Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thrive Project: Simplicity

Good Morning friends.  And I call you that because you ARE.  Each and every one of you!  Oh how I wish I could meet you all and give ya a big ol' hug!  Thank you so much for loving on me.  I so appreciate all the encouragement about my show and the "you can do it" cheers!  You just blessed my socks off.  I will do it!  I promise.

Okay so back to my Tuesday Thrive Project.  This week in class we spent HOURS looking at pictures about simplicity.  You'd think after looking at them and questioning each one I'd be clear on what's simple or complicated.  For some reason though I left the classroom confused.  So I went home and researched it online and discovered that it's all about setting up the shot with minimal background distraction.  You can do this a number of ways.  You can shoot something all by itself.  Black and white seems to make it more simple.  Cropping in the picture gets rid of background distraction and then just paying attention to position in the shot.  Is it busy or simple?  Try different angles.  Does your shot tell a story?  Are you confused or distracted by what's going on or does it speak for itself?

This weekend was Big Chick's birthday party.  Today is her actual eleventh b-day.  Can't believe my baby is 11!  HOLY COW.  Anyway since we had her party that was my chance for taking pictures this week.  It's been hard making time for my homework with all the other stuff going on.  Taking pictures at a roller skating rink is probably not the best place to find simplicity.  There's a lot going on...flashing lights, horrible lighting conditions...lots of people whizzing by.  So don't expect too much from these okay;)

This shot is pretty self explanatory.  It tells a story.  We are getting ready to sing and blow out candles.  I wish that girl with the white t-shirt wasn't standing behind her, that's the only distraction...oh and the aperture is off.  I wanted her face to be in focus and I couldn't remember how to do that.  Bummer!

Even though people are whizzing by on skates I think it's pretty simple and tells a story.  The skaters actually help tell the story.  The girls are even off center which follows the Rule of Thirds. 

This is probably an example of one that is not simple.  That little kid in the background wiping out, draws my eye and so do the bright overhead lights.  I know this is nit picky, but I guess this exercise helps us learn how to set up a shot better.  In real life situations, especially at a roller skating party, simplicity isn't always possible. 

I like this picture because, well I just do.  Not sure if it falls in the simple category or not, but I don't really care..watch out "edgy Becky's" showing her colors...ha!

This one's pretty simple, except for the stuff in our entertainment center distracting me slightly.  If I was taking the shot I probably would have noticed it and closed the doors.  Little Chick took it, thus the slight blur, but not too bad considering:)  Maybe if I cropped it in a bit, cutting off the top of my head, it would have been better.  I don't know which is worse, a cut off head or clutter behind your head.  **For some extra simplicity explanation visit my friend and classmate Suzanne.  I'm sure her pictures turned out fabulous!

Farmgirl Paints

Okay so this has turned into a "what not to do" lesson.  Which is a good learning tool too.  So I'm excited to see what YOU come up with.  Show me simplicity.  Remember to crop in, tell a story, use interesting angles, and keep distraction to a minimum.  Grab my button and share please!!  I'll pick two winners each week.  Those two winners will be added to the pot and I'll pick the two final all -time favorite photos for the grand leather cuff prize:)


Now for this week's winners:
Thanks everyone for participating. It was really hard to decide. You were ALL great.

LOVED this picture.  See how the line of the fence draws your eye right to the woman.  So pretty.

The Amazing and Incredible Invisible Blog

 Loved this shot too.  Great horizontal lines with the girl in mid-step.  You can just feel her movement.

Have a blessed day.

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  1. LOVE the new look of your blog. Work has been super busy ~ spending some time today to catch up with what I've missed. Great project ~ look forward to reading more

  2. btw ~ you have a BEAUTIFUL family ~ love the new photos on your side bar ~ Blessed you are!

  3. happy birthday to Big Chick!!! she's beautiful!

    i like this simplicity stuff. but it's true - simple can be hard. i'm trying to simplify my life in different aspects and althought i know it will be worthwhile, it's hard to weed away at the distracting backgrounds. : ) can't wait to try to capture a simple shot.

    your last two pictures are stunning. the one that Little Chick took is especially pretty.

    the winners pics are amazing. there are so many people that aren't necessarily professionals, but man, can they take pictures! wow!

  4. Thanks Becky :)

    I love the shot of your girls skating - it's so great that they're in focus and the rest is blurry.

  5. What not to do is just as important, it really is helpful. Thanks for sharing, these little lessons, one at a time are so much easier to follow than reading an entire book on photography. You're the best!

  6. this is funny because you're doing these posts the morning after a 2-hour night class for me :) my teacher is doing it a little different...the first night, we covered all the technical stuff like apature and shutter...then last night it was all about composition...rule of thirds, lines, patterns, and simplicity...so he actually said it was ok to cut off a bit of head if you need to to cut out distraction. so, i'll link up with pics for my assignment for that too :)

  7. Love all
    these shots,
    B! I'm jealous
    because I didn't
    have any willing
    subjects this
    week except
    Gracie : ) See
    you at class!
    xx Suzanne

  8. Great stuff, I actually like the picture of Big Chick and the candles! Oh and for cutting off heads, I'm ALL about it! I even plan some of my portrait work with that in mind. I like it when the image fills the frame and spills out of it. Actually as I was reading under the picture of you and your daughter my screen had cut off the top of your head and I thought the picture looked BEAUTIFUL! Go a head, lop those heads! ;)

  9. I think they are all great. You caught the emotions! That mom and chick is frame worthy.... love that one so much. You will have it in the picture display at her wedding some day!

  10. Aww....I feel so blessed that you have chosen one of my photos as a favorite! Makes me smile! :]

    Thanks for showing us the "not ways to do it". This is going to come in really handy. Now to get out there and find me a good shot.

    Have a great week!

  11. GREAT shots, Becky!
    Do you know how much fun it is watching your evolution as a photographer? It is! :-)


  12. Thanks for sharing all your tips. I know they're implanting themselves in my brain. I hope I can retrieve them when I start to take pictures. I think I can, I think I can. Love your blog. btw, I think the fact that honey is focused on little chick brings the focus to her. just sayin'

  13. Hi! New reader and just entered your contest for the first time! I love your photography lesson posts- I'm new at this photography thing so I feel like I'm learning right along with you.

  14. You are doing a great job!!! I love the candles one.

  15. Super fun. I still want to take a class!! lol :) Someday!...

  16. So proud of Kelly from the Clark Clan!! <3

  17. Happy, Happy Birthday "Big Chick"!! Wishing you all sorts of wonderful moments for year 11:) Love, love the photos, Becky...and that last one{by "Little Chick"} is soooo sweet!
    P.S. Congrats to the winners:)

  18. nice job! man, does the roller rink ever bring back some memories for me! i spent many-a-birthday party just like that! fun!!

  19. hey chica. don't you think that consistency is the hardest part about photography? I do! The party looks fun! Nat would've loved to have been there. too bad...

  20. You know how I feel about cut off heads? I LOVE them! I am so weird and totally odd though, so don't listen to even one word I say.

    I think you did a great job for those hard conditions! A roller skating rink is crazy hard to shoot in. You knocked it out of the park because you captured a million simple stories. You captured the story of your babies party! And that is beautiful! Simply beautiful!

    We both have 11 year olds. I feel much younger knowing you have one too!

  21. I love your blog! And what a wonderful photographs!

    Look forwrad to see more of your posts!

  22. Becky, your photos all came out beautiful. It looks like you are learning a lot from your classes. I think you did great in the first photo of yor girls skating. Action photos are the toughest to take I think.

    What day of the week do you start your photo challenges? And waht day is the last day to get them posted? I only blog once a week now and That is on Sunday. I would love to play along.

    Hope your having a wonderful week.


  23. Happy Birthday to Big Chick!! Love the birthday pic with the candles... love it! My little girl will be 11 later this year and I can hardly stand it!! Middle school is only a half a year away now... yikes!

    LOVE your what not to do pics... he he... the mommy daughter one is Fabulous! good job little chick! Roller skating is on our must do one day soon list... though I prefer ice skating! I think it is easier?! ;)

    I meant to join in last week... I will try to take a fun simple pic for this week!!

  24. meant to link up last week, but I've done it today. I'm learning so much! Thanks for hosting this.

  25. I actually don't think there is anything wrong with a cropped head!

  26. Oh Becky, your blog is just great and the photography tips are awesome. I just received a Nikon D7000 for Christmas, slowly figuring it out :}I am adding you to my blog list so I don't miss your posts. Maybe after I get some practice I may join the party.

  27. All your pictures are amazing but I especially love the one of you and your daughter at the end. It captures the love of a mama for her daughter...so sweet!! Loved last weeks winner pics. I am loving all the lessons. You really are one talented gal.

  28. This is so much fun! I accidentally clicked on the wrong thumbnail but thats ok. Thanks for the lessons Becky!

  29. I love the one with the girls, and the blurry skaters going by, it has character and simplicity and like you said all the other rules add to it. I have to find something simple this week, I have my eyes out, I'll woo you one of these days with an amazing photo :)

  30. hello, miss edgy becky. i think your bday photos are fabulous... i love the candles in the first shot, and also, that her face is a little out of focus... it's clear enough to see her and to see her expression, which is interesting. and the candles are SO crisp and clear and colorful. love.
    i'm curious about your class?

  31. I LOve the roller skating shot!!!! great capture!

  32. I really like that last picture you shared. I do think it would be better to crop off your head a bit... and I'm not at all saying that I don't like your head, BTW! ;) I would actually suggest cropping off a bit of your shoulder too; that'll keep the dimensions/proportions of the photo the same and really focus attention in on your faces. Lovely photo; I like that it's so natural.


Thanks for taking a minute to share your thoughts. I love hearing what YOU have to say:)

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