Week Three: Flash

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This was a last minute portrait that was accomplished with many thanks to my wonderful co-worker, Mackenzie. We ran outside after work where I wanted to use flash to offset the harshness of the sun and create a decent portrait. I handheld a LumiPro LP 180 manual flash, modified by a softbox from LumiQuest about three feet from Mackenzie. We tucked her down between a couple cars in the parking lot of Starbucks where I completely blacked out the exposure. I shot with the flash at full power to overpower the afternoon sun and so I could ensure catch lights in her eyes, and this is what we ended up with. In my opinion, not bad for an impromptu portrait session after an eight hour work day! Thanks again, Mackenzie! (Nikon D600, 85mm, f/16, 1/200s, ISO 100.)

Week Two: Macro

This week we were supposed to make a macro photo — or as close as we could simulate without the use of an actual macro lens. I ended up with two photos that I couldn’t decide between, so I’ll be sharing them both.

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This first photo I took at the Starbucks I work at. I’ve worked as a Starbucks barista off and on since 2002, and I’m a certified Coffee Master. I love coffee, and I love educating people about coffee. For me, this was a way to combine two of my great loves — photography and coffee. (Nikon D600, 70-200mm @ 200mm, f/2.8, 1/25s, ISO 100.)

wk2_macro-18-editI’m currently studying Graphic Design at UNO, which grants me access to lots of super cool media and materials. Above is a shot I made of a tray of old wooden letterpress settings. I took the shot from my tripod, fully extended and at a shallow angle. Surprisingly, and fortuitously, the angle combined with the super shallow depth of field gave the image an almost natural tilt-shift effect. Like the coffee image, this one allowed me to capture another significant part of my life in this assignment. (Nikon D600, 70-200mm @ 200mm, f/2.8, 1/20s, ISO 200.)

Omaha City Sprouts

Today we went on an old-fashioned field trip. Our class has been converted into a service-learning project during which we’ll get to work with Omaha City Sprouts. City Sprouts works “with Omaha area residents and volunteers to grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs using environmentally responsible and sustainable gardening techniques. [They] provide a comfortable setting where people of diverse ages and backgrounds can work outside together.” Our class will be working with students from a local Montessori school as they learn about sustainable farming practices, culminating in the creation of a cookbook. I look forward to sharing more images with you as move further along in the semester!city_sprouts-069-edit

Where to Buy

Below are two of my favorite places to purchase photography gear and equipment. Amazon is of course great, especially if you have Prime. When it comes down to it, though, I still prefer to purchase from dedicated photography dealers.

B&H Photo Video may be the single largest photography dealer in the United States. Located in New York, they have a massive selection and ship everywhere. Prices at B&H are relatively fair and competitive with Amazon, especially during sales.

Midwest Photo Exchange (MPEX) is similar to B&H, but on a smaller scale, and out of Ohio. Their shop provides classes for local patrons, and their blog is enjoyable, as well. They have most of the hot items in stock, as well as many more affordable (but still awesome) packages from up-and-coming brands. They also have a partnership with Strobist® for some great beginner OCF kits.

Week One: Weather and Cityscape

This week’s assignment was to make a cityscape and weather related photo. We had some pretty severe weather this week, which ended up limiting my options for both photos due to my hectic school and work schedules. Still, I think I managed to capture successful enough images for each of the assignments.

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Walnut Creek Lake after a storm.

I ended up really liking my weather photo. I ended up processing it as black and white rather than in color. The overcast skies and the recent rain just made the color version visually unappealing. The black and white process really accentuated the rain and the emptiness of the usually busy park for me, and I really enjoy the film-noir-esque look I got from it. (Nikon D600, 24-70mm @ 38mm, f/8, 1/60s, ISO 1600, EV +0.7.)

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Downtown Omaha, Nebraska.

My cityscape image is definitely not one of my favorites, but I like it well enough. It’s a view anyone from Omaha is familiar with, but I decided to pull it back from the usual photo location on the bridge in order to bring in more of the surrounding park. (Nikon D600, 24-70mm @ 36mm, f/16, 1/30s, ISO 100.)