Friday, January 11, 2008

Take Me Down

Who is that girl I see
Staring straight, back at me?
--"Reflection," sung by Lea Salonga

I may be a grad student (read: poor! broke! in the lab all the time!), but Christmas doesn't feel complete to me unless I put up a tree. Of course, season's end brings the inevitable decision: leave it up or box it up for the next yuletide season. Roomie and I are lazy, but we like our space.

I was taking down my ($40-worth of decorations from my $2-) tree when I caught sight of my own reflection in a shiny ornament and was reminded of this photo. Hmmm...I think this means it's play time!

Perhaps I should turn off the flash....?

Well, I knew my hands weren't that steady...How about opening the aperture? shortening the shutter speed? using my knees to steady the camera? some combination of these? Oh, and I should turn on some lights behind me!

If I were a smart woman, I would have also thought to turn on the lights on the tree. Too bad I didn't think of that until after I had taken down the entire tree. It might have made for some interesting foreground, too. In general, I should have concentrated a little bit more on framing the subject instead of just my reflection. That's what I loved about the picture that inspired this one: The intended subject of the picture was visually interesting at first glance, but it was just plain fun discovering all the new things in the fisheye lens view of the ornaments!

Another note for myself....I definitely have a distinct taste for clear, defined images. Even though we live in an age of digital manipulation and I know images can be fabricated, part of the reason I like images with clean lines is that it becomes more impossible to contradict a situation when it looks visually plausible, and when things are blurred, it becomes easier to doubt. (Wow, that sounds a lot like life, ha.) Although, one of my favorite photographers, Jerry Uelsmann, often subverts this notion.

I guess if you're comfortable with what you're doing, you've been there before.
--Jerry Uelsmann

I notice myself getting frustrated when I take a picture with blurry lines. But perhaps I should push myself and just let it happen.

I'll leave you with some fun images from my week! (Read: So you aren't looking at the same ornament over and over again!) These pictures were actually taken by my friends: Hi Brian! Hi Mary! They're both now hooked on my dSLR and want one. (Hey, I don't mind being an enabler.)

Making ice cream the old-fashioned way.

Swing dancing

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