The Daily Shoot assignment is now halfway over. Some of the prompts so far have been challenging, so it’s been tougher than I thought it would be. I’m also enjoying it more than I thought I would, though. I didn’t have much experience with photography before this so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I think I’m getting the hang of it and I’m proud of what I’ve created so far. The assignment’s taken me on some pretty unexpected adventures. Almost everyday I’ve started with a completely different idea (or no idea) of what I was going to photograph, then stumbled upon something extraordinary. It’s forced me to think about things in new ways and it’s shown me that sometimes it’s easier to make art when you take a more hands-on approach and don’t overthink it. Here are my experiences from the first week of The Daily Shoot.
Day 1 (#442)
Make a photograph that features repetition.
The plan for the first day was to take a picture of the stairs to my front door, but I then I realized that the rug at the bottom of the stairs featured a repetitive pattern and was nicer to look at.
Day 2 (#443)
Fill the frame of a photograph with a single subject today.
I really wasn’t sure what to do with this prompt, so I just started looking through my room for things I thought would be interesting enough to comprise the entirety of a frame. As I was going through my closet I considered taking a picture of an old stuffed toy, so I took it from the shelf and noticed something behind it. It turned out to be my (nearly $500) class ring I had been looking for since I lost it just after I graduated from high school. I still have no idea how it got there.
I was thrilled to find my ring, but I still wasn’t sure about what to photograph for the assignment. I moved on to my bookcase, where things I failed to sell in a yard sale last summer have been collecting dust on the top shelf since then. I picked up a plasma globe I got when I was a kid, which didn’t actually make it to the yard sale. I turned it on to look at it one last time before the yard sale and decided it was too cool to sell, even though I was pretty sure I’d never touch it again. Sure enough I had forgotten all about it, but I decided it might make a good picture. I dusted it off, plugged it in, turned it on, and took some pictures and it did turn out very nicely.
Day 3 (#444)
Pretend you’re a stringer for your local newspaper today. Make a photo that captures something newsworthy to you.
On the third day I, like most people, thought the weather was the most newsworthy topic since it had changed so drastically. I went outside to take some pictures depicting the changing weather, and as I closed the door behind me I noticed an ant walking around in front of it. It occurred to me that it was the first ant I’d seen this winter, and there were no other ants around. It was kind of a bizarre sight, and it seemed newsworthy to me, so I started taking pictures of it.
Day 4 (#445)
Look upward today. Make a photograph with a low horizon and that emphasizes the sky.
As I was looking through the submissions for day 4, I noticed there wasn’t a lot of variety. There were mostly photos of bright, blue, cloudy skies since the prompt was rather specific. I wanted to do something different, so I decided to wait until it got dark. The idea was to take a picture of a starry sky above the trees in my backyard. It didn’t quite work out that way. What I hadn’t anticipated was that it was very cold and very dark. There wasn’t a star in the sky when I went out into the freezing cold and took 20+ pictures, only to find that it was too dark to see anything in most of them. So I thought about it, and decided I needed to get creative. I went back outside and pointed my camera at light above my deck and took a picture of it with the pitch black sky above. I think it created a very interesting effect.
Day 5 (#446)
Create a photo today that gives a sense of depth or dimension.
For the seventh day I had to get creative again because I had classes, then work all afternoon, so I didn’t have much time to wander around looking for things to photograph. Instead I needed to find something there at the gas station where I would be for 6 hours. My first thought was to stand in front of a row of gas pumps and take a picture. Before I could do that I was about to write something in our communication log (a spiral-bound notebook) and got the idea to take a picture of the binding. I leaned the notebook against a shelf and pointed my iPhone down, and started by holding it above the notebook, but figured out it looked the neatest when I held the camera right up to the binding.
Day 6 (#447)
Go abstract today and make a photograph that focuses on form and color rather than detail.
Another work day and an even trickier prompt. I didn’t have any ideas so I was hoping one would come to me at work. As I was trying to find something colorful, I considered the plastic cups (a blue one stacked on a red one) we use as a pen holder, since Giant can’t afford an actual pen holder for the gas station. Or something. Anyway, I took the blue cup out and put it in front of the red cup, and took a closeup picture and it worked out pretty well.
Day 7 (#448)
Power plugs are ubiquitous. Can you make a creative photo of such a common thing? Try it today!
This time the prompt was very specific again, so there was pressure to make my photo stand out. After some unsuccessful brainstorming, I remembered I had been most successful in the past shoots by being hands-on. So I grabbed a power plug and just started looking it over. I noticed the two holes in the contacts and had the idea to string together a bunch of plugs. I decided it would be best to use as many as I could find to fit in with the theme of ubiquity, which wasn’t a problem because they really were everywhere.
Thanks for reading about my experiences so far. I’m having a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the second half of the assignment. You can keep up with my Daily Shoot submissions here and my Flickr photostream also appears in the Quick Flickr widget to the right which I installed last week.