Monday, July 1, 2013

Day 24: Low Light, No Flash (Bookshelves)

The photography challenge for today was to photograph indoors in low light without a flash. I did the assignment, but I'm going to show you more than that. I'm going to give you a window into our souls by showing you our bookshelves.

Unless you are the type to snoop through someone's medicine cabinet, there's no better way to get to know someone than to peruse their bookshelves. Here are mine.

First Floor, Family Room: The left shelves hold reference books, CDs and DVDs, and photo albums. The top two of the center shelves house my to-read pile. The bottom center shelf contains coffee table books and the kids' magazines. I haven't yet claimed the right shelves from the kids, but they will soon outgrow the puzzles, so I anticipate room to expand.

bookshelf

First Floor, Living Room, Book Corner: This is the kids' reading corner. The reading corner is devoted to picture books, but early chapter books are beginning to migrate here as well.

bookshelves and bean bags

Upstairs hallway: Yes, I know I need some wall hangings, but let's focus on the books. The left shelves are things I have read and want to keep forever--The Harry Potter series, Stephen King's Dark Tower series, several John Irving and Reynolds Price novels, and assorted other things I have loved. 

The right shelves are overflow from my son's room. When I first moved his books into the hallway, these shelves were only oversize books and those he had not yet read. I have a feeling he's made a pretty good dent in the latter category.

bookshelves

Upstairs, Daughter's Bedroom: For someone who is only six, my daughter has quite a reading collection at hand--she has three bookshelves in her bedroom. The newest is only just beginning to fill up and includes anthologies and books she inherited from her older brother.

bookshelves

She also has two shelves next to her bed. The bottom shelf houses favorite picture books--Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems feature prominently. The top shelf holds her Ivy & Bean collection, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books that I owned as a child, and a to-read pile.

bookshelves

Her nightstand also is a bookshelf. The books have somehow become double stacked, so we need to move some to one of the empty shelves. This shelf holds her early chapter books as well as in-process books or recently completed ones that she's failed to put back in place.

bookshelves

Upstairs, Son's Room: As I mentioned before, my son's book collection already has spilled into the hallway. He also has two sets of IKEA Expedit cubes that hold reference books, oversize books, and his LEGO Bionicle series, as well as acting as a LEGO display area.

I realized too late that I failed to photograph his LEGO book collection. If you want a complete picture, you can see those here.

bookshelves

My son houses all his favorite books and all his series here--all three Rick Riordan series, 39 Clues, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, How to Train Your Dragon, and more. These are his most frequently revisited books.

bookshelves

Upstairs, Master Bedroom: This is a great hodge-podge of things I have owned forever. These shelves hold my favorite American literature college anthologies, my favorite childhood and middle grade books the kids haven't yet taken, books my husband won as awards in high school, and the law review volumes from the two years I was on the staff.

bookshelves

Do you feel like you know me better already? See any of your favorites on these shelves?

I took all of these photos between 7:40 and 8:00 p.m. using a tripod with my camera set on ISO 1600 (the highest on my camera). All were taken in natural light except for the first.

While I succeeded in getting clear, well-lit photos in low light without a flash, these photos are not particularly well-composed. I only had a few minutes between dinner and tucking in responsibilities and wanted to include all the bookshelves. I didn't want to clean up or move furniture or other items to achieve the best composition. What you see is what you would see if you showed up at my house right now. We sadly do not live a perfectly composed existence.

If you too have a thing for bookshelves, check out my Pinterest Bookshelves board. When I see an amazing bookshelf, library, or book store online, I pin it there to swoon over at my leisure. While you're there, you can see all the photos from this month-long challenge on my 30-Day Photography Challenge board. Each photo will link back to the corresponding blog post.

Tomorrow's challenge is Shallow Depth of Field. I see a lot of overlap between this challenge and the bokeh challenge, but let's have at it. I love any excuse to pull out my 50 mm 1.8.

What will you choose to photograph in low light? I'll show you my bookshelves if you show me yours....


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