The tree project favourites

Last week Jen and I started a new photo project – painting with light. My photos for this week will be up at 3 pm CET. But before I leave our previous project of trees behind I’d like to sum it up with my personal favourite photos from those 8 weeks. It was a fun theme to try and portray trees from different aspects. As you know, this blog is about my creative journey. It is not about perfection. It is about experimenting and learning and trying. But I think these photos I will present as my favourites out of the theme are the ones that were a level over experimentation. The better ones. What do you think? Follow the header links to see all of the photos in respective theme. A link to the other project weeks will be found at the end.

Tree project 2 – texture

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I am very pleased with this one. I think it might be my favourite out of the whole bunch…

The tree project 4 – black and white

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I love black and white photography. Not to convert a photo to black and white to make it look more interesting, but to actually think black and white when you take the photo. I like both of these photos, but mostly the second one.

The tree Project 6 – bokeh

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This is actually an experimental photo – but it’s one of my favourites anyway because it was such a fun theme. We created our own bokeh. Really cool!

The tree Project 8 – thoughtfulness

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Here our object was to convey thoughtfulness. This photo represented ”solitude and peace” which is a big part of being lost in thoughts for me. I just like the softness of the photo. The highkey colour scale, the morning mist over the frozen lake removing everything else but the trees and the little mini island – making the bare branches stand out. It is peaceful to me.

For the rest of the tree project themes, check out these:

The tree project 1The tree project 3The tree project 5The tree project 7

And don’t forget to check out Jen’s tree project photos!

The tree project 8 – thoughtfulness

We had a different theme for Jen’s and my tree project this week. We thought we should challenge ourselves with an emotional theme. For me this is very difficult and I was kind of dreading this even though I came up with the theme. The easy way out would be to take a photo of trees and a person looking thoughtful. But to me that seems too simple. It’s a tree project so it is the trees that are in focus. I was thinking long and hard about the concept of being thoughtful.

I ended up in two aspects of thoughtfulness.

Solitude and peace. I am a person myself often lost in thoughts. When I am, it’s when everything around me is still and nothing is distracting me. So one big part of thoughtfulness to me is solitude and peace.

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Foggy winter morning by the water. Solitude and peace.

Patterns of a free mind. When I have peace and quiet and no distractions my thoughts run free. They come and go, seeminlgy random, but still with paths and patterns forming a whole – like a sketch drawing. Even though my mind is constantly going from one thought to another and back again, the thoughts still give me peace. I like being in my own mind, in a mix of happy and sad thoughts. It’s life.

_MG_6494Mind set free. Patterns of a free mind.

What do you think of my interpretation of the theme? It was difficult but I found it a lot of fun actually. A new aspect of taking a photo and one I want to explore since I do want to convey more of feelings and atmospheres with my photos. This was a very good exercise for me – one I will use and practise more not only within the tree project.

Check out Jen’s photos on her blog. I am so excited to see what she comes up with, with her artistic mind.

The tree project 7 – trees in winter

I was planning to get out to take photos for Jen’s and my tree project this evening after I came home from my trip but I got caught up with work so those plans had to go. So for this week’s theme – trees in winter – I go back to old photos. I took a photo on one of my photo walks in the beginning of the year that I have been saving for the tree project for one day it might fit one of our themes. And now I think it fits! 🙂 Especially since winter now is no longer this beautiful. All the snow is long gone and has been exchanged by rain, rain, rain and more than 50 shades of grey.

What do you think?

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Setting sun.

Go over to Jen’s blog to see her entry for this week’s theme. Her photos will be more current and I know they will be beautiful! Can’t wait to see her interpretation of trees in winter with her skills with textures and light.

The tree project 5 – backlight

Well, as you will have noticed as a recurring theme this week on the blog – lack of time and photo opportunities have made this blog a little less creative this week and more about everyday stuff.

So consequently I haven’t had a chance to get out with the camera for new photos for this week’s tree theme sadly. Because I LOVE backlight and would like to practise and experiment a lot more with it. So I think I will cheat in some current backlight tree photos maybe next week as an extra ”bonus” if I get a chance to be out when it is actually some light available.

I have dug through my archives to see if I can find any backlit photos that could fit into this theme. I found a decent one from two years ago.

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I have one current photo that I took last week in a rare glimpse of sunlight with my mobile phone outside work. It’s a tiny little tree – I don’t even know if it counts as a tree or as a bush.  At first I thought it was leaves glowing like fire backlit from the sun. But when I looked at it in Photoshop it didn’t look like leaves. And it isn’t. It is the flaking bark from the tree that glows in these amazing fiery colours, If only I have had a good camera with me. But sometimes you make do with the camera you have. To capture the moment with a mobile phone is still a better photo than no photo at all. The bark on these trees (or bushes?) is a really beautiful deep reddish brown that catches the sun like this when backlit. In reality it looked amazing! I have already posted a phone-edited-for-instagram-version of this photo on my instagram as you can see on the feed to the right. (@mia7126 – welcome to follow! 🙂 )

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I can’t wait to see Jen’s backlit photos! Check her photos on her blog. And take the opportunity to read more of her, she has an amazing artistic talent and makes great sketches to illustrate her entries.

Next week’s theme is really cool! I think Jen with her artistic talent will excel in it. We will create our own bokeh shapes!

Oh and I don’t remember if I have mentioned it in any of the English entries but I will post only one entry per day Thursday and Friday because of work. I don’t have the evenings free so I won’t get a chance to write any entries tomorrow evening for Friday so instead I write this entry for tomorrow and one entry for Friday tonight.

You will have to bare with me this week. Next will be better!

The tree project 4 – black and white

Jen’s and my tree project  continues. Last week’s theme was texture in black and white. This week black and white in general. I love black and white photography. It immediately gives the photos a whole new atmosphere about them when you remove colour. I also think that winter time is a good season for black and white because the season offers a graphic element to the landscape that you don’t get the same way during the other seasons. The graphic-”ness” of winter, trees and black and white is a good combination in my eyes.

Ok, so here they come. My two project photos of the week. 🙂

This first one is a winter version of a scene I have posted before in autumn. I like how I find new details the more I look at the photo.

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The second one:

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I am rather pleased with the photos this time. I am seeing some development… I hope you like them too? If not, are there any tips you can give me that might improve them?

Both of these photos also happen to partly illustrate our next theme. Backlight. I love backlight and want to be able to really use that beautiful light and ambience it gives a photo. Unfortunately the weekend will be cloudy, so we’ll see if I can catch any backlight. Else I guess I have to use some old photos for that theme – but that is not the same. I want to get out there and experiment.

Now, go check out Jen’s photos on her blog. Can’t wait to see hers. I am so excited to see what she made of this theme with her artistic eye!

Finding the picture

In my journey to practise my eye for the best photos and to improve my ”seeing”, I have started to really taking my time when I try to find a picture. I look at angles, light and shadows. I am not finding it all perfectly yet, but at least I am looking. Before I didn’t know until I got home and downloaded the photos to the computer if it was a good picture or not. I still do, but more often the picture I had in my mind show up on the memory card too. 🙂 So I am hoping that practice will make nearer perfect. I find it rather rewarding to ”really” take in the scene or subject. To actively think of it and how to show it.

I am hoping that this is a first step to take better photos. Before I was kind of stuck in the kind of photos I took. Often rather simple ones. A twig there, a leaf there, a flower there and some backlight, and shallow depth of field. And that was my photo. You have seen examples of such photos in this blog. I nowadays call them ”a typical boring Marie-photo”. 🙂

I want to become more creative and find different angles. Different perspectives. New ways to see the twig, the leaf, the flower etc. At the same time I also want to really try to figure out what it is I want to show with the photo. Not just take a photo ”to take a photo”. I often ask myself now ”why do you want to take this photo?”. If I can’t think of a specific answer – the photo is probably not going to be a good photo. Before I just took photos without thinking.

The reason for taking a photo now doesn’t always have to be to get a ”great photo”. It can for example be because I see the light in a way I want to try to capture on camera. The actual subject doesn’t matter, it is just for technique and learning purposes. I don’t mean to show the photos to anyone, just to see how the light turned out, or a specific effect, a specific exposure.

I am hoping that this is a way forward to taking better photos eventually. I find it a lot of fun.

If you also like to take photos – what do you do to become better? If you are a beginner and amateur like me? Or if you are a professional – how did you learn? What is your trick to get better? 🙂

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Walking through a gate of trees, looking for the picture!

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”Hmm, the light up there through those trees looks kind of nice….”

 

Tree project 3 – black and white texture

Time has not allowed me to go out to take more photos so I have to make do with some ”left-overs” from last time. This means I am not too happy about these. But as this creative journey partly for me is to learn to try and experiment and fail – this entry is an exersice in that. The theme of Jen’s and my tree project this week, is a continuation of last week’s texture theme. This time texture in black and white.

I like black and white photos. Just the fact that they are black and white can make a boring image a little less boring. But it is still not enough to take away the boring completely out of the photo.  So why not take this opportunity to just play around a bit?

First some regular photos. Black and white photos are good for a graphic effect to display the pattern of the bare twigs and branches I think. Just wish I had time to go out again to try to do it a bit more interesting. But, this is it for now.

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Now let’s play. Here I took one of the photos above and put it together with another photo, previously posted on the blog. I thought the pattern of the trees in this photo could be a nice pattern to mix with another photo… well. I tried. I played. I had fun. 🙂 That’s the main point of this project of ours after all! 🙂

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Don’t forget to check out Jen’s photos in her blog. I bet she rocks this theme as she did the last one!

 

Texture – the tree project

Yesterday was one of those perfect winter days.  I was a bit late for my little photography excursion so I missed a lot of light. But I did catch the amazing winter sunset.

The air was completely still and the sky was cloud-free. The sun was just about to set and cast long dark shadows over the ice-covered lake. Despite the near sunset, the time was just around three. The lake was still buzzling with life from people iceskating and skiing across it like an icey lake highway. On a barbeque site by a wooden wind shed on a hill facing the water some people had a barbeque party in the snow. Voices of laughter and excitement both from the ice and the barbeque broke the otherwise peaceful air.

It doesn’t get any better than this in winter.

I was lucky to be out on this perfect day for my contribution to Jen’s and my treeproject. Theme of the week: texture. This is a difficult theme for me. To find texture and to make it into an interesting enough photo on top of that. I am not sure I even have ”interpreted” this theme correctly. Jen however is a master at textures, being the artist she is.

The theme also allowed tweaking with filters in Photoshop.

Here they are, my texture photos.

The first photo is a typical old boring ”Marie” photo. Nothing spectacular… But I must say something positive about every photo. I like the combination of the soft colours, the very last glimpses of the soft daylight and the sheer twigs with tiny little cones. They all go together. That is why I even post it.

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Next is my ”three-in-one” photo. The same photo but different Photoshop effects. I turned the photo into sepia since this deep into the forest the sun didn’t come through. So the original colours were very dull, but I still like the ”vertical” trees. For the first photo, the most original one, I only added some light brushes as a sunlight effect. The middle photo is tweaked with the stylize filter, adding a cool effect I think with the twigs and branches making the photo less busy. The last one is a couple of blur filters. I kind of like the photos together more than each one separately. All filters are meant to emphasize something with the texture. If they succeed – I don’t know. 🙂

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My personal favourite photo is this last one. And I promise – this photo is real, no special tweaking. It is the setting sun lighting up the tree, making it glow in that fantastic red colour, causing an amazing contrast to all the busy dark twigs against the sky. It was surreal. I think I managed to catch that. Nature is god damn amazing!

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What do you think? Which photo do you like best, if any? 🙂

Now don’t forget to check out Jen’s texture photos in her blog. She knows her stuff so definitely worth a visit! 🙂 If you want real art, read her blog.

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Happy New Year! 🙂

I was planning to write a resume of 2015 today for the English part of the blog but I won’t have time so I will put that up on Tuesday.

What I will do is to present the two photos I got to take for Jen’s and my tree project’s first theme. Shallow depth of field. I am not 100% satisfied with this first photo -which is the one most true to the theme. I can do a lot better. I might try a few more of shallow depth of field even though we now have a new theme. What I love about the photo (I always have to find something I like in my photos to practise not being so self-critical!) is the light. The contrast with the white tree trunk and the setting sun reflecting in the tree tops. What I don’t like is that I missed focus a bit. I would have liked it sharper of course (I was not in the best position for steady hands when I took it, bending almost 180 degrees backwards almost falling over haha), and more to the right of the tree trunk…

To make our conditions for the challenge similar, I chose aperture 5.6 in 50 mm zoom for both photos, since that is the lowest aperture Jen would have if she zoomed in at 50 mm.

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This one is stretching the theme a bit, but the tree is there. 🙂 This has also been through a bit of tweaking in Photoshop.

Check out Jen’s photos in her blog!

For the next theme we chose: Texture. That will be a challenge for me to make that into interesting photos. Jen is a master at it so am so excited to see her photos!