Saturday, February 6, 2010

365/36 All you need is love ... and twinkies

365/36 All you need is love ... and twinkies

Ok, so I wanted to do something different. Love is different, right? And twinkies? Everyone loves a good twinkie. Especially those cherry red, coconut-covered twinkies. I can hear your arteries hardening right now as you read this. Remember, when the zombie apocalypse comes, the only food that'll be left and edible will be the twinkies. BILLIONS of twinkies. In warehouses and shops all over the world.

But I digress.

This weekend is our latest Austin Strobist meetup. We have a contest going right now to depict love in one of it's many facets. My wife bought the twinkies today and when I saw them, I started thinking about how they would look cut into the shape of a heart. I played with the idea most of the evening. I kept stumbling over the fact that twinkies aren't very ... heart-shaped. Even if you cut them in the right way, they still look a bit wonky.

Once I accepted the fact that I really wanted to use twinkies for this idea, I started looking for other things to go with it. Crushed chili peppers! Red and orange ones! Pepper flakes! Sadly, I didn't have those. But this got me thinking about spelling the word "love" out with herbs we have laying around the house. We've got this large shaker of paprika from a few years back. Paprika isn't a commonly used spice in our home, so the spice is well aged. My wife and I debated it for a moment and came to the conclusion that it would be clump in a non-uniform way. In other words, it would look like shit.

So, next plan.

We didn't have crushed chili flakes, but we did have chili powder. Nope ... too orange. Rosemary? Coarse, but the bag we have is full of pale and extremely dried out rosemary. It didn't look good. Next? A bag of dried lemon balm. This has a naturally darker color than the rosemary, so we used that for the "L". The "O" was dried tea leaves that had been sitting around waiting for a use. I liked the dark and uniform layering of the tea. The "V", was our heart made of twinkies. I ate the right ventricle after shooting. It was tasty. And finally, the "E" was a heavy arrangement of jasmine flowers. I wanted the light straw coloring to give the photo a bit of different texture from the other ingredients.

After arranging it all and making sure I didn't do something stupid like misspell the word "love", I started in with the lights. The 15" Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe came to the rescue! Initially, I didn't like the shadow it was casting on the butt-side of the twinkie. The more I look at, the more it grows on me.

As of today, I'm 36 photos into this 365 session. I was talking about this with a friend this afternoon and we were discussing how difficult it is to come up with unique photos the farther along this project goes. There's only so many times I can photograph the same building, the same squirrel, the same goofie self-portrait, the same ... whatever. You get the picture. 36 days, 36 photos. I feel somewhat accomplished. I'm not entirely happy with some of the photos in the 365-set, but that's ok. This is an effort in self-improvement, not an effort in getting 365 good photos. I know that some will suck and that's ok.

For now, I'm going to clean up and leave this idea where it's at. 36 photos, 36 unique viewpoints. All done and accounted for. Here's to 329 more days. Somewhere around day 100, I know that I'm going to hit a wall on this. Hopefully I'll be able to push onwards and upwards. After all, that's what this is project is about: self-discipline and improving my photographic eye.

Fun stuff. Fun indeed.

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