Assignment 4: Learning to Watch

Here you find the fourth assignment of the Pure Photo Workshop. This week Arnika Smit will challenge us.
Please post the photos of this assignment on your blog on June 1th and give the other participants feedback on their photos.
Have fun!

The fourth assignment: Learning to watch

The assignment I want to give you is for you to learn how to watch, how to frame.

I'm giving you a few different tasks that you can work with. The tasks will give you the opportunity to search for a suitable photo.
You can arrange a setting that creates a beautiful photo, or you can of course stumble upon a suitable setting.

I want to ask you to make a photo that mostly contains the colour blue. Let your imagination run freely. Look around you.
Repeating patterns are fun to shoot. For instance, you can think of a flat, pavement tiles, or a row of crayons.
The fun thing is to first think of it, and then try how it works out, for as long as it is necessary for you to end up with the photo you want.
Shoot a detail, a little part of a bigger something. For example a car tyre or a hand. The framing part is very important. What could be a pretty piece to show on your photo, without losing the beautiful frame?

Every photo tells its own story. Some photos can make you happy, but sometimes of course some of them also can make you sad.
I often try to make a photo where you can almost feel the emotions yourself through the image.
Make a photo in which you can see emotions reflect. It doesn't have to be a photo of a person. Sometimes it's actually more powerful to shoot something that only represents the emotions. Please let us know why this photo is emotional for you.
I hope you like this assignment.
Enjoy it!



Assignment 3: Movement & Water

This is the third assignment of the Pure Photo Workshop. This week I made the assignment myself because I could not find a 5th photographer. Sorry about that, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Please post the photos of this assignment on your blog on May 25th and give the other participants feedback on their photos.

Assignment 3: Movement & Water

This assignment you can do in one or in two parts.

The first part is about Movement:

Shutter Speed:
The function of the Shutter mechanism is to admit light into the camera for a specific length of time. Shutter Speed controls the effects of motion in your pictures. Fast Shutter Speed freezes action, while slow ones can make it as a blur (Understanding Exposure).

Click here to go to the Movement pinboard

Movement 1:
Shooting movement while the camera remains stationary. Put your camera in M (or S) mode and try using at least 4 different Shutter Speeds at a moving subject. Please note that you need a tripod when you make photos with a Shutter Speed lower than 60. You can off course share as many photos on you blog as you wish but it would be lovely if you shared at least one freezing motion photo and one implying motion photo. View the Movement pinboard for some inspiration.

Movement extra (or instead of Movement 1):
  • Shooting movement while the camera remains stationary relative to the subject. Let the camera move together with the moving subject for example when you are on a swing or on the back of a bike or car (not while driving yourself :)). Point and focus on your legs or an item from the car/bike/body.
  • Or you can also use the panning technique for the ones who need a real challenge. Panning is a technique in which the photographer moves the camera parallel to (and at the same speed as) the moving subject.
Use different Shutter Speeds and share your most stunning photos on your blog.

If you don’t have the Shutter Speed option on your camera then try to photograph different moving things and in light and darker places.

The second part is about Water:

Water is one of the elements in ancient Greek philosophy, in the Asian Indian system Panchamahabhuta, and in the Chinese cosmological and physiological system Wu Xing. In contemporary esoteric traditions, it is commonly associated with the qualities of emotion and intuition (Wikipedia).
Click here to go to the Water pinboard
Water 1:
Take a transparent glass and fill it with water. Make photos with a white background. When you made photos of this motionless scene see if you can do something with movement too in this setting. How do you like the transparency and was it hard to focus etc.? Share at least one glass-with-water-photo on your blog.

Water 2:
Find one (or more) setting(s) with water. Maybe you want to focus on reflections, or at frozen movement, or implied movement, or more at the mood you feel around water... For inspiration visit the Water pinboard. Please share on your blog the beauty that you found and photographed.

Water extra:
Make a video where water has the leading part. You can use your mobile phone, or your photo camera if it has a video function, or your video camera...

You can combine the two parts if you use water in the Movement part of this assignment. The extra exercises are just for when you have some time left.

Which photo from al the photos you’ve made fits your style the best?

I'm looking forward visiting your blog and see your movement and water photos.
Have fun!
Love Jane.


Assignment 2: Positioning, Light and Point of View

Here you find the second assignment of the Pure Photo Workshop. This week Mariska de Groot will give us a new view on photography with her assignment.
Please post the photos of this assignment on your blog on May 18th and don't forget to give all the other participants feedback on their photos.
Have fun!

Assignment 2: For this weeks assignment, I would like you to think about positioning, light and point of view.

Step 1: Choose an object (something nice always works, a flower in an little vase, a piece of fruit or a toy of some kind) to take a series of photos from. You could also practice on a kid or pet, but they mostly are less patient than flowers or fruits ;-) I chose my Swedish Dalarna horse to show you some examples.

Step 2: Choose a spot to take your photos. Ideally, you can move around your object (somewhat) freely, and you can move your object away from and towards light (a window would be perfect).

Step 3: Get your camera ready :)

Now you are all set to try the following series and see what happens!

Close and far: how close can you get? What happens to the photos as you move further away from your object? Is there any distortion caused by the lens(es) you choose? As you move farther away, there will probably be more distraction in your images. How do you like that?

High and low: what happens if you photograph your object from above? On eye level? And from below? You can also try this with kids or adult friends or family members (as an extra to this assignment)

Light: try different angles; your object in direct light, in a 90 degree angle, or with the light behind your object. What happens? How do the pictures change? If you have a chance, try the difference between sun and shadow, and/or sun and cloudy weather.  Or even try what de difference is between daylight and artificial light (lamps at night time).
Click on the image to zoom in.

What to share:
  • So, now you’ve tried these different things: what have you seen? What do you like about the pics, what don’t you like? Explain! I’m curious to see if you all agree on what you’ve experienced.
  • Now combine several things into 2 ‘don’t like it like this’ photos and 2 or 3 ‘really like it like this’ photos! Do so (use your flower or fruit again, or try a kid or friend for now!), and explain what you chose and why (eg. I like my object in half shadow on a sunny day from above and close up, because… )
We’ve now done this at home, but all these things also apply to all kinds of photography. If you take a look at my website, you’ll see that I use all kinds of different angles, and come across all kinds of light situations. It’s cool to know what you can do, and what you like, it helps you develop your own views and even your own style (about which you already learned from Britt!)

Mariska de Groot – Grotografie - Groningen


Assignment 1: Create your own style

Welcome at the first assignment of the Pure Photo Workshop. This week Britt Straatemeier will inspire us with an assignment that can be continued throughout the whole workshop.
Please post the photo(s) of your first assignment on your blog on May 11th and give the other participants feedback on their photo(s). It would be great if you give an introduction of yourself in the first post (your name, your camera, your experience level etc.).
Have fun!

Assignment 1

Create your own style:

Create your own “My Style pinboard” on Pinterest (or create your own mood board in another way). Pin all the things that give you a warm feeling. Flowers/colors/hairstyles/beaches/houses everything you think is beautiful. For example the “My Style pinboard” I created on Pinterest  
click here to go to the MY STYLE pinboard of Britt 
I’m using Pinterest for a couple of years now and when you scroll down the My Style board you can see that you find the same mood all over. Sometimes you can be distracted by magazines or the latest fashion, but for me it’s important to have my own style. This style can be used in everything, decorating your house, fashion and of course also your style of photography.
If your My Style board is finished (for this moment because you can continue it forever) I want you to have a good look at it and discover your own style.

Now I want you to make a photo in your style. I don’t care what kind of equipment you use, this can also be your mobile phone or maybe you want to create your own pinhole camera (you can find different ways how you make a pinhole camera on the internet, but it will take a long time and you probably have too little time in this assignment but if you do have some time TRY IT!).

When you've finished the photo(s) I want you to have the feeling 'this is me'.
It doesn't matter if it is a self portrait, some flowers, the sky, a color, kids etc.
For example I found this picture, although I didn’t take it myself, I really got the feeling ‘this is me’!
When you know who you are and what your style is you can use this in every creative process.

So have fun and lots of success in finding who you are and creating your own style!

Love Britt
Please post an introduction about yourself, your pinboard link and the photo(s) in your style on May 11th and give feedback to the other participants on their post.
Next assignment will be posted at May 12th.

Arnika Smit

The fourth assignment of the Pure Photo Workshop will be given by Arnika Smit. Arnika from Puur Arnika Fotografie will give us a lovely assignment.
Arnika Smit works at a day care in The Netherlands and loves making photos of everything around her. She worked as a photographer at a local newspaper and is specialized in portrait and nature photography. Making photos at weddings with the purpose of making memories that make people smile years after, is what she enjoys the most.

A very creative mother of three.
Visit her website for more pure photos: Puur Arnika

On May 5th the first assignment will be posted on this blog!!!