Project Double Take | #1 Black & White

The project is under way and this is the first week of Project Double Take. If you aren't familiar with Project Double Take, it is a photo project partnership between myself and David Vernon. Dave and I have a set list of themes that will carry us through the year. We are planning on displaying those images on our blogs together as a double take - one image from each of us that is our representation on the theme. Pretty cool stuff. To see the schedule, you can read the original post here and here How did we do out right out of the gate?

Well, let me start by saying that the last two weeks have been typical Central Illinois winter days; gray, glooming, no sun, one giant seamless cloud overhead, misty, foggy, and cold. Just looking out the window doesn't exactly inspire a photographer. The project officially began on the 11th and our first turn in date was the 25th. When did I take my shot? Oh, how about on the 22nd! Yeah, I drug my feet for the two weeks hoping one morning I would see some other kind of light that would make me want to go outside. Dave joked that it was the first outing and here I was already taking my first "desperation" shot to meet the project deadline. It was true. I stalled thinking the weather might improve and the truth is that I just needed to make something of it. That is really what makes us better photographers, turning the seemingly nothing into something.

I wasn't sure what would look good in this light. We had a freezing rain a few nights which in turn produced some ice covered trees. There was always the river front with big blobs of floating ice drifting down the river and while those subjects can be interesting, I just wasn't motivated. I knew I was running out of time and then last Friday is was warming up and the snow was melting and we were blanketed by a fog. I went to lunch with some coworkers and on the way back we drove by an old barn, a typical sight around here. The fog, however, made it interesting. I immediately knew I wanted to find a barn for a creepy foggy shot. I'd never seen it in person, but a friend of ours has shot this barn a time or two in summer with blue skies and puffy clouds. It was cool then, but somehow I knew this barn would feel right in the fog. The barn had already appropriately been named "The Skeleton Barn" thanks to it skeleton appearance, so I mapped it out and set out to capture it after work.

In the end, I am happy with my desperation shot. I don't know that I really captured the fog as I saw it. One of the drawbacks this time of year is shooting snow. I had to increase my exposure to keep the snow white and not grey and in the end, I lost of little of the fog. I am glad though that there still was snow to shoot because it gave some texture and pattern to my foreground and today the snow is all melted and it is just wet out. I will say at least this time of year, things already look black and white out, so this weather really lent itself to converting to black and white. I'm sure Dave was smart enough to plan it that way when he laid out the schedule. ;)

Dave's shot is of the grain silos at the Tremont Co-op in Tremont, IL. If you want to know more about Dave's choice for this shot, head over to his blog. He had the same lighting to work with that I had, and you'll notice he was clever to use that to his advantage. The overhead cloud acting as one giant softbox really bring out the details in silos.

Do you like Project Double Take? Do you want to play along? Just head over to flickr and join our Project Double Take group. (Sign up for flickr if you aren't already a member). The schedule is posted and you can just add your image to the group pool. The next subject is "Self Portait in a Landscape" and I've already got the wheels turning for that one.