Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Theme: the unifying subject or idea of a visual work

Remember when I actually used my blog to write? Hence, "Nama Writes"? Perhaps I should change it to "Nama Shoots", but that might give people the wrong impression of what it is I actually do.

So, here I am. Writing. About what?


May is nearly over, and I'm not going to lie; I'm looking forward to a new month. While I think my people shooting skills have improved, I'm looking forward to a new subject. One that I have more control over and can manipulate easily in a photo. And here's where all of you guys come in.

What should my next theme be for June? I've received great suggestions for subjects and themes and have compiled a list of future/potential themes. Here's what I've collected so far and my thoughts on each ---

  • Self-portraits - I'm not looking forward to this one, and I think since I'm in the process of completing a month's worth of people shots, I'd rather do something non-people related next month. But eventually, I will have a month dedicated entirely to me. Thrilling.
  • Doors & Windows - If you've seen any of my travel photos, you know how much I love shooting doors and, to a lesser extent, windows. Especially brightly colored ones. However, with architectural pictures so recent in my challenge past, perhaps I should space these two out a bit more?
  • Christmas - This one is obviously on hold until December. A whole month of Christmasy photos! I can't wait. On a side note, I LOVE the idea of doing a Fall-themed month. Unfortunately, I live in a city where Fall happens randomly, without warning, and usually not in the months that we commonly think of as "Fall". So that one's really out of the question.
  • Night shots - Yes, a month of nothing but dark, moody shots. This will require a good tripod, which I don't have yet, and probably a time change so that there's more darkness in a day. On hold until the "Fall".
  • Black & White - I love the idea of doing a themed month focused more so on an editing process than the subject. I know others have mentioned textures, but I'm not going to lie. I am not a huge fan of artificial texture overlays. In a world of photoshopped pictures (not that this is a bad thing at all), I think the goal of the photographer should be to make your photos be about the photos themselves, and not about the editing. And in my opinion, adding textures to your photos does exactly this (for the most part - I do occasionally see texturized photos I actually like. They're usually incredibly subtle, however.) The photo becomes all about the fact that there's a "vintage" inspired texture covering the entire photo and not about the artistic nature of the photo itself that, on it's own, is still a great shot. So, in conclusion, no offense to other photographers out there, but I don't think I'll venture more, if at all, into the texture world. But does anybody have any more editing "themes" I could do?
  • Food - This might be a top contender for me for June. Maybe. I'd have to ramp up my cooking so I have a steady supply of subjects. And baking in June in Houston sounds like a terrible idea. Thoughts?
  • Colors? - Recently, I came up with the idea of doing a month based solely on one color, like red, for example. Reds always pop in photos. It leaves a lot of room for interpretation, which could be an interesting challenge. Is this a crazy idea? What other colors would work well?
And yes, I'm expecting answers and input from all of you. :) Help a sister out! Please feel free to share any and all thoughts about anything. And everything. Even if it's not related. Comment away!

And on an unrelated note, remember that time we went to Scotland? At Christmas? Five months ago?

Well, I finally started going through the pictures recently. I have a lot more time on my hands since Matt has gone off to South Africa. That's right. He's in freaking Africa. And will be for another week and a half. So, here's a taste of the fruits of me being lonely:

I'm about a third of the way through all of our photos. Perhaps I will finish them before Matt returns home? We shall see...


  1. I have another idea. Static nature. I was initially thinking of fruits, but I think more wide is static nature. As in you pick two or three objects and you arrange them in a way u like or u think might represent something and than you take the most expressive picture :P. I think this is challenging on a creative level also :P, like u need to take an apple and a plate and make them transmit something :D, and also you will need to think about background, light and so on. I think it is more accessible to you. It is an idea.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Shapes? Say....squares, circles....or maybe just angles?

    I like the idea of Red. Orange would be fun too.

    I know how much you like blue skies, what about a month of Sky? Sunsets or rises, clouds, birds, kites, planes, Superman, etc. Too nature-y?

    Good luck with picking!

    PS. Gorgeous Scotland pictures! Can't wait to see more :)

  3. Nama shoots is the best idea you have ever had.

  4. What about extreme close-ups? That is the only idea I could come up with, but color and food is probably fine as well, it is late. I also wanted to comment so you knew that I still looked at your blog. Thanks.