Category Archives: SoFoBoMo

My SoFoBoMo Book is done!

I finished and got it uploaded to the SoFoBoMo site just under the [my] deadline. Yay! Here’s where you can view the pdf on the SoFoBoMo site. More to come later. It’s now after midnight and I’m heading to bed. (I know… the title isn’t very original but that’s what I first thought of and just stuck with it.)

Addendum: The book is now also available on Issuu, which is a cool way to view it. Check it out!

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SoFoBoMo 2010

shadows

Shadows and escalator at Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville

It’s that time of year again… for SoFoBoMo, which stands for “Solo Photo Book in a Month.” The idea behind it is for photographers (of all abilities and interests) to commit to creating a photo book within the space of just one month. Anyone can participate and you can learn more here.

stairs

Stair lit by the setting sun at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville

Last year I made a pdf book of pictures of my dancers (cloggers). You can see the pdf of the book here or view it on Issuu, which is a cool way to see it. It was a lot of fun and I loved the result. This year it was harder for me to decide what to do for my project. However, I finally did make a decision after I realized I’d already been shooting pictures for it.

This post includes a few of the photos I’ll use in the project. They all have to do with lines or patterns. I know what the subject is, but I haven’t figured out a good title, yet. I’m open to suggestions!

At the end of June we were at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville for the National Square Dance Convention. The exposition center offered many opportunities for interesting shots. I collected photos that fit my theme even before I’d decided on it. This last picture shows one of the many dance halls at the convention. The pattern of the lights is what I like about this shot.

hall lights

One of many halls at the National Square Dance Convention in Louisville, Kentucky

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SoFoBoMo Project and Lessons Learned

SoFoBoMo Book Cover

SoFoBoMo Book Cover

I actually finished the book on time! I uploaded it to the SoFoBoMo site just before 2:00 am on June 11. You could argue that I was 2 hours past the deadline, but I could argue that 1) it still felt like Wednesday to me, and 2) I didn’t start the book until after 7:30 pm on May 11. So I did it all within the 31 days. Whoo hoo!

Once again, this is a photo book of my dancers, people who come to one of the clogging groups that I teach. (What’s clogging? Learn more here.) The pdf is up on the SoFoBoMo site and it is now also available on Issuu. Issuu really presents it in a cool way. I recommend checking it out there.

It has been quite a month of fun, learning, shooting, and more. Things I learned… a little bit about my dancers; a bit more of myself; the fact that I need to learn so much more about portrait photography and using a flash; I can handle a larger DSLR and still be comfortable with it; even though I don’t mind seeing my dancers’ wrinkles, they might; camera batteries lose their power after sitting around for three weeks; no matter how much I plan, I’ll still forget something; no matter how much I try, I’ll still do something stupid (like use the wrong white balance); my dancers are the best bunch of people in the world (actually, I already knew that).

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SoFoBoMo is Done!

I just finished my book and uploaded it to the SoFoBoMo site. Whoo hoo!
More later…  (must sleep – it’s late)

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My Camera Has Returned!

Yesterday my camera arrived back from the Canon repair factory. First thing I learned was that camera batteries will go dead if left to just sit around for three weeks. I’d never gone that long before without using the camera! (The borrowed 20D uses a different sized battery.) Anyway, I’m glad to have it back and plan to use it tonight.

One more night of shooting pictures for SoFoBoMo and then I’ll have to quickly choose, process and add a few to my layout. I find, as is often the case, that I tend to streamline my work the closer I get to a deadline. Early on I may spend a fair amount of time doing “work” that isn’t really necessary in the end. Maybe some of that’s OK, though, for it gets me used to going through the processes of choosing photos, editing, weeding out, and fitting them into the book layout. By the time I get to where I have to do it quickly, I’ve practiced it enough that I can. Still, there’s nothing like a deadline to get something done!

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SoFoBoMo Layout Mostly Done!

This past weekend I spent quite a bit of time doing the layout for my SoFoBoMo book. It’s mostly done and I can see how the final will look, now. Pretty exciting! I’ve been using InDesign for the layout. Some of the pages look better than others, but this project is not one I can spend a lot of time on to tweak and get just right. They’ll probably go as they are.

I have until Wednesday to finish and I’m hoping to still take some pictures of a few dancers of whom I don’t have pictures, yet. I may be up late Wednesday inserting the last few pictures, exporting it all to a pdf, and then uploading the pdf to the SoFoBoMo website. Once the pdf is done I’m officially finished as far as the rules go, but I want to share it on the website, too. I just hope my final isn’t too large a file to upload and it all goes smoothly. Keeping my fingers crossed!

I also plan to make a hard-bound book, but that doesn’t have to be done within the 31 days. However, I can’t let myself set it aside, or it may never happen. At this point I’m feeling pretty good about the whole project, though. Whoo hoo!

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SoFoBoMo Progress

 

Dance Studio

Dance Studio

I’m a little over half way through my SoFoBoMo month, having started on May 11. My project is to make a book of photos of the people in my clogging dance groups. Here’s more about my project and the SoFoBoMo idea. This past weekend I processed quite a few photos that I’d taken of my dancers and put them online for them (only) to see. I just did a tally of the number of photos I’ve taken and worked on so far. I’ve shot a total of 777 pictures of my dancers over seven days of dancing. Of those, 338 made the first cut. Of those, I’ve selected 135 to consider for the final book. The final count will be much less than that, although I have no idea how many I’ll end up with at this point.

I’ve learned a few things from this process so far. First, I’ve realized that it’s really difficult to teach a class AND shoot photos. I have to either put on music with cues for them to dance to or shoot lost of photos during the breaks. Both of these require much patience from my dancers. I’m either poking a camera (and sometimes a flash) in their faces while they’re trying to follow the dance or I reduce their dance time by taking extended breaks so I can shoot. I’ve got to give my dancers a huge amount of appreciation for not only putting up with me, but cooperating and (often) smiling for the camera. I only hope that I will be able to show them all in their best light. They’re a great group of people.

One other thing that I’ve realized is that by picking this subject, I’ve limited myself to being able to shoot only a few days during the month. My clubs dance on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and my performance team meets (at best) twice a month. Since last week was the Memorial Day holiday, I felt I was cheated out of a night of shooting. Other things have happened (besides my camera dying). Last Wednesday when we got to the school we found out the power was out so we couldn’t use the room. Although we tried to contact people, some were already on the way and showed up. Since we weren’t dancing, I took the opportunity to do more shooting. At least it gave me some nice shots in better light than there is indoors.

My last thought at this point is that several of my dancers are missing from the pictures I’ve taken so far and I don’t want to leave anyone out. That might be unavoidable, but I’m going to do my best to include as many as possible.

Now, I really need to start working on the book layout. That’s what I’ll concentrate on this week (and keep taking pictures, of course).

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