2019—Taking Up the Challenge
After listening to Moose Peterson’s Podcast #135 I took up the Self-Assignment challenge he describes in that podcast, one he had years ago in photography school:
Each day for a week, take a new photo of a salt and pepper shaker, with no two photos alike except that each photo must include the same salt and pepper shaker.
I thought this was a great way to challenge myself to improve my photography, and, as he put it in his podcast, to compete against myself, not others. I used three different lenses (105mm f/1.4; 105mm f/2.8 Micro, and 70-200 f/4); manual mode so I could completely control all aspects of exposure; a tripod because the shutter speeds were slow, ranging from 1/30 second to 4 seconds; and except for the first and last shots, one or more flashes. I had a great time planning and executing each shot but the challenge forced me to stretch well outside my comfort zone. The challenge helped me better understand placement of external light sources to achieve the effect I sought. It forced me to figure out what it takes to create certain optical illusions. It illustrated the need to think “outside the box” so that the photographs would be unique and perhaps provocative. For all but one of the photographs, I had to create a “studio” setup instead of using a natural setting and natural lighting as I normally do.
Here, then, is my take on “A week in the life of Salt ‘n’ Pepa:”
Day 1 (Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm f/1.4 )
Day 2 (Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm f/1.4, SB 5000×2 )
Day 3 (Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Micro, SB 5000)
Day 4 (Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Micro, SB 5000×2 )
Day 5 (Nikon D850, Nikkor 105mm f/1.4, SB 5000×3 )
Day 6 (Nikon D850, Nikkor 70-200mm f/4, SB 5000×2 )
Day 7 (Nikon D850, Nikkor 70-200mm f/4)