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Sycamore Grove Park in January

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My Crappy Camera

A blog dedicated to show everyone that a crappy camera can take amazing photos

This is the first “shoot” of the year. My wife and I refused to sit in the house on the most spectacular January Sunday in the history of January Sundays. It was an absolute divine 73 degrees and sunny. We went to our recently favorited spot, Sycamore Grove Park in Livermore Cali-forn-i-a. We took our bikes this time in order to cover more ground. I was determined to put to the test what I have been learning from a few books I had been reading regarding horizon placement, negative space, strong leading lines. I only shot 42 pictures on this trip but I felt so much stronger with my approach. I was determined to take my time with my shots, pre-visualize my shot and to consider each of the elements that were going to be in the frame, I changed my point of view, watched the scene and sat in silence just contemplating lighting. It was much more enjoyable to attempt an idea rather than spray the area and hope one of the shots was a keeper. Even if I did not end up keeping any, I was sure that I was growing that picture taking muscle in my mind. This is what I walked away with.


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This photo was DYING to be taken and it took little to no time to frame and shoot. I loved the chairs sitting off to the side, the light fixture, the weathered door and frame, EVERYTHING. 


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My focus here was on shape and form. I placed my subject in the lower 1/3 of the frame and used negative space to emphasize the delicate way the tree broke into the frame.


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I have literally passed this door a dozen times on my way to my favorite mountain biking/nature walk in Del Valle Park but I had yet to pull over and take a picture. Today that was going to end. I had my camera, plenty of time and ideas. I probably took 15-20 pictures of this door alone. I assume it leads into an in ground wine cellar as it is on Wente Vineyards property. I used a split tone to color edit on this photo to allow a more harsh and off balance mood. Its a unique door and it needed a little something extra.


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This photo was all about point of view. I took a few shots close to the ground which helped emphasize the trees, but hid the strong leading line of the road. I moved back to eye level and shot it again. I could not decide on an appropriate crop in camera so I shot it a little bigger in order to give myself room to crop later. I decided to tighten the crop and drop the horizon in order to draw attention to the trees. I put it in black in white to focus on form.



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