52 Week Challenge

52 Weeks of Susan's Life


Week 7 – # 25 SOOC

Raspberries, Blackberries, Flat lie, Food Photography, Barn Wood

For this weeks challenge I decided to do a little experiment.  None of us like to show our photos SOOC (straight out of the camera) but this is something we should achieve to do to cut down on editing time.  I decided to set up a shot knowing that I was not going to do any editing.  It was tricky because I decided to further complicate things and shoot this in studio.  I had to get the lighting just right, take the photo in  a direction that would not require any cropping, have all of my props without any distractions or spots and have the lines of the wood straight.  When I downloaded this photo, I gave it careful inspection and thought – well what would I do if I could do any editing?  The answer is – “not much”.  I may bring up the contrast, lighten the shadows in the blackberries but other than that I am pleased to show you a photo SOOC. I used a 50 mm lens, f-8, 250 SS with a strobe on one side and a white bounce card on ther side.  Lesson learned?  Take more time in planning a shot and your editing time will be greatly reduced.



Week 6 #22 Circles

Pinellas Bayway Bridge, St. Petersburg FL, Bridges, Florida, Night Photography

The Pinellas Bayway Bridge provided the perfect opportunity to fulfill this weeks 52 Week’s Circle challenge.  The lights on the underneath portion of the bridge structure reflected into the water to form a circle.  As the reflections made their way down the bridge the circle became a bit distorted but I love the patterns created by the reflections. If you look closely at the left side of the bridge there is a bird posing for this picture!


Week 5- #9 Product (Technical)

Coconut Water, Pour, Hands, product photographyFor this weeks challenge, I decided to try a product shot with a live model.  Fortunately I have a very cooperative (and good)  friend who came to my studio to lend me her pretty hands.  This shot was taken towards the end of many takes and I actually love the fact that I captured the overspill which was not necessarily intentional.   I think it added to the story!  What I did learn from this challenge is that although product shots may appear easy to achieve,  they are not. They require a well planned shot, a cooperative model, styling, technical lighting, and many takes.    The shot was taken with my Nikon D850, 70-200 mm  lens, F8, 250 SS  and 4 strobe lights.


Week 4 – #35 Color Harmony


Gourd, Pumpkin, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Color Balance, 52 Week Blog

So what is color harmony and why is it so important in photography?  Color harmony is the theory of combining colors in a fashion that is harmonious to the eye. In other words, what colors work well together in order to give a pleasing affect.  One photography passion of mine is to create a moody still life.  The composition and color harmony in a still life is important to the success of it’s creation.  When creating a still life, I normally seek out my subjects (which can be just about anything) and then I work on color balance to make the subject more interesting to view.  If you have questions about what colors work well together, please refer to a color wheel and play around with a few combinations to see what will enhance your photograph.


Week 3 – #3 Fill the Frame

Tomato, Macro Photography, Vegetables, Close Up Tomato

This Heirloom tomato looked so ripe and freshly picked from the vine, it was calling me for a “fill the frame shot”.  One of my favorite lenses is my 60mm Macro lens because of the ability to “fill the frame” and get very close to the subject.   This was taken at F40, 250 SS and Iso 100.  I used off camera flash with a snoot for directional lighting.


Week 2 #26 Loneliness

Fruitloop, lonely, bowl of milk, cereal, red fruit loop

Lonely Fruitloop

This weeks challenge urged my artistic side and called for a bit of creativity.  I decided to portray the last piece of cereal in a bowl as something that could be interpreted as loneliness.  I shot this with Nikon 105mm Macro lens.  In order to have the fruit loop not sink to the bottom of the bowl I used buttermilk which is a little thicker than regular milk.  It was shot in studio with flash.


Week 1 – #50 Starts with “Q”

Quinoa Salad, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries, Brussel Sprouts, Green Apples, Lemon Vinaigrette

October 1st was the commencement of the 52 Week Photography Challenge.  I decided to get  “begins with the letter Q” under my belt early on.  This is a delicious and healthy  Quinoa salad that I made for dinner tonight.  Here is the recipe – altered slightly to my tastes.

Salad:  2 medium sweet potatoes, 1 1.2 Tablespoons olive oil, coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 cup quinoa (I used tricolor and red quinoa) 2 cups water, 1.2 lbs brussel sprouts, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup chick peas, whole pecans.

Lemon Vinaigrette:  4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1.5 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, juice of 1 large lemon.

Peel, slice and cut the sweet potatoes in small pieces.  Toss with olive oil and S & P and roast in oven for 35 minutes.  Rinse the quinoa and add to water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cover the pan.  Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes until water has completely absorbed. Turn off heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Toss the quinoa and the sweet potato in a large bowl.  Slice the brussel sprouts into strips and steam until just limp. If desired, add grilled chicken for additional protein and sliced green apples for garnish. Toss all ingredients but do not dress until ready to serve.