Saturday, February 14, 2009

"F" is for Field Trip...

...and "frustrated" and another f-word that I will refrain from using.

The past several weekends, I have had a great time taking what I considered very good photographs and under flawless conditions. I have been very happy with the progress I have made from the time I got my camera last June and started classes 4 weeks ago.

But today was our first class field trip and buddy boy, let me tell you, I blew it. I took 310 shots of absolute crapola. I will chalk it up to several factors, but it all comes back to me, I have to become a better photographer so I can anticipate and get around it when these things come up.
  • Conditions - It was rainy early, then misty, nasty, wet, gray with a 100% chance of "blah".
  • Pressure - I was shooting with I guess 30 or 40 classmates, so I put pressure on myself. I'm used to shooting by myself, at my leisure, with no expectations from anyone but me.
  • Herd Mentality - It's hard to be unique and let the pictures form in your mind before you shoot them, when you have 40 other people around you clicking away. What are they seeing that I'm not? that a good angle that she's got? I should check that out? etc
  • Exposure - After feeling comfortable with this for a week or two, I lost it today. I was struggling with getting a large enough aperture in the weak lighting and that caused slow shutter speeds, making it hard to get crisp shots.
Waaaaaah! Waaaaaah! Want some cheese with that whine? Nah, I'm good. I'm just recognizing it for what it is. A temporary set back. I have to look at the big picture. I've made a lot of progress in just 4 weeks, so having to take a step back is okay.

Just the same, I started this blog to document how things go and not just the good shots. So for what it's worth, here are some of the shots I took today. No Photoshop work either, although I am tempted to straighten up several of these!

Yep, this morning's photo shoot was a "bust" (yeah, that was bad but I couldn't resist).

There Is No Substitute.

Some windows and bricks....exciting, huh? I was hoping for a more geometrical pattern but the windows weren't evenly spaced apart width wise.

I loved the color of these doors and the extra deep red of the brick.

I was setting up for a shot when a fellow student stepped into the frame. I guess when you have 40 people shooting one subject, that'll happen. So I shot him instead.

I loved the geometry and color of this building. I will have to come back on a brighter day.

While everyone was shooting the obvious and obligatory Sunsphere, I wandered off and took this picture of another student and his reflection.

All in all it's just another brick in the wall.

This was probably one of my favorites that I took. I just need to straighten it up. You can see the marble church front, the reflection of the steeple, and the copper lamp post.

Typical downtown glass and metal.

I liked these three colors together. It kind of reminded me of an Italian flag.

If I'm going to have to turn anything in from this field trip, I might just go back tomorrow morning and re-shoot the same route by myself.


  1. It was a pleasure meeting you. It was a challenging situation and lighting to shoot IMO. I personally thing you got some home runs with the porsche shot, and I really love zigzag building shot. If you keep shooting, like it seems you are doing. Nothing can hold you back.

  2. I like the porsche shot too. I walked around DT Knoxville about four years ago. I should hunt up the shots. It was a crisp sunny Nov day. Isn't there a fort in Knoxville?

  3. The geometry was amazing. I love when the camera helps us to really appreciate a " oh that" item we may see so often.
    Great shots...yes a solo would give you a chance to [FOCUS] more...laughing.
    Great shots Chris!

  4. Well, if these are your "failures" I'd say you're doing great. I love the windows, and especially the Porsche shot.

  5. You know I love architecture and sometimes less is more in an image! I loved the brick wall, the colored door with the red brick, and the glass and metal building! Very cool. and of course, the fact that even though you're surrounded by other students, you are thinking outside the pressure there! nice!

  6. Hey Chris,

    BUSTED!!! Ha,ha,ha... I just HAD to add that.

    Seriously though, I REALLY like the picture of the blue/gray doors... The colors and textures are really wonderful. That's a pic I would matte, frame and hang on the wall in my house... I love old doors.

    My other fav, which you so cleverly titled, 'Typical downtown glass & metal' I find really interesting to look at. Reminds me of one of those eye tricks or an M.C. Escher. And to that I say... Good Eye!

    The Porsche picture could be a poster if you'd had one of those $1,000 lenses.

    Keep up the good work, I'm enjoying watching the progress.

  7. I'll say it for you then.


    Ahh...don't you feel better now? I know I do!

  8. Do ya want to do a photo hunt?
    I thought it might be something to do for the up coming spring is her link.
    I think there is already 40 ahead of us!
    Com'On! Just for fun...TJ