Please click here to view my final narrative project.
So, a part of me really wanted to break out my camera remote and take a crazy shot of star trails. Instead, I decided to get a really nice shot of the Arts and Sciences Hall here at University of Nebraska Omaha. I used a set of three bracketed exposures with two-stop intervals. My initial exposure was 30s at f/8 and I merged it with the others in Photoshop. (Nikon D600, 24-70mm @ 24mm, f/8, 30s, ISO 100.)
So, yeah, I’m a bit behind here. I fell off schedule a bit when my original subject for the journalistic portrait had to back out at the last minute. Thankfully, another friend of mine was willing to step up help me out.
Mina is an artist in all forms. She’s a singer, dancer, actor, and painter. I’m quite fond of her artwork, so I asked her to bring along her easel and paint supplies. As varied as her creative outlets are, I decided I wanted to create a sort of juxtaposition in her portrait while still capturing the basic idea of her as an artist. She was kind enough to follow me down under this overpass in her high heels to set up her easel. I really enjoyed the way she was looking off in the distance — as if she was already planning her next project — and the location seemed to say she could make art out of any situation. (Nikon D600, 85mm, f/1.8, 1/1600s, ISO 100.)
After hiking up out of Papio Creek, we spent the next hour or so driving around looking for somewhere we could pose her wearing her magnificent orange beanie. She showed up to the shoot wearing it, and I immediately wanted to use it in my color contrast shot. We ended up parking in the lot of Goodwill in La Vista, and set up shop. We ended up with a bit of an audience, wondering why we were doing a photo shoot in the back of the parking lot against the wall of the building. I ended up liking this more as an additional portrait rather than my color contrast shot, but I figured I’d share it anyway. (Nikon D600, 24-70mm @ 70mm, f/2.8, 1/640s, ISO 100.)
That left me with having to find another subject for my color contrast assignment. Thankfully, I was going through my photos from our visits to City Sprouts, and realized I already took one! There aren’t many hand cranked water spigots these days, and I remember the blue catching my eye among all the vibrant greenery in the garden. (Nikon D600, 24-70mm @ 50mm, f/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 400.)
The first image is my beautiful wife. We’re expecting our first child in January, so I wanted to try and capture her looking forward to our future. I thought the window light portrait assignment would be a great time to finally get her to sit in front of the camera. I finally managed to capture a nice sunset in our northwest-facing nursery window, while in days previous I was fighting cloudy skies which gave the expectant mother portrait an ominous feeling. (Nikon D600, 85mm, f/1.8, 1/30s, ISO 800, gold reflector fill.)
The second image is a candid shot I made of our professor for the class. This was during our initial trip to City Sprouts for our class service learning project. I figured this would be a great addition for my candid shot, as it manages to capture not only Professor Bowen enjoying the garden, but it also the theme of our class this semester. (Nikon D600, 70-200mm @ 200mm, f/5.6, 1/2000s, ISO 400.)
So, the UNO Archery Club has been re-founded by my friend, Dyan. She was kind enough to let me drop by for their first instructor practice and group meetings this weekend. I thought archery would be a unique subject for this week’s sports action assignment. Dyan made me work for my photo by constantly blinking during her shots, but all in all, I had a great time getting my photo — especially with the arrow in flight! (Nikon D600, 24-70mm @ 45mm, f/2.8, 1/50s, ISO 320.)
If anyone is interested in Archery at UNO, the club could use all the support they can get. Dyan and her co-founder Sage have put a lot of work into getting the club back up and running. They’re both quite passionate about the club and I would love to see them enjoy the best success possible!
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.)
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.
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.)
I’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.)
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!
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.
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.
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.)
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.)