Rebecca Loomis

Compulsive creative with too many hobbies

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Phlog • Example Project

It's possible to do your phlog all in one sitting rather than in increments, if you've watched all of the video lessons; and I find that I do this on a regular basis, because rarely is your first shot the best one. Here's an example of the process I typically go through when taking a photo.

When my grandfather moved out of his house, he let me rummage through his basement and salvage whatever books I wanted to keep, which left me with stacks upon stacks of delightfully vintage classics! Inspired by the collection on my shelf, I decided to take a photo for my Instagram.

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My first was a huge disappointment. The photo didn't nearly do the books justice. Before taking the shot, I had ignored my background and was only focused on the books themselves–their edges, shapes, colors, etc. Once taken, I noticed the legs of the table in the background, the unwanted starkness of the red rug, the distracting texture of the tile, etc. So I moved.

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This was no good either. It split the photo straight down the middle, a poor composition in this case.

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I tried more of a bird's-eye view and tried to be more experimental, letting go of my photo-taking habits; but then Charles Dickens became the focal point, and I just kept getting more frustrated. Finally, I moved the stack to a new location.

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This was better, but still wasn't communicating what I wanted. These books were a wonderful paradox of mystery and familiarity, full of story–both within their contents and in the used edges of their pages flipped time and time again by their previous owners. Instead, it was starting to feel like a stack of textbooks, a chore to be completed.

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This angle made the stack feel less chunky and burdensome, but I didn't like how skinny and awkward it looked. Also, the background was less than ideal, there was too much going on.

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This fixed the busy-ness of the background, but gave it a more eerie feel. Something about the diagonal line from between the pages pushing out of the frame made it seem almost dangerous. My intent was to glamorize the books, to make them look majestic and inspiring; something that would make you want to reach new heights!

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At last, I tried a worm's eye view. Brilliant! I hadn't even noticed the delightful reflections on the table that so perfectly framed the books until I got down there. The stack almost resembled a podium with the top book open as it was, and reminded me of hearing words carefully spoken from a lector in a large, echoing church. The light, framed by the curtains so it looked like a spotlight, made it seem like the books came from heaven, elevating the subject to something more than just paper and ink. I was satisfied.

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Lastly, I added some finishing touches. I made the colors a bit more warm and the edges soft to make the subject seem more inviting and accessible.

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