I had been thinking about how to motivate myself for some time now to go out and practice taking photos. One of the tech blogs that I read most days is Gizmodo and I remembered that they do a Shooting Challenge although I didn't recall seeing one posted in awhile. Long story short, I found the most recent challenge "Oscars" exciting although I only saw maybe 2 movies in 2011, eh, maybe 3.
Most recently I saw Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (loved it BTW, one of the few sequels that was better than the first). Ideas popped in my head immediately, I mean, come on, the title itself inspires photo ideas!
I had one small problem, props.
I was going to need top hats at minimum for my first few ideas. I felt a little deflated immediately thinking I wasn't going to be able to pull this off. I posted a call out for top hats on Facebook with low expectations and lo and behold, one of my friends had not one but TWO top hats! At pick up time I explained what I was planning and was offered a pipe to use, SCORE! I wasn't sure how I was going to use it but it surely couldn't hurt to have it handy.
My first idea for a photo representing the movie never came to fruition unfortunately as I needed more camera gear than I possessed, as well as more photography technique than I ever tried. My friend was willing to lend me his equipment but I decided to work with what I had for the time being.
I really wanted to play with the idea of shadows and silhouettes. I don't know about you, but the images of Sherlock Holmes in my head are the side profile silhouettes of his upper body or in an armchair with a pipe. I decided to try and capture that and try as I might, I could not get the rays of light to shine around my silhouette. It was hard work lining myself up to capture my own silhouette I'll tell ya, let alone taking the photo without an assistant.
I moved on to shadows... how would I get a photo of my own shadow? I was able to get this photo on my own which was another almost submitter but there were bits here and there that didn't make it perfect for me.
I then decided to move to photos of just props. There would be lots of light to cast shadows and we would see how things panned out. The result was this photo which I almost submitted
I did some review of the photos taken and felt I needed to retake some of them and this time my wife was around to help which made life a little easier, however changed the angle of some photos.
As we tried various things, we came to the final picture that was submitted and ultimately was selected as a 'finalist' for the Gizmodo shooting challenge
I won't ruin the magic of the photo by revealing the setup. I will tell you that I don't have a photo studio nor studio equipment so it was a D3100 and that was it.
I'm super stoked that the photo was selected to show on the Gizmodo Shooting Challenge page. That being said, I don't know how many entries there were, maybe there were only 13 entries hahaha
I hope to continue taking photos to these challenges and posting my learnings as I go.