Prior to starting this project, I made a list of potential photo ideas. This was in part to help me find a subject for each photo, and in part to ensure some variety in my photos. I tend to gravitate to what I like, but in order to improve my skills, I need to try new and different things.
One of the ideas I wrote down was patterns. I’ve been carrying my camera with me almost everywhere I go since I started this project. Today was a cloudy day, not good lighting for big landscape or architecture shots. I had some free time in the middle of the day. The area where I work is not the best for photography. There are buildings, trees, people and cars everywhere. It’s impossible to get a landscape photo without a lot of background clutter. It’s hard to get anything other than a very close up shot without some background color. But there are a lot of brick buildings, and I figured it might be a decent place to find some patterns.
It didn’t take me long at all. The first thing I noticed was the fabric on the seats of my car, when I went to retrieve my camera. The seats are light grey, with a subtle pattern running through them. I tried a few shots of the backseat, where the largest swaths of this pattern were. Then I took a few shots of the back of the front seats. These had a more durable fabric, with a thicker pattern.
Then I noticed the trim on the door panel. It’s a hard surface, with a texture running through it, colored a dark slate. I tried a few pictures of this, but the camera didn’t want to focus automatically, and I was having trouble making it focus in manual mode.
So I picked up the camera and took a walk. Along the way I found some dandelions and some flowering trees. These yielded good results. I was able to get close enough to the dandelions to block out any background clutter. There was plenty of it surrounding the flowering trees, but a macro setting and a good aperture blurred it away. However, since I’ve already done flowers, and I’ve already done a few macros, I didn’t want to select one of these as my photo of the day. (Maybe these will appear as extras later on.)
Returning to my car to put the camera away, I noticed the dashboard was made of the same materials as the upper door panel. However, instead of being a few inches wide, this was a much bigger patch of it. I decided to give this subject another try.
The camera had no problem focusing on the dashboard. I took a few photos, then changed the camera to black and white, hoping to increase the contrast and bring out the lines. Unfortunately, since everything was the same color, this didn’t work very well. Finally, I tried the black and white posterization setting. This created a very cool effect on the pattern.
Here’s the photo:
Equipment Used: Sony NEX-5R, 18-55mm standard lens.
Image: 1/80 second exposure, f/5.6, ISO-100. Black and white posterization effect.