Saturday was quiet - nobody was really in the mood to do much. I went through a few old photography magazines to split the articles I wanted to keep into four groups - inspirational photos, criticisms of reader's photographs, photography tips and techniques (including use of the camera and other elements around the actual creation of a photo such as lighting) and post-processing tips and techniques.
Today we went to the zoo - partly because our annual ticket expires at the end of the month and we haven't used it anything like enough. However, I (obviously) took my camera and was looking for photos to take, in particular thinking around some of the elements of the first assignment on contrasts. In reality, if I could put in multiple options around many / few I think I could probably have completed the assignment in one day - flowers, balloons, flamingoes, people. Lots of options. Ultimately I think I'm going with the flamingoes. I've used a tight crop on top of the foreshortening already included in the longer lens (300mm) to try to maximise the impression of closeness between the birds on the 'many' option, whilst concentrating on a couple of outliers for the 'few'.
I also got an idea for still / moving from the Oulton Park trip a couple of weeks ago. There was one car that I got a decent panning shot of as well as a photo of just before it was pushed into the pit lane at the end. After getting home I've dug them out and put them into my Assignment 1 portfolio on the OCA website.
I've also got a reasonable idea for high / low. I've got a photo of my daughter on a trampoline / bungee thing which is one of my favourite photos of her, which will certainly do for high. I now need one where she is lying on the ground for 'low'. Surprisingly, I don't seem to have many of those. Whilst searching for one, however, the large / small one jumped out at me as a nice double contrast. I went to an old steam (amongst other things) rally last year, and have two photos in particular which work well as contrasts - one a photo of a large man leaning down to look after a small steam engine, and one of a small girl standing by a very large wheel on a steam engine.
I'm aware that the contrasts do not need to be linked together and are intended to be used as concepts. However, I think that it makes most sense to have contrasts within a theme. It's certainly easier for me to think of it in that way. Whether all of the photo pairings will end up being linked is still to be determined - after all I only have three sets so far.
I've looked at some of the entries of other people who are on the course. It's quite scary to see that there are a fair number of entries that are already creating what looks to me like really good photos, whilst I feel that mine, so far at least, are little better than snaps in many cases. That, of course, is one of the reasons why I'm doing this - to improve the quality of the photos I take - but it is sometimes daunting to see students at the same level as me producing work that appears to be notably better.