June 5, 2011

Sunday Stills: Potluck

My mom, over at A Garden of Thoughts, was asking me about the weekly photography posts I used to do, and wanted to start participating. She also wanted me to pick it back up so we could do it together. I was thrilled!

I can't say what prompted my letting Sunday Stills fall to the wayside. I think it was round about the time I was in my blogging slump. But listening to Mom talk about it and seeing her post last week, I realized I kind of missed playing with the Sunday Stills crowd. And it will be fun to do it together with Mom. So I'm joining back in, if you all will have me back.  Sometimes a person just need a break to regain their inspiration and motivation I guess.

This weeks challenge was "Potluck" meaning you could bring anything to the table as long as it wasn't from your archives. My goal is to never use archives because the whole idea for me is to stretch my imagination and improve my photography skills.

I don't have anything really impressive or exciting this week. The non-specific challenges have always been more challenging for me, which seems backwards from how it should be, but that's just how it is. I spend most of the week trying to figure out what to photograph, and by last night, I still didn't have anything specific in mind and time was up.

So, I decided to post some pictures I took this week that proved to be a challenge for me. I was trying to photograph smoke from a forest fire near Flagstaff, AZ. I was frustrated because I was trying to capture the intensity of the smoke, the emotions I was feeling as I watched the column of smoke climb into the air and obscure the mountains nearby. But I just couldn't get the pictures to have the right feeling. Photographing smoke is not easy, as it turns out. I kept ending up with pictures that looked like clouds, which wasn't at all what I was going for. I wasn't satisfied with the outcome, but I'll post the best ones anyway.

When we first spotted the smoke, we were still quite a ways from Flagstaff.
Getting closer in towards Flagstafff, it was clear that this was a forest fire and not a range fire as I originally suspected.
Past Flagstaff and going back downhill, around a curve and suddenly we were in the smoke. In a picture it looks more like a cloudy day. What I wanted to capture was the brown/orange tint of the smoke in the sky, but it didn't come through "on film."
And a few moments later we were back under blue skies, leaving the smoke behind and heading on to California.

Carlie Jean wanted me to share this one, since its one of the best pictures I have gotten of her. It really portrays her "what are you looking at" attitude. She didn't really care about the smoke. She was just enjoying lounging in her man's arms with the sunshining in on her.
What am I looking at? Your face my dear! Its time for a shave! Past time!
That's all I have to bring to the table this week. A weak start for my re-entry into the world of Sunday Stills. We'll try for better next week. To see more, and better, Sunday Stills contributions, visit this link and click on any name in the comments section to view their pictures.

And for any of you Sunday Still-ers visiting here, do you have suggestions or tips on photographing smoke? Any camera settings or ideas on the topic?


Shirley said...

Great subject for potluck, and a reminder to us that fire season is upon us. Our landlord just had a slash fire et out of control at his other place, so even though it has been a wet year, it's still dry enough to burn.
Very cut photo of Carlie Jean. "do not disturb!"

Tuffy's Blog said...

I could see the smoke! and Carly Jean's whiskers. Thanks for joining me in Sunday Stills.

Meagan said...

Yay! You and mom are making me want to do sunday stills!!! I kinda started and quit all in one week I think! lol. Life's just so busy!

Leigh said...

What a great idea. I love photography posts. I agree, you need to keep that skill well honed!