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Advanced Techniques: Painting with Light

8 years, 4 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

There is a delicate balance between theory and reality in chemistry, as a formula that works on paper may not behave in predicted ways when applied to actual experiments. For instance, Depakote, commonly known as valproic acid, is synthesized through several chemical processes, some of which are difficult to produce due to variances in temperatures or pressures or in efficiency of the reactions. “This synthesis works in theory, but the trouble is in getting the conditions right so it works in reality,” said Phil Silverman, the lab coordinator for the University of Missouri’s chemistry department.

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To me, the image looks too dark for the effect we were going for in the lab. Here’s what I think would look a little better. I’ve moved the white point up so that there’s a bright white in the frame.

Advanced Techniques: Multimedia examples

8 years, 5 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

I searched and searched and searched for multimedia projects that really stood out to me, and realized that everyone else is going to show work from fantastic photographers well seasoned in the field. While these are great projects, the quality is so stellar it may seem unreachable. So instead, I want to show the class that we can create some really nice work at our level, too.

Here are a few fantastic projects by Missourian photographers from this and last semester.

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/multimedia/video/2010/03/29/boone-life-missouri-monk/ (Caitlyn Emmett)

http://www.voxmagazine.com/stories/2010/02/04/job-cleaner/ (John Schreiber)

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/02/15/boone-life-down-barber-shop/ (August Kryger)

http://vimeo.com/10454664 (Mito Habe-Evans)

Advanced Techniques: Fill and Balance + Multiple Flash

8 years, 5 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

Life was a bit unruly during the week before spring break. I’ve lived through some turbulent times, and that week definitely ranks among the worst I’ve ever had in my life. However, my well-earned break came with a fanfare and now I’m feeling quite like myself again. Good thing, since there’s a lot to be done in the next six weeks.

So while I was in DC, I worked on the fill and balance project a little more. I was rained out while in New Jersey early in the week – more like flooded out by a monsoon – so I waited to really concentrate on it later in the week. I had hoped to shoot in at least two different places, but I hit quite a bit of ‘culture shock’ while working on it.

Here in Columbia, we feel safe behind our cameras. The town is so small, I’d guess that half the population has been photographed or knows someone who has been by a journalism kid. But in the Washington, DC area, the percentage is a lot less. Enough to where working on a project is not easy at all, and I learned that the hard way with a lot of ‘no, please don’t take my photo’ and ‘no, I won’t give you my name.’ Thankfully, the ladies in this photo recognized the Missouri School of Journalism as a credible source of students and eventually gave me their first names. Not many new frames, but definitely getting the hang of balancing indoors and outside.

From left: Gina and Martha, both of whom did not want to give their last names, take a look at a gift display inside Cheesetique on Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday, April 3. Many people were out enjoying the nice weather on the avenue, which is home to a number of individually owned boutique stores and restaurants.

Multiple Flash

Nathan Moore checks his line while members of the Mizzou Climbing Club look on after repelling down the bluff at Capen Park on Wednesday afternoon. Moore, a freshman at the University of Missouri, has only been rock climbing specifically for two months although he says he’s always been a climber of trees and other scalable objects. When asked whether he prefers climbing here or at the rock wall gym, he said, “The outdoors, definitely. Just for the sake of being outdoors.”

Advanced Techniques: Fill and Balance, part two

8 years, 5 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

Life was a bit unruly during the week before spring break. I’ve lived through some turbulent times, and that week definitely ranks among the worst I’ve ever had in my life. However, my well-earned break came with a fanfare and now I’m feeling quite like myself again. Good thing, since there’s a lot to be done in the next six weeks.

So while I was in DC, I worked on the fill and balance project a little more. I was rained out while in New Jersey early in the week – more like flooded out by a monsoon – so I waited to really concentrate on it later in the week. I had hoped to shoot in at least two different places, but I hit quite a bit of ‘culture shock’ while working on it.

Here in Columbia, we feel safe behind our cameras. The town is so small, I’d guess that half the population has been photographed or knows someone who has been by a journalism kid. But in the Washington, DC area, the percentage is a lot less. Enough to where working on a project is not easy at all, and I learned that the hard way with a lot of ‘no, please don’t take my photo’ and ‘no, I won’t give you my name.’ Thankfully, the ladies in this photo recognized the Missouri School of Journalism as a credible source of students and eventually gave me their first names.

Not many new frames, but definitely getting the hang of balancing indoors and outside.

From left: Gina and Martha, both of whom did not want to give their last names, take a look at a gift display inside Cheesetique on Mt. Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia on Saturday, April 3. Many people were out enjoying the nice weather on the avenue, which is home to a number of individually owned boutique stores and restaurants.

Advanced Techniques: Fill and Balance

8 years, 6 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

Freshman Matt Brannen (left) watched the people go by and listened to music while sitting with his roommates Alex O’Brien (center), a junior, and sophomore Zach Angelacos (back) on the old Jesse Hall columns on Friday, March 19. “It’s just a nice day, so we decided to come out here and hang out,” Brannen said.

Advanced Techniques: Color Correction

8 years, 6 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

Doug Taylor shows off his award -winning basset hound’s impressive “wingspan” at the 2010 Columbia Kennel Club Dog Show on March 14. Three-year old Cannon Ball won Best in Breed and surprised Taylor with a Best in Group 1 (Hounds) win as well.

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For an assignment that’s supposed to test both your flash color balancing and color correcting skills, I did almost no color correcting to this photo. The biggest thing was doing a spot color correction on a white part of the dog near his neck – my remote trigger (the pop-up flash), while turned off in-in camera, still emits a teeny bit of light. It was enough to throw the color off slightly.

I think I would rather have been told to photograph something in a nasty light with no flash and have to make it work via the photoshop controls. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to do that editing for Vox and the Missourian already. Salvaging someone’s poorly lit take is a very important skill when you NEED those pictures and someone shot it wrong.

Advanced Techniques: Single Flash

8 years, 6 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

Bounce Flash:

Mayoral candidate Bob McDavid answers a question at the forum held Wednesday evening on the University of Missouri’s campus. Audience members provided the questions for the candidates at the event jointly sponsored by the Missouri Students Association and the Associated Students of the University of Missouri. Renters rights and downtown security cameras were hot topics for discussion.

Direct Flash:

Missouri freshman J. J. Bowles, an ambassador of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri, created cards to signal to the candidate speaking that their time was running out for the question at hand. The mayoral forum held in conjunction with the Missouri Students Association on Wednesday featured five of the six candidates running for election in April.

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In full disclosure, the bounce flash photo above ran on the Missourian’s website today as part of the full storyon the forum. I’m covering the mayor’s race for an independent study, and although I didn’t want to do it, I photographed the forum for both class and the Missourian. After much deliberation on which images to hand in for class, I ended up selecting the bounce flash photo above, even though it had already been selected for the online package. It really was one of the best-lit photos with a real, journalistic moment.

This assignment was a rollercoaster of emotions towards my flash (don’t laugh), but I definitely have much more respect for it now. I’ll tame this beast . . . someday.

Advanced Techniques: Metal and Glass

8 years, 6 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

“Bad Dog”

A news aficionado’s nightmare – coming home to find that your dog Rocco or Princess let loose on the house and destroyed the Sunday paper before reading it – may soon change with the  industry’s uncertain future in print.

And here’s the lighting plan.

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Part of me wishes this photo came out more stylized, and the other part LOVES that it could pass as natural light. Every bit of light was deliberate, from making sure the bone is bright to adding a tiny bit of fill on the food in the bowl to get rid of a shadow from the bone. I’m finding that I really like this studio stuff. It’s HARD. But it makes me think, and it feels so rewarding to come away with a frame that makes me happy.

Also, now Scott and I have to get a dog someday. We already have the bowl!

Advanced Techniques: Classmate Portrait

8 years, 7 months ago grad school, photography, projects 0

Missouri senior Jonathan Hinderliter shows off his sunglasses during a portrait session on February 13, 2010. Hinderliter balances his love of fashion, shoes and shopping with his sharp personality, cynical tendencies and a penchant for arguments.

Lighting diagram for my single-light portrait. I like arrows and stick figures. Reminds me of this.

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Sorry for the unannounced intrusion, blog friends. I’ll be updating on occasion with posts like this – it’s part of my assignment for my photo class. Anything that’s prefixed with “Advanced Techniques” in the title is for the class. The purist in me thought about keeping these kinds of posts relegated to an old blog location, but then I figured it might be fun to keep all my posts together. You’ll see outtakes from various assignments throughout the semester, plus now some finals for submission. Hooray for process! Hooray for blogging!

At least it’ll give me a guaranteed post every so often. I have a list that’s about four topics long of photos I want to blog. Soon, I promise.