Assignment #3

Assignment #3 was hyperfocus. Meaning everything in the image, foreground, middleground, and background should be in focus. To achieve this you want to close down your aperature (I used an f-stop of 22) and a decent shutter speed. If you know a little about photography and shooting in manual you know that when you close down your aperature you need to slow your shutter to allow the correct amount of light to hit your sensor. Unfortunately the two weeks we were given for this assignment it was drizzling and overcast the entire time, so it was a challenge for us all. 

I stared by going up to salmon river falls and walking the gorge trail. I wanted to get a long shot of the river o show depth. Here’s the shot I ended up using. 

Originally the rock in the foreground was too dark, so I dodged it on a layer mask. I also lightened the trees on the right and darkened the trees on the left to make them more uniform. The sunlight was a little harsh and I didn’t get high enough to really get a good amount of river, it looks like just rocks but it is river. I shot this image from down low. As you can see even the trees in the far back are sharp, making it hyperfocused. 

Unfortunately I didn’t like any of the others from shooting the river, so on another day I went to an abandoned North Country near where I live and tried to get some depth in there too. This was the first one I turned in. It looked a little gray under the flourescent lights so I had to bump up the contrast a bit. 


I had to bump up the contrast a bit on this one too but I really like the way it turned out. I was a little nervous having the telephone pole cutting the image but I decided that it’s not too much of a distraction and I rolled with it. 

Light was a challenge in this assignment because of the weather and needin a small aperature for the focus. As well as finding a space deep enough to properly show the hyperfocus of the photos. There aren’t too many places near me that have something interesting in the foreground and background and a big enough space separating the two to really show hyperfocus. It’s not a technique I use often because I prefer some background blur, I actually prefer selective focus. I shoot a lot of “things” and not so many “places” but it was good practice. 

Assignment #2

Assignment #2 was selective focus. 

Much of my first assignment was done with selective focus, so This was more like a continuation of the first assignment. And since I already knew the kinds of photos my professor was looking for I could cater my photos to be what he liked. This first image was taken on campus in the new music wing. There wasn’t much light so I had to process it a little more than I normaly like to. I knew I could do it though thanks to raw files, so shooting it dark didn’t bother me. I didn’t want my focus to be on the foremost bolt so I focused on the second bolt. And the light coming in illuminating the threads on the bolts really helped it pop. 

The second image was taken out back of my friends shop, it is this very soft fuzzy plant. The sun was very low in the sky so I got that back 45 lighting on the edge of the leaf. I had to burn a little bit of detail of the veins back into the leaf but that’s all the processing that was done with this one. 

The final image is of the bottom of a lamp in my room. I really liked the pattern and the tones, the dust and the texture. This used the window as the main light source and then I also turned the lamp on so I could soften the shadowing of the far right of the lamp and deepen the shadow under the lamp. Also the book that the lamp is sitting on adds great contrasting texture. The only processing for this photo was the change to black and white. 

My professor complimented my ability to see the light in a scene and my ability to capture it. I didn’t get any negative feedback during critique, just questions on how I got the effects in my photos. Many of my classmates are very new to photography, but they are very curious and usually try out any methods we talk about in class. I tried to keep my photos lighter because I know that’s what my professor likes and I know I tend to be heavy. 

Going into critique I was worried my images weren’t going to be strong enough but once I saw where the bar was set as far as what my classmates did, my worries quickly dissipated. 

Assignment 1: Form

My first photo assignment was form. All photos are to be converted to black and white so there will be no color photos. 

The assignment was to be three photos. The first two are of dried roses. I didn’t know which one to submit, and I ended up showing both. 

I really like the composition of this second one with the one rose facing the camera falling off of the bottom. I like heavier photos. Apparently my professor does not. He didn’t like either photo. 

This photo he really liked. He asked if I used a macro lens. But I didn’t. Just a 50mm prime at f1.8 I focused the lens as close as possible then pulled my camera in and out to get the focus where I wanted. But he really liked my bokeh in this one. 

This is another one I liked. Some of the feedback I got was that one person wanted to see more of the wood siding. My professor asked me to lighten up the underneath of the stairs. And I got that it has good movement. 
I resubmitted a rose photo the following week. Thinking that I would need to raise my grade. When I got my grade it was actually and A- so it didn’t really need improving but I already had the photo printed so there was no point in not submitting it. 


He liked this one much better. Not as heavy. 

Photo 100

I’m taking a basic, entry level college digital photography course. It’s bare basics and I feel like I’m much more advanced than this class. I didn’t realize that when I signed up for it but I’m taking it anyway…I will be posting my images from my assignments along with some of the class critique regarding my images. I know the importance of the bare basics (why I haven’t switched classes) and I’m interested to see how this class affects my overall skill/style set. 

Sunflowers and camera struggles. 

Ok, so a week ago I went to the sunflower field in Camillus and took photos of the flowers. The next day I went to boldt castle in Alexandria bay, while I was there I noticed my camera would only focus sometimes. When I got home and uploaded my photos I saw in my bright sunflower photos that there was a good amount of dust in my camera. So I took it all apart and gently cleaned it. So today I took it back to the sunflower field with a friend of mine and her son to see if I fixed the spotty focus or not. Well it was still an issue. I figured out that my camera had somehow been switched to mf and the photos were basically in or out of focus based on my aperature and the distance of the subject. Half way through our shoot I figured it out because I was like well if I can’t get it to af I’ll just switch to mf and see what’s going on but it was already in mf. That’s when I remembered that two weeks ago I found my three year old touching my camera. She changed a lot of the quick settings but this isn’t nessecarily a quick setting. I mean it doesn’t have a hot key for a quick switch. I have to go through my menu. 

Anyhow I managed to get some good photos of the two of them. 

 I also took some cute full-length photos of them, but she hates every photo of her from the back, or that shows her stomach basically. *sigh* I think they’re cute. But oh well. I won’t post them because she asked me not to, but I’m not getting rid of them either. I’m so glad I figured out my cameras problem. It was really making me sad. All because of a noob overlook of a simple setting. Ugh. Lesson learned. 

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. 🙂

 

Romleski Wedding

I shot a wedding three weeks ago for my friend’s Aunt.

I have since edited and delivered 250 photos, for cheap.

Here are some difficulties that I had with the wedding:

057.jpgIt wasn’t rehearsed, which meant that not everyone knew what they should be doing all the time. For example, the groom should be pouring his sand into the jar while it is being held by the bride. NOT HER MOTHER. Which made for some awkward photos. But its not like I could just SKIP the part where the groom is pouring the sand into the jar…come on!

 

061.jpgThe bride and groom didn’t actually touch at all during the ceremony until after I was like “PSSSSSST! HOLD HANDS!”

 

164.jpgAnother thing I struggles with was the lighting. See how damn BRIGHT it is outside? Because its full on sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, and the shade was HEAVY. It made for some heavily contrasted photos, but even this is after a whole bunch of monkeying around in ps to bring some balance to it. I need a good flash for times like these, but I don’t have one so I will just have to do what I can in ps for now.

249.jpgMy memory cards…were a NIGHTMARE during this shoot. So here’s what happened, During the getting ready I shot about 30 pictures on a card that I had freshly formatted that morning and it errored out. All the photos were still there thankfully, but it wouldn’t let me take any more. So I put my spare in. It was at this MOST FANTASTIC OF TIMES that my spare (16GB) card was like Nah, I’m full. And my other 16GB card wasn’t working and I was like SHIT SHIT SHIT. UH ok, I think I have enough pictures now… (while screaming in my head like why didn’t I bring a third card?!?!)

I have since invested in a high end 64GB card, and I will always carry two spares from now on because that was the most embarrassing thing to ever have happen to me on a shoot…

BUT overall it was a good shoot and I got LOTS of good images, and the bride got a wicked STEAL of a price. (I hope she understands that…)

Cancun Mexico

In February I shot my Aunt’s wedding in Cancun Mexico.

The resort offered a photographer for the ceremony, and some pre reception group shots, so I mostly just tried to stay out of his way during this time as he was being paid, and I was doing this as a favor and a thanks for bringing me to Mexico. Since the hired photog wasn’t catching anything before the ceremony, that was my duty. I loved it there, it was so relaxing and beautiful. Here are some shots I took of said wedding.

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The rings and bouquets before the ceremony
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Its all in the details

I actually got this shot as the bride was walking past me in her hotel room, getting ready. This was something that saws important to her, so I wanted to make sure to capture a photo of it for her, and it actually turned out much better than I was expecting, I really like the marble flooring. This would have looked so tacky on something like carpeting…but when your resort is literally on the beach, carpet isn’t such a good idea for interior design… and the lighting was perfect.

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The groom getting ready

Something I don’t like about this photo is how messy the room is. I wasn’t expecting on walking into this when I went to her room to get photos of them getting ready. Had I known I would have definitely called house keeping to take care of the room prior to my arrival. But one of the brides favorite foods is cheese pizza, so I guess if she’s ok with it then so am I.

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Getting the bride into her dress

Again, the alcoholic drink hiding in this photo. I couldn’t quite get it out and keep the photo looking realistic, so I left it. The bride and the bridesmaids were sipping on these things, so they were all over the room at any given moment. That was a nightmare too, but the sliding glass door provided tons of natural light for her room so it was still nice to shoot even though it was inside.

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She actually had to have her sister sew her into her dress because the zipper wouldn’t stay up.

AGAIN WITH THE DRINK…and the messy stand…I seriously should have done a cleaning overhaul on this room prior to photos being done.

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Bride LOVED this suggestion for a pre ceremony pose

I looked for two days prior to the ceremony for a wall where we could do this pose at the resort, unfortunately the resort is full of wide open spaces and rounded walls…so we just did it in their room at the last minute, and it ended up working out. The groom was on board, he really enjoyed being so close to her before the ceremony, even if he couldn’t see her.

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The bride’s twin, they have matching “one of two” tattoos
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The grooms surprise
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He liked it

My aunt had told me how her husband-to-be had wanted fireworks on the beach after they got married, and was quite disappointed to find out that the resort actually didn’t offer anything like this, the closest thing they offered was sparklers after the first dance. She kept it a secret from him, but let me in on it so I could ,make sure to get the reaction shot when they went off.

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This was a must have as well.

This was a hard photo to capture, because the father of the bride, could only hold up the groom for  second or two before dropping him, and he was shaky, and it was actually dusk…I don’t like the positioning of the groom all that well, with his thumb being in front of his face like that… but like i said, I only had a second to capture it.

BUT it was a MUST have photo. The brides half brother Curtis had taken a photo like this with their father shortly before he passed away. and now that the father of the bride was acquiring a new son, he needed the picture to match. this was our special way of saying “Welcome to the family Eric!” lol. I’m SOOOOO glad I actually got a crisp shot of this, thankfully Ashlee was like we are doing the dad photo, get your camera ready, so I was able to double check all of my settings before I started, since dusk was falling Im glad I did, otherwise this photo may have been blurred or just too dark.

 

This was my first time really taking out my new camera and doing an event with it, I was so happy with the way her photos turned out. I spent the two days prior sharpening my skills with the new body, they paid off i can tell you that…