Final Assignment: 

The final project for b&w 100 was five highly related images. I chose to take the gas mask to the old abandoned store near my house and take photos here they are: 

As you can see I had more than five, but that was acceptable. I liked the atmosphere and I really enjoyed having free reign over the project. Shooting what you want to always makes for good images and a fun time. 


Assignment 5: Place 

The place I chose was the shop my grandfather opened. It used to be called Moosbrugger’s Sales and Exchange. Now it’s called C/T Grass, Dirt, and Snow, and it’s owned by a couple of friends. 

The first shot I got was of spare nuts and bolts on the shelves in their dividers. This shot was difficult using only my 50mm but I needed to because of the low light, I really needed the f1.8 aperature, my shutter speed was slightly below where I should have been hand holding it but I braced myself against the opposite wall and it came out with acceptable sharpness. 

Then o shot these tiny little drawers that they keep small parts like small springs and whatnot in. They’ve been there since my grandfather opened the shop, I love how they’ve aged. I actually climbed up on the shelves to get this angle. 
Here I wanted to take a step back and show the shelves, the narrowness, how packed they are, the true scope of the organized chaos that is the “parts department” of the shop. 
This is the same image, cropped in to give me the 8×10.5 image needed for the class, although I preferred the original so I showed them both for critique. 
Professor said that he wished that I had done the aisle shot as an HDR image, but he still liked it. He asked what lighting I used and I told him I used only the overhead flouressant lights you can see in the one photo. He was impressed I got useable images out of that darkness. But it’s all about how you use what’s available to you. 

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.


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.


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.