The theme for Apri's photo competition was "Rock". Not rock, the music genre. Not Rock that appears in movies. Rock that is a stone. If you are new to the series then I recommend reading the first part.
I'm not sure whether I struggled with this theme or not. I didn't think much about it but in the end got pretty nice photos so I would say that I didn't struggle as much.
The first three weeks of April were spent on not taking any photos for the competition. Partly because I didn't have too much time to spend on photography. And partly because I didn't see any photos that would fit the theme during these three weeks. I didn't go out with the intention to take "Rock" photos so I didn't take any. With this theme more than the others it required an intentional plan on what to take. At least for me. Possibly because I'm not sure that I've taken many photos with rocks in them. I don't dislike rocks. They just don't seem that photo worthy most of the time.
I had two ideas on what photos I could take. One of those ideas wasn't much of an idea. And the other idea was an idea from my wife. So in essence I didn't have many ideas. I had bought a macro-ish lens recently and have taken quite a few macro-ish photos with it. My wife likes macro photography so her idea was to do some macro rock photography. For most people a rock would symbolise something big and strong. Shrinking it down seemed interesting. My own "idea" was to go out to a particularly rocky beach and take photos there. I did say that it's not much of an idea. The only other extra on my "idea" was to do long exposure photos to make things more interesting.
I executed my "idea" first so I'll write about it first. I picked a day where it wasn't overcast and went to a beach I knew was rocky. It was about half an hour before sunset. Ideally I would've picked a different day as the sky was too clear. There weren't many clouds around. I didn't want an overcast day but some clouds during sunset can make things a lot more interesting.
Because I'm a stupid man, I took too many cameras for what was a not too long photo shoot. At least what many would consider too many. It seemed appropriate for me. I took:
- Voigtländer Bessa I with Color-Skopar 135mm f3.5. I didn't plan on taking many photos with it. I had one frame remaining on it so thought that it would be a good place to spend it.
- Sigma DP3 Merrill. This was intended to be my "main" camera for the photo shoot. Also a bit of an experiment as I had never shot long exposure photos with Foveon cameras.
- Leica M9 with 7Artisans 50mm f1.1 lens. This was my handheld and bokeh camera for the shoot. I like to say "no" to tripods whenever I can. And who doesn't like bokeh?
- Infrared converted Fujifilm X-A1 with Voigltänder 15mm f4.5 lens. I wasn't planning on taking this camera but I wanted a wide angle lens in case it's useful. I could've taken only the lens but it would mean looking for a back lens cap and X-A1 is as big as a lens cap. Plus it seemed interesting to know what an infrared sunset looks like.
I also took my crappy tripod.
The shoot went well. I enjoy quite a few of the photos I took. It's hard to dislike a slow exposure photo of a sea hitting against rocks. I'm particularly pleased that I took the X-A1. There were very few clouds to be seen with normal eyes and normal cameras. Infrared camera saw more clouds which was interesting. It also allowed for longer exposures and the photos have an interesting glow that doesn't appear on regular camera photos. Plus it's hard to dislike black and white photos.
Although I liked more than two photos, I didn't want both of them to be in the same style from the same photo shoot. So I went on to execute my wife's plan. Or to butcher it. I didn't have time to come up with and set up an interesting concept. In the end I found some smaller rocks, picked some smaller flowers and tried to take some photos. I'm not a big fan of these photos but they are not the worst in the world.
The hardest part was picking the two photos for the competition. From the "macro" shoot I had two that I didn't dislike. I went with the one my family liked most. From the "beach" shoot I had quite a few potential photos. I had my favourite but I wasn't sure it would do well in the competition. I have found that many people don't like what I like as my photos do quite poorly in this competition. That's fine and all as my photos could be terrible. Reason why I say that my taste could be different is that the photos I rate the best don't end up winning too. I once again solicited my family to pick the best photo out of the photos I didn't find bad. In the end I didn't pick the photo they liked the best but a close second. Because I'm stubborn.
Overall I'm happy with how this month's competition went from my perspective. Took some nice photos and sparked some interest in more slow exposure photos. Even if they do require the use of a tripod.
Here are some of the photos that didn't make the cut. Enjoy. Or not.