Thursday, June 16, 2016

Assignment the I am most proud of


     The assignment that I am the most proud of from this semester was the Architecture and Landscape unit.  I was in Nevada and California with my dad when I took these photos, and we got to go around to a lot of beautiful places.  I found that I had my camera with me pretty much all the time, and took pictures almost everywhere we went.  I had so much fun with this unit, finding new and interesting subjects, that I pretty much forgot it was a homework assignment.  I found that I was seeing new things to photograph everywhere.  After sorting out the photos that matched the criteria for this project and that were good, I had 500 photos.  The unit was really fun for me, and a reminder of why I like photography.  I think that this will remind me in my future endeavors in photography to have fun with my photos, and that is when I will get the best results.  I have a number of photos that I took for this assignment that I am really proud of and really like.  For me, I think, this unit was sort of a refresher.  I found myself trying a bunch of new techniques and looking at things differently, which I feel was one of the most important learnings I took away from this class.  

Most Memorable Experiences

   I think that the most educational and memorable experience that I had in this class all year was the pinhole photography unit.  This was really interesting because it was something that I had no experience in whatsoever.  I got to learn many new things about exposure, cameras and developing photos.  I feel that I will be able to take this knowledge and use it in my digital photography.  I really enjoyed getting this experience, and I hope to do it again in the future.  I feel like developing and taking film photographs was a very useful and educational thing to learn to do.  In pinhole, you have to put a lot of focus into your photos, and be very deliberate in everything that you do.  This focus is something that we don't always use in digital photography, as your results are immediate and you can make adjustments easily right on the spot.  You get as many tries as you want because you don't have to wait for the photos to develop or anything.  I think that the pinhole unit caused me to look more closely at every aspect of my digital photos, and helped me to compose better photographs.  I am real
really proud of these photos, especially because of all the work that had to go into producing them.
   The other assignment that was really memorable to me was the levitation unit.  It was the first time I had ever worked with Photoshop, a very useful tool.  I enjoyed finding out what I could do with my photos.  I had never really imagined that I could alter my pictures like that, and so this unit was a huge learning experience.  Photoshop is not really an easy program to use, because there are so many things that must happen in order for a project to work.  I found that after using Photoshop for a few classes, however, I knew a lot more about it and found that I was manipulating my photos in ways that were really cool.  I feel like this is a skill that I'll be able to use for many things, and like it is a very useful skill to have.  The photos turned out really well, for the most part.  My final photos weren't perfect, for sure, but they definitely were really good compared to what I would have been able to do at the beginning of the unit.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pinhole Photography

   The Pinhole Photography unit was a huge learning experience overall, especially since I had never done anything like this before.  One thing that I learned was important in pinhole photography was the importance of movement.  In digital photography, you don't have to worry so much about whether your subject will be blurry, and even if you do get a blurry shot, it is easy to take another.  In pinhole photography, every movement mattered.  Your subject had to be completely still for at least a minute, maybe more, and if they moved much at all, the photo would be affected- and you can't just take another that easily either.  This can be used to the photographer's advantage, as well.  They can have the subject move around in the photo or walk in and then out if they want to achieve a slightly transparent subject.  Another one of the things I learned about pinhole photography during this unit, and arguably the most important, was how to use exposure.  When you took a photo, you had to have your subject remain in place for a certain amount of time.  If the shutter was open for too long, letting more light in, the photo may be too dark.  Using the same logic, I had to make sure that the shutter was open for long enough, or else the photo would be too light, as not enough light would get in- I had to find a happy medium.  This sounds easy enough, but it was difficult, because the amount of exposure needed depended on the weather, positioning, and the camera itself.  I had to try multiple times with most of my photos to get them to a spot where they weren't too light or too dark.  If the exposure was wrong, the whole photo would pretty much be unusable, which was frustrating, but it taught me to be cautious and spend time thinking about how to get the best photo possible in the given circumstances.  The darkroom was another huge part of the pinhole experience.  I learned that you have to be very careful, every step had to be deliberate.  There were so many steps that we had to take while developing photos that had to be precise, or else you could ruin your photo and all of your work would be for nothing.  Moving the photos between chemicals had to be timed very exactly, and when you took the photo out of the darkroom, you had to make sure no white light got in.  After removing the photo from the tray, you had to rinse it thoroughly so that the chemicals left on your paper wouldn't ruin somebody else's negative or positive. When working with dry photographs, you had to be sure that your hands had to be dry so that you didn't stain the photo.  I think that this taught me patience, and taught me not to rush the steps, or I'd be risking a photograph that I had put hard work into taking and developing.
    I think that, though there were many interesting and exciting moments throughout the pinhole process, the most exciting moment was when you put your photo into the developer and you got to see how your photo turned out.  The pinhole experience is so different from that of the digital camera, in part because you can't see your photo when you take it.  You have to be very careful about where you put your camera and your subject, and have to pay attention to all the factors that could mess up your photo.  With digital cameras, you can see your photo before you take it, and make your adjustments on the spot.  It is really exciting to finally see your hard work in the photograph.   It takes a lot of time and effort to put together these pinhole photos, so it is really awesome to see your hard work pay off.  I think that really made the whole experience worth it.  It wasn't easy to take the photos, but it was completely worth it when you finally get to see the final product.
   I think the most challenging part of this was just making sure that everything was perfect for our photos.  There were just so many things that went into the perfect photo, and you can't really afford to miss any one thing.  I had to get the light just right, the subject movement just right, the camera placement just right.   If any one thing was off, it could throw off the entire final product.  This showed me how to be careful, and not miss a step.  This was also pretty helpful, though, because I think that the precision required can be used in the future, and I definitely don't feel like it was a waste of my time.  I am glad to have done this unit, and I think that I would love to work with film photography again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Forced Perspective Photography

   During this project, I had a number of challenges and successes with the Photoshop program and Forced Perspective Photography in general.  One of the things that I struggled with during this project was coming up with creative ideas.  There were many obvious solutions, but I wanted to do something original, so I had to think outside of the box to come up with my ideas.  The other problem that I faced was subject placement.  It was very important where I put the subject of the photo, or else it might not look realistic.  I think that I succeeded in choosing good quality photos that look good with my subject.  I spent a lot of time looking through photos to choose exactly the right one because I wanted a quality product.  Along those same lines, I think that another one  of my successes was editing the photos to make sure that the colors matched.  The photos do not always match in tone and contrast, so I think that I used Photoshop well to solve these problems.  I think that my products were overall pretty high quality.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Who I Am

To understand the purposes and differences of selfies, portraits and self-portraits;
To look at the work of of contemporary artists who create portraits and self-portraits and interpret and analyze their purposes;
To create a video that effectively communicates “who you are”;
To use imovie’s features in a creative and unique way.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I tried a few different strategies: more than two, but the ones that I probably used the most were playing with eye contact and playing with perspective. I have a lot of photos that I had the subject staring straight into the camera because I think that it can help show expressions on a person's face very well. I liked these photos because they carried the person's personality and the desired message well. The other thing that I tried with my photos was playing with perspective. I tried to take the photos from above, below and having the subject upside down. I think that this makes the photos more unique.
I think that the message that I tried most to portray was a sort of fun feeling. I tried to have my subjects making faces or laughing. I like this kind of photo because it is exciting, happy, and they make you smile to look at them. I think that it is great to capture the fun side of a person through the photo.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Who Am I?

  Who am I? That's a loaded question, and to be honest, I'm not sure that I know yet. Most of the year, I am fortunate enough to live in a nice house with my mom, sister, stepdad, and stepbrother in Yarmouth, and the rest of the time I spend with my dad and the other part of my family.  My family is a huge part of my life, and I am so lucky for this- they are the people that will love me no matter what.  My friends are another big part of my life because I count on them to talk to and have fun with, which is important to me.  I am a rower, and although I just started this year, it is important for me because it gives me something to work for and a team that I have to be close with.
   I have always known what I wanted to do with my life- I want to be an elementary school teacher. I have known since kindergarten that that is what I've wanted to do.  I love kids because they are honest and care about people, and I love the immensely positive way that they take on life, something that so many people lose as they go on in life.  I just really want to be able to help people, and I want somebody someday to look back and remember me as someone who really helped them.  I think that education is so important, and that every child, with the right mentor, can do amazing things.  Another thing that I really want to do in my life is to travel.  I have been very lucky so far in my life because I've been able to travel all over the US, and that has been amazing.  I think that it is important to travel so that you can begin to understand the world around you, and one of my goals is to have been to every continent by the time I'm 30 (1 down, 6 to go!!).  One day when I have kids, I want to be able to give them that opportunity to travel as well, and help them understand the world and the people in it. It is also really important to me to get outside.  I have always enjoyed being outside, whether it be hiking, walking, biking, or swimming, because it gives me a chance to get away from the stressors of the everyday world.  No matter where I've lived, getting outside as much as possible has been important to me.