Monthly Archives: June 2013


Here’s the thing. I hardly ever eat corn that’s any good. Growing up I would eat the corn that my Dad had picked that day from the field behind our house and there is no better corn than that. Now I rarely have fresh corn but savor those times when I find a farmer by the side of the road or at the farmer’s market selling a load of picked-this-morning ears.

All that is to say I have a very emotional connection with corn. LOL if you will, but it’s true. It was a no-brainer to choose this vegetable (grain?) for my first product lighting assignment. The project was to photograph something in available light, AKA sunlight/daylight/shade/overcast/downpour. I photographed corn in all of those situations, and it definitely taught me that being at the mercy of Mother Nature when lighting a product has it’s challenges.

There were a million outtakes from this project that were awful, and even the one above was awful before I adjusted the color temperature. But I am learning, and that is what matters.

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tamomat(click for bigness)

It’s hard to explain exactly what you see in this picture here. This set of prints was created for my “Pos/Neg” assignment in my Custom Color Printing class. I used transparency film to create a paper negative (on the left) in order to make a positive print (on the right). What you see above is a digital picture that I took of my two prints, which were mounted side by side.

See? It exists in real life, on paper, that you can hold. It is not just pixels.


So you start with a transparency. You know, like the slides your grandparents have. Usually you don’t use transparency film to make a print, but when you’re looking to have a little fun in the color dark room that’s exactly what you do. The result is the print on the left – the colors are backwards. In other words, I used my positive film to make a paper negative. The next step is to use the paper negative to make a positive print. See, even when I try to explain it clearly it just gets all mumble jumbly.

Nonetheless, the results are freaking cool. I’ve seen a bunch of my classmates’ projects and each one is totally unique and awesome.

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Up Close and Personal

Lab 08My first major project for Small Format is called Up Close and Personal and it involves taking pictures of strangers and recording information about each subject. We are required to have 36 pictures in all – 12 outdoors in natural light, 12 indoors with flash, and 12 outdoors with flash. I have less than 2 weeks left before the assignment is due and I’m about 2/3 of the way done finding subjects for the photos.

The project is challenging in different ways for all of us who are working on it. For me, I find the toughest part is getting the courage up to talk to the first stranger, not wanting to bother them. Once I get over that first hurdle, then I feel more comfortable the rest of the time I’m out shooting. Another challenge is getting a good picture, and quickly. I still feel less than comfortable with my flash, and as I struggle with nailing the exposure, I forget to make it a good picture. Or I rush so that I don’t take up too much of my subject’s time.

But even with all the challenges, the best part of this project has been meeting and learning about the subject of each picture. There’s a really exhilarating moment as you walk away from a person who has just shared not only their time, but a little part of their story.

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major UCP-0593


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Painting With Light

When I took my family outside near dusk on Saturday night, I had no plan for how I was going to execute my light painting assignment. I had Jerry and Maggie play with matches for a while (Mom of the Year!). I asked my husband, Gerald, if we had fireworks. I had Maggie catch fireflies. But nothing  was really working and it was all pretty lame.

Lab 08Then I happened to pop Jerry with my flash twice while the shutter was open for a long exposure and suddenly I had my vision. What started as a weird, creepy head thing turned in to a highly choreographed 30-second exposure starring the whole family (less the cat).

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Lab 08As you can see, there was a lot of trial and error with this set-up, and we worked on it over two nights. None of them are exactly right technically, but for me, as a mom and wife, they are perfect. I am going to print a few of them big because I love them so much. The kids loved it so much they want to do it erryday.

Here’s the one I handed in for the assignment.

Lab 08You can click on any one of these to see it bigger.




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Weeklies: Roads + Framed

road shapeThe assignment was called Shape of Our Roads and although my teacher thought I took a great picture, it didn’t show shape at all.

There is little time for reflection this semester, and yet I have let the road assignment above haunt me. Great picture/bad grade. But without any other choice, I moved on to the next weekly assignment.

This week’s theme was Framed, and before I know my grade or get feedback from the teacher, I present it here.

weekly trampoline framedIt’s funny that my kids are the subjects of both these pictures, because I feel like I have barely see them at all during this busy semester. But here they are! Helping me with my projects!


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Pitcher ISO

Hi Dad! I don’t know how you  know about getting what is called a pitcher ISO but you do. One of the photographs for the baseball project needs to be a pitcher with the ball just off his fingers, and this is the best one I’ve got so far.

Tyler Brosius

Thomasville’s Tyler Brosius pitches during the second inning in a game at Finch Field on June 5, 2013. Brosius was later drafted 643rd overall by the Atlanta Braves in the 21st round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft. (Photo by Mandy Powers)

I’ll miss hanging out with you on Father’s Day, Dad. Hope you have a great day!

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Today is the last day of school for my kids! I’ve been learning about using flash in Small Format class so this morning I played around while they waited for the bus.

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last day of school_0199This flash business is tricky, but I had fun practicing this morning. One of our major projects for Small Format requires using flash for both indoor and outdoor portraits. It’s all new to me now, but hopefully I’ll get better and better!

What’s more is that I now have a homemade snoot and I (almost) know how to use it.  Try to stop me.

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