As we near the end of 2011, a lot of you have been working hard on a 365 project. What is a 365 project? Well, it’s a practice in dedication to take a photograph each day for a year. It’s not an easy task. However, we have met some great members who have not only done it, but have blogged it and put it in Adoramapix Photo Books. Here is Pixel’s story. Pixel started with a Project 52 (a photo a week) and then she progressed to one a day and blogged about it. You can check out her blog HERE. We asked her a few questions about her project.
First we asked her, How did you do it? She answered, “Easy answer, I love photography! So having a project365 based on photography was the easy part. I actually never got stuck this year. I looked forward to posting. My blog was not based on any one theme, so it made it easier. I didn’t do any set ups. I just did what I’ve always done and that was take photos.”
We then asked, Did you ever hit a wall with creativity? Her answer, “Did I ever get stuck? Nope, not at all because I found out that even though it began as a place to show my photography…. It was so much more than that – it was about my voice. I found a way to relate whatever photo I chose to an event, to a feeling, to a desire, to a dream and I shared it with whomever decided to read. So NO, I never got stuck.”
Pixel’s project started to get noticed when she started a blog. She then set up links to her @Dpixel account and that’s when she really started to get noticed. I asked her, How did it progress? He replied, “What I didn’t realise, was people were beginning to notice and to read what I wrote. Living in New York city, we take for granted our city and not realise how intriguing it is to the “outside world”. I also wrote about parenting and it surprised me by the inbox messages I received thank yous and asking for advice. I wrote about my everyday life – our amazing dinners, the wines we tried, the trips we took, being at the lake house. I photographed my cat. I tried different lenses and different perspective. It became a personal journal, but it was a relatable one.”
Any regrets Pixel? She answered, “Yes, that I didn’t organize my photos in such a way that I could have made a photo album at the end of the year. I would have to go through each post.” (I think Adoramapix can help with THIS!)
Any advice? She replied, ” Many people get stuck because they begin a Project365 and it becomes more of a chore. It may help that you DON’T stick to a theme, or that you must ONLY post your BEST photo. Quite a few of my photography friends fell into this. I remember saying to them to “own your photo”. Just remember, that Project365 are not only about photos, there’s many different things you can do. Think about end before beginning and guess what??? It’s OKAY to change themes or ideas in the middle of it all.. It is afterall YOUR PROJECT365, so own it. So that’s my story.. The world got to know Pixel through my 365.”
Thank you Pixel your work and dedication to the project are inspiring.
So, I’ve been with Adoramapix for a little over 6 months now and decided it was time I open up a bit more about myself. So to truly know me, I think you need to know random facts about myself. If you get those, then you’ll get a better picture of who I am, where I came from and where I’m going. Enjoy.
25 Random Facts About Libby
1. I grew up in Iowa and I know how to drive a tractor
2. I’m married with 2 kids
3. I run my own Children’s Boutique Photography Studio
4. I have a serious Diet Coke Addiction
5. Clowns and Cows scare the pudding out of me
6. I accidentally walked into the middle of a movie being filmed
7. I’ve been in a zombie movie
8. I used to work for the Associated Press
9. I was in an Improv Comedy Troupe in college
10. I do cartwheels in front of famous landmarks
11. I am starting to lift weights
12. I run like a girl but fight like a boy
13. I am a tomboy
14. I was in a bank when it was robbed
15. I have a crush on 90′s bands
16. My favorite place in the world is Paris
17. I don’t understand the 3 Stooges
18. I own stock in the Green Bay Packers
19. My first camera was a medium format Pentax
20. I am a dog person
21. I am a terrific story teller
22. I like to read REAL BOOKS
23. I love to laugh so hard that I start to cry and my stomach hurts
24. I can’t eat meat on the bone
25. I tell my family I love them. Every.Single.Day.
This is Me
* Copyright Photo by Ning Photography.
These are my kiddos – taken by yours truly.
“I was completely taken aback when I saw my shot as the winner—a bird shot. Never in a million years did I think a picture of birds would win this contest–but I was secretly hoping! “- Dennis Davenport – Winner of the Adoramapix Your Best Shot of 2011 Contest.
Serious hobbyist, Dennis Davenport beat 2200 plus entries and four rounds of judging by professionals and peers to become the first winner of Adoramapix’s Your Best Shot Contest. His work was chosen because of his technical skills in the heat of the moment. Obviously, this photo wasn’t staged or planned. I was able to talk to Dennis a little more about his hobby, his life and most importantly.. what led up to this amazing shot.
I asked Dennis to give us some insight into his beginnings as a photographer. He replied, ” I’m a serious hobbyist who enjoys trying to improve with every shot — although not always successful! I’ve owned an SLR camera since the early 1970′s so I’ve dabbled in photography most of my life. I became serious about bird photography in late 2006. I got my first DSLR in 2005–a Canon XT.”
Dennis owns and operates Dennis Davenport Photography out of Oregon. He is a retired accountant (retired in early 2007) and has been shooting wildlife ever since (with a camera!). He says he really enjoys the hobby and is lucky to have three different national wildlife refuges within 40 minutes of his home. Ridgefield NWR in southwest Washington state is considered his home base where he visits most often.
So I asked Dennis to give us more background about his picture titled “The Dance”. He answered, “ This coming together of the two birds happened very quickly and unexpectedly. A second before the shot was taken, the younger bird, on the left, was actually perched at the top of a snag. (The snag is out of the image to the left). I was shooting the perched bird through brush and tree branches about 100 feet away, so my visibility was just the perched bird. Suddenly the perched bird got agitated and faced toward the left side of my viewfinder, which I had my eye up to at this point. Once I noticed the agitation from the perched bird, I started shooting frames not knowing the other (mature) eagle was flying in from the left. Through the viewfinder I’m seeing this other bird arrive and I did my best to keep the lens on the action as the two come off the perch to the right. All this happened within 2 seconds and the birds were out of my view obscured by more tree branches. The bottom of this photo is the true bottom of the frame. The top of the photo is cropped by me in editing to give the shot a little better balance and composition. I wanted to include the wingtips at the top of the shot but it put the birds’ head too low in the photo. I was too close to the action to get both birds fully in the shot with their wings extended. I am fortunate to have gotten what I did. ”
I asked if he wouldn’t mind sharing that first shot. Here it is.
Dennis said, ” The perched shot and the flight shot were taken 2 seconds apart. Exif data on this shot is 1/2500 sec, f5.6, ISO400, Canon 400mm f5.6L prime lens, Canon 7D. I was approximately 100 feet from the birds; the birds were about 80 feet in the air. Shot was taken at 9:33 am Feb. 1, 2011, with the sun at my back and from inside my truck with a bean bag for stability. The perch the younger eagle was originally on is one of my favorites to shoot and a refuge favorite for many raptors, especially eagles. While some think that eagles are fighting when they observe this behavior, it’s my understanding that the birds are actually performing an elaborate courting ritual in the air. I usually see this behavior at much higher altitudes than the encounter I witnessed.”
Congratulations again Dennis and thank you for your amazing work and your amazing spirit. We’ll see you again in 2012. By the way, Dennis chose the Canon 7d. If you would like to see more of Dennis’ work you can click HERE.
This coming Sunday is Father’s Day and I thought it would be perfect if we featured a member who was not only a great photographer, but a great father. This week we put the spotlight on Jay Wilson of Jay B. Wilson Photography of New York City.
I asked Jay how he started out in photography. He answered, ” I developed a love for photography, as many did, back in junior high school with the standard Photography 101 art class – the borrowed Pentax K1000, the dark room, the weekly exercises in shadow and reflection. My love for it really took off when my family visited the U.K. for six weeks in 1984 – I only remember the year because our English butcher would crank “Born in the U.S.A.” and sing along. I love taking photographs of ruined castles like Kenilworth – and loved how their facades changed so dramatically as the light changed. I also loved wildlife and sports photography, often hauling my SLR to Fenway Park and out into the woods to stalk waterfowl.
I didn’t really go professional until 2005, when I began selling prints of New York City online. It’s evolved since then to include a few exhibits in Westchester County, where I live, as well as portrait, commercial, and event work. Currently, I’m also selling matted prints of NYC down at The Fulton Stall Market by the Seaport, which is a great way to meet visitors from all over the world, many of whom share our passion for photography.”
I always like to ask photographers, what inspires them? When I asked Jay, he said, “I fell in love with New York when I moved here in 1996, and the city has been my inspiration since day one. I love the variety of photographic opportunity the city gives us – from the best street photography in the world, to the architecture, the parks, the daily drama of life in Gotham. I primarily focus on architecture, and try to find new perspectives and compositions on landmarks like The Flatiron Building or Chrysler Building, but I also really enjoy finding those hidden gems – the faded signages, the urban decay, the notes of serenity the otherwise rough and tumble streets.”
He continued, “ More recently, after the birth of my daughter five years ago, I began photographing my kids obsessively. It got to the point, when she was about three, that she was so sick of being photographed that it turned into a game – me stalking her with a camera like Ron Galella, her ducking behind tables and cribs to hide. It could have gone either way, but I’m happy to say that now she loves taking photos and videos with her own camera – a Kodak PlaySport I picked up at Adorama, which she particularly loves because she can take it in the pool. I love it because it’s virtually indestructible. Although my two-year-old son hasn’t started shooting, he loves looking at photos on Instagram, 500px, and in my Photoshop organizer.”
I also asked Jay what his favorite image is to date. He replied, ” That’s tough, and probably changes week by week when it comes to photographs of my kids, but in terms of the New York City work, I’d have to say ‘The Gathering’ a photograph I made in Grand Central Terminal. I walk through the Terminal a couple of times every day as I commute, and the place never ceases to leave me in awe.”
Inside Jay’s camera bag you’ll find a Pentax K7 body, Pentax 50mm 1.4 prime, Pentax 18-70mm kit, Tamron 70-300mm telephoto zoom, a Gorillapod, a couple of speedlights, a BlackRapid camera strap and of course, a ton of SD cards.
I asked Jay if he could go back in time and give himself some photography advice when he was first starting out .. what would it be? He answered, “I wish I had started doing professional work sooner. I work fulltime in advertising, so that was a constraint, but more than that, I don’t think I had the confidence, nor the venues, early on to show my work to others. Social media has certainly changed all that, and I love the instantaneous feedback you can get from others on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. I particularly love 500px, which is a wonderful forum for professional and advanced amateur photogs – the work there is truly spectacular, and challenges me to continue to push to the next level.”
Thank you Jay, your work is also very inspirational. If you would like to see more of Jay’s work you can stalk his amazing work at the following locations:
500px Site: http://500px.com/JayBWilson