Sunday, February 28, 2016

Photo challenge Day 7 of 7: ‘That's A Wrap’

The seventh and final photo in this series, "That's A Wrap", is as ordinary as the first one—no special techniques, just a phone and a search for just the right angle. Which is not to say there weren’t some special challenges for me.

When I posted it, I said:
"That's A Wrap". The final photo is of a mobile made of old cutlery that's hanging over our deck, kind of off to the side. We bought the mobile from the artist at Thames Markets, and have it off to the side of the dining area. I noticed it was wrapped in web, but didn't clean it because the occupant is eating bugs (like flies). This photo bookends this series nicely, I think, because, like the first photo on Day 1, it shows nature persevering in a world altered by humans, and surviving. Ultimately, that's been my real theme in the photos I shared this week. Thanks for indulging me!
The main challenge in taking this photo was an entirely personal one: I hate spiders. In fact, big ugly spiders scare and repulse me, and if I’d seen the occupant in the photo crawling across the floor, it would have met an immediate end. Now, I could zoom in a bit, but to get the photo framed just right, I needed to get closer than I was actually comfortable being.

So, my eyes darted between the subject and the image on my phone’s screen. Had that spider moved even a little bit, I would have been gone and photo shoot concluded.
The wrapped cutlery mobile.

As it happens, the only movement was the next obstacle: The mobile was slowly rotating in the breeze, first one way, then it slowed and stopped, rotated the other, slowed and stopped, and so on. I had to time each shot until the rotation was in just the right spot.

I had several where the occupant was clearly visible, and some people are terrified of even photos of spiders, so I considered whether the one I liked the best—with a clear portrait—would be okay to post to social media. My decision came as the result of another challenge.

When I was working with the photo for Day 5, “Within”, I had a problem when not all the photos I was reviewing on my Mac were available on my phone. This time, it was the other way around: I waited for the photos to be available to my Mac through iCloud, but not all of them were on my Mac.

So, exactly the opposite of Day 5, when I went to my phone to select the final photo, I found the one above, and knew instantly that was The One. In fact, in some ways, it’s my favourite of the entire series, which figures: It was a happy accident.

The challenge for this series was to take one photo per day for seven days on the general theme of “nature”. That’s a really broad subject areas, so I decided to make it more interesting and challenging for me by limiting it to photos I took with my phone, and only around the house.

It turned out that the first two or three I knew in advance, but after that, I didn’t have advance idea. However, each time I saw something and knew it would be the photo. It really is true that if you take a lot of photos, you start to see things differently.

I inadvertently gave myself another challenge by giving each photo a one-word title. Day 1 wasn’t actually intentionally one word, but I mirrored that on Day 2, and then I felt I needed to for the rest. But I also wanted to break that with the final photo, so instead of merely “Wrapped”, which it almost was, I picked the less serious title, “That's A Wrap”, because it is, in every sense.

I should add that I accidentally posted these the day after I shared them on social media. I say “accidentally” because I simply forgot to share the first one on Sunday, when I shot and shared the photo, so I posted it on Monday, instead, and then continued that every day. So, the photo up top was taken and shared yesterday. I should add, if it isn’t obvious, each photo was taken on the day it was originally shared—I didn't take any in advance.

I think that the Day 7 photo bookends this series nicely, because, like the first photo on Day 1, it shows nature persevering in a world altered by humans, and surviving. Ultimately, that's been my real theme in the photos I shared this week. Some were obvious about that, others less so, like the two I shot from our deck: The taro is there because the house was built and it changed the environment, and the cabbage trees were planted—and, they’re thriving.

Even the photo for Day 6, “Detritus”, keeps the theme. I talked about it a little bit when I said in it “debris from nature and humans all meet in one place”.

So, that’s the series, all the obvious and more subtle themes, as well as the techniques I used to take the photos, and any other backstory to them. It really was a challenge, but fun, too—but I doubt I’ll do another one like it. I should, however, be better about posting photos of my Auckland more regularly, like as a regular feature, or something. That’d probably be more interesting to more people than just photos of spiders’ work.

And, that really is a wrap.

The posts/photos in this series:

Photo challenge – Day 1 of 7: “Persistence”
Photo challenge – Day 2 of 7: “Evicted”
Photo challenge – Day 3 of 7: “Under”
Photo challenge – Day 4 of 7: “Above”
Photo challenge – Day 5 of 7: “Within”
Photo challenge – Day 6 of 7: “Detritus”
Photo challenge – Day 7 of 7: “That’s A Wrap” (that’s this one…)

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