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Watching Repetition

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Today was the first day of our DailyShoot assignment, so I thought I’d talk about it a bit. I probably won’t do this for every single day, but I’ll probably periodically talk about what we’re working on, especially if I take a picture that I think is rather cool.

The Dailyshoot assignment for today was “Make a photograph that features repetition.” I initially thought about just taking a picture of some pattern in my apartment — floor tiles, that quilt my mom gave me, the spiderwebs that are starting to form in the corners — but I figured most people would do something like that, and I should try and increase the variety a bit. My next thought was a clock — after all, every pattern on a clock face shows itself twice a day, every day, year after year, making for a lot of long-term repetition.

Actually taking the picture was another matter. I wandered around with a borrow camera, snapping pictures of clocks on walls, but none of them turned out very well. (This was half due to the fact that I’m a really terrible photographer, who, incidentally, stubbornly insists that deliberately following a “rule” for art, like the rule of thirds, is for chumps) So I finally just took the picture off the wall, and then borrowed a friend’s watch, and several friend’s cell phones, and posed them in various ways. But it just kept looking so…well, posed. Artificial. Boring. Thinking about them now, I think I understand why: there’s no contrast, no movement, no life in them at all; they’re just contrivances without even the meager life of repetition.

But I thought that calendar and watch were sort of cool. So I put them together. I flipped through the calendar, messed with the watch, and took a bunch of pictures. And one of them, I decided, was pretty cool:

Credit: Me.

I had to crop it slightly to get rid of some carpet to one side, but that’s it. Overall, I actually like this picture quite a bit, although I can’t quite put my finger on why. Maybe I just like shiny sideways things.

And what do you know: I even got a little rule of thirds action going on horizontally, entirely unintentionally. Interesting.

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