Early Semester Mishaps

I’m in two photography classes this semester, one of them being studio & location lighting. This weekend I worked in the studio for the first time, to complete an assignment.

And man, you have to think about so much when you’re in there.

Perhaps the well-seasoned photographers reading this are laughing and nodding at my above comment, but man, I was so stressed! I was trying not to break anything, trying to set everything up correctly, having to move lamps every four seconds, getting frustrated that I set up a wrong exposure since I know my equivalent exposures… But all was well, until my battery died. And I forgot my charger.

This was Saturday night, after I had just finished replacing a black backdrop with a white one and was getting ready to shoot a white cube against a white background… and it died. And my hopes and dreams died with it as I put everything away, since my shooting was over (and now I’m buying an extra battery and I put my charger in my bag…)

When I returned Sunday, I re-set everything up, finished, tore it down, and continued on to another part of my assignment. About halfway through that one, I realized my white balance was on the wrong setting, and all my previous pictures had an orange-ish cast.

My hopes and dreams died again.

So, I changed my white balance and carried on, taking note of my mistake for next time, since I didn’t have the time to go back and re-do the previous assignment (I had only three hours in the studio and I was running out of time.)

And that was my mishap in the studio. White balance- I’ll never forget it again, trust me. I did get a little bit of a reward at the end though, where I got to set up a creative still life using Styrofoam and objects of my choice.

The studio is so frustrating to me, because I don’t know anything! During every class I jot down things that my professor says that I have no idea about, and I go home and I research and research and research until I can talk about those things comfortably. This class is going to be a huge challenge for me, and not because I don’t know how to use anything. It’s going to teach me that my knowledge is not yet complete, and I have so  much more to learn, and that’s okay. Nothing to beat myself up over.

Live and learn.

Polar Vortex and Photography

I live in Michigan. It’s cold here in the winter. That’s normal weather behavior. However, Michigan was hit by the polar vortex that was passing through the United States, and it was as if winter in Michigan took a couple of steroids. Make that a couple of bottles of steroids.

Here is some perspective as to how cold it was:

One night it was so cold that the steam on the windows in the shower room froze to the windows. Ice on the windows, inside.

People’s eyelashes were freezing together.

Bubbles could freeze. Throwing boiling water outside would cause it to instantly vaporize.

It was colder here than the South Pole.

My university had it’s 6th snow day in school history. My school opened in 1855. So,  I stayed inside all day. I didn’t have one of my photography classes which bummed me out, but I took care of it. I opened my blinds to look outside and fell in love with the light. So, I set up my camera, threw on a dress, and voila!

One of my goals this winter season is to go out and take pictures in the snow. I want to try my hand at landscapes. People are almost always present in my work, and I think it’s time to expand my horizons (which is almost a pun, because landscapes, horizon lines, horizons… like I said, almost a pun.)

So, yeah. I don’t really have much else to write about. I just missed writing. I think my next blog post will have a little something for you guys to try out. (:

California Dreamin’

Happy New Year! I hope 2014 treats you kindly. My year is off to a FANTASTIC start! I spent New Years Eve in Los Angeles, California. Actually, I spent December 29th to January 2nd. I went on the trip with the Spartan Marching Band in order to perform at the 100th Rose Bowl (thanks to our awesome football team) and the 125th Rose Parade. While we were there we also went to Disneyland and LA Live.


Wait for it.

I took pictures.

Super shocking, right? I brought six cameras with me, but only ended up using four. First up is the Fuji Natura Classica. I am IN LOVE with this camera, and the photos below should give you a hint as to why.

The camera captures light beautifully. I love digital, don’t get me wrong, but you couldn’t get a photo like this without editing it in Photoshop. 10/10, would use again and again and again and… You get it.

At Disneyland I got the chance to play with my Fuji Instax- and man, I have a lot to learn on it. All my pictures were tourist photos. For some reason, I had it stuck in my head that the Fuji Instax HAD to be the camera I took to Disneyland. I had this romanticized vision of Polaroid-esque pictures of me and my loved ones. Not sure why this appealed to me so much- maybe it’s because all the pictures from my childhood are Polaroids and I was in Disneyland, a child’s dream destination. Or I couldn’t suppress my inner hipster or something. I really should stop drinking Starbucks and wearing trendy flannel shirts.

So yeah, even though they aren’t artful or anything, here they are. You are now subjected to my touristy photos. Boo-yah.

Now, I’m not the only one who had fun in Disneyland. There was another group there, a group that you haven’t heard from in a while…


And they made their creepy comeback in the happiest place on earth. Whoops? sorrynotsorry

Quick story about the Splash Mountain picture: I managed to get the BoxHeads into Disneyland in the first place because they are actually those collapsible storage drawers, so they fit in my backpack. Right before we got on the ride, I took one out and put it under my arm. I got on with no problem, and as soon as we turned the corner and were out of sight of the ride operators, I opened it and set it on my lap in the ready position. My group and I were super giddy about the idea, and when we started going up the hill to the drop I put the box on my own head. I hardly believed I had the guts to do it, since I’m not a fan of drops and I wouldn’t be able to hold on to the boat thingy because I’d have to hold the box on my head… But the box muffled my terrified screams as we went down and got soaked.

When we got off the ride, we went to the photo screens and found a group of people pointing and laughing at our picture. When we saw it, we practically fell over laughing. We ran over to the photo kiosk to buy it, but we forgot to look at the photo number. So, my friend told the cast member, “Ours is the one with the box on someone’s head!”

The cast member did NOT look happy.

“Well, that’s not allowed, so it probably didn’t end up here. We have moderators that take care of the photos and-”

“There it is!”

I guess the moderators missed our photo. The cast member still looked unhappy while she bagged our photos, but it was so worth it. Have a sense of humor, lady.

I have a shoot planned for these gems this weekend, so stay tuned for that. I have another set of photos from the trip that I took on my Horizon Perfekt, but I haven’t scanned the negatives in yet. So there is more to look forward to!

That’s all I have for now- I’m very excited to see what 2014 will do for everyone’s photography!