the blog of Seldom Seen Photography

Archive for November, 2015

Thankful Sunrise

Sunny Side UpLast Thursday was Thanksgiving in the United States. I’m thankful to live in such a place that can give sunrises like the one I found on Thanksgiving morning. Normally, you need clouds in the sky for good sunrise or sunset shots, but in this case, I thought I might have something even without the clouds because I knew the sunrise was going to be close to Mount Rainier. Using the Photographer’s Ephemeris, I saw the sun would rise along the flank of the mountain as viewed from the Fox Island bridge, about 14 miles from my home.

The morning was crisp and cold, just about freezing, which made for a few low-level clouds and a scattered mist on the water. As the sun was rising, the moon was setting in the west, near the Olympic Mountains. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful morning. The official sunrise was at about 7:40 a.m., but because it rose in line with the mountain, it didn’t crest the mountain until almost 8:00 a.m. And crest it did, over the very top of the mountain. Being out there on the bridge, photographing the sun and the moon in a beautiful setting, I was very thankful on Thanksgiving morning.

As the sun was rising, the moon was setting near the Olympic Mountains. This was taken just as the sun hit the mountains.

As the sun was rising, the moon was setting near the Olympic Mountains. This was taken just as the sun hit the mountains.

View of Hale Passage and Mount Rainier about 15 minutes before the official sunrise (and about 35 minutes before the sun crested the mountain).

View of Hale Passage and Mount Rainier about 15 minutes before the official sunrise (and about 35 minutes before the sun crested the mountain).

Morning mist over the water following sunrise.

Morning mist over the water following sunrise.

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Challenge your Photography

Sometimes I feel like I get in a photographic rut – stuck on the same subjects, the same compositions. I need to refresh my creative, photographic juices. One way to do this is to take on a series of topics you might not otherwise and to look for new perspectives. That is the motivation behind a photographic scavenger hunt – shoot a list of topics in a limited amount of time trying to come up with fresh new interpretations. I have blogged about scavenger hunts before (here and here), and that is my subject again today.

Yesterday I organized a scavenger hunt along the Gig Harbor waterfront for my two local photography club: Sound Exposure and the Tacoma Mountaineers. I’ve organized a scavenger hunt for one or the other of these groups for about four years now. I love doing scavenger hunts because they are a great learning tool for photographers of all skill levels. They force a photography to challenge themselves, to look beyond what they normally photography.

If you are in a club doesn’t have a scavenger hunt, you may want to suggest one. They are really a fun learning experience. But you don’t have to be in a club to do a scavenger hunt. You can do one all by yourself or with a couple of friends. First pick a place and time. Your time should be limited to about 4 hours or less – long enough to shoot all your subjects, but short enough to put a bit or pressure on yourself to get “good” shots of all the subjects. Develop a list of 20 to 24 subjects, and go shoot!

Here’s a list of subjects from the scavenger hunt I ran yesterday. You could apply most of these to your own scavenger hunt.

  1. Color
  2. Watercraft
  3. Yellow
  4. Odd Number
  5. Nature
  6. Reflection
  7. Symmetry
  8. Break the Rule of Thirds
  9. Monochrome
  10. Closeup/macro
  11. Human
  12. Unusual
  13. S-curve
  14. Stop Action
  15. Sad
  16. Joy
  17. Water
  18. the “Perfect” Photograph
  19. Texture
  20. First
  21. Photographer’s Choice
  22. Self Portrait

Although I didn’t participate in the scavenger hunt because I was the organizer, I did take a few photos to help illustrate for this post. If you want more some more advise on how to run and organize a scavenger hunt, send me an email.

Go ahead – challenge yourself and do a scavenger hunt. Have fun!!!

Topic - Stop Action

Topic – Stop Action

Topic - Color

Topic – Color

Topic - Closeup

Topic – Closeup

Topic - Monochrome

Topic – Monochrome

Topic - Yellow

Topic – Yellow

Topic - reflection

Topic – reflection

Topic - unusual

Topic – unusual