Category Archives: Digital Imaging


Our book, our little baby, is finally out there in the world!

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My three classmates and I are so proud of what we’ve accomplished. We are the smallest class of Biocommunications students to publish a book, and I think the document we created speaks to our individuality. You can think of it as a photography book, or a fine art book, or a coffee table book, or the perfect gift for everyone on your list. It’s all of those things. The book is also a fundraiser for the Randolph Community College Foundation. All our profits go towards student scholarships. How cool is that?

You can purchase the book through Blurb here – Lumen III: Impressions of Light

When you click through to Blurb you get to see a small preview of the book which will give you an idea of what to expect. I think you’ll love it.

You can also see my other posts about the lumen process by clicking below.

Thank you so much for your support!

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October 15, 2013 | Bio Cube

Capture Cube Histogram

In Biocommunications we have cubes. They are painted gray, white and black on various sides. We take pictures of them then we use photoshop to analyze the pictures. In the screenshot above, the top of the cube is painted gray, and the right and left are both painted white. I lit the cube in order to have the right side appear white and the left side appear near black. In analyzing the left side of the cube my histogram tells me that I (my camera) did an okay job at making the left side black. It looks way better when you squint at it.

We are Bios and this is what we do.

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October 9, 2013 | Tooth

20131009_marge tooth_

It was two weeks ago that I pulled Maggie’s tooth out. It took a lot for her to work up the nerve, but she let me tug, it came out and she got a milkshake for her troubles.  Now the neighbor tooth is loose and when she wiggles it I swear it looks like it’s hanging by a thread. Tonight she found the courage, grabbed her Dad’s hand for moral support and I had a go. Nope. As loose as it seems, it’s still stuck in there good.

Yanking on your kid’s tooth and it doesn’t come out is pretty much the worst.

And that’s not all! We’ve learned a lot about portrait retouching (teeth, eyes, hair, eyebrows) so I practiced some of my skillz. Specifically I used a high pass filter to make her eyes sparkle and desaturated the yellows to whiten her teeth.


But you know. Practice.

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October 8, 2013 | Two Reasons

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Sitting in the computer lab at school, having stared at the screen for the better part of the day, it finally occurred to me that I could stay and stare more at the screen or leave before these cats were asleep. Saved my work, packed up, hit the road. Two best reasons to come home ever.

During my time on campus I have been working in photoshop a lot. I mean A LOT. The final project for my Digital Imaging class was a composite that needed to include at least six separate elements. As with my apple panorama, I struggled with coming up with my plan. After one major false start, I finally decided to create a book cover. For a book about me or by me? I don’t know. It’s just my book, that’s all.

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clickable – extreme close up

I’m learning that jumping into a project with only a vague idea of the end point doesn’t work for me. When it finally hit me to do a book cover, this is exactly what it looked like in my head, with the exception of a few elements that I photographed but didn’t end up in the final image. I literally sketched this out with pencil on paper and somehow that made the execution of the idea easier for me. Someone remind me next time, mkay? Before I start wandering aimlessly with my camera? Thanks.

So this started with my photo of the day and ended with my final project for Digital Imaging. Two reasons for my blog post? Just go with it.


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screenshot aleece-1One of the almost 900 frames from the video.

Bouquet from Mandy Powers on Vimeo.

I created this stop-motion video about my polaroid camera with the help of the amazing Aleece White. No relation to Walter White as far as I know.

I found with this project that my idea was bigger than I was able to execute. I had a really elaborate vision but I don’t think it translated very well to the final version you see here. It turned out super-cute thanks to Aleece, but the story I wanted to tell didn’t really get told. Next time?

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October 2, 2013 | Practice

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Jerry started reading music this week. From today’s practice session I could tell he wasn’t exactly getting it, but he sure was having a ball thinking he was reading music. Usually he practices in his room (with the door closed) but he had a mini-concert to play the song for us.

While he practiced his trumpet I pulled out my flash to practice, too. You can see I wasn’t exactly getting it, but I sure had a ball playing around without an assignment to think about (for the moment). I usually use natural light for pictures around the house but I had a mini photo session with off-camera flash to use for today’s photo of the day.

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This is in the same room a few weeks ago with a more elaborate light setup. Jerry doesn’t love being my model but he smiles when I ask him to smile and broods when I ask for that. He is amazing at it, really.

Earlier that day I was in a parking garage and created this HDR image using 7 or 8 different exposures.

port comp jerry for blog-1

Later I merged both images to create a composite portrait. I’m loving the result, mostly because it reminds me that this photo shoot resulted in the mouthpiece getting stuck on the trumpet which I’ll have you know is a $10 repair!


Brooding Jerry in a Parking Garage Holding a Trumpet

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Apples and Stop-Motion

Randolph Community College – The Darkroom from Mandy Powers on Vimeo.

Digital Imaging class often leaves me (and from what I can tell, the rest of my classmates) completely drained. I have a feeling we’re getting better at Photoshop, but it involves a lot of hours staring at a computer.

Yesterday’s class was different, somehow. We were given an assignment to create a stop-motion video and it was due by the end of class. Less than four hours! By the end of the lab we were all gathering around watching each others videos and there was lots of oohing and ahhing and laughing. With such a tight deadline, perfection was elusive. But it was, indeed, great fun. We’ll have another stop-motion assignment with more time to plan and execute the idea.

Another digital assignment is the panorama. I spent a lot of time shooting landscape images for this assignment. I finally realized that although I enjoy looking at landscapes, I could not be less interested in shooting them myself. Last night I got some apples, went to the studio, and created a panorama that I really, really love. Like a lot.

20130919_big apples_the final apple pano by mandy copy

The apples are clickable for bigness, but even then it’s only a fraction of its true size. The print I made of this image includes 12 images stitched together in Photoshop and is over 4 feet long.

The first half of this first semester is rapidly coming to a close, and with it, lots and lots of deadlines are looming nearer and nearer. It’s going to be a mad dash to the finish!