will take to it and research more of his work.’

One such student is 19-year-old James Tappenden. ‘I really enjoyed the journey I experienced through the book, starting off from the bustling city space and then the gradually changing landscape which involves coastal areas and long stretches of farmland. I think it represents positive aspects of what it means to be from the north of England, the diversity is something special. This book (and others by Graham) have influenced my approach to photography, by looking for beauty in the mundane aspects of your own life. Something as straightforward as a road has so much potential – the subjects and landscapes you can find is incredibly unique – and I have tried to apply that ideology to my own work, to look around and let my surroundings guide me.’

Graham’s original book has 40 single colour plates, each published on the right-hand page, a brief description of what, where and when on the left, a simple and powerful format. ‘Looking back at the pictures now, you realise how intelligent the edit is. Even if you just look at the first and last picture – the bankers laughing in their polished suits and stark figure of the woman in blue, straight away you think of Thatcher and this period of individualism, capitalist growth and explosion of wealth. What an amazing picture to start this journey on – a period of time that was going to completely change the course of British political history. As we move north, you go through the heart of Britain, of political and economic change and we finish with a very stark green photograph which is much more minimalistic and formal,’ explains British artist-photographer, Simon Roberts, whose work deals with our relationship to landscape and notions of identity and belonging.

‘Today looking at the original book design, I’m struck by how modern it is. We’re very aware of the symmetry now in contemporary photo books. Back then there were very few British documentary books, it’s a totally different animal. For me the A1 is a forerunner of where contemporary photography books are,’ adds Finn.

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City workers check their phone. St Paul’s, London.

Dench’s journey
As the spine of the country, beginning in the city of London and ending 410 miles later in Edinburgh, the A1 has consistently told the story of Britain from being paved by the Romans, marched along by King Harold to Thatcherism – it’s a road that divides as much as it connects. Thirty-six years after Graham’s A1 was published, after another political upheaval, I felt it was my time. Brexit had ruptured the country.

The faultlines that existed across the country were exacerbated by the nation’s 2016 decision to leave the European Union and the unconvincing outcome of the June 2017 general election. It was a time of uncertainty and I had questions. Is life in Britain about to become better or worse? Will employment opportunities increase or diminish? Will the economy and industries collapse or thrive? Are the British worried about the future and do elderly people, the majority of whom voted Leave, care less about it than the young? Will Britain leaving the EU mean that immigrants will feel unsafe and be forced to leave? How proud do people feel to be British? Graham’s book was my map, and the A1 my route of certainty through a nation on the verge of change.

Learning from a documentary project that stands the test of time 15

After a break at an OK DINER, Vilma and Darius are continuing on by car to Sheffield. Both Lithuanian , they have lived in Britain for over a decade and aren’t concerned about their residency after Brexit. Newark, Nottinghamshire

Driving the length of the A1, Britain didn’t seem full. At times it felt lonely. The east coast of Scotland is largely empty except for the occasional nuclear power station, cement factory and caravan park. The Labour voters I met along the A1 said they are doing okay. The Conservative voters I met said they are doing okay. If the stoicism, drive and grit of the people I met is an accurate reflection of the nation, Britain is going to be okay. When a set of my pictures from the A1 went live on BBC online, it had around 1.4 million hits the first morning with most viewers scrolling to the bottom, which I’m told is about as good as it can get. There is nostalgia and a fondness for the A1. I still get emails from those who travel along it, advising where to get a decent brew and the best stomach-busting, full-English breakfast.

‘I’ve had a lot of real starts. I like to start over with every piece of work. Part of an artist’s job is to scare themselves, to frighten yourself and challenge yourself every time. I can’t imagine having one idea and making one piece of work and just repeating it for 30 or 40 years. I cannot imagine that as life, a creative life, for me it’s wrong. For me to challenge and change and grow is the most interesting thing,’ reveals Graham in an interview at Paris Photo.

Learning from a documentary project that stands the test of time 16

Challis Cooper (20) and Arnold (22) take a break at Baldock Extra Motorway Services, on their way to visit family in Great Yarmouth. Radwell, Baldock, Bedfordshire.

Graham’s career continues to flourish and change in New York where he now lives. His photography ignited with the book A1 – a road he fondly travelled along on holiday with his family as a kid. The reportage has become a backbone of British social documentary photography. I didn’t witness much that remained from Graham’s original journey, a bend in the road, a roundabout, the Ferrybridge Power Station. What has survived is a convoy of fans and photographers driven to succeed by Graham and a book that every aspiring photographer should pull over to study from time to time.

Tips & takeaways
If you want to make the photographic journey along the A1, don’t let the fact that many photographers have, put you off. Learn from them, do it differently or wait a few years. Trust your instinct and have something new to say. You could make your trip about the food or the unusually high numbers of sex shops and swingers clubs along the way. Perhaps document the truck drivers and truck stops or make a reportage on the hotels, pubs and bars, architecture or places of worship. Shoot it in black & white! Always drive safely.

Further reading
Our best documentary, street and architecture photography tips

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Sony Launches Airpeak, its AI Robotics Drone Project

Sony Launches Airpeak, its AI Robotics Drone Project

Sony has announced a new project for drones in the field of AI robotics under the brand name Airpeak. The company says that through Airpeak, it will “contribute to the further evolvement and the creation of unprecedented value” through its imaging and sensing technologies.

In a very short press release Sony announced Airpeak and said the goal of the project will be to support video creators “to the fullest extent possible.” This language seems to indicate that Sony plans to release drones across the consumer range much like DJI, with products priced in the low few hundreds through large-scale drone systems designed for high-end professional use.

In addition to promising to support all video creators, Sony also promises to do so with “improved efficiency and savings in various industries.”

Sony’s final promise was to create drones that could be used with the “highest level of safety and reliability in the environments where this has been difficult in the past.”

Currently, DJI – the largest and most successful drone manufacturer – has a rather robust Geofencing system in place that prevents its drones from taking off or entering areas that are restricted, like near airports or government facilities. Sony appears to be stating that it doesn’t believe what DJI is doing has proved safe enough, and intends to take measures a step further.

Sony plans to announce more on Airpeak in the Spring of 2021.

Sony Launches Airpeak, its AI Robotics Drone Project 17

The choice to enter all levels of drone manufacture and support at this time may feel a bit late to some. DJI has very well saturated the market while successfully rebuffing all major competitors thanks mainly to how easy to use its drone systems are. DJI’s biggest challenger, GoPro and its Karma system, was unable to come close to the system DJI put into place in any category including compact size, flight capability, and image quality.

Not only has DJI made products that will be hard to compete against head-to-head, but the social environment in the United States and many other developed nations also have not been particularly friendly to drone flights in recent years. The FAA requires registration to fly drones over a certain size, many cities have banned their flight, national parks remain closed to them, and many state lands prohibit their use.

DJI has significantly diversified its business in recent years in response to the falloff of drone popularity, so seeing a large company like Sony enter such a space this late in the game feels like a risk. Clearly, Sony still sees a place to succeed, however. It’s hard to bet against the consumer electronics giant, and what they are able to produce should be exciting regardless of perceived challenges.

(via Engadget)

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Alphabet Photography Project: 26 Photos You Can Capture At Home

Alphabet Photography Project: 26 Photos You Can Capture At Home

A Candle Holder for A-Z Project

 

If you’re looking for something a bit different to have a go at this weekend, why not start an A-Z photography project

Trying to capture an image of something that begins with every letter of the alphabet will be both fun and challenging. Plus, it’s something they may even want to share on Instagram if they take a photo that’s particularly cool. 

You can use any type of camera from a DSLR to a smartphone and little ones could even capture images with the ever-popular Kidizoom camera from Vtech (for more kid camera suggestions, have a read of this: top 16 best cameras for kids). 

Experiment with Photoshop, go crazy with filters and more importantly, just have a bit of fun in these, what continue to be, challenging times. Of course, you can take on an A-Z project at any point during the year but now seems to be, more than ever, a time when we need a bit of distraction.

Once you’ve captured your 26 images, upload them to our Gallery so we can see them. You never know, you may win a Samsung Memory Card if your image is chosen as our ‘Photo of the Week‘. 

There are lots of items you can photograph but to give you some inspiration, here are our 26: 

 

A-Z Home Photography Project

 

A – Armchair

Armchair

 

B – Bowl 

Bowl

 

C – Cutlery

Cutlery

 

D – Dog  

Dog

 

E – Eggs

Eggs

 

F – Flowers

Flowers

 

G – Guitar

Guitar

 

H – Handle 

Handle

 

I – iPhone

iPhone 8 Plus

 

J – Jelly

Jelly

 

K – Knife

Knife

 

L – Ladle 

Ladle

 

M – Mats 

Mats

 

N – Nail Varnish 

Nail Varnish

 

O – Orange

Orange and other fruits

 

P – Pencils 

Pencils

 

Q – Quilt 

Quilt

 

R – Rain On The Window 

Rain

 

S – Sugar

Sugar tin

 

T – TV

TV

 

U – Utensils 

Utensils

 

V – Vehicle

Lego cars

 

 

W – Water

Water

 

 

X – Xylophone, failing that take an “X-Ray” style photo

X-Ray Style Photo

 

Y – Yellow (a stretch, we know!)

Camera

 

Z – Zip 

Zip

 

More Photography Challenges

How about ‘52 things you can photograph at home?‘ or you could take on a one-colour challenge? We also have a top list themed on indoor photography for you to peruse. 

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This Project Aims to Teach Anyone How to Make TV-Caliber, Visually-Striking Videos

This Project Aims to Teach Anyone How to Make TV-Caliber, Visually-Striking Videos

Steve Giralt is a New York City-based director, visual engineer, and founder of production company The Garage. He shoots those visually-stunning commercials you see on TV, and while most studios keep secret how they are made, Giralt wants to share it all with the world.

PetaPixel has featured Giralt’s work in the past, from recreating a $1,000,000 Hershey’s shoot on a $500 budget, to how he built a “burger drop” machine.

His latest project is called The Garage Learning and is live on Kickstarter. Giralt’s goal is to provide a mammoth amount of resources for filmmakers of all skill levels to allow them to create content to the level he and his team have been reaching for years.

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“We make videos that artfully drop burgers from the sky, explode all types of food midair, and get slow motion to look so natural,” Giralt writes in the project’s Kickstarter. “It’s a lot of fun! Now, I want to bring the years of knowledge my team and I have gathered and innovated in our Garage to yours.”

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This Project Aims to Teach Anyone How to Make TV-Caliber, Visually-Striking Videos 26

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The Garage Learning is broken into three categories: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Beginner lessons are for creators with smartphones as their main visual tool, and little to no Visual Engineering experience. “If you love to tinker, create, experiment, and learn—or are a parent looking for hands-on, educational activities for your kids—these courses are for you,” Giralt says.

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Intermediate/Advanced lessons are for users who may have a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, and maybe even some lights. “You may be a still photographer who wants to get into shooting better videos, or a film student who wants to learn how commercials are engineered. If you’re comfortable with using your camera and have had some experience with photography or film, you’ll be able to get these lessons as part of our One Year Intermediate/Advanced Subscription, or as part of the Professional Subscription.”

This Project Aims to Teach Anyone How to Make TV-Caliber, Visually-Striking Videos 35

This Project Aims to Teach Anyone How to Make TV-Caliber, Visually-Striking Videos 38

Pro lessons are designed for working professionals who want to learn new techniques and ways of working with higher-end cameras and tools; or for those interested in learning how to manage a commercial image-making business.

This Project Aims to Teach Anyone How to Make TV-Caliber, Visually-Striking Videos 41

The Garage Learning has uploaded the a work-in-progress course list:

This Project Aims to Teach Anyone How to Make TV-Caliber, Visually-Striking Videos 44

The Garage Learning isn’t just the education, it also can include the actual tools needed to coordinate motion of objects with the camera. Called Learning Kits, The Garage wants to be able to ship you all the technological tools you will need to use in conjunction with the online courses. “The Learning Kits will bring technology and engineering skills to filmmaking, giving users a hands-on way of learning complicated mechanical and electrical systems normally not taught in any sort of art school,” Giralt says.


The Garage Learning has a particularly high goal for its Kickstarter, something that many projects on the site avoid because it makes it harder to reach the goal. However, given the amount Giralt is seeking, it feels more transparent than what other projects do because it seems like he knows how much it’s going to cost to effectively execute on the promises.

Still, remember that Kickstarter is not a pre-order platform, so do your research and pledge with caution.

You can learn more about The Garage Learning and pledge your support on its Kickstarter page.

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Shooting an Entire Video Project With One Prime Lens

Shooting an Entire Video Project With One Prime Lens

Does it ever make sense to limit yourself to a single lens for filmmaking? Find out in this video.

In this video from Rubidium Wu for the Crimson Engine, he sits down to talk about the strategy behind using a single lens for filmmaking. Using one lens for an entire project may at first sound like it would be born out of budgetary reasons, however that’s not always the case. As Wu points out, having every scene shot with the same lens can actually be a deliberate artistic choice to bring unity to a film or video project. That’s not to say you can’t also reap the financial benefits of a single lens video and allocate that money elsewhere as a bonus.

Backing this notion up with some proof you can watch yourself, there have been many big-budget films that used just a single lens for their production. These include “Psycho,” “Birdman,” “The Godfather,” “The Royal Tennenbaums,” and others. If you’ve seen any of these films, you probably had no idea this was the case and that goes to show that the technique doesn’t inherently lead to stale moviemaking.

Have you ever shot an entire project with one lens? Would you do it again or did you find it to be too restrictive? Let us know in the comments below.

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johnriley1uk’s latest blog : 110 months on for project decay!

johnriley1uk's latest blog : cool activities on the streets of manchester

110 Months On for Project Decay!

21 Sep 2020 12:24AM  
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Well, who could have guessed that over nine years ago I started my project Decay, selecting a non-functional Pentax MG and popping it out into the garden to see how nature might make it its own. In the event, it tells us instead that plastics don’t decay (we knew that) and that Pentax leatherette finishes can take as much wild weather as you might like to throw at it without even looking the slightest bit fazed. Weather resistance before weather resistance was invented. For several years people wondered if it would still work, but the sad truth is that it didn’t work when it was first put out there, so there was no chance of that.

But it’s now time to call it a day on the first phase of this experiment. The camera has been temporarily moved to a more convenient place, still out there in the elements but not for long. It’s time to cut it in half so we can see the internal ecosystem that has no doubt invaded its electronics and gears. When lockdown rules allow, the camera will be taken to a friend who reckons he can cut it cleanly, including the glass pentaprism, so it hopefully won’t be long.

So a photographic tribute as we look back at the history of this fine camera.

20 05 2011
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31 05 2012
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31 05 2013
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31 05 2014
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29 05 2015
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28 05 2016
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26 05 2017
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31 05 2018
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31 05 2019
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01 05 2020
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20 09 2020
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