Dogwood 52 Week Challenge

I’ll be updating this blog post each week as I progress through the Dogwood 52-Week challenge. If you’re wondering why I’m participating, click here for a previous blog post. Hover over the image for description and camera info. I don’t think this works as well if you’re viewing on a mobile phone or tablet, so I’ll also add description and info below the image gallery. Enjoy.


Week 18 // Weight or Mass

Heavy as a stone, light as a feather. Find inspiration and shoot an amazing photograph.

Paper beats rock because the trees are not intimidated by the rock and simply grow on it.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5
Exposure: 1/125 sec at f/3.5, ISO 64
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 17 // Balance

Balanced composition is pretty straightforward, unless you are trying to shoot in the "Accidental Renaissance" style. So shoot a balanced image in the Accidental Renaissance style.

Accidentally got caught up in an Easter sunrise service while I went to go photograph the sunrise. Also accidentally composed the photo as a Golden Ratio.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5
Exposure: 1/25 sec at f/3.5, ISO 400
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 16 // Shadow

Tell a story. Make it compelling while only using shadow.

The face of the rock became more apparent as the sun rose higher into the sky, allowing the shadows to accentuate its features.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5
Exposure: 1/100 sec at f/8, ISO 64
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 15 // Anonymous

This week's inspiration is Anonymous. Interpret this how you wish.

This is an old photo I found when sorting through old photos. This photo has clearly gone through an IG Filter, but I don’t remember ever creating it or posting it and I can’t find any evidence of this photo on my IG accounts.

Camera + Lens: iPhone 5s
Exposure: N/A
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 14 // Center Frame Portrait

Center Framed composition is a great way to isolate your subject. Use this knowledge to create a portrait that exhibits loneliness.

Life in the sky must be lonely if a creature with the capabilities of flight is often hopping around along the ground.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5
Exposure: 1/800 sec at f/8, ISO 200
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 13 // New Beginnings

Our world is full of circular patterns; as some things end, others begin. Tell us a story of a New Beginning.

Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. The creation of Crater Lake was a result of the destructive eruption of Mount Mazama, destroying its own summit and over time turning into what is now one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5
Exposure: 1/200 sec at f/8, ISO 64
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 12 // Trash

Trash is your inspiration. Tell a story or create something beautiful.

Because this is the ATM that Portland deserves, but not the one it needs right now. Because it’s broken.

Camera + Lens: iPhone Xs
Exposure: 1/404 sec at f/1.8, ISO ??
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 11 // Fill the Frame

Using Fill the Frame is a great way to isolate your subject and create interest in your photo. Can you do it with only one color in the frame? Fill the Frame with one color.

Part of my job at the architecture firm I work at is to help take process photos. In this case, there was a strong theme of blues to match a client’s branding color.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5
Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/4.2, ISO 400
Lighting: Skylight


Week 10 // Hometown

Tell us the story of your hometown. It could be a famous landmark, something the town is known for, or even just your favorite place to relax.

Vancouver, WA is what I would consider my hometown I suppose. I lived there from 1997-2001 and again from 2005-2007. It is where the majority of my extended family have lived and where most of our family reunions occur. My work in architecture afforded me the opportunity to work on this great project on the Vancouver Waterfront. This is the next iconic spot for this city and I’m proud to have been able to help contribute to it.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5
Exposure: 4 sec at f/8.0, ISO 64
Lighting: Rising Sun


Week 9 // Mood

Your Artistic Inspiration this week is the mood you are feeling today. Take that mood and use it to create art.

It has been fairly busy the last few weeks and I feel like I’m often finding myself running on empty or drained, resulting in a rather exhausted but stressed mood. An empty coffee cup best encapsulates this cycle of being busy, but drained, and needing energy.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
Exposure: 1/60 sec at f/4.0, ISO 3200
Lighting: Cafe Lighting


Week 8 // Leading Lines

It is easy to use Leading Lines to show depth in an image or guide the eye to a specific spot in the image. Instead, this week use leading lines to show the concept of infinity.

I pondered on this week’s theme of using leading lines to show the concept of infinity for a while and kept coming to the conclusion that the typical leading lines composition always leads to a singular point. I decided to use that and flip it around with lines that point to all sorts of directions, creating a sort of entropic experience for the viewer. I found this in Axiom Custom Product’s art installation at the Portland Winter Light Festival.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 FL
Exposure: 1/40 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1600
Lighting: Whatever was in this art installation


Week 7 // Love Story

Make us feel the love in this week's photo. Tell a love story in one image.

Justin Timberlake fans love them some JT. For this set at the concert, the stage light was cut down to a minimal few spotlights over the performers on stage so it was quite dark except for that one spot. Then he asked the crowd to turn on their phone’s light and suddenly the whole arena lit up.

Camera + Lens: iPhone Xs
Exposure: 1/30 sec at f/1.8, ISO a lot.
Lighting: Stage Lighting and a lot of Cellphone LED Flashlights


Week 6 // #NoFilter

No limit on what you shoot this week, as long as the image is pure. No filters, presets or other edits. Basic exposure corrections only this week.

Given that I rarely use presets or filters, this week’s challenge was pretty easy. As I was helping photograph the Portland Winter Light Festival this week, I took the opportunity to grab a shot of the south waterfront area. I liked the way the crescent moon and clouds looked as a backdrop to the Marquam Bridge.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 35mm f1.4G
Exposure: 13 sec at f/16, ISO 31
Lighting: Natural and Architectural


Week 5 // Symmetry Landscape

Landscape is one of the most practiced type of photography. Use Symmetry in a Landscape to create a new viewpoint for this week's image.

I didn’t want to take a typical landscape photo for this challenge; I wanted to push the boundaries a little bit here and there. I decided to focus in on a subject. I initially wanted to go with a macro photography style, but ended up with this moment on my commute home. I also wanted to take a photo in portrait orientation instead of landscape orientation. Symmetry is typically a man-made concept (at least when it comes to reflective symmetry). This situation puts the symmetry of the brick work against the asymmetry of the tree and soil.

Camera + Lens: iPhone Xs
Exposure: 1/46 sec at f/1.8, ISO ??
Lighting: Natural Light


Week 4 // Warmth

Tell a story that makes us feel warm inside.

Wood in architecture is one of the best tools to help provide a sense of warmth in a space, especially when juxtaposed against the more contemporary building materials of glass, steel, and concrete. We subconsciously slow down around wood; we let our guards down around wood; we become comfortable around wood.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 @ 24mm
Exposure: 1/25 sec at f/3.5, ISO 400
Lighting: Skylight and Available Artificial Light


Week 3 // Black and White

Take an amazing black and white photograph of any subject you want.

I decided to challenge myself to convert a photo that I normally would want to depict in color as black and white. This colorful sunrise photo was the perfect candidate for me to try and make black and white. I emphasized the layering of the foggy hills and the fluidity of the cloud textures as they become the dynamic points of interest once color is stripped away.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Sigma 85mm f1.4EX
Exposure: 1/2.5 sec at f/16, ISO 64
Lighting: Hydrogen Fusion + Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) Softbox


Week 2 // Rule of Thirds Motion

Use Rule of Thirds to show motion in your picture.

Knowing that I was going to go hiking this weekend to chase some waterfalls, I had a couple of rough ideas of what I wanted to capture. I don’t normally photograph waterfalls using the rule of thirds, but this particular waterfall was almost asking for it.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 VR
Exposure: 15sec at f/16, ISO 32 + ND8 Filter
Lighting: Hydrogen Fusion + Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) Softbox


Week 1 // Self-Portrait

Take a picture that tells us who you are, without actually showing your face.

For this week’s photo, I went with the “take photos of items that represent who I am” route. The items in this image are pretty self-explanatory for most of those who know me.

Camera + Lens: Nikon D810 + Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX
Exposure: 1/80sec at f/8, ISO 400
Lighting: 18” Neewer Ring Light