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Assignment Motion - Driving from Day to Night

Jeff Smallwood

The Calvert Photo Club’s January assignment/challenge was the term “motion”. Jeff has wanted to experiment with capturing motion in the car for quite a while but never got around to it. Having to produce something for the monthly challenge finally kicked him into action.

Jeff’s goal for this challenge was to create an image that represented motion, but also transitioned from day to night in a single scene. Read Jeff’s blog to see how he created the final shot for the monthly photo challenge.


365 Days

Karl Barth

Well 2013 is in the books and a new year has arrived.  Of course with a new year comes the new years resolutions.  I’ve always found that resolutions are a waste of time because I never keep them.  I rather set goals for the year.  Goals have more substance and are more meaningful.  Just my opinion.

As I reflect on the past year, one of the biggest successes I had was my 365 day photo project.  That meant taking a picture everyday.  I tried doing this project in 2012 but quit after 4 days because it was getting tough and wasn’t dedicated enough.  When 2013 arrived, I was determined to finish it to completion and I did.  Let me tell you though it wasn’t easy.  Towards the end of the project, I was like “The Little Engine That Could” and saying to myself “I think I can, I think I can.”

If anyone out there has thought about doing this project I figured I would write this blog and explain what I liked versus what I didn’t like.  I hope this information is helpful to you.

In doing this project I learned where my strengths and weaknesses are with photography.  I went out of my comfort zone of only shooting landscape/nature.  I worked on my portrait skills and became more creative like shooting water drops.  I feel my skills improved.

By Karl BarthAnother key thing I learned from Bryan Peterson and practiced was learning to shoot creatively meaning making a picture more interesting.  For example, I have this Christmas decoration hanging up in my kitchen.  It’s a red snowflake with a bell hanging in the middle.  Rather than shooting the entire snowflake I took a picture of the bell. It was much more interesting to me.

Finally the biggest pro to this project is you get to use your camera everyday and not let it collect dust.  Sure you can use a cell phone but I much rather use my real camera and take pictures.  The quality is much better.

As for the cons, the biggest challenge is time.  That may not sound so complicated but when you have a full time job and a family, there is not enough time in the day.  It got worse later in the year when the time changed and there was less daylight.  

Then there is the ever important question on what to shoot.   On most days ideas just popped out.  Then there were those other days  towards the end of the project where I had no clue what to take a picture of.  I didn’t want to be repetitive and shoot the same thing over and over.  I also wanted the subject to be interesting.  It got to a point where it stressed me out which was no fun.

by Karl BarthFinally the biggest con I found was picture quality.  I’m my own biggest critic and I’m probably really hard on myself.  As I look at the pictures in this project there are some bad photos.  They either were not composed properly, over processed, or simply a bad subject.  As a result I felt this project really impacted the quality of pictures I posted.

I don’t want anyone thinking that I hated this project because that isn’t true.  I simply misunderstood how hard this project was going to be.  I’m glad I started and finished the project.  Will I do this project again?  I can’t see myself doing this project again but I may look at doing a 52 week project.  I created a video slideshow of the project.  You can check it out on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkukVSP9wVk

I’ve posted a few of my favorite photos in this post.  Enjoy!  Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!