A-Muse Me, Wouldja? Dogs Days Of Summer Photography Challenge

by mjtaylor on August 1, 2012

On A Scavenger Hunt For Inspiration

I am an amateur photographer – I mostly shoot photos of contra dancing for fun. But I also shoot photos for a real estate client in Key West – I’ve created a category on his blog to familiarize wannabe residents with Key West neighborhoods – and I’d like to get a lot better at this. I’ve mostly used my Nikon D90 as a point and shoot, and I confess, I never RTFM. Now I can’t find the manual – it’s probably in Key West, and I am in Asheville for the summer.

A few weeks ago, I decided to educate myself so I picked up a couple of books on my camera: Mastering the Nikon D90 by Darrell Young and David Busch’s Nikon D90 Guide to Digital SLR Photography. Both books are proving to be quite useful, but I have to say Busch’s is the more compelling so far. I have found Young’s more useful for understanding a nut or bolt or two. Busch is more inclined to help me understand why I want to turn that knob to this setting.

Now, along comes the V7N Dog Days Of Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt – just what I need, a challenge to learn more.

We have to find and take photos that represent

shutters along the wall of the Hemingway House

Could be 'window' or 'wall'

  1. Fitness
  2. Face
  3. Old
  4. Transportation
  5. Still
  6. Movement
  7. Window
  8. Art
  9. Road
  10. Drink
  11.  Food
  12. Health
  13. Culture
  14. Eyes
  15. Hands
  16. Community
  17. Shapes
  18. Water
  19. Wall
  20. Random

I know what I will do with movement – I will take a photo of contra dancers – just for a change. But I would love suggestions for any of the other items on this list. Not just the subject, but an idea of how to shoot it …

For example, I was thinking it would be interesting to shoot a face through a stretched t-shirt. I think about walls and shooting from a very close angle. I have tried that and I get photos like these I shot at Hemingway House last Spring. They’re okay, but not particularly exciting.

brick wall at Hemingway House Key West

Might be more interesting if the bricks were straight ...

I will be adding my photos to my Pinterest board for the Hunt: http://pinterest.com/keywestmj/dog-days-of-summer-photo-challenge/ … and if I really like them, perhaps to my new Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/m-jtaylor/.

So, I am looking for inspiration! Help? Please.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy August 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Dearest M-j,
I read this and had to go check out your blog. Now .. as an artist my self and a lover of photography I have to say I saw this contest on your post on Facebook and went to check it out .. I’m tempted to try it my self because it looked like fun. And so now the teacher that is in me down deep in there.. just had to say to you in the most wonderfully encouraging way that I can is that this challenge is so that we can see the world through your eyes, see what you are passionate about and see what you think of each of these ideas and you have them as you have mentioned in your blog. Trust the artist that is in you dear you have it in there. Sit with the words .. and look. I’ll tell you something that another teacher taught me .. he said .. ..we are not taking photos of objects but rather we are shooting photos of light. And this is from me M-j, shoot (photo’s) from your heart. It’s all there in you .. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. So this is sent with all love to you .. for your eagerness to create what is in you for us to see all the evidence of your magnificence. Tammy : )

mjtaylor August 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Thank you, Tammy. And you are right, these are to be through my eyes. But I do look at photos on Flikr for inspiration, so I was hoping to engage my friends to share some of their favorites. But I love what you said about light. And I am going to go and look at a bathroom wall with that in mind. :D

I do hope you decide to join the challenge. It would be fun to have a friend along!! <3

Kris August 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm

For the picture of the brick wall. Although the bricks may be the focus of the shot I can’t help but notice the couple that are both looking at something off-camera. Makes me wonder what they are looking or thinking which I think makes it great

mjtaylor August 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thanks! I liked that “angle” too .. I know that ‘principles’ of composition usually suggest the faces or eyes be toward the center of the page, but I kind of liked it here; maybe because of the lines in the wall.

Trudi Crookshanks August 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I like the red brick wall, just the way it is. To me, it is more interesting being wavy. I agree with Tammy, shoot from your heart. I have done these challenges before and I have problems with coming up with ideas. Take your camera every day with you and you will find ideas. I would like to do your job. I used to be a real estate appraiser and would love to take pictures for a real estate broker or sales person.

mjtaylor August 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Trudi, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. And you are right, the camera has to stay with me! My job is not actually taking photos – it’s copywriting and Internet marketing, but I do love adding my photos to the website and using them as inspiration for what I write.

Scooter August 2, 2012 at 4:19 am

I’ve taken a lot of photos. Under the ocean. On the ocean. On the land. Up a mountain. 3 miles up and Skydiving down. My best formula has been:
and Luck.
And most of all, take a picture with your eye for your mind and your memory and don’t sacrifice that one to take one with your camera.

mjtaylor August 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

All good advice, Scooter, thanks! And I have seen some of your excellent underwater shots – heck, I’m in one or two of them.

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