Tuesday, October 6, 2009

365 Project - One month down.

18 (0923)My Amigo is in the shop. I'm really thirsty for mountain biking, but it will have to wait until I can get my car back. My 365 Project (dubbed "thirty-one") has now gone on for 1 month and has kept me busy. It's cool to see the last month in photos and I feel like it's definitely helping me learn more about what I can do with my camera.

Some days (most days?) I really struggle coming up with a new photo and one or two of those days I think I've really phoned it in. I can't imagine what will happen when I run out of things inside my apartment to photograph. I need to take my camera everywhere I go, I suppose.

Other days I take so many photos that it becomes hard to choose just one. So I decided since it's been one month from when I started this thing I would create a flickr "reject" set and choose three of my favorite photos that didn't make it in.

The first two of these three were taken on the very first day. I had about 4 or 5 photos I just could not choose between. I may have even chosen the wrong one :). I really liked this piece of machinery. I can't remember what the machine was anymore though:

This photo looks good in color or duo-tone, but I like the contrast just a little bit better in the one without color. I'll probably say differently tomorrow:

And last is a photo that I completely overlooked until today. The day I took this photo I put 4 photos to choose from side by side on my monitor and this was not one of them:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

San Jose State Normal School Tower Hall

tower hall-2Been a crazy busy September, full of wedding venue visits, busy with work, etc. Haven't been able to get out much at all. Plus my Amigo needs some work done on him before I dare take him mountain biking.

September was also the month I started my 365 photo project. I'll post an update on that after 30 full days. It has really got me reading and thinking a lot about photography.

tower hall-3A quick background about me and photography: I love photography but have never really tried it until recently. I am especially a big fan of industrial and architectural photography (still or motion) from the early days of cameras. I love watching Edison's earliest films on the streets of New York.

In Manhattan about 4 years ago I purchased the book New York Changing: Revisiting Berenice Abbott's New York. It's a stunning photography book where the author recreates the setting of the 1930s photographs almost exactly and shows them side by side. He had figured out the exact perspective, the time of day, and even used the same camera so you can focus only on what has changed.

tower hall-1While I could never do it with the same precision, recreating old photographs seems like a great way to study perception and the difference between "zooming" in using greater focal length vs actually stepping forward.

I wandered through the SJ Library's digital archive of their California Room looking for photos of San Jose and SJSU. I came across a circa 1915 photo of Tower Hall. I believe his would have been less than 10 years after it was constructed to replace the old building. Last Sunday I decided to shoot the building with every lens I had and also try to recreate the old photograph. Here are my results:


tower hall-4

Obviously I didn't get it exact. I should have stepped more to the left and angled the camera more to the right and I was around 5 minutes too late for shadows. But I think it was a decent enough first attempt and a good learning experience.