Saturday, January 06, 2007

2007 projects

Well, I've been waffling around writing these down for a few days now. Life's been busy (well, mostly its been sitting on a bike or running, but that passes for busy, in and around working). I have three ideas in mind for the projects that I'm going to work on at least for the first half of the year or possibly through the whole year.
Two are continuations/resurrections of on-going projects and the third is something that I'm trying to force myself to start up but I seem to be having a big issue just putting it out there and going for it.
First off, I'm going to keep working on the 'Friends in Austin' project. I started this late last year and have been making good progress, with 5 shots done. I need to get a bit more organised and start making the appointments with people to shoot some more. Should be easier now that the holidays are over. The next shoot for this project is tomorrow, assuming I manage to stay awake after the ARA 20 miler. This has been a lot of fun so far and I've been really happy with the results I've been getting. It is, all shot available light and I think I'm going to keep it that way. Also, I'm using one single lens for all the shots (Canon 85mm) which is giving a good, consistent feel to the images, along with some similar processing/ toning. The idea is to get some great pictures of the friends I've made in Austin over the last 7 years, partly to make sure I spend some time seeing my friends, partly to work on my portraits and also finally to have a good memento if and when Amanda & I move on from Austin. I can see this being put together as a small single issue book when it is done. But I really need to list out who's picture I'm going to take so I know where I"m at in the process - maybe its done when we leave - seems appropriate!
The second project is the iconic Austin theme project that I started last year. I got suggestions from a lot of people on what they consider iconic things or views of Austin - I just need to go and shoot them! The suggestions were from a mix of local Austinites & new transplants and covers the range from the tourist icons to the more eclectic. I did start out shooting this with the lensbaby and I think I'm going to keep going that way - but maybe with some more consideration on how I'm using it. I'm not 100% sure about the tungsten white balance used in the shots above - it feels like a gimmick for the sake of it. I need to compile the list and organise/prioritise it so I know where I'm going and when I get there. I might also try increasing the range of suggestions I get and I've also considered linking it in to the first project - and shooting the person's idea of an icon along with their portrait, so they could be shown together. The third project is one that I'm both excited about and somewhat nervous about starting. I'm calling it 'Everyday Ironmen'. There are a lot of articles and features on the exceptional athletes who finish Ironmen triathlons in the top places. There are also a lot of articles about those who overcome huge odds to complete one of these crazy races. But here I am, stuck in the middle. A friend remarked 'You know, Gordon really doesn't look like an Ironman' and that's true - I'm just ordinary in that respect, nothing special. But there are a whole lot of ordinary, everyday people who complete these races. I'm training with a bunch of the exceptional, everyday people who somehow manage to fit this huge challenge in and around their normal lives. There is a group of about 20 of us, all training for one race in a few months time. So I want to take pictures of those people. I have a somewhat more grandiose idea to have interviews to accompany the pictures and also perhaps include race reports when we all get done with Ironman Arizona in April. I know the lighting style I want to shoot most of the portraits in (though I don't yet know how to do it) . I know the theme of shots I want - full bod or 3/4 portraits of people in race gear, on bikes, running, swimming. I'm even considering some underwater portrait shoots too. But I need to start getting volunteers and writing something up to approach people with. I guess I've started that process here. Again, I think this has the potential to be a great book project, I have a writer in mind and I think it could be really exciting. If any of you have suggestions, thoughts, comments or ideas on how these could be improved, I'd love to hear it.


Unknown said...

Very interesting ptojects. I like your friends project as the human portraits are always full of emotions.

Elizabeth Abbott said...

The 5 photos of Austin Friends you have are excellent!!! You should *definitely* keep it going! I'm also enjoying reading your blog and hearing your thoughts on photography.