Fall Caramel Apple Party Invitation
A fun little invite for the fall season. Caramel apples are a great treat for a party and the fall season tends to bring people together indoors as the cooler weather sets in. This invite definitely can spread the word for your get-together. The fall tones of this are lighter and match the colors of the changing leaves and harvested apples during the fall. The caramel on top of the apples brings in the warmer tones of this season. I’m now craving caramel apples just from making the invite.
Service Dog in Training
Hawkeye is a young service dog in training through Genesis Service Dogs, Inc. The young pups are given to a raiser for the first two years of their life; with the raiser they are trained to have good behavior and learn to perform some more simple tasks that will come in handy for when they are a full fledged service dog for someone in need. I followed Hawkeye and his current raiser, Laryssa around to take photos and document what happens in a day of the life of a service dog in training.
Click the link to see all the photographs: Day in the Life of Hawkeye Service Dog in Training
Thank you to: Genesis Service Dogs, Inc. for allowing me this opportunity, Laryssa for allowing me to impose on her time, and Hawkeye for being a great subject for these pictures.
Family Photos of the Cannaday Family
These lovely family photos were so fun to take. The Cannaday family wanted an update as their little girl is a new addition to their family and is beginning to grow. We took the photos at 7:30 pm on a beautiful May evening. The sun at this time of day adds a great light glow to the images, but it is not over-powering. Notice that there are no glaring light spots on their faces from the sun however, there is still enough light for beautiful glowing greenery in the background of these family photos. This little girl was the best model ever as she posed perfectly for the camera multiple times. She knew that these family photos were special and would be treasured. Some of my family photography ideas were inspired by: https://www.charmingphotographyct.com/
Finding Me in Photography: Goals to Continue
Finding me in photography can be a struggle as there are many routes to take my photography experience. This project was inspired to help me focus on what it is that I want to do. The idea was to try and narrow down my broad ideas for photo opportunities and find my niche. Photographers can find success in photographing portraits, products, landscapes, or doing unique photographs with different subjects and colors. In trying to find what kind of photography I want to focus on, I realized that I like capturing all of the above. Portraits are fun especially baby ones, products are cool and doing it with light painting is adds a nice touch, landscapes are beautiful and finding any opportunity to take a picture is what I do.
I tried to decide what my focus would be, but found no success. I then had the idea to brainstorm different reasons why customers would want photographs. Some may want them for advertising, others as family portraits or announcements, and then there are those that are looking for wall art for their home or office. I decided that selling prints is what I would enjoy. I still like portraits, but selling prints means that after editing the image once, I can have it sell over and over again. The trick is finding prime opportunities to get the photos that are wall worthy. This will take time and years of photoshoots to build up a collection of wall worthy art. These images are the start of finding me in photography. You can check out more of my prints in my shop.
It is important to be inspired in what you do. Check out this blog post about finding your own self in photography.
Personal Photography Portfolio: The Best to Date
This personal photography portfolio is a brief showcase of my best work. Each of these images were taken from what I feel is the best of the best of my personal photography portfolio. If you wish to see all the images check out my Portfolio page. Thanks to my COMM 316 class and a wonderful professor, Caryn Esplin, I was able to learn all the necessary skills and tips that made it possible for me to go out and take these pictures on my own.
In determining what to focus on with my photography, I felt stuck. I enjoy portraits, I love light paining as seen below with the baseball glove and divers helmet, and I enjoy landscapes. I realized that people, places, and things are my realm and even though it is broad, I can start incorporating themes and begin taking pictures of people, places and things all based off of one theme at a time. For now, these are the best of my people, places and things.
Perspectives in Architecture That Everyone Sees But Don’t Notice
Perspectives in architecture can be quite interesting. I took the opportunity to photograph different perspectives in architecture that not everyone notices. For example, notice the different perspectives in architecture that are shown in the indoor photographs. The first one is a perspective that everyone would see, but maybe not from such a low angle. That would, however be the perspective of a 2-year-old. The other images from the indoor photography show perspectives in architecture that are also from a lower angle. The lights can be easily noticed by all, but the wall of reels would require the viewer to be up against the wall looking up.
These outdoor shots also contain interesting perspectives in architecture. The Lift restaurant in Jackson Hole Wyoming has a beautiful rock structure that is adorned in old ski lift and ski resort memorabilia. The first perspective is from underneath the umbrella where the waitress awaits for guests. The second perspective is of the actual umbrella itself. An umbrella is not necessarily part of architecture, but it is being used as such at this restaurant. Always be on the look-out for neat perspectives in architecture. A building an become quite interesting when looking at it through a new perspective.
If you want to add a flare to your architecture, check out Photoshop Layer Management by Alex Hogrefe. He uses perspectives in architecture to create photorealistic buildings in Photoshop.
Fine Dining Food Photography That is Crisp and White
Fine dining food photography is a skill task that cannot be taken lightly. The goal is to have customers feel that they really are receiving the best find dining that they possibly could. A picture really is worth a thousand words and could be the reason a person chooses a certain food or restaurant. Fine dining food photography requires the photographer be up close and personal with the food as customers want to see texture and ingredients. They came for a fine dining experience and whether that experience is good or not has a lot to do with the food photography. Always be sure that your fine dining food photography is satisfying to they eye and will make customers want that dish.
Check out this interview with find dining food photographer Paolo Grinza at finedininglovers.com
My Personal Branding Process From Start to Finish
Below is my finished logo as you can see it is the one I am currently using on my website. I went through quite a process to create this logo. My previous logo is the second image. I created it and thought it was good, but then realized it didn’t make sense. No one would know that my nick-name was Ladybug and therefore all would wonder why a photographer/designer’s logo is a random insect. I also felt that it was not at all professional enough for the sort of impression I wanted to make on potential clients.
I began my process from the lady but by looking up different ideas on Pinterest. I knew that I wanted a more simple design that was feminine but not overly curly and cute. I was also looking for a bit more sophistication in my design and professionalism. Therefore, these are some of the logo examples that I pinned for ideas. You can see my board here. One of the logos that I liked belongs to jessicacomingore.com.
After looking at ideas on Pinterest, I felt that I had a direction of what I wanted for my logo. However, I still struggled with finding a great design. I knew that I wanted my name as part of the logo and wanted to somehow incorporate and ‘S’ because then it could have some beautiful curvy lines. I sketched out quite a few ideas and these below were the last of them. I sent these ideas to my friend and she gave the advise of using a single capital ‘S’ and then spelling my name with a lower-case ‘s’. I liked it better than my other ideas, but the curves were too large. I then thought of switching the two and using a lower-case ‘s’ as my logo and then spelling out my name below it. After designing it, I was completely satisfied and feel that my logo is exactly what I was wanting.
Catching Motion in a Photograph: Freezing and Blurred Motion
Catching motion in a photograph can be done in two ways. The first is by freezing the motion, as shown in the IBC Root Beer image, it freezes the water droplets in mid-air. The second form for catching motion in a photograph is to capture blurred motion as shown in the second image of the sugar and strawberry.
To freeze motion you must use auxiliary lighting or have your shutter speed set to a faster speed. A fast speed could be about 1/500. The other option to use lighting requires a flash in the dark and a slower shutter speed. The flash will cause light to hit the subject once. This will catch the motion and will freeze it like with the water droplets and root beer.
The second form of catching motion in a photograph that is blurry requires a slower shutter speed and possible a tripod. The shutter speed used below for the strawberry and sugar picture was about 1/150. I had an auxiliary LED light to help brighten the subject. As the sugar was poured, the shutter speed was slow enough that it caught the trails of the sugar.
Catching motion in a photograph requires good lighting and an adjusted shutter speed depending on what kind of motion you want to capture. You can check out this guide to capturing motion in photography from Digital Photography School for more tips.
How to Create a Fake Background in Camera That Is Completely Black
If you want to know how to create a fake background in camera and not use a backdrop, this article The Invisible Black Backdrop- Photography Technique by Glyn Dewis explains how he does it. The process to creating a fake background in camera is really neat. It is important that you keep your ISO at the lowest possible sensitivity, 100 is usually the lowest most can go. You will then make your shutter speed at the appropriate timing to sync with the flash, usually 200-250th of a second. Then lastly, to create this fake background, you will need to bump your f-stop up so that it brings in less light. This number will depend on the day and the natural lighting around you so it will be good to test it out. Adjust the f-stop until all you see is a completely black image; you then know that you have successfully created a fake black background in camera. Once the fake background is set, then you will get your artificial lighting and direct it at the subject. When the camera is clicked you should see a completely fake black background and a visible subject. It is quite easy and fun to create a fake background in camera and can really provide some amazing photos.
Creative Image Effects: GIFS and Composites
Creative image effects can be fun to experiment with. I experimented with the composite image below called The World Before You and the GIF of a dog named Poppie. To do creative image effects such as a composite, it requires multiple images and creative thinking. For example I took a picture of a model’s eye and then wanted to put the world inside it. I had to do other creative image effects to create the world. This world is actually a photo of a sky reflection in the roof of a black car. This darkened the sky and gave a good effect of an earth. The stars in the image was an astro-photography shot that I had taken. Creative image effects can be awesome, but take some time and work. The GIF of Poppie down below is called a cinemagraph and is simply a video. I used photoshop and made a second layer above the video of a still frame with the girls hands up in the air. I then masked out, the entire path of Poppie the dog’s jump. This makes it so the video only show through where Poppie is jumping. Here is the video that I used to learn how to create cinemagraph like the one of Poppie.
Also, here is a link to some good photo tutorials that can help with other composite images.
Red Storefront: Ordinary Spot Extraordinary Shot
This red storefront was taken in a very ordinary spot. The downtown streets of Rexburg, Idaho contains many old storefronts and this red storefront is one of them. Standing across the street this red storefront caught my eye as it had the old rustic Open sign out front and the worn green chair. The red storefront and green chair make for an excellent contrast. The other storefronts are reflecting in the window and I made them and the Open sign black and white by creating a second layer and using my brush tool in Adobe Photoshop. I made did this to bring in the rustic look and make the red storefront stand out. This antique red storefront is the entry way to an antique shop that contains many unique treasures.
I have found other unique storefronts and think it would be neat to start searching out architecture like this to photograph.
Bike Gears Up Close: Ordinary Spot Extra Ordinary Shot
Bike gears up close look really cool. The layers created from the bike gears give a neat perspective of depth. Also notice how the bike gears’ teeth are not perfectly in line, rather they are staggered, adding a neat composition. I took this close up shot of the bike gears in an ordinary spot. I was walking by a bike rack on a university campus. One would look at the locked up bikes and usually not have a thought of taking a picture, but it is important to see the smaller details, like the bike gears, in a bigger picture. The bike gears up close are mostly shiny and you can even see a little rust. I walked up close to this bike and had to awkwardly squat near the ground as people were walking by. I wanted to make sure to get a neat perspective and decided the bike gears were what I wanted to focus on. Notice that I did not capture all of the teeth of the bike gears in this shot. An interesting photo does not need to have everything visible, you can leave some up to the imagination. Also, looking at the bike gears one can see that this image follows the rule of thirds art rule with the bike gears’ center point on the lower-right third of the photo.
If you with to learn about bike gears and how to gear them, look at Tuned In To Cycling and see the article on bike gears.
Teton Mountain Lake
My Teton Mountains gallery piece that I call Mountain Lake Reflections is being displayed in the Spori Gallery on Brigham Young University-Idaho’s campus. It was taken of the Teton Mountains on a cloudy day and I love the way it turned out. It was an HDR image which means that I took 3 separate shots of the Teton mountains and then compiled them together. You can see the 3 separate shots of the Tetons that I used below the finished product. The best features of each image were used to create the masterpiece that it now is. In addition to putting all three images together, I also put a little more contrast in the clouds to make them stand out more. Also, notice the composition of the photograph. The stump in the water follows the rule of thirds and is nicely off-set. The Teton mountain is along the upper third line of the picture. The leading lines from the trees points your view directly to the blue mountain. If you want to know more about Grand Teton National Park this links to an article about the Tetons.
Creating Maid Marian
This creation is a composite of two images masked together. To create Maid Marian we made sure to have a dark, solid background. This is useful in masking out the background so that the texture can replace it. As you can see in the first image of Maid Marian, it is a bit lighter than the last. I made sure to adjust the brightness and contrast so that it give the image a bit more character and fits more with the color of the wood texture in the background.
Creating an Epic Photograph
When outside it is hard for a camera to know which settings to adjust to. The sky will always be brighter than any subject on the ground, but if you want the sky as a background you will need more than just a camera.
In this photograph we see that the subject is visible, but the sky seems very blown out. The trees are very pale and there is just not much to capture the eye in the background because the details are not easy to see.
Here we see that the sky has more blue to it and the foliage in the background is also a deeper color. However, the subject is almost completely black. You can’s see any particular details of her face or hair, just a silhouette.
To fix the two issues above, like I said, you need more than just your camera. Here we focused our camera on our subject, but adjusted our ISO and shutter speed to capture a well exposed sky. To make it so the subject is visible, we added a large diffused flash from the side. The side lighting give an interesting, moody look to the subject. The best thing is that everything is well exposed for your epic shot.
Portraits don’t always have to be the normal family photos or professional headshots, they can have flare. The images below are different than your normal portrait, they are unique. There are others who look for way to do unique portraits because they want something beyond the smile and shoot. Martin Schoeller is an example of someone who looks for opportunities to take unique portraits.
A cowboy in the west at Teton National Park. This is not his normal everyday get-up, but it does create a unique photo. He is up early at sunrise with rope in hand ready to work. The cloudy early morning adds to the fact that his job may not always be all fun and games.
The photo below was taken using an orange smoke bomb. Although she is not dressed necessarily in anything out of the ordinary, the orange haze adds a look of confusion and mystery.
Putting gels on flashes are great ways to add unique colors to a photo. Without the red and blue this photo would look like a brief pose in front of a wood wall. Since the color is different it causes a viewer to stop and look to try and learn more about the subject and idea behind the photo.
Photographing Professional Headshots
Professional headshots are great for a work profile, but they also do well to capture the features of the individual. The goal of a professional picture is to show potential clients who you are. It is not a time to take a somewhat okay photo outside your office building or even worse at your desk. The closer a the camera is to the individual, the more of a connection a potential client can feel, sot is important to send a good message. The following headshots all portray good messages. They are all smiling and look very welcoming. A headshot needs to say “come work with me” not anything contrary to that.
1940 Themed Logo
Maybelline makeup line has been around for quite some time. Their old logo was done in script font and was very basic. As part of this fashion shoot, I decided to focus this picture’s story on the female model wearing perfect eyelashes and lipstick. As she gazes off into the distance, you can see that the lashes and her lipstick brings color to the image. Maybelline makeup is still popular today as it was in the 40s.
The Style for Women of 1940
Some women of 1940 did have military positions. Not necessarily in battle, but they did serve their country within certain branches. Our first model is wearing the colors of the Navy. The Navy uniform for women of 1940 consisted of a light blue collared shirt with a navy blue jacket. The second model is back with her pilot husband and is adorned in her Air Force uniform. Women of 1940 who served the Air Force work an all black uniform that consisted of a jacket and slacks.
Other aspects of the 1940s style are more luxurious for women. The model directly below is wearing a white fur shawl. The second image is modeling a woman in a white collared blouse that was typical for women of 1940 to wear.
Modern Photoshoot of Military Men of the 1940’s
At the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg Idaho, we had such fun taking 1940 stye pictures of models in military outfits. The first two pictures represent the United States’ Navy and are next to a blue Navy plane. The third and fourth picture represent the United States’ Army. One is checking on the mechanics of the plane while the other poses with an old World War II military jeep. The last picture is focused on a bit later era, as he is sporting the slicked back hair with aviator glasses. These men are dressed in real 1940’s military attire that was provided by the museum. Other neat images that I have found of 1940’s military men come from masterfile.com, some of the images I believe are re-created, but others are originals of military men from that era.
While at the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg, Idaho, I took a variety of pictures with a focus on details and World War 2 Memorabilia. The World War 2 diver’s mask is meaningful because it describes the job of the individual who used it. The World War 2 army uniform hat, says a lot too; from it we know that the wearer was part of the United States Army during World War 2. We cannot ignore the small details of the memorabilia that we find.
In the images below I did not simply take a photo of the whole memorabilia piece, just part of it. The first image below shows the under part of an old World War 2 Army jeep. The second image is the hood of that same World War 2 jeep. They are opposite perspectives, but give the viewer a different and interesting angle. The last image is of a World War II plane propeller from the Legacy Flight Museum. I could have taken a picture of the whole propeller or even the whole plane, but just part gives it a neat focus.
Golden Hour for Photography Right Before Sunset
The Gold in The Picture
Golden hour takes place right before sunset. This time of the day is a perfect time to take warm toned images. The cowboy boot photo was taken at a campsite near the Tetons. The golden glow is made because of the sun setting right behind the horizon. The second image is of our garden. The sun was shining on the sweet pea plants and gave them a warm golden glow of a summer evening. The last picture has golden rays of sun streaming across the soccer field. If you are wanting a rich warm look to your images, golden hour is the best time. These contest winners on 500px.com have some amazing golden hour photography.
Beautiful Teton National Park
The Big Picture
The Tetons are quite a sight to see, however sometimes the Teton National Park weather hides its magnificent mountains. To some not seeing the Tetons perfectly can be a real let-down. But the clouds in the sky this day, although they hid the Teton peaks, added more of a mysterious perspective. The Tetons’ deep blue color really stands out agains the white covering. In Teton National Park, there is more to photograph than just the Tetons’ themselves; the barn below, lies in front of the Teton foothills and adds variety to the park’s landscape.
One of the best places to see great landscape photography is National Geographic. They even have an article of Landscape Photography Tips.
The Smaller Details
Teton National Park has many other details that can be captured in pictures. The fence for example was a fun perspective to capture. It has a great composition and provides more detail about this national park’s landscape. The pine cone also adds to the park’s scenery. It is easy for the Tetons to take all the attention from the visitors at the park, but the smaller details should not be missed. If they were, then Teton National Park would not be as amazing as it is.
Sky Mountain Lodge Nature Paths
The Sky Mountain Lodge in Victor, Idaho is a place full of natural scenery that is quite beautiful. The pathways pass by newly sprouting fields and mountain foothills of color. The contrast of the green with the blue sky is capturing. The lush greenery is inviting and beckons for someone to explore. Nature photography can create beautiful art, if you are someone who loves photographing nature I would suggest looking at Outdoor Photographer. Here is a link directly to their nature photography tips.
Nature All Around
Walking around the paths that surround this mountain lodge is a relaxing activity. As you can see in the images below, the small aspects of nature add to the natural scenery. The red leaves have a beautiful contrasting green background and the green pine tree with its water droplets is a great combination with the mountain lodge in the background. The natural scenery does not always have to be the large landscape, it can be the small bits of nature that sometimes go unnoticed.
Night photography and light painting are an awesome combination. Light painting, sometimes called light sketching makes it possible to get well exposed photos at night. For example, the cabin picture below was taken with a long exposure to capture the stars. The cabin was lit up by light painting with a simple flashlight while the camera shutter was still open. The image of the man in chaps was taken in the dark of night. Light painting technique was used to make him and the cabin porch visible. The last image is more like light sketching, but some still call it light painting. In this case we painted the light directly at the camera instead of the subject. The camera picks up the light from the light painting and if the shutter is open long enough it will pick up the path of the light. Click here to see another photographer’s examples of light painting.
Did you know it is possible to take amazing pictures in the dark? This particular technique is called light painting. Literally it is painting with a flashlight. The pictures below were taken using this technique. My favorite two pictures, the baseball theme and saddle were simply taken by using a small (pin-point) LED flashlight and running it directly along the areas that I wanted to be illuminated. Since the lights were completely out and it was dark, the background is still dark. However, the subject is lit in a unique way. Here is great video that explains the process even better. In this video she does light up her background, if you wish to have a dark background in your picture then use a smaller flashlight and point it directly at the subject being sure not to hit anything else.
Catching The Natural Surroundings
Outdoor product shots are very fun to take as you already have a beautiful scenery. The hard part is not gathering too much in that scenery. The oil has a nice outdoor, fresh background while the flashlight is dark and on a rock. The background to a product needs to be distinct and help to separate the product so that it stands out.
Creating The Light
Indoor photography can be challenging in a different way. Here it is important to create the light and make it look natural. At times the light can look yellow or blue. It is important to use good lighting and have your camera’s white balance set to a good setting. The EOS chapsticks required a lot of light. I had natural light around me but had to light the bottom of the EOS chapsticks with flashes. The sides of the EOS were initially too dark and needed flashes as well. Then I had to have a flash held above the EOS to get the logo on the pink chapstick container. Overall there were 6 flashes surrounding the EOS chapsticks as well as the natural light. The plexiglass below the EOS creates a great reflection and bright area. EOS have a creative shape that makes them fun to photograph. Megan McGregor is another individual that has found EOS products fun to photograph: http://meganmcgregor1.blogspot.com/2016/01/
The Process of a Vector Watch
In the creation of the vector watch I first looked for a photograph of a real watch as a reference. It is hard to make a vector look realistic without a real reference. Any time I design an object I have to start at what I feel is the base. I looked at the watch and decided that my base was the face of the watch. In working from the center out I began with the dark center and then continued with the real looking metal frame which is given a metallic look by using gradients. The markings and the hands on the watch face came next followed by the slight reflection in the glass. The wrist bands was the very last piece to be created. The texture was added by taking a picture of the leather seats in my car and following the YouTube video shown below of how to add textures by Cory Kerr. The hardest part for me was the shading on the bands to give it a more 3-D look. I feel more shading can be done. Overall I am pleased with this work of creating a vector watch that looks realistic.
Creating a Vintage Movie Poster
This poster was created based off of the vintage poster of It’s A Wonderful Life. I wanted a challenge to create a movie poster that was retro and vintage. It is a personal movie poster since the two “actors are me and my husband” . The photo was simply taken inside with a white wall background. I used a Rogue Flashbender II in order to create enough light while inside. My ISO was set to about 400 and my shutter speed to 350. My husband could not hold me long enough in the air, so I had to stand on a chair with a white sheet covering it. The post-production required research on how to make a photo have vintage colors. I found this video that helped me a lot. After following the guidance on the video, I also decided to over-expose the image and then use the Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop to highlight what I wanted to look brighter. The text is mostly all serif because that is how the original poster is. A vintage movie poster was a good challenge and I had fun creating it.
Vintage Photoshop tutorial can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnPh4hkdBSM