Photo contest aka: taking photos the old school way.

Whenever I get a new toy it rejuvenates my excitement for that activity. So recently when I got my new camera I decided that I should participate in some of these little photo contests that I stumble upon. I participate in a few automotive forums. I am sure that doesn’t come as a surprise if you have read my posts! One of them holds a monthly Photo contest, it is pretty low key and seemed like a nice motivator to get out and take some photos. So the March contest was posted and I began putting together ideas.


The March contests title is “2 Miles.” The goal is to take a photograph within 2 miles of your house using any camera, but no additional photo editing. So no photoshop and no touching up! This is a bit of an interesting twist for me. I shoot primarily in RAW, which is also known as Digital Negative. This mode generally requires you to make the color adjustments in post. So now I have delved into the world of in camera color adjustments, sharpness adjustments. In addition the contest requires you to include in your photo your mode of transportation.

I guess I should explain why I use RAW. In my mind when you are shooting photos, there are times when something happens that is unexpected. When you are shooting film those times always look better in B&W when you were shooing color and they always would have looked better in color when you are shooting B&W. So RAW give you an unmolested color profile that you can turn into the color that Velvia film provided or you can desaturate it to the perfect B&W and you never have to compromise. In addition to that you get a lot more information, the files are uncompressed so you have a lot to work with. To give you an example the JPG files from my new camera average around 6 megabytes and the RAW files average 21 megabites! That is a huge difference in the amount of information that they provide!

There is one primary difference between shooting RAW and shooting a specific color profile. It is the way you approach the shot. You definitely need to visualize things a bit differently when you are only shooting in black and white you need to think about things that way. Or if you are shooting a very saturated color profile you need to think about things that will take advantage of that.

I realized as I left my house and began to look for some shots that I had not simply gone out looking for things to take photographs of in YEARS. I am often someplace looking for something specific to take a photo of. Now the world was my oyster, I could just go and shoot anything! I realized immediately that the surrounding area from my house isn’t terribly interesting. But I pushed on, I had some thoughts about what I could do…then I came across a simple bent piece of metal. It was an old fencepost and it just looked interesting. So I began tinkering with some shots and I began setting up more. I decided on B&W and aligned my shoes in the shot to show the direction that I was traveling at the time. Then CLICK! I got the shot that I liked. It is a simple shot but it seemed to work. I could definitely stand to do this over during a better time of day, but this is the shot, feel free to click on it to see a larger version. Hope you enjoy it!


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