Challenges ...

helen.HH

A smile & a wink…
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I have reached a crossroads... self imposed
Me and my new found addiction, photographer Willian Albert Allard

Maybe You do it too with Challenges...

This weekend I bought two B&W books , Jane Bown, yum and drool ,
Her work in "The Observer" and "Faces" . Made me realize how happy I was to still have my M5 but really it should be an OM1 with 50 1.8 and the 65mm, seriously wink, wink

Then I went to a local Cafe, browsing thru their books came across a hard cover photo book by
William Albert Allard 'Portraits of America'

Blown away, simply Wonderful... All Colour, lots out West which I found stunning, yes a native New Yawker in a swoon. So I asked if I could give a book in return for theirs ...Gave them 'Brassai / Paris'.

This small act led to an avalanche of challenge, creative desire...
I want to shoot COLOUR , digital colour !
My whole Life has been black and white. Never considered colour, now I want to drown in colour.
Needless to say my M monochrom
holds no sway since it can't shoot colour.

(hopefully 'Challenges' not as crazy as mine . I do think colour is far harder fo shoot, to tweak, to create a strong Image with Atmosphere)

What are Your challenges ?
 
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Digital Fuji and Olympus seems to be great for color. Better than any digital M, IMO.
Or you could use film. Just stay away from red. It kills everything :) .

My challenge is to be back on the streets. I just can't stand maskless people near me...
And while people are in masks, it just, nothing to see.
 
My challenge for the last year and a half has been surviving an endless tunnel and keeping to believe that there's light ahead. As for photography, which is what people here care about, my challenge, needless to say, has been shooting, at all.

Street photography the way most people seem to mean it nowadays (photos of random bypassers, whether totally unaware or purposedly stunned by a flash, strangers on their mobiles, plays of lights and shadows on whatever architectural element..) is absolutely boring and uninteresting to me.

My photography the last years had evolved into recording what for me was meaningful encounters, stories involving people I met. And that happened generally while on one of my frequent travels. Now, I'm stuck in the place I live in (and I do because I must, not because I like it). Even with all good will, there's a limit to how many rolls one can shoot of the very same forest and the few tracks and ponds in it...

Therefore I've been spending more time reading and running than I have been shooting. Hope some life is back soon, cause photography is about life. No meaningful life, no meaningful photography.
 
For the last ten years or so I've tried (challenged) my hand at converting some 17th and 18th cent descriptions taken from period records, of this small backwater part of Eastern Algonquia, into photographs. It helps me visualize but I doubt if it makes for compelling imagery. I'd like to return to attending Town Meetings...

Of late, for some reason, I've found an interest in making monochrome versions of the seasonal verdant that usually I'd leave as color. I'd love to know where the impulses to experiment come from. They seem to appear unbidden, click in, at their leisure... ; - )
 
The challenge for me has always been the same, ever since I took up this 'hobby'... To find a subject matter or theme that feels important to me, one that draws me into it in a substantial way, one that feels important to ME. I feel that my efforts so far only ever skim the surface of the subject matter.
 
Helen, that will be a great challenge. I bet you could find some rodeos close to you. I have one about three miles away, and three others that I can think of. Some are associated with county fairs and are smaller so you can get close.

Here is one from when I lived in Oregon:

1965 EktaChrome by John Carter, on Flickr
 
This past year has been really challenging. Photography took a back seat. While still under "stay at home" I started working on the Route 66 images, and even though I've always been passionate about B&W photography, I'm starting to get a whole new respect for the color image.

I was also pretty amazed by the color image quality from the Leica M9, and remember now why I longed for one for years. For me it has much of the look/essence of the old Kodak Ektachrome I used to love.

Can't wait to see what you do in color Helen.

Best,
-Tim
 
All the better when your camera/lens represent color so well it smacks you in the face when you look at it... like the Ricoh GR II in positive film JPEG.

R0000270 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

R0310348 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

R0000235 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

I second the county fair environment - though I did have an overzealous "alcohol monitor" notate me to the fair security last time I went for taking from-the-hip shots... she apparently thought I was trying to take 'upskirts' though I'm not sure how I would have done so, there were some short skirts but I was nowhere near close enough to any of them to get compromising angles! That's what happens when you give some people a teeny tiny bit of authority I guess.
 
I'm curious, Helen. You're expressing a desire to shoot color, but what's changed for you in terms of what you want to shoot? New subjects, the same subjects but with the new set of creative parameters that color entails? Do you have a clear sense of the path you want to pursue, or do you want the path to reveal itself to you as you proceed? Please don't interpret these as hostile questions! I greatly enjoy your work, and I have an deep interest in how others pursue their creative process. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the results of your challenge to yourself.
 
Helen, I'm glad you stumbled on William Albert Allard's work. Even though i work in B&W WAA was my favourite Nat Geo photographer. His compositions are painterly and his sense of both timing & light is superb.
He has a place in Missoula and often crosses the border to work at the Calgary Stampede. He is a very fine raconteur as well. A few years ago he did an evening presentation in Calgary on his book "Paris l'Oeil du Flaneur." His "Five Decades" is a great summary of his work.
 
My challenge?

I’m perfectly happy with the kind of photography I do. I have no problem with creating street images of random people, strangers wearing masks, anything and everything in the world around me is fine; it’s all fascinating to me. I thoroughly enjoy cityscapes, seascapes, nature and travel photography. I’m 100% digital now, primarily color, a little bit B&W. And, I’ve recently brought my tripod back into the game.

So, what’s my challenge? My challenge is to get better at what I’m already doing. I want to make fewer but better photographs. I want to think longer, harder and more creatively about my content, composition and lighting. When there is no time to think (like in fast moving street situations) I want to be more selective about what images I keep and what goes in the trash. Just because a picture is nicely composed and the right stuff is in focus, it doesn't mean that the image is interesting or compelling.

Yes, my challenge is to be a better photographer. I have the time and resources to make this happen. I believe I have the knowledge, skill and creative drive to make this happen. The time is now, it’s time to up my game!

All the best,
Mike
 
Helen, perhaps you'd also enjoy Lartigue: Life in Color: It's currently part of my 積ん読, but I will get to it.

My challenge is to overcome inertia as summer brings yet another day of clear, hard light with few clouds to soften it. But generous rains as recently as Memorial Day mean that the landscape is still particularly lush this year, so on with the SPF 50 sunblock and out the door I go. I've sold off a number of cameras in the past 18 months, and this has renewed my enthusiasm for those which remain, and some of them, like the Olympus Pen-S and Canon Rebel G, I'm using for the first time.

Although I've been exclusively shooting in color lately, I've been itching to try black-and-white, using the particular sort of light yellow-green filters that I associate with Soviet cameras, in hopes of, I don't know, maybe the sense of illumination that I associate with promotional photos from yesteryear.
 
Stephen Shore is of course fantastic for color, but I found his book American Surfaces even more fun than his more formal, large format stuff. All conventional color film on a small camera (Rollei 35) that did more to showcase the crazy color of the 70s than creating a specific artistic palette.
 
Digital Fuji and Olympus seems to be great for color. Better than any digital M, IMO.
Or you could use film. Just stay away from red. It kills everything :) .

My challenge is to be back on the streets. I just can't stand maskless people near me...
And while people are in masks, it just, nothing to see.

Agreed !
Masks, the covid World makes for street/people photos no fun, no way for engaging...

As for colour, I would prefer it to be digital and develop b&w at home. Thank You Kostya.
 
My challenge for the last year and a half has been surviving an endless tunnel and keeping to believe that there's light ahead. As for photography, which is what people here care about, my challenge, needless to say, has been shooting, at all.

Street photography the way most people seem to mean it nowadays (photos of random bypassers, whether totally unaware or purposedly stunned by a flash, strangers on their mobiles, plays of lights and shadows on whatever architectural element..) is absolutely boring and uninteresting to me.

My photography the last years had evolved into recording what for me was meaningful encounters, stories involving people I met. And that happened generally while on one of my frequent travels. Now, I'm stuck in the place I live in (and I do because I must, not because I like it). Even with all good will, there's a limit to how many rolls one can shoot of the very same forest and the few tracks and ponds in it...

Therefore I've been spending more time reading and running than I have been shooting. Hope some life is back soon, cause photography is about life. No meaningful life, no meaningful photography.

Well it does look like light is emerging at the end of this dark World we have been all been living thru. Glad to hear You found ways to make Life enjoyable, be it running or reading.
 
For the last ten years or so I've tried (challenged) my hand at converting some 17th and 18th cent descriptions taken from period records, of this small backwater part of Eastern Algonquia, into photographs. It helps me visualize but I doubt if it makes for compelling imagery. I'd like to return to attending Town Meetings...

Of late, for some reason, I've found an interest in making monochrome versions of the seasonal verdant that usually I'd leave as color. I'd love to know where the impulses to experiment come from. They seem to appear unbidden, click in, at their leisure... ; - )

Wow, such creative endeavors . Sounds Wonderful !
 
Hey, Helen. I share your passion for Jane Bown. I got a copy of Faces long ago and two days ago Portraits arrived in the mail. Why not get a pair of OM1n and dedicate one to black and white and the other colour ? I did that for quite a while. My personal challenge is to hone my film portrait technique and make some credible images of my close friends and family. I reserve colour for my cellphone. Whatever you do, it sounds like you are having fun.
 
The challenge for me has always been the same, ever since I took up this 'hobby'... To find a subject matter or theme that feels important to me, one that draws me into it in a substantial way, one that feels important to ME. I feel that my efforts so far only ever skim the surface of the subject matter.

Great to hear that no matter what
Your passion , Your Eye and curiosity keeps You moving forward
Thats a Beautiful thing and like all things the wheel keeps turning
Thanks Jamie !
 
Helen, that will be a great challenge. I bet you could find some rodeos close to you. I have one about three miles away, and three others that I can think of. Some are associated with county fairs and are smaller so you can get close.

Here is one from when I lived in Oregon:

1965 EktaChrome by John Carter, on Flickr

Perfect shot John, Love it !
reminds me of Allard's work...

A Challenge for me in NYC for sure . Time to get back out into this Wo
Thanks for a glimpse of Oregon.
 
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