Critique Connie's (Clix Pix) 52 Week Project for 2021 --- WEEK 15

And here we go with Week 7! Cold weather kept me indoors but I found things to shoot anyway, and even managed, although unplanned, to come up with a kind of theme.....

A little B&W to kick things off:


Outpour.jpeg
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Later in the week I had more fun with B&W:

Soft Shadows.jpeg
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Time for a dose of soothing blue:

Circles.jpg
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I love playing around with shapes and textures:

Shadows.jpeg
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Last but not least, another goose -- this one astonished me when I looked out and saw him doing somersaults! He was having the best time even as his fellow geese were swimming calmly and ignoring his antics. I think he was overjoyed that at last they could swim freely in the water, no ice obstructing their progress.

Aquatic Somersault.jpeg
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Joined
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184
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Mike
Starting off a brand-new 52 Weeks Project for 2021 since I so much enjoyed doing the just-completed one in 2020. I learned a lot throughout 2020 and in 2021 am looking forward to exploring even more with my camera and continuing to work on my post-processing and editing skills. Undoubtedly 2021 will bring new and interesting challenges and subjects!

I will be using my Sony A7R IV with various lenses and in addition my Sony RX10 IV ("bridge" camera) and my RX100 VII small travel camera. From time to time I'll also be pressing the iPhone into service as well. Whatever is at hand when I'm ready to shoot....
Do you have a structured theme for each week, or do you shoot what strikes your interest? The first takes effort to be creative with an assignment, the second what ever you find interest the given day is free form.
 
Actually, I really don't have a theme..... I tend to be spontaneous and I'll look at something and think, "wonder how that would look in B&W?" and grab the camera and a lens and start shooting. Occasionally something will catch my eye the way the light is hitting it or the way it is in juxtaposition with something else and I'll grab the iPhone or the camera, whichever is handiest, and fire away. Other times I'll get an idea in my head and look around for something to pull the idea into fruition. Once in a while I'll look out the sliding glass door and see some action happening on the lake, and I grab my camera and run out to the deck to start shooting. Sometimes I'll start out by using the iPhone as a preliminary shooting tool to see if things will work the way I've vaguely thought, or if it's not going to be worth getting out the camera and lights, etc.

I did a 52-Week project in 2020, too, and at the end of it realized that I tended to share too many images in each week, plus usually there was not a central theme tying them together -- they were a mixed bag of this-and-that. Someone somewhere along the line in some thread around the Cafe mentioned the idea of how he appreciated seeing images which had some connection tying them together, and that concept stuck in my head. However, I don't set out consciously to shoot a week's worth of images based around a particular theme or topic. That said, though, I do pay more attention now when I'm looking at the images I've shot during a given week and it's surprising how often I actually DO tend to shoot something which may or may not be loosely connected in some way to other images, even though not shot on the same day or during the same shooting session.

I would not enjoy doing a project where I had to meet the criteria of a specific topic or theme each week -- I would find that too confining after a while. That said, though, I will sometimes use the Collective Shoot as a hopping-off place for an idea or two, and will frequently shoot several images, one or more to be shared in the week's Collective Shoot thread and a couple others to be shared in my 52-Weeks thread, especially if it has been a week where I haven't done as much shooting as I customarily do. I shoot nearly every day but sometimes that isn't possible, since life gets in the way or I'm just not in the mood to get the camera out. I have appreciated the flexibility offered by doing a 52-Week project, as then there is not the pressure to come up with a new idea, a new image, each and every day, and after I've shot a few images during the week I then review them on Sunday and post the ones which please me the most and which I feel are worth sharing. I really am really enjoying the challenge inherent in doing such a project and of course it is a great way to keep using my gear!
 
Joined
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Messages
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Arizona
Week 3 is ready to share..... This was really a week for the birds!

I was delighted one morning as I was preparing my coffee to look out the window and see Alfred standing on the rail of the community clubhouse deck. I promptly grabbed a camera and ran out to my deck to begin firing away.....

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Another day I watched the crowd of geese milling around on the lake, and this one guy had apparently found something to eat, as he kept dipping his beak in-and-out of the water:

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While the gang was out there, a few more geese decided to join them, and this guy sure made a splashy entrance:

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Ah, but the real surprise of the week was when the female Kingfisher showed up again -- wow, second viewing of her within a week! I got a few shots of her standing on the same chain she'd been on before, then since it seemed that she was going to stick around a while, I quickly put the 100-400 with 1.4x TC on the A7R IV and went back out for some more captures of her. She must've sensed that I'd brought out the big artillery and obligingly went from the chain to pose for me on top of one of the posts on the pier!


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Love the shots of Alfred and the Kingfisher. :cool:
 
Joined
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Messages
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Arizona
It's Sunday and time for Week 04! This time, for some reason, a walk on the dark side.....


Playing with light and the Tangle Toy thingy I rediscovered one day:

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One morning I noticed the photographic possibilities in this:

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Tangled in light and shadow:

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We've had a lot of wet weather lately:

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Today's wet also contains white, creating interesting texture and pattern:

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Nice set, good work with the light and shadow, I especially like the tangle thing shots.

Week 05 is all about wintertime! Brrrrr...... The poor geese don't quite know what to make of it and what it's done to their favorite swimming hole!


Snow coming down thick and fast as they swim past an icy "island":

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"What IS this slippery cold stuff, anyway?"

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An icy "spider":


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A ghost in the ice:

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Brrrrrrr!!!!!! The theme for Week 06 pretty much is a continuation of last week and so has got to be -- ice! It's been cold and we've had snow, we've had sleet, we've had freezing rain, and we've had ice. It's February!!!

Early in the week I heard plaintive honking, looked out and saw a lone goose out in the middle of the lake, which was pretty much frozen over. No other geese were in sight and it was clear that he was distressed. As I watched him I realized that somehow the poor little guy had managed to get himself trapped in a section which was ice under the surface with melting ice on the surface itself, so he couldn't really get any traction to fly out of there or to get up on the ice and walk. Swimming was difficult with ice impeding the way although there was water under the ice. Eventually he figured out a strategy and began biting the ice/icy water, creating more space for himself so that he could turn around and head back in the direction of the area where there was open, swimmable water.

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He finally got himself turned around and started slowly forging his way back towards swimmable water, biting the ice as he went, and creating a zigzag pattern as his path. I cheered him on and was relieved when he finally did make it out of his icy trap and was swimming freely again.

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It's been a hard week for cars, too, as they've been pelted by snow, rain, freezing rain, icy pellets, you name it. My car as the snow began to melt from the windshield:

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The ice was the worst, though, and the past couple of days all of our cars were encased in it. My neighbor's car had some pretty impressive icicles:

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The ice and geese photos - very cool (boo that man :blackeye:) sets.
 
Joined
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Do you have a structured theme for each week, or do you shoot what strikes your interest? The first takes effort to be creative with an assignment, the second what ever you find interest the given day is free form.

Love the goose summersault. :D
 
Thanks, Gordon, for looking and commenting! The goose somersaulting was so much fun to see, as he did it several times, so definitely was feeling playful and frisky.
As for the ice and snow photos, I'm hoping that I don't see any more ice and snow and that we've had the end of it -- I'm tired of it and so, so ready for Spring and flowers and green everywhere!
 
Thanks, Terri! Yes, that image is so relaxing and soothing to look at, isn't it? Reminds me of warmer weather, pleasant beaches, the blue/green ocean or a lovely freshwater lake, and the wonderful, relaxing environment experienced in those places! I had to shoot something in that cold, icy, snowy week to remind me of more delightful, relaxing, soothing and peaceful possibilities!
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
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Jupiter, FL
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Andy
Connie, congrats on taking on this challenge again in 2021. I am just catching up on your thread now, long after the first week's installment. You are expanding your horizons and doing so brilliantly.
 
Thank you, Andy! Each week presents new challenges and new opportunities.....Some weeks are better than others in that regard, of course, but I like how this project is keeping me using my gear and pushing my own boundaries, not just in shooting the photos but in paying more attention to and learning more about post-processing and editing, too. In the past I'd shoot something and do a quick edit and that was the end of it, but now I am more thoughtful about the approach when it comes to editing and I look at an image and think, "would this be better in B&W?" or, "what if I crop this in such-and- such a way, would it strengthen the image?" and try that, and sometimes the different approach works, sometimes it doesn't, but I've learned something along the way. Because it is a week-long project I don't feel compelled to shoot something each and every day, and when I do shoot, some days I might really hit the jackpot with a lot of potentially good images to process, while at other times, nothing is worth keeping, but that's OK, the flexibility of doing this on a weekly basis helps significantly, and usually by the time Sunday rolls around I've got something to share!
 
Week 08 Images have arrived! Actually, I shot quite a few diverse images this past week but decided when reviewing them to go with a theme again, and once more it's all about the birdies.....

Warmer weather finally started melting the ice off the surface of the lake, but I imagine that water was pretty darned cold! One of the geese had fun dunking his head in-and-out a few times, and I caught him as he was emerging:

Coming Up From a Head Dunk.jpg
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We finally had some sunshine and everybody was out there enjoying it. This male Hooded Merganser was zipping right along, and his distinctive coloring showed up brilliantly:

Moving Right Along.jpeg
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This female Hooded Merganser was clearly loving the sun on her face, smiling away:

Smiling At the Sun.jpeg
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It feels like Spring!!

It Feels Like Spring!.jpeg
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Remember that Hooded Merganser couple in the CS B&W thread? Not sure if these are the same two or not, as I shot them on a different day, but they had been swimming together side-by-side until she decided to take a little diversionary direction:

Traveling Together.jpeg
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Thank you, Gordon! Well, that sunshine was short-lived, as today it is pouring rain and has been for hours! The coming week is supposed to be fairly dry and nice, though. The birds and I all enjoyed the sunshine on those days we did have it last week, especially the day when the temperature actually was in the low 60's -- wow, felt positively balmy!
 
Thanks, Binnur! Yep, the birdies were really happy, and so was I, at finally seeing sunshine again and having warmer temperatures after what seemed like endless cold weather, snow, ice and cloudy days! It really was fun watching the geese and the Hooded Mergansers out there, having fun frolicking around -- definitely it felt like Spring is definitely on the way! Today is cold, but once again we have sunshine and it's March, so there is absolutely hope that the winter season is definitely on the way out and that we are finished with snow and ice.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
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North Springfield VA
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Bill Walderman
Here we go with Week 2 ready for public consumption! Again, there is a sort of theme -- didn't plan it this way, it just happened!

Remember back a few months ago when I got a photo of a female Belted Kingfisher? Well, much to my delight and surprise I saw her again -- and this time she was a lot closer and easier to shoot! She came zipping past while I was shooting the Hooded Mergansers and I saw her land on the chains between the posts on our pier, so immediately swung the camera in her direction, zoomed, shot......

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A couple of days this past week the lake was partly iced-over, and the geese really had some challenges navigating their way around the ice floes! Sometimes the ice was lurking just beneath the water, too, as it continued to melt. I felt sorry for these guys!

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One afternoon as I was returning from running errands, I spotted something on the doorstep: another of my feathered friends had left me a lovely gift:

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I had fun with this feather, trying different approaches:

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I love the b&w feather!
 
Thank you, Bill!! As I've been going along through this year's weeks of photos, I've been delving into B&W more and enjoying it so much. It's a lot easier these days than going out with B&W film loaded into the film camera and trying to determine what would and what would not make good photos, then processing the B&W film, spending time hunched over an enlarger, then standing quietly in the dimness of the darkroom gently rocking the tray back-and-forth, back-and-forth.... I miss the darkroom days but much prefer being able to go out these days and shoot, then study my images in the computer and experiment: "how would this image look in B&W?" "Hm...I'd better give it a bit more contrast," or "this really works as a B&W, much stronger than the color version!"
 
Well, Week 9 seemed to be all about Tulips! I bought a lovely bunch of tulips at the grocery store and had fun with them all week shooting them in different ways:

First up was a solo shot of a tulip, a good way of trying out the new Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 110mm lens I just bought, too:

A Single Yellow Tulip.jpeg
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Another day I experimented with shooting a duo, with a Midnight Blue Replica Surfaces photo board as the background:

Tulip Duo.jpeg
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One day I got tired of the tulips and instead experimented with the blue vase and a leaf instead:

Curly.jpeg
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Time for a different kind of solo shot and a different background:

Emerging From the Darkness.jpeg
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The blue vase and a couple of tulips make another appearance:

Blue Vase and Two Tulips.jpeg
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Joined
Feb 4, 2011
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Arizona
Wonderful set Connie - you got a couple of beautiful yellows to photograph. My favorites of the batch are 2 and 4.
 
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