I'm 2 for 2 so far this year with my Project 52. This time, the hardest part was choosing which photo out of 94 to make my photo of week 2! My 2nd week ended with me stumbling into some sort of urban/rural graffiti art gallery, and it reminded me of just how important it is to keep your eyes open for great photo-taking opportunities.
About a week ago while driving back to work after lunch in Urbana, I drove pasted this big abandonded grain silo (at least that's what I assume it was -- they are common here in Illinois. It didn't look very impressive, but when I picked through the big open doors as I drove past, I noticed the pop of color from some graffiti. Whehter you think it's Urban Folk Art or nothing more than Vandalism, I think Graffiti makes for great photos, because you can capture textures, colors, and a sense of setting with a good graffiti photo. So, I was excited to go out and shoot this place.
This place is literally two blocks from where I work, and I didn't want to come during the weekend, so I took my camera to work on Friday to go walk to this place during my lunch break.
It was cold, but thankfully not super windy or snowy. It was about 15 degrees, so I bundled up in my scarf and pea coat, grabbed my camera bag, and headed out of my building towards the silo. Trudging through the snow, I was quietly hoping that the trip was going to be worth it. I usually get very self conscious walking with my camera. People do say that if you just take charge with your camera and project confidence, people won't pay you much attention. It's when you seem shy and nervous that people assume you're up to something. While this isn't quite "street photography" I still didn't want to seem like that "weird guy with a camera."
When I finally happened on the Silo, I was almost floored by the amount of colorful graffiti lining the walls. It was quite a bit more than I would have hoped since that drive-by spotting. Armed with my 50mm lens, I made sure to check my ISO settings, make sure I wasn't bracketing my exposures, and that I didn't have exposure compensation (basically anything that would ruin my shots), the I set to work trying to find interesting compositions.
I was a little nervous that someone would come up to me and kick me out, but nobody bothered me the whole thirty minutes I was there. I ended up taking almost 100 shots. In the excitement I forgot how cold it was, and towards the end my hands started cramping up and going numb. Not wanting to tempt fate, I finally put my camera away, shoved my hands in my pockets and walked back to work, satisfied at a successful shoot.
If I learned anything from this, it's that you never know just how close a great shooting opportunity may be. Go for a drive or walk around your neighborhood or your work, and try and discover the hidden treasures that you may not have noticed before.