During each of our projection and print meetings, we show Theme of the Month images and conduct a popular vote. Members are invited to bring up to 2 images to show. We encourage you to go out and make new images specifically to show for the theme of the month rather than go through your catalog to find an image that fits.
We’re going to start off our themes this year with master photographer Jay Maisel’s components of a successful photograph: Light, Gesture and Color. “Finding light, gesture, and color is a little bit like trying to hold water in the palm of your hand. If you squeeze, it’s gone. If you’re patient, it will stay.” You can’t really separate these components, but think about how they make your image.
September: Light – There is spectacular light and there is difficult light, but there is no bad light. Light illuminates and reveals. The drama exists not only in what is in the light, but also what is left in the dark. “When I see light that moves me, that I cannot explain, I won’t leave until I figure it out. If you cultivate this curiosity about light, it will be the beginning of the self-education process.” It’s up to you to see the light. Make a photo where light is as much the subject and focus of the image.
October: Color – In an image with many colors, all the colors can compete with each other. Instead, when you look for leading colors, they can set the tone. It all has to do with the amount of color and in what context it appears. Some have said that if you take a great picture in color and take away the color, you’ll have a great black-and-white picture. But if you’re shooting something about color and you take away the color, you’ll have nothing. Color is. That’s it. It’s all out there. What’s important is to stay open to it. If you have perceived and executed something wonderful with color, it can take the image to the next level.
November: Gesture – Jay Maisel defines “gesture” as those qualities that distinguish a particular subject from the archetypal–and by extension, good photographs from boring ones. In this video, he explains how to see gesture, and use it to make better, more distinctive photographs. “Gesture is the expression that is at the very heart of everything we shoot. It’s not just the determined look on a face; it’s not just the grace of a dancer or athlete. Neither is it only limited to age, or youth, or people, or animals. It exists in a leaf, a tree, and a forest. It reveals the complicated veins of the leaf, the delta-like branches of the tree, and when seen from the air, the beautiful texture of the forest. It reveals the essence of each thing that we look at: human, mineral, or animal, or brick, stone, or metal. It doesn’t stop there. We see it in clouds, crowds, magnificent mansions, and humble huts.”
December: Creative Portrait
December: Creative Portrait – Portraiture is a popular theme in photography. But there’s more to an interesting portrait than just taking a quick snap. A portrait is about expressing the subjects identify. Put that creative mind of yours to work and come up with a unique portrait (or self-portrait).
January: On the Way to…
January: On the Way to… – Do you always carry a camera with you? It’s a lot easier to take pictures if you have a camera and can shoot it now – it’s never not the same when you go back. Show us an image you got on the way or while doing something else just because you happened to have a camera (yes, your camera phone counts). You can search through your past images for this one or get in the habit of always having a camera and see what happens.
February: Commonly Uncommon
February: Commonly Uncommon – Express your creativity by exhibiting out of the ordinary images of everyday subjects. What do you see every day but can present from a unique viewpoint?
March: Tacoma – What’s the best spot in Tacoma? Are you a fan of panoramic skylines or more engaged by street life and events? Are you attracted to the lights and motion of urban transport or does the austerity and detail of architecture hold more appeal? Do you notice the way the light falls or the color of an urban scene most? Get creative and show off what makes Tacoma, well, Tacoma.
April: Playing with Water
April: Playing with Water – Water can be captured in a multitude of ways, it appears in many places, it comes in many forms, and it provides a myriad of photographic possibilities. Water has moods based on its flow, power, location, the light, and method used for its capture. Apply your concepts of light, color and gesture and create a unique portrait of water. From April showers to crashing waves, go with the flow.
May: Panorama – Have you ever looked at an image and just wished there was more, a wider perspective or sharper details? Creating a quality panorama of a scene can allow you expand the possibilities and create a better image.
June: Juxtaposition – An act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. Interpret that as you will and have fun.