As a photographer, I spend most of my time photographing people. I love it of course, but sometimes, for sanity sake, I need to photograph something different, just for me. It allows me to see things in a different way, and in turn, I think it makes me a better portrait photographer for my clients. Sometimes I have an idea in my head before I go out and shoot, and other times I let the environment speak to me. I am going to share a recent project I did, one where I let my environment speak to me, and how you can use this project to create your own challenge for yourself.
Some friends and I were headed to Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GA. I knew there would be a lot of historical subjects here, the glorious oak trees covered in moss, famous headstones, unique grave sites. But I wanted to capture something a bit different. As I was walking around, I noticed the engravings, what was being said. Then I noticed how many different type sets there were. As a former early childhood teacher, I am very familiar with ABC books. Every year I would have my students create ABC books of their own, so I decided to create a Bonaventure ABC collection!
As I was walking around, I knew it would be important to find the tricky letters first. Every X, Q, Z I saw, I photographed.
I used my 85mm f/1.4 lens on my Nikon D300, as it was the longest lens I had in my bag, and I wanted to stand as far from the headstone as possible as to not disturb the area. You want to fill the frame as much as possible. For the more common letters, I was looking for unique.
When I got home, I brought them into PS, chose the fonts that spoke to me, cropped them square, did a quick boost in curves and called it a day. Now…what will I do with these you ask? I mean, they came from a cemetery! Well, living in Savannah, GA, I am enthralled with the history, so my plan is to make some wall art using my letters to go along with some prints of Savannah I have hanging in my house. For example, I could put my letters together to make…
Now, if I had this specific word in mind, I may have collected various A’s and N’s to give it a bit more uniqueness.
Time to challenge yourself. Next time you are out and about, look around. Capture those unique type sets, unique fonts that catch your eye. Perhaps you are at the fair. Can you imagine how many colorful letters you could find? Putting letters together to create a wall gallery for your child’s name for example.
Some great places to capture some unique letters:
Main Street, Anytown USA
Let me know what you come up with, I would love to see your letters! Please attach your letters and wall words in the comment section on the MCP Blog post. We hope this helps you get more creative!!!
Britt, the author of this post, is a former teacher turned photographer. Formerly of Savannah, GA, Britt Anderson Photography will be coming to Chicago, IL soon! Britt loves all aspects of photography from maternity to newborns, tots to teens, couples to engagements.Previous Post: 3 Surefire Ways to Get Eyes to Pop in Your Photography
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