This Photo Series Is Out of This World

A kind of common thing I do is orchestrate large photo shoots with sets that take months to prepare. My last big “set” was the shoot I did with the gas masks last November. This time, my friends and I had one last hurrah before I move to Chicago and start my adventure there. We just kinda partied in outer space, or as I call it, the vacant lot near my house where people smoke joints and kids go dirt-biking. Not like that matters or anything.

I spent six months planning and gathering the things I wanted and needed for the shoot. It turned out much different than I was anticipating, but hey, when does that NOT happen? Story of my life, my friends. I was able to play with some of my lighting tricks, something I was not anticipating a few months back. Can you say SUPAH NOVA THROUGH AMBIENT AND STROBE LIGHT MIXING? Because I can.

SUPAH NOVA THROUGH AMBIENT AND STROBE LIGHT MIXING.

There.

So the idea was there were these alien enthusiasts, kind of like conspiracy theorists, who strongly believed in aliens or whatever (my eloquence is overwhelming, I know.) So one night, while hanging out at their campground for weirdos, looking out for aliens, they have a surprise encounter and everything is awesome.

I busted out the Instax Mini and some special film (Shiny Stars, I think? I got it from eBay.) I was taking pictures of the set, things lying around, and a group shot of my homies throwing up a peace sign.

Oh, and I took a picture of the pile of clothing that needed to be laundered after the shoot.

I have the Lomo Instax Mini, which gives you MX capabilities. It is seriously my favorite, and if you are thinking about getting a Mini, I HIGHLY suggest the Lomo one. Do it and be happy and live life with no regrets.

We had a blast with this shoot, it took 4 hours to set up, and we got done past midnight and went for milkshakes. I would have to say it was a great way to close my summer and days in Michigan. Shout out to everyone who was able to make it special.

Good things come to those who wait. Unfortunately for me, I can’t wait six months to do one shoot while in grad school, so, uh, wish me luck friends.

Happy Shooting!

Weekend Shots

I had a busy weekend, and it was wonderful. I went to a country fair in the middle of nowhere with some friends, visited Wayne State University’s gorgeous campus, went to the Memorial Day parade in Dexter, and visited my Grandpa. I took my Holga 120 TIM with me on my escapades.

The TIM has the ability to make multiple exposures and split the frame in two. You can make your own stereographs with it because of this feature. You can make as many exposures as you want as well, like the crowd one was three different exposures.

Yeah, I just goofed around with this camera all weekend. I am actually a little emotional over the picture I got of my grandpa, because he is so stoic and I got him without him noticing. You know, the whole “acting for the camera thing?” It’s not a factor in this picture. Roland Barthes is all emotional of the photograph of his mother as a child, and I am emotional over this photograph of my grandpa.

So, yeah. I took pictures of things this weekend. I have a schedule of interesting photo shoots coming up, and I am really looking forward to it. I’m longing for constructed images like nobody’s business.

That’s all for now. Happy Shooting!

 

Dream On: More Negative Alterations Depicting Dreams

Even though I’ve been insanely busy with ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, I’m still producing work! I’ve been working on my dream series some more, manipulating negatives, and just kind of trying new things out.

(Shout out to all of my friends who modeled for me, and to my boyfriend for drawing a tiny little ship for me, and holding the scary lighter when burning the negative for the last one.)

So, how did I do these? I’ll tell ya, even though I’m risking losing my reputation as a total genius (or losing my delusions of grandeur.)

The falling one was all about timing and flipping the frame. Have a friend jump, and if you timed it correctly, they may look like they are falling off the earth!

The ship one was simple enough- a little ship was sewn onto the negative. You have to be able to draw really tiny (or know someone who can.) Or, an alternative could be to draw a ship directly onto the print.

That dark blob thing was just a three-second exposure of my friend thrashing around in a big poofy black dress.

Ah, yes. The girl cut in two. This one is really easy, if you have a splitzer. A splitzer is one of those tools Lomographers like to use, and I think you can buy one, but what’s the point in that when you can just make one out of black construction paper? Trace your lens, cut out the circular shape, cut that in half, and ta-da! A splitzer. To make a cool photo like the one above, have the splitzer cover half of your frame, snap the picture, double expose the frame (see google for how to do this with your camera,) and put the splitzer on the other side of your frame, and snap again. Cool, huh?

Nail polish and camera angles for the tree one. I saw someone do something like this somewhere (flickr maybe?) and I kinda wanted to try it. Throw some glitter nail polish on, and it looks like there are little fairy lights bobblin’ around.

The star one is easily one of my favorite because I’m a huge sucker for rainbows. This one took pre-planning, with negative alterations in mind. I took a star shaped hole-punch, a needle to scratch out the other stars, and star nail polish. Boom.

The bunny photo and the whale photo are just double exposures.

The last one was tricky. Again, I planned ahead with alterations in mind. My boyfriend and I took the negative and burned it, to make it look like he is running away from a burning frame. We used one of those long lighters to lower risk of injury, and burned it slowly. I played with the saturation of the burned parts in Photoshop, and that’s how that one was done.

I think we’re done altering negatives now for class, but man, I don’t think I’m done. I’m going to keep this technique in mind for the future. And, for the love of God, try this technique some time.

Happy Shooting!

 

Double Exposure Improv

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my Minolta X700 quit on me. I found out that my battery had finally died, but this was after I shot half a roll on the camera, re-wound it, took it out, and examined if anything was wrong on the inside. Oh well. I put my roll into my Sears KS-1 and took it with me to the zoo. So, I have photos from my trip to the beach superimposed with my pictures from the zoo. Check it out!

That peacock standing on the lion was a total accident but it was too funny to not include.

I kinda threw my roll in the Sears KS-1 because I thought my Minolta was done for. As it turns out, I got some nice results from my panic. I’m in love with the last picture, with the girl at the aquarium with the seal super-imposed.

So, the Double Exposure Challenge was a bit of a bust, but that’s okay. I’ll try a different challenge in the far off future, maybe when I have more readership than I do now. C’est la vie! Life goes on!

In happier news, I found out that the Grand Rapids Art Museum will be hosting my series, Home Sweet Home for ArtPrize 2014! I’m super excited because this is the biggest exhibition/event that I have ever been a part of, and it’s such a huge honor my work will be shown at the GRAM! I look forward to updating you all on the process! The exhibition at the GRAM will be from September 17th to October 12th, so if you’re in the Grand Rapids area, be sure to check it out.

That’s all for now. Happy Shooting!

Deo’s Double Exposure Challenge!

And now for something new!

Double exposure is a photographic process originally used for analog. A double exposure is the superimposition of two exposures to create a single image. Sometimes it’s the same exposure multiple times, or different exposures. Nowadays, this process can be done a multitude of ways.

If you know how to shoot double exposures, you can save yourself from my explanations below and skip forward to my challenge.


 

In-Camera Double Exposure

This is my favorite way of shooting double exposures, because I feel that it can be challenging and this process forces you to think. There are two ways that you can shoot double exposures in-camera:

Shoot a Roll Twice

  1. Shoot a full roll of film, then rewind it and shoot it again.
  2. When you shoot the roll the first time, be sure to under exposure each image by one stop. Then, when you re-shoot the roll, under expose by one stop AGAIN. This is because you are layering exposures, so the combination of the two one stop under exposures will balance each other out and create a properly exposed double-exposure. Make sense?
  3. It is also important to pay attention when rewinding your film- you do not want to rewind it all the way back into the canister, as it will be difficult to pull it back out.
  4. For most cameras, if you rewind the film up until the moment the rewinding-crank stops resisting, you should be fine. Or, you could sit in a pitch-dark room, take your film out, and rewind it by hand (I usually use a pair of scissors to do this.)

Shoot Double Exposures with the Film-Rewind Trick

  1. Shoot the exposure you want, then while holding down the film-rewind button, push the film-advance lever. That way the film won’t advance. This is the process I use, and the exposure rules I explained above still apply.
  2. You have to pay close attention when using this approach, because when you are ready to take the next set of doubles you have to advance the film all the way.
  3. So, when shooting double exposures, the pattern would be something like this: snap, hold down film-rewind and advance the film, snap, advance the film without holding down the film-rewind button.
  4. Not all cameras can do this, so be sure to poke around the internet for more information on your particular camera before shooting.

Layering Negatives

This is a process I have never used, but I found a nice, short article that gives the general idea of how to do this. And, the images are breath-taking: http://petapixel.com/2012/09/10/create-beautiful-surreal-photographs-by-stacking-your-film-negatives/

The Digital Approach

This is the very first process I used, and a lot of people are using it nowadays, since analog photography is nearly obsolete or pursued by hipsters or photography students or… You get it.

Layer and Change Opacity

  1. Open your photo-editing software and take two images, and layer them on top of one another.
  2. Then, select the top layer, and change the opacity so you can see the image beneath it.
  3. Play with contrast, hue, saturation, whatever you want to get your desired results.

BONUS: Double Exposure Silhouettes

Pop Photo made a good tutorial on how to make double exposures with silhouettes of faces. Here is the link to that tutorial: http://www.popphoto.com/how-to/2014/04/how-to-shoot-camera-double-exposure-photo


 

So you know how this whole double exposure business works, but you don’t know why I bothered making this large post about it, and I mentioned something about a challenge? Well…

DEO’S FIRST EVER CHALLENGE: DOUBLE EXPOSURES

I am challenging you all to shoot some double exposed images to send in to me, and they will be featured here on my blog. Here’s how to do it, and here are the details:

  1. You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is owensbydanielle@gmail.com. Please tell me your name or your business, and the title of the image.
  2. The image size should be as small as it can be, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  3. Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  4. Remember to include a link to your blog or website.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  I just want to see people trying/sharing their double exposure work- this is all for fun!
Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images. That, and it would be just plain rude of me to do that.

I will be taking submissions until MAY 31ST. All images will be posted, so this is a cool way to get your work seen!

If you have any questions, feel free to comment or email me!

Gotta Love Light

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio lately, and not even for classwork. I just want to play and experiment with all the lighting equipment! Rachel modeled for me again today, and this time I went a little color-crazy.

Super fun.

I set up seven lights (my patience feels tried just remembering it…) and I had to run around pressing the “test” button on the lights. This was a long exposure, at 20 seconds. Every time I pressed “test,” Rachel would step to the side and strike another pose. I’m sure watching me run around the studio was entertaining.

I didn’t get to do the experiments I originally set the lights up for, and that’s because I thought I would need friends to assist me in pressing the test buttons, since I was using so many lights (and there is no way I could do all of the flashes in two seconds…) But, now I’m reading up on these sorts of pictures, and I have a plan. So, it’s going to happen, hopefully next week!

Last week I took some more traditional photos of my boyfriend, for his professional website. They’re a stark contrast to the other portraits I’ve done in the studio, but I wanted to share anyway. Besides, I think he’s really cute.

He’s a musician… can you tell?

In other news, today my studio lighting class and I took head-shots for some theater majors! It was a good test to see how I work with someone I don’t know/am not comfortable with, and it went surprisingly well. Believe it or not, people aren’t all that scary. I had a lot of fun, and the pictures my classmates and I took were GORGEOUS. Hopefully I can get some copies to share with you guys.

A lot of lessons learned today… I can’t wait to see what the rest of this week will bring!