7/52-10 the Castillian at Night

This was an interesting and rather difficult 7/52.

Sunday came and went with no thought at all for the week’s project. Monday came and went with no thought at all for the week’s project. Tuesday found me wide awake at 2am; up, showered, dressed for work, and sipping coffee by 3:45, with nowhere to go until 5:00.*

Now. If I were more self-disciplined, I would’ve spent the time working on this website rebuilding business… Alas (or, rather, fortunately), I spent the free time surfing Google+ and my Feedly stream instead. Over on G+, I found The Nifty 50 Galore page/group, and decided straight away to shoot with the Nikkor 50mm 1.8G all week, so as to do a bit more participation-type stuff on the G+. So I pulled out the camera (for the first time all week), strapped on the 50, and then shoved the camera back into the bag with a nagging feeling of guilt/shame for not taking any time to work on the 7/52 yet.

On Feedly, I read some stuff about banksters and their pets and I read some stuff about corporations skirting taxes before turning over to the photography section…

I don’t quite recall what all I looked at, and am too lazy to hunt back in the browser history, but I expect I looked at a bunch of street photography, skimmed some how-tos and maybe read some more art-world or theoretical type stuff before coming across this exhibition review of Antoine D’Agata’s Anticorps. After skimming the first section and looking at  the first four pictures, I decided to try and figure out how to make pictures that looked like the ones in that article.**

Now. If you look at the gallery, you’ll notice straight away that I failed miserably to create anything that even remotely resembles something D’Agata would shoot, but I almost see some stylistic resemblances in two pictures, maybe three: the shot of the moon, looking up past the tops of the buildings; the shot of the steps and that old screen door; and maybe the railing one, maybe.***

I’m not quite sure what my obsession with art/documentary/journalistic/street-type stuff that flows from the Magnum agency is. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to convince myself to let go of my numerous hang-ups and just try to make some pictures of strangers—with or without permission—or models or even friends and neighbors, and so it’s wildly unlikely that I’ll be making any documentary/journalistic/street-type stuff myself, and I’m unsure how the study of these types of photography can influence or effect my shooting of pretty abstractions or people-less environments, but I guess it must, not that you can tell from my rather scattered practice or by looking through my ever-increasing archive.

Anyway, I decided to try to make pictures that had some tenuous and indiscernable similarities to D’Agata pictures, and further vowed that I would make no pictures within the confines of the apartment. I wasn’t quite sure how I would go about this, but at least I had a place to start.

And then it was time to head off to work, so I grabbed the camera bag, my lunch, and the travel mug of coffee, and headed out the door.

At the bottom of the stairs, I saw the pool, the yellow light, the American Flag, and out came the D7000. ISO went to 1600, and I played around with focusing a bit in an attempt to get that blur effect so evident in the D’Agata pictures I saw, but ended up using the sharpest one. (See image three in the gallery, below).

A few steps further on, I saw the moon above the buildings and the acid-green tree, and I was on my way to completing 7/52 #10.

Everything was shot with the D7000 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G, Aperture Priority mode, at ISO800 or 1600, at f/1.8. Shutter speeds ranged from 1/10th to 1/60th, and all shots were handheld. Minimal processing—a bit of straightening on a couple, some increased saturation and or contrast and or clarity on most—was performed in Lightroom.

*I can’t get into the building or the suite until 5:30am and it’s a 20 minute drive, at most to get there.

**Looking back at the site just now, I realize that I missed an entire gallery of images at the bottom of the post… the ones that caught my attention were the first four, especially the picture of the man and the picture of the water.

***This is likely wishful thinking.

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