Assignment 5

Documentary assignment. We had to document a relationship, preferably between two people, showing touch. We had to turn in five photos. 

I chose to do my assignment on my little brother. About six months ago his long term relationship of five years ended. It took him quite sometime to get to where he is now, and I’m proud of him for how he has handled himself through most of the heartbreak, and learning how to pick himself up, and learning about who he is. I wanted to document the relationship between his Harley and himself. He rides it whenever the weather will allow. 

Here’s what happened. I FINALLY got my brother to meet up with me to do these photos, he gave me about a ten minutes notice and I ran to where he was as quickly as I could. Turned on my camera and – no memory card. Crap. He said that if I went home to get it that he wouldn’t be there when I got back. Sooooo…I had to take all of the photos with my phone. I was supper worried that my teacher was going to call me out on it, but she didn’t. They were super hard to edit, it was basically done with a point and shoot, I had no control over. She did say that she didn’t like them and that they looked rushed (they were) and that they didn’t document enough of a relationship. Understandable. I’d like to take more pictures of my brother salmon fishing in the fall. 

Assignment 4

Intimate portrait. Our professor wanted up to be able to convey who the person was through two portraits. Intimate, meaning not a smiling sitting pose. But a candid, emotional portrait.

We were only supposed to use natural lighting, and portraiture isn’t my strongest style of photography. I find it hard to connect with people, so I turned the camera on myself instead.

This was the favorite of my class, I won’t lie. It’s my favorite too. 
My teacher was impressed with what I captured. Although these were actually taken last semester and I used one as a filler in my portfolio. Also I used a small penlight for the light source, and handheld my camera. I used my phone to connect to my camera and get the framing and focus where I wanted it. It was still extremely difficult. I took about 75 photos and got 3 good ones, that’s how difficult it was. But it was worth it.

I told my professor that I ustilized the blackout curtains in my bedroom and pinned open a small circle so I could control the light and get the flare on my one photo. It would have worked the same. Another student whose photography is exceptional in my class remarked that in the neck photo the chain of my necklace is in focus. (That actually wasn’t my intention, but I liked it so I rolled with it when selecting images)

Assignment 1

Self portrait through light. 

We were to create two images, both self portraits to demonstrate the two types of light. Secular, meaning hard light. And diffuse, meaning soft light. 

Here are my images:

This one was meant to be my diffuse light photograph. I used the large glass doors of my apartment for the light source, but closed the blinds to soften the light coming through. I used a slower shutter speed to play with the blending of motion blur with my image. I wanted it to represent how I was feeling. Which was overwhelmed. I am a single mom, to a four year old, a full time student, and I have to work full time to afford my place with my daughter and to keep our health insurance I can’t be part time. I have two declared majors, mechanical engineering, and fine arts with a focus on drawing and painting. But I also am pursuing a photography degree. You can definitely say that I am a busy little bee. 
This was supposed to be my secular light. To try to get this I opened the blinds on the window so it was straight light and I got as close to it as possible. I thought that the quick falloff of light inside the mask along with its harsh highlights along the bottom left would be enough. However my professor said that this light looked quite diffuse as well. 
My mistake was thinking that hard light was direct light in a bright atmosphere, when in reality it’s the harsh contrast of light in the image. I would have made a better secular light situation being in a dimly lit room with one close, bright light source. For example I could have moved to my bedroom where I have blackout curtains and only let a sliver of light in to create harsh shadow lines on my face. That would have been a better example of secular lighting. 

Another difficulty I had was getting the motion blur in the photo the way I wanted it. It was a lot of experimentation with shutter speeds and timing. I had a shutter release on a timer so that I had enough time to press the release, hide it, then move. 3 second delay was too quick, but the 10 second delay felt like forever, and was difficult to time. But I did end up with one photo I thought was good enough to use thankfully. 

Assignment 4

Assignment 4 was Available Light Portraiture. I had plenty of people who said they wanted to sit for me but none of them actually wanted to. I wanted to do something different from what everyone else was going to do so I wanted to do faceless portraits of people doing things.

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The First image is of my friend’s son Connor. He bought himself a mini three wheeler and he loves it. He was behind the shop doing doughnuts on it so I went and took some pictures of him. A ton actually. But Connor has known me for a long time and he is used to me snapping photos of him so he knew to just do his thing and I’d get it. I don’t really like how the mud he is slinging up kind of blends into the trees in the background but I am working without the color separation. The professor said he would have preferred a shot of him like sitting against the front of the three wheeler after they’re both covered in mud, but what my professor failed to realize is that this kid doesn’t stop. He ran until well after the sun set that night.mccoy_print

A photo of my brothers hands while working on his girlfriend’s car. He was trying to do her brakes and they were seized on so he was getting quite frustrated. This is just before my dad and him decided to heat them with a torch to try to free them and get them off. The professor said he would have preferred there to be more grease on my brothers hands, make him look like he was working harder. My brother doesn’t like photos taken of him and this was taken while he was in the middle of something. I was more an observer, I was not about to be like hey McCoy, I know you’re frustrated right now but can you get your hands a little dirtier then sit just like that for me for a second? Not happening. mccoy_print-2

Another image of my brother, outside of work. His girlfriend had just broken up with him the day before this was taken. He was really tore up and he let me snap some pictures of him in the fading light before I had to leave for school. My professor asked me to reshoot this assignment because he didn’t feel I had executed my concept well enough. So I switched to straight portraits. This image still made the final cut.self_print

I added this photo, that I took of myself while taking photos for my final project Assignment. It was about 14 degrees out that morning and I could feel it. Unfortunately I decided to do the self portrait after the regular shooting that I needed to do, so I was already cold, and then I took my coat off to sit in the cold. But it was acceptable for the reshoot.eye_1_print

This I cheated on. Hey, At least I’m honest. So I took this photo in my bedroom at night with the light of a penlight that I use for work. So I had the camera in one hand, connected to my phone, in my lap so that I could see what the camera was seeing, and the penlight in the other hand. So I set the delay for ten seconds, hit the button, and quickly positioned the camera. Below are two more from that series that I wanted to do and just call it “Night Thoughts” Let me know what you think.

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Self Portraits

I went back to the cemetery where I did the trade shoot with Tinara to do some self portraits. My goal? Get something usable. I can connect my phone to my camera on my tripod. Handy huh? My phone shows me what my camera sees and allows me to press the shutter release right on my phone. 


This was actually one of the last shots that I got. I was getting the hang of posing (check out those legs 😉) and this is the only shot with my phone in it, but I like the contrast between the old headstones and the new phone. This method is so so soooooo much easier than the whole set the timer and run thing. Plus with the timer I could never get the focus right (oh well). But there is a delay between pressing the button and the actual shutter release so a lot of my photos were like mid blink also 😒. 


These were two of my first shots. I need to work on composing my face. I was so worried about my body position and looking at the camera I kinda lost the whole putting an emotion on my face thing. So a lot of my photos I just have this blank stare. Although I do like the one of me more turned to the side better. I look more natural, like I’m waiting for something. And not awkwardly trying to take photos of myself. 


I got some closer up photos. These were easiest because I didn’t really have to worry about what I was doing with my body just where I placed it in the frame. And I’m not mid blink because I’m looking at my phone which is in my hand instead of trying to hit the button with my foot and be composed. 

I also did some composites because you know, my camera is on a tripod and they’re too easy not to do. 
When editing, because the majority of my photos are backlit I had to adjust the background and myself separately. I feel like it makes me stand out a little more in some of the photos but it also kind of makes me look out of place. Almost otherly. I enjoy it. Originally I had planned on doing the set in black and white like the set I did with Tinara but these photos just begged to be left in color so I did. 

I need more practice with my face. It was easier to compose with the close ups because I was looking at my phone at the exact moment I took the photo. But maybe I should invite along a friend to help me until I can get the hang of it. 

Model TFP With Tinara

A few weeks ago I did a model TFP shoot with a local model/photog named Tinara.

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We started near this obelisk, and got a few different shots.

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This was probably my favorite shot near the obelisk.

I planned on doing the whole set in strictly black and white, however this edit I did in both black and white, and color. The color really popped for me in this one and thats why I kept both although once it was converted to black and white I was able to push it a little further that would have made it look unnatural in color so they aren’t exactly the same edit, but close.

We then moved to this large, old standing stone that was in French. It was super neet and I plan on going back and doing some self portraits in front of it myself I loved it so much.

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The contrast on this one is quite extreme, but I think that adds to the “vampire” effect we were going for.

This one I kept an edit of both as well because I really liked the orange tiger lilies in the back, and you lose out on them once the image is converted to black and white.

Also this is a composite shot. Funny story, so when we are shooting in front of this stone these two older ladies come walking up the hill and one of them says “I think you’re leaning on my great-grandfather!” and we are both looking at each other like “ah, craaap.” so the lady comes up and looks at the stone and says “nope, not this one. But it is a very lovely stone.” and I just reply “Yes it it!” I’m like crap, the ONE THING that could possibly go wrong with a shoot like this and BAM there it is. But anyway, we continue.

So the pose was great but the ladies were in the background of my shot by the lilies, and another shot I had with the lilies clear (no photo bombers) had a pose that I wasn’t crazy about, so I got fancy and combined the two.

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This was another of my favorite shots from this session. Again, I went heavy on the contrast, but it adds to the “Vampire in a graveyard” effect.

 

Overall troubles I had with this shoot: I need more practice with my prime lens, it did not want to focus on her at all. Mostly it wanted to focus on the skull or on a neighboring headstone so I got a lot of “soft” photos… YAY -_- I would have had much better results if  I had switched to one of my other lenses so I could zoom in on her and focus, then zoom out. Or if I had noticed it and just switched to manual zoom…but the “soft” is so light that I couldn’t see it on my LCD display at the time of the shoot.

Also the model only brought one outfit, I wish she had brought more. Having her in multiple outfits probably would have given me more ideas. But its not bad for a shoot for shoot. (yes, she took photos of me as well) and my first model shoot. 🙂