I entered my first photo contest a few nights ago. It’s hosted by Peachpit Publishers with Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs. I first heard about this from Trey’s webinar a few weeks ago and I was really excited to submit my work for the contest. I think its really cool how much HDR is really causing a stir in the photography world & I’m sure Trey has a lot to do with it. Stuck in Customs has always been my go-to-blog when I’m ready to be inspired and I really do feel honored that I could submit to this contest. Here’s my entry. I HDR’d-fied (like my new word?) this panther chameleon reaching for his lunch. Let me know what you all think!
I’ve always loved taking pictures. I think the reason why I love it so much is because I can make people see things in a different way. With just one click I can create something beautiful.
Last year, I started to take pictures for Screameleons Chameleons. The idea was to create calendars and posters for promotion of the company. I had my own reasons for wanting to doing it.
1. I wanted to become a professional photographer 2. I had just bought a new D-SLR and I wanted another reason to use it. 3. It was something that I could do in my spare time.
The idea seemed easier than to actually do it. There was A LOT of trial and error and frustrating times. I had been trained on a film SLR and I didn’t realize how different a D-SLR could be. Before I had taken pictures just for my own personal use, this time it had to be for real.
One major frustration was my lack of knowledge in Photoshop. I had learned basics in some of my art classes, but it was nothing to the level of what I had to do for the chameleons. I had to learn about aspect ratio, adjust color, and fix certain imperfections of the chameleon. The lesson I learned was practice, practice, and if it doesn’t work.. start over and do it again.
We also had to figure out which pictures would appeal to people the most. For example, other animal calendars love to sell babies (puppies, kittens, etc.)
A baby chameleon is not so attractive. Chameleons don’t start getting their color until they are a few weeks old.
Panther chameleons curl their tails naturally, in this cool looking spiral.
Not so cool to look at for an entire month on your wall.
Due to some unforeseen circumstances, our 2008 calendar didn’t come out until Feburary 2008. I was excited to have a finished product, but it just didn’t come out in time.
This year was going to be different. We were going to start earlier in the year and decrease our cost so that our 2009 Panther Chameleon Calendar could be sold competitively at a reasonable price at the right time of the year.
Future goals: 1. Sell as many Chameleon Calendars as possible this year and learn from mistakes made on the way so that next year will be better. 2. Make posters, magnets or even mouse pads as another way to create revenue. 3. Take a lot of quality pictures so that we have a stock of chameleon pictures. 4. Sell our calendar to a publisher. 5. Learn from mistakes so that each year the calendar gets progressively better.