Last Friday, the Online Photographer shared the first part of this Little Game. I don’t know what the rest of the game involves, but I have a few suspicions. Time will tell.
The gist of part one is as follows: take pen and paper, look through your archive, and list out 25 categories of things that you like to take pictures of. These could be genres, subjects, scenes, whatever, but they should be things that get you moving in some way, and not things that you do just to sell or get likes from.
I limited my archive to film, shot in the last 3 years, and still had some 12000 images to scroll through. It was at turns exhilarating and depressing: exhilarating to see all the really interesting/pretty pictures I’ve made; depressing at just how much I’ve shot and (seemingly) how little I’ve done with it (though I’ve written hundreds of posts here, almost all with a handful of pictures or more). But overall, this little game has been quite engaging and fun, so far, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.
Here’s my list, with some examples.
Note: some pictures will work for multiple categories, others may not be the best example for a given category; some categories may overlap somewhat.
Hana, Friends, Family – portraits, events; my darling, adorable wife, especially her hands, engaged in some activity
Meals – full/empty plates (Stephen Shore)
Selfies – self-timer/remote trigger, engaging in some sort of activity (especially reading) rather than more tradition mirror or handheld selfies
Strangers Doing Things – events/activities, generally; small humans in big, impersonal environments, paying no attention to me or the camera
Domesticated Animals – especially when looking into the camera or otherwise engaged with the viewer
Driving – the Bobby Hooper Tunnel; highways, especially in the rain; streetcorners, scenes from stoplights
Out the Window/Through Dirty Windows – hotel/motel room (Robert Frank), home, car, office
Streetscapes in Older Towns – older neighborhoods, residences, apartments
Empty/Quiet Spaces – Bookstores, with narrow aisles/racks; fabric shops similarly; older stores and cafes in general
Sunlit Interiors – morning light, side lit, light moving across rooms; evening color
High Contrast (B/W) – cinematic, bright white/dark black
The Back of Things – alleys, parking lots, backyards from outside the property line
Places I Remember (even if I don’t) – vacant, unused now; buildings that used to be something else; nostalgia, even if fiction
Landscapes – parks, mountains, highways; lakes/bodies of water with no foreground to stand on
Rain/Mist/Fog – car/street/shop lights reflecting in water; misty/rainy drives; foggy landscapes
Clouds/Skyscapes – birds in flight; color in the sky; clouds
Transparency – water: in/out, over/under, wet/dry, droplets, splashes, drips; plastic bags: wrinkled, light reflecting, looking through
Reflections – and looking through them
Through Grids – chain link, nets, webs; tree branches
Foreground Blur/Framing – subject peeking through, just sharp enough
Defocused & Abstraction
Close-Up – flowers, wrinkled sheets, hands
Low Contrast (Color) – pastels, subtle color
Negatives – tape on the ends, tears & rips, cut lines (but not hard water spots or dust)
Errors – flare, ghosting, light leaks, wacky colors (eg. from opening the back, not green xpro’d slides)
So that’s my Little Game, part 1… I look forward to seeing what comes next!