Tuesday, December 16, 2008

About the Experiments and Project

This blog was created to document a photography project I took on starting September 15th 2008 and ending November 16th 2008. The idea of the project was to take a picture every night for 9 weeks straight, no matter what. The main focus was to experiment with light, natural and unnatural as long as it wasn't traditional daytime photography and to also force myself to think in a square format. I wanted to see how far I could push myself in this form of photography which has interested me for some time. NOTHING HAS BEEN PHOTOSHOPPED in this project. These were all taken on my Canon Digital SLR Rebel XT and the only thing Photoshop was used for was to process the RAW images and to resize and crop since my camera doesn't take square pictures. I also want to note these are SINGLE FRAME EXPOSURES. What was most interesting to me is that when I got down to the last week of shooting I realized my fear of running out of ideas was just the opposite, I had more left than I had days.

Week 1

Day 1 - September 14th - Sunday
Between Train Cars

My first night of shooting I wandered down along hwy 30 and into the train yard. I crawled underneath the train closest to the road and started shooting, until one of the trains started moving and I decided to duck out before I got caught or run over.


Day 2 - September 15th - Monday
Caboose

I've wanted to shoot this somewhat abandoned caboose for a long time and this project finally gave me the reason. What was interesting about this is that I went back later on in my project when I had a different idea and all of the tagging on the train was different, so it looks nothing like this now.


Day 3 - September 16th - Tuesday
Shadows

Simple yet one of my favorites. The lights from a nearby gas station leave a shadow of a chained up bike.

Day 4 - September 17th - Wednesday
Mirror and Transparency

This shot was done in my bathroom and I used the fact that my apartment is old to my advantage. I have pull chain lights for my whole apartment and I specifically have 2 in my bathroom. I hooked a white thread to the one in the background of this pic and I'm pulling the other one behind the mirror that's angled out. Basically I use the pull chain lights as a real quick off/on flash.

Day 5 - September 18th - Thursday
Fun Center

Morgan came out with me this night and a lot of really interesting pictures were taken down at the Fun Center in North Portland. It's basically this old abandoned factory with graffiti sprayed on just about every inch of it. For this shot I used a handheld flash with red mylar. Morgan waved a blue glowstick and we had two red LED bike lights on the floor behind the door opening.


Day 6 - September 19th - Friday
Playing with Time and Shadows

I wasn't sure what to do this night. I ended up in a parking lot in the Pearl District by one of the parks. This was about a 15 second exposure and I used the lighting of the parking lot to make the shot, and a quick change of position.


Day 7 - September 20th - Saturday
360 Flip

This night I was down in Salem, Oregon for a Nighttime Longboard Crosstown Race. After the race I'd knew I'd have Casey available for this idea. I attached glowsticks to the bottom of his board and used a handheld flash with green mylar over it while he tried and eventually landed a 360 Flip.

Week 2

Day 8 - September 21st - Sunday
ZOOBOMB!

It's Sunday night what else would I shoot? Zoobomb! Basically a bunch of adults get on kid bikes and ride the max train to the top of a huge hill and ride down, and drink beer and repeat. You can find out more about it here. I only got one chance at this shot and somehow I didn't screw it up. This is a long exposure and I stood about 15 feet from my camera and used my handheld camera flash with green mylar covering it 3 times.


Day 9 - September 22nd - Monday
Above PDX

This night I headed up Vista and wanted to get a skyline shot that was different than normal. I wanted only a little bit of city and a lot of sky, and luckily the clouds cooperated with me.


Day 10 - Sept 23rd - Tuesday
Doug Fir Boots

This night I went to see a concert, Dr. Dog playing at the Doug Fir. The concert was awesome and this is the floor by the bar at the Doug Fir. This was my first experience shooting with a really high film speed.


Day 11 - September 24th - Wednesday
Liam Finn

My first concert I've been to solo was this night when I went back to the Doug Fir Lounge again to see Liam Finn. I recommend everyone go see a show solo, it's an amazing experience. This shot was Liam rocking out on the Theremin. He put on a hell of a show.


Day 12 - September 25th - Thursday
4 Screens 1 Shot

This was the first time I used my TV as the light source. I paused on 4 different frames of a surf DVD I had lying around and covered and moved the camera each time. This was before I had bought a shutter release chord so I only had a max of 30 seconds for the whole process. I used a hand towel to cover the camera while I moved it and had to guess where the camera was aimed.


Day 13 - September 26th - Friday
Driving NW

I had seen other people do this shot and I couldn't resist. I setup my tripod in the backseat of my car and used the 10 second timer delay.


Day 14 - September 27th - Saturday
Ghost Fix

I got some funny looks while taking this picture. I set up in the SE Industrial area of Portland and I used a glowstick to draw the character. It took a while to get used to drawing that way, but you can imagine driving by and seeing some kid waving a glow stick around a bike like he's on drugs.

Week 3

Day 15 - September 28th - Sunday
Phone Booth

A Phone Booth? Really? I thought nobody used these anymore, even the homeless seem to have cell phones now days. This was just down the street from my apartment so I thought I'd use the natural lighting of the booth.


Day 16 - September 29 - Monday
Heart PDX

Who doesn't love Portland? One of the best places to live and I thought I'd be cheesy and show it. I used a glowstick and setup on the Eastside Esplanade. If you look closely you can kind of see part of my body showing up.


Day 17 - September 30th - Tuesday
Legs and Feet

Ian came over this night before we went to see a concert at Lola's room. Check out these bands if you have a minute, Johnny Flynn, Laura Marling, and Mumford & Sons (All three bands played this night). This idea came to me once we were standing around having a drink. Basically my feet are in the air and I'm doing a handstand. We took turns lighting each other up from out of frame with a flashlight.


Day 18 - October 1st - Wednesday
VW Lines

This was one of the longest exposures of the project at close to 3 minutes while I ran around outlining my car with a glowstick. It looks like daytime at first glance but you'll notice some weird shadows on the building from the building across the street that had recently burned down in a warehouse fire.


Day 19 - October 2nd - Thursday
Streetcar to South Waterfront

I wanted to capture the motion of a bus or streetcar. I had to cover the lense for a few seconds while the streetcar was stopped so as not to blow out the frame with too much light.


Day 20 - October 3rd - Friday
Ghost Mitchell

I used the overhead room light as the flash in this scene and had Casey hold completely still while I flashed it once while David was sitting and once while he had moved out of frame. This was in a cheesy motel 6 on the way to a weekend of skating Maryhill.


Day 21 - October 4th - Saturday
Ollie the Fire Pit

Casey is a really good skater and was good or dumb enough to ollie the fire pit at our campsite again and again until I got the shot I wanted. Thanks Casey! I used a handheld flash to the right of the firepit for this.

Week 4

Day 22 - October 5th - Sunday
Split Features

I wanted to do a side comparison of two faces for this shot. I used 2 separate full pictures on my computer screen. I exposed the picture of Natalie first covering it halfway with a notebook in between the camera and screen. Then I used a towel to cover the camera while I changed the picture and covered the other side.


Day 23 - October 6th - Monday
Ian Poppins

Ian came out for another shoot, this one in a park close to his house in Sellwood. We got this Mary Poppins effect by having him jump off of a jungle gym and in midair I flashed him with my handheld camera flash.


Day 24 - Oct. 7th - Tuesday
Open or Closed

This shot was done with one small candle as the source of light to the left of my face. I held my eyes open for about 6 seconds and then closed them for the same amount of time.


Day 25 - October 8th - Wednesday
Industrial River

A more traditional bulb shot down in the NE Area of Portland by University of Portland with the West Hills in the distance.


Day 26 - October 9th - Thursday
View from a Park

I still had umbrellas on the mind I guess and wanted to see what else I could do. In the distance is the Montgomery Park sign.


Day 27 - October 10th - Friday
Leaving the Garage

I set out to take a picture of traffic moving down at street level from the top corner of a parking garage downtown this night but instead ended up with a more interesting shot of the spiral exit ramp in the middle.

Day 28 - October 11th - Saturday
Spiraling

This was taken down in the NW Industrial Area where I had experimented with photography in the past. For this concept I built a hoop which I attached 5 glowsticks to. As I walked down the tracks away from the camera I rotated the hoop giving it the spiral effect.

Week 5

Day 29 - October 12th - Sunday
Glowing Nephews

I was over at my sister's house this day and wanted to involve my nephews Sean and Ty in this project and i know kids love glowsticks so it wasn't too hard. I had my dad outline Sean on the left and I outlined Ty on the right and then afterward let them jump around with their new glowsticks.


Day 30 - October 13th - Monday
3 Places at Once

In this shoot I was trying very hard to get my friend Jason in the 3 positions on the swing here plus him in midair jumping off but I ran out of tries since it was beating him up jumping off the swing each time.


Day 31 - October 14th - Tuesday
Exclusively Moonlight

I drove up into the West Hills not sure what I was going to capture this night when I came up on this old somewhat abandoned burger joint. The moon was full this night and it provided all of the light I needed for this shot.

Day 32 - October 15th - Wednesday
Halfway
This was the side of one of the buildings that makes up Good Samaritan Hospital in NW Portland up the street from my house. The glass cube wall was backlit from the inside and a car going by provided the colorful streaks.

Day 33 - October 16th - Thursday
Stretched

For this night I wanted to make it appear as though my body was deformed or stretched in some way using just the handheld flash.


Day 34 - October 17th - Friday
Late Night River

Down on the river next to the PDX Airport is where I took this shot. It was a long exposure and I had originally driven out there to shoot a plane landing. I found this more interesting.


Day 35 - October 18th - Saturday
Driving Reflections

This idea came to me after setting my tripod up in the backseat of my car earlier on.

Week 6

Day 36 - October 19th - Sunday
Non-Marking Graffiti

This scene was done completely with just a regular flashlight. This is one of the few walls in Portland I could find with a substantial amount of graffiti left on them.


Day 37 - October 20th - Monday
Train Guard
I was out to shoot something else this night when I saw the train creeping through the SE industrial area. So I got all set up and waited for the train to roll by.

Day 38 - October 21st - Tuesday
Riding

I had used this idea of a flash creating a silhouette before but not on a bike so the timing was a little different.

Day 39 - October 22nd - Wednesday
Backlighting
I had seen a video of a guy showing how to light up a bottle similar to this online and wanted to try it for myself. My attempt came out much different and I brought the light around front to light up the label. I used a 3 LED bike light with paper cone on the end in a completely dark room.

Day 40 - October 23rd - Thursday
Lit Tunnel

In this scene once again I wanted to play off environment's lighting and using time as the variable, moving from one spot to the other.

Day 41 - October 24th - Friday
Ross Island Underpass

This is a shot of the underpass right next to where the shot the day before was taken.

Day 42 - October 25th - Saturday
Fall
I was walking through this park, saw the abundance of leaves and knew I had to incorporate them somehow. The timing was very touchy on this because if I exposed the scene too long after lying down I would blow out the image of me. A street light across the street was the light source.


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