Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Favorite Multimedia Piece


I like it because it's a very personal story that is broken into several pieces and is interactive. It's very moving and touching. The photos were POYi winners as well. The photographer is from the Rocky Mountain News in Denver.


This is a Seth Gitner piece from the Roanoke Times. I love the interactiveness of this piece and his use of flash and integrating so many different elements.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blending, Balancing and Pop Flash

Here's what I came up with this week. This one is balancing.

Sarah Minton, 24, (right) and Jessica Nesselhauf, 25, man the bake station table in Middlebush Hall on MU’s campus. They are part of the Association of MPA Students that is working to raise money for a program called Shop with a Cop. The program is trying to raise about $1,000 so that ten elementary school children from Columbia’s Field Elementary School can go shopping this holiday season for themselves and their families with a local law enforcement officer. The children in most cases will be low income and may have a family member incarcerated. According to Minton and Nesselhauf, the idea is to show the kids that the cops aren’t the bad guys and they still care about their families and the community they live in.

For my select I chose one of the balancing photos. I was out wandering and went into Middlebush Hall where I found these two girls sitting at a bake sale table. So I asked if I could take their picture and then found out what they were doing there and that turned out to be really interesting after I was done shooting. When I approached the situation, I just saw interesting light, not interesting content. However, I can get a solid caption out of this and realistically could go find them and make a holiday story out of it. However, technique first. I balanced it with the light from the outside. I did have a big problem with lens flare. I saw it, and I was having trouble avoiding it and moving around it since I don’t have a hood. I shot this at ISO 200, f/10, and 1/160. I didn’t gel my flash, and I used ETTL at full power for some of them and stopped down 1/3 to 2/3’s on others. I think this one was at full power because I was a little further away from the face that needed to be lit.
I really liked the technique but I was really caught up on content. I liked working with the blending and pop flash a lot more. It’s more fun to be creative with things like that than just filling, but I know that the filling and balancing is going to get me further in life and be used more. Some of the soccer and volleyball photos were not done correctly because my flash decided to die on me and I didn’t realize it, so I had to shuffle some batteries to make it happen.

Here's another one that I liked and I'll consider it more of a pop flash or maybe even some panning. I liked it. It's down at the Rec Center where some guys were shooting some basketball before I was going to play volleyball.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Color Correction

For this assignment, we had to use different settings in white balance and with our flashes. This was my first time gelling a flash. We used a green gel to balance with Fluorescent light and an orange gel to balance with tungsten light.

This was my select:

Caption: Vanessa Riperenger, 23, holds her 8 month old son, Trent, on his first Halloween. She balances Trent with her boyfriend, working 2 jobs, and is seen talking with her mom on the phone in this photo before heading out to trick or treat.

Technical Info: Flash on manual with orange gel, full power, bounced off of white cieling with white card pulled on flash. ISO 400, f/11, 1/125

This was a RAW photo from my tungsten take and so when I color corrected, I had to add blue so that the photo didn't look orange. And it turned out really nice. I love shooting in RAW for the color correction part of it, but as far as space saving tools and convenience, I think that I will have to stick with JPEG's. I do like the power it gives you, but, it's a toss up. Very give and take in my mind. I know for me I have a lot of trouble getting photos to people if I'm shooting in RAW because they can't read the files, and then it takes forever on a large shoot to get everything over to JPEGS for people to read. So that's what I have to say about it. I liked looking at the color changes and how things were altered in my take as I went along shooting.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Painting with Light

The dark Sith Lord falls to the Jedi Knight as the epic Star Wars
battle between good and evil rages on.

(f/8, ISO 100, bulb exposure=116 sec.)


Originally I wanted to go outside and do something because I really liked the photos that we looked at in class and similar to what we did in lab out at the park. But then I started talking with Alex about what he wanted to do and I liked his idea and thought that with his epic battle there needed to be some closure.

So for the technical stuff. We ended up just staying in the studio, dropped the black background, and painted. The shutter was on bulb and my metadata says that the shutter was open for 116 seconds, ISO 100, and f/8. I had Alex’s roommate Daniel on his knees in the middle of the background, Alex stabbing him so that just his hands were in the frame. Now, the trick was, with all of us in use there was no one there to cover up the camera if need be and there was only ONE light saber. So, with them in position, I opened the shutter and taped it open, and the light saber was on blue stabbing Daniel. They held. I walked over to the side and popped my strobe with a 1 ½ red filter on ½ power two times from the bottom right corner of the background. It was angled up toward Alex’s face and highlighted the back of Daniel. It provided a nice silhouette and we were able to create dual highlights on Alex’s arms. I popped the strobe one more time from that side aimed directly at Daniel’s head to give him a stronger silhouette and highlight the tops of Alex’s arms. I moved around the back of the background to the other side because remember the light saber is still on. And once there, I popped the strobe once more angled from the back directly onto Daniel’s face. Alex then turned the light saber off, handed it to Daniel, Alex went to cover the camera with the black card. Once it was covered, Daniel turned the light saber on red, because we only had one saber to use, and I turned on my flashlight to paint his face and hand with the saber in it. I used my mini mag light through the red 1 ½ filter and painted his face, down the front of his body, and moved to the front of the back drop to paint his hand holding the light saber and move back up his body to end on his face. Then Alex closed the shutter.

I used the red filter to give contrast and add the red feeling to it. I like that in the back it looks like there’s smoke almost. I like that there is the feeling of movement in the photo because I think that it makes for a more realistic death scene. It looks like he is slumping over and the saber is falling out of his hands. Thinking about it now, I could have had him drop the light saber and just exposed a couple of seconds with it sitting on the floor too. Hmmm. Hind sight.

Anyway, with all of that going on, I was pretty impressed that it didn’t take us two hours to get it. I think I still could have popped the strobe once more or painted for some extra time. Hind sight is 20/20. But I liked the photo at the time, and still like the photo, but think that I still could have done better. We spent a lot of time on Alex’s and did a lot of trial and error, so I had his mistakes to work from.

I had another idea of how I wanted to create the death scene and paint him with blood, but we liked this one so much that I just rolled with it and didn’t try to create the other one.

I like this kind of picture making though. It allows for a lot of creativity and originality to create a vision that is uniquely your own.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Single Flash

The Photos

ISO 400, f/11, 1/125, bounce flash

Nikki Johnson, 23, watches the evening news in shock as the story of an 11-year-old boy from Mokane unfolded. According to the article run by the Missourian, the boy “stole a gunand later shot a school official who was looking for him.” The boy also shot at two other people and missed, and then stole a pick up truck that he drove into a ditch about three miles down the road. South Calloway schools were locked down for about 30 minutes until the boy was arrested. Nikki teaches third grade and coaches the middle school cheer squad in New Franklin. They have had to lock down campus once already this year. New Franklin’s school are all combined into one large school, so she has to worry about the high school and middle school students as well as her own classroom and cheerleaders.

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/125, direct flash

Wyatt Troesser’s 1st birthday portraits at Shelter Gardens in Columbia.

The Self Critique

I don’t know about this. I don’t like it. I don’t mind the awkwardness. I do mind that I think direct flash right now looks like crap. I can understand some fill, I can understand bounce and making it look good. But, I can’t seem to make direct flash look good. It’s harsh, and I’m just not sure. Maybe there’s a technique that I missed? I know that we have to dial it down, but when I dialed down, it wasn’t enough light to take a picture with. And when I turned it back up, it was either too bright and blown out, or it just didn’t look good. I guess a white subject is going to look whiter with the direct stuff, but man.

The select that I chose was a bounce off of the ceiling. I was sitting on the floor and so was the subject. I think I was zoomed into 55 mm, my ISO was apparently 400, f/11 and 1/125. I thought I was shooting at 100, and I checked, and my metadata says otherwise. I’m sure that most of the assignment was done at 100. Once I got the exposure right on the ceiling bounce I was able to take some good pictures for a few minutes. Then she got up and turned on the lights and that got trickier because I had to figure out what the new exposure was and how to bounce it. I tried the direct flash on a lot of them and I hated the way that they looked so I stuck to the bounce.

The second select of the little boy was a nice portrait, and I used a direct flash on him but I had to dial it way down so that it didn’t blow his face out. It’s still underexposed, but I liked it for the portrait aspect of it. I was upset that the background was gone, but I liked it that it put the focus on him. He didn’t sit still for very long, so I couldn’t really try it again.
I tried to use as many different settings as I could. I would try to dial down the flash, I would try the aperture. When things didn’t look right, I played with it to try to get the exposure correct, but it may just be that I’m not aiming right, I’m not bouncing correctly, or I just haven’t figured out an easy formula for all of this yet. It seems like a lot of trial and error in the beginning, and I feel like mine is mostly error.

The ones that I took outside of the little boy, I was just trying to fill in the dark, shady area that we were in. Some of them were hot, some were underexposed, and I’m not sure that I ever got just the right exposure on any of those. The ones at Varsity Clips were ok. The ceiling was dark and I couldn’t bounce off of that hardly at all. So I was trying to use walls and mirrors and had a lot of trouble. I was trying to talk to people too and figure out where I needed to be standing to get the correct exposure and I still don’t think that I got it.

No matter how many times you let us shoot this assignment, I still think that we are all going to say, I wish I would have shot more. I think that the reason for that is practice. I didn’t want to go shoot something important for this assignment because I was afraid that I was going to miss the “decisive moment.” We get so wrapped up in all of our school work that we forget that we have this really neat tool to play with and don’t take it out unless there is an assignment with it. I should have spent the last month playing with it since I bought it in September, but really I have only taken it out a couple of times and didn’t know what I was doing with it. The wedding ones I shot turned out nice, but I think they would have been better had I known all the math and concepts that I do now. So, yes, I still wish we could have shot more. Sorry. But it’s for practice sake. And I will continue to take this flash out and try to use it more, but that doesn’t help much for what I have to turn in now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My other selects

Ok kids....the other pictures I promised are here. The first few are of Laura. Some of the other fun ones that we took and I liked of her. The last few are from the metal and glass assignment that I liked too. As far as how I did them, it's mostly the same as what's listed in my critiques from the original blog and assignment.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Metal and Glass: Mostly Glass

I got to do the glass portion of this assignment. I took photos of martini glasses and dice to juxtapose the problem between alcohol abuse and gambling problems.

3 lights, f/29, 1/250, ISO 400

I loved this assignment. I could do work like this all day long and have no problem with it! It’s fun to play with all of the possibilities for glass and for the metal. Josh and I just started brainstorming and I had ideas for him even though I wasn’t shooting the metal stuff. Even though we weren’t able to spend as much time on this as we would have liked, I was really happy with the out takes. My big problem with the shoot was how dirty the light table was. I cleaned it before hand, and then I was going through my outtakes and all I see is dirt and spots, and I’m sure there are a couple of spots that could be my sensor or on my lens, but not all of those. There’s no way. In the corners of the photos, there is spottiness that doesn’t even look like dust, it really looks like something on the table. So it was irritating to go through the take and not see it when I was shooting.

I tried to get some different angles that I hadn’t seen used on glass before, and while I know the content could be better, I love martini glasses and really liked the black line type of lighting. I think that it looks really cool and I wanted to try to use my painted glasses to get the black line effect and but still get the paint on the glass to show up in detail.

For all of the shots, I used a three light set up and ended up turning everything down 1 and ¾ stops. I had a soft box over the top set at 150 watts and stopped down by 3. It was arranged over the top and slightly to the back to highlight the rims of the glasses. This was especially effective when I had stacked the glasses and it was a tall set up. Behind the light table I had a backlight with no modifier stopped down by 2 and at 150 watts. I tried to keep it close to the table, but I think in the end I backed it up a little bit and pointed it down a little more towards the floor where I had a large piece of whit paper under the table. I also had a snoot pointed at the white paper so that I could get the light to bounce up underneath the glass through the table. The snoot was up full at 600 watts. I didn’t have to make a tent for any of this because I didn’t have trouble with the glass reflecting.

As it turns out, and I have recently realized that I used an ISO of 400 instead of shooting at 200, or 100. I was really careful this time to check everything and turns out I forgot one. The select is shot at f/29 and 1/250. Everything was shot between f/22 and f/36, and I played with some of the settings and went between 125 and 250 for my shutter speeds.

I thought about re-shooting this when Josh and I came back to shoot his, but the table wasn’t going to get any cleaner, and while I had some other ideas, I liked how the selects I have turned out. I thought about re-shooting when I had Josh drop the dye into the water to see if I could get those to turn out better. The ones from the top ended up being under exposed and I didn’t realize it while I was in the studio.

I’m a big Yahtzee player too, and I liked the idea behind using the dice and being able to make the colors and the details show up in the photo with such a strong backlight. The other thing that I couldn’t figure out how to fix was the lines in the photos horizontally that were made with the light on the table. I kept moving the lights and it wouldn’t fix it, so if you guys have any ideas what is going on with that in the outtakes, let me know. I did want to try to create a double halo, but that didn’t end up working out in my favor.

As for content, I thought that the glasses with the dice made a nice reference to drinking and gambling and how they seem to go hand and hand. I added the color to the water for different flavored martinis, and had thought about getting different fruits to put in the water, and then looked and John Hook’s photos with the jell-o and fruit, and didn’t think I would be able to do that better than he did. So, I did it with out and just tried to create something visually stimulating.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Laura Petersen is an amazing classmate of ours that I would like to introduce you to.

Some things you might know already: She's from Texas. She loves to row. She's in a sorority. She's a pretty happy go-lucky kind of girl.

Some things you might not know: She tutors. She's a camp counselor in the summer for little kids. She has a huge heart to go with her smile. And claims that she was the fat kid growing up. (I still don't believe her.)

My favorite portrait is below. I love her hair and her smile. Those are two things that she is never without so I thought that it was important to highlight them. I only used one light which had a soft box on it and a reflector to keep the detail in her face all on the gray background. As I am in Chillicothe and I haven't figured out the cool link that Rita sent us, I have a drawing that is not on here to show you the setup. However, big clue, one light. Shouldn't be too hard to figure this one out kids ;-)


ISO set at 200, Aperture was at f/16 and 1/125. The light was a soft box set up high with her sitting on the floor and it was located slightly behind her and to the right with the reflector slightly in front on the left sitting on the floor angled at her face. The power was set at 600.

More to come. I have a few others that I liked a lot that everyone should enjoy!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Changing Light - I didn't know 6am was so pretty!

This is our Changing Light assignment. The idea was to pick a spot and go back several times throughout the day to see what the light did and when. I went to Little Bear Creek Park here in Columbia off of Garth on the north side of town. I got there just before sunrise and came back throughout the day. For all of the photos, I used an ISO of 250. Most of these photos are taken at f/16, but I varied in my outtake between f/8, f/16, and f/29. I did use a tripod so that I could have a stable base and make sure that I had everything set up in the same spot to take the same picture.

I really liked this assignment because I love to watch how the light changes in the morning and evening. I didn't like the earliness of it all and will have to find a way to catch back up on my sleep before heading off to MPW. (Yeah right, I know.) Anyway, below are the ones that I selected for the assignment and an extra one because I liked it but wasn't sure if I could use it.

7:08 am

7:33 am

2:15 pm


7:34 pm

Below: A photo that I liked, but the exposure was bad and I edited the levels in photoshop, not a lot, but I had to bring out the foreground. The sky looked amazing with the clouds like that and the blue was a great color, but the foreground was too dark. So, it's not part of my five that I submitted because of that.

Around 7:15pm

Thursday, September 6, 2007

5am with the Advanced Crew

As we walked around Downtown Columbia at 6 in the morning, this is what may or may not have happened :-)


The sky outside of Starbucks - you all remember.


Jesse Hall - 7am ish

Jesse Hall - a little later.

The Paparazzi Attack!

This is what we all looked like that morning. It's a good thing you can't
see his eyes, they might be closed.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Copy/Meter Testing

So these ae the photos that I chose for the Copy stand and the two that I shot in tungsten and daylight settings. I welcome comments :-) I still think that this was a great exercise to play with light and really get a good feel for our cameras and how they can work for us if we can learn how to manipulate them.

This was taken around dusk at Hinkson Park. We were playing volleyball and the balloon came over the trees and pretended to land on the field. The field hockey girls that were next to us were yelling at him and they held a conversation for a little while. The guy in the balloon asked them if they knew where the airport was. I shot this at f/11 and 1/125 with an ISO of 400. I liked the tungsten light setting with this photo because it highlighted the blue sky so well.

Braving glistening ice shafts within Greenland’s glaciers, German photographer Carsten Peter revealed a hidden world as marvelous and menacing as any underground labyrinth. Carsten Peter, February 1996.

This photo I got out of one of hte National Geographic Magazines and wanted to know how it was done but also thought that it created good mood. The cold is very evident and even the harsh shadows add to the danger of what the guy in the picture is doing. For the copy on it, I shot it at f/20 and 0.6 in the tungsten setting with an ISO of 250.

A bullet pierces an apple at 1,900 miles an hour, the action frozen by stroboscopic light in an image devised by Harold E. Edgerton, pioneer of high-speed photography. Edgerton Foundation/Palm Press, October 1987.

This photo came out of the same National Geographic magazine and I really wanted to know how this was set up to capture the bullet and then apple still in one piece.

This last photo was taken outside of The Noodle place on 9th. I liked the bright colors of the boxes and the green of the background and the sign. The specular light was fun too. I shot it in a daylight setting for the white balance, f/14, 1/400, and an ISO of 400. I know it's not very journalistic, but I really liked the colors and the composition. I had another select picked out from a night playing volleyball, but the colors and lines really drew me into this photo more than that one.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Summer Time

Over the summer I did a little road tripping back to the West Coast spending about 2 weeks in the Seattle area and at home. On the way out we drove through Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park. These are some of the pictures that got taken along the way. And some once we got there and made it down to the beach.

The Grand Teton's at dawn.

This is one of the lakes in the park.

Ocean Shores at sunset with my best friend Stephanie and her puppy Baxter.