A colleague of mine one day suggested that we start a photo competition. That competition would last 42 days and every contestant should add one photo a day to a public album. All photos have to be taken on the exact day and must be uploaded until 12 a.m. the next day. Add any photo you like — just no offending ones.
“Easy!” I thought and signed in.
The first day started with a total mess at the office and I just had time to do a snapshot of a fire engine that I ran through Lightroom to give it some kind of a lighting setup and color retuche. This snapshot should somewhat accompany me for the rest of the week.
The second day I had some more time. I thought it would be a good idea to grab the fire engine again (honestly I had the “great” idea of adding the fire engine to all of the remaining 41 photos) and see, where I could place it to get a nice shot. Finally I came around our kicker where I tried several perspectives before I came up with the final shot. It again ran through Lightroom for better lighting and colors. This was the first one I really liked.
Day three I had my camera and the fire engine with me when I went for lunch. I had the idea of putting the fire engine in front of a real car to utilize the difference in size for a good perspective. Long story short: it didn’t work out. I had to come up with another picture setup. I tried several shots at the bistro I had lunch at. None of theme really convinced me. But again some Lightroom touch up did the trick.
Day four. Busy at the office and not a single idea on what to shoot. I finally shot the fire engine on my notebook’s keyboard and let Lightroom do the rest.
On day five I wanted to wait for the evening to take a picture on my way home or at home. At home I tried several still life setups using vases, candleholders and stuff like that. I also tried several different persepctives on the fire engine crawling on the floor or standing on a ladder. It all looked somewhat odd or even boring. Finally I placed the fire engine on top of our dinner table’s lamp. It is an alloy ring with frosted glas on top and bottom so the light shines in both directions. That gave the fire engine a really nice look. Lighting is everything! Only small digital enhancements needed this day.
Saturday, day six. Awaiting guests on Sunday I had to prepare dinner. Some time after 8 p.m. I finally managed to start shooting. This day I wanted to play around with lighting a little bit more. So two pocket torches were a must. And also a boombox that has some blue lights to its sides should be placed on the picture. I tried around in complete darkness using a tripod and self release. On the camera’s display it looked great, especially the blue light (I usually hate all those gadgets with blue lights, but this time it helped). Sadly enough it looked poor when viewed on the screen. I started all over and found a blue plastic trash can. The fire engine looked nice inside with the two torches lighting the can from the outside. Lightroom and a radial blur did the rest.
Sunday, day seven. While cooking the dinner we chatted about the 42 days project and came up with a simple still life setup in the kitchen. Nice and easy. And definitly the last shot with the fire engine in it!
What I learned from this first week is that it is really hard to come up with new ideas every day. And that it is even harder to integrate the same item on every photo. But the most important learning was that even this kind of work is much easier with people around brainstorming together.