A Girl’s Love For Shoes

1 03 2010

For project #3, my partner, Jacob, and I took a beauty shot of a pair of Nine West shoes of mine. This is my favorite pair of high heels and was thrilled when we decided to use it as our subject. In total, Jacob and I took about 200 photos, including a separate photo shoot of Gatorade bottles that did not work out.

When we did this photo shoot, we were unsure of how effective the marketability of the shoe would be. That is, a lot of the pictures looked good but you could not see the brand of the shoe. We tried a variety of angles and took pictures using a multitude of lighting arrangements. In the end, I really like how this particular shot turned out. We placed the shoes on a box to give dimension, and placed a red sheet over it to add color. Jacob and I used one light source. We achieved the lighting by setting the key light up high and aimed it down onto the shoes. We also took a damp rag and rubbed it over the shoes to add shine. I think this really helped us achieve a great photo and I am very happy with the end result!


Project #2 – Lighting of Portraits

22 02 2010

Out of the 300 pictures my group took for this project, the one above is my personal favorite. The model’s name is Katy Gale and the picture was taken with the key light. My group actually searched online before beginning our shoot to find different poses we wanted to mimic. The one we found was of a man with short, blond hair and a black leather jacket, facing the same direction Katy is. His picture was more close up. I felt a medium shot was a better choice because it shows more shadows, specially on her arm.

I feel this picture is the most dramatic and has an interesting cool-factor, kind of vibe to it. I think the lighting is very strong; we tried very hard to achieve a strong shadow underneath Katy’s chin and sunglasses. I love that we used the sunglasses as an accessary, and how nonchalant it makes Katy appear. I also like the detail in the necklace and how the bulkiness of the necklace draws your attention toward the middle of the frame.

Documentary Photography Project

12 02 2010

This documentary photography project has proved to be quite the challenge. To using a manual camera, not understanding the subject matter and losing an entire day of photos, and dealing with the finicky weather; I’m very happy this project is done! The end result was very rewarding, but it took a couple of days to get there.

The biggest challenge of this project was learning how to use a manual camera quickly and translating those new skills into good pictures of people. I took two photography classes in high school that taught me about composition, framing, and utilizing lines and color to get the best picture. One of the courses was a black-and-white film course that taught the basics of taking pictures and developing them. However up until this point, I have never learned how to set the white balance, or how to change the shutter speed and f-stop in accordance to each picture. It was a huge challenge for me! Remembering what increasing the shutter speed and the f-stop will do to each picture had me confused at times. Luckily I took notes and brought a condensed version of them with me while shooting. I found that practice definitely helped develop this skill.

Another challenge I faced, as did the other students in this course, was the fickle weather. Over the course of the week, it ranged from raining-cats-and-dogs, to winds strong enough to blow someone away, to a cold, but fairly pretty day. Even with this nasty weather, I am very glad I did not wait to the day before to shoot pictures and was able to take pictures on different days. Granted my first 100 pictures were unusable, due to not understanding the subject matter (I’m still not sure how I missed that part!) and technical issues, but it gave me more practice with the camera. I feel much more comfortable using a manual camera and I am very happy with the pictures I took!

Out of all the pictures, my favorite one is below. It is a picture of an older man walking towards Acorn. This was taken around 8:30am on Thursday and I think the soft lighting from the early morning sun enhances the tone of the photo. I really like the perspective and how I framed this picture; the angle is what gives it a strong depth of field. The detail from the black fence and brick also draws your eye towards the end of the street. I think the variations of color in the brick add to the photo and that is why I focused the camera on that, as opposed to the details of the man.

Wrinkles Aren’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

8 02 2010

For my Digital Media Convergence class, my classmates and I were assigned to choose a picture from the school’s server and describe why the photograph is visually appealing. I found the photo above the most interesting for several reasons.

Most notably, the dynamic lines and texture from the rolls of skin contribute a lot to the visual interest of the picture. I like the contrast between the flaps of skin that is highlighted by the lighting. I also feel the body language between the subjects is interesting; the two are not acknowledging each other yet, the audience can sense a relationship of some kind between them.

Another principle I found visually appealing about this photograph is the placement of the two subjects. The baby and the dog are placed near the center of the frame, which adds a visual weight, drawing your eye towards the lower, middle section of the picture. I also like the placement of the horizon line. It is towards the lower half of the frame, giving a sense of stability and weight to the picture. The photographer considered the characteristics of the subjects and related it to the placement of the photograph.