Painting with Light

Our painting with light lab had to be one of the coolest assignments we’ve done so far. After a cookout with good food and good company, we packed up our gear and traveled to the eerie Katy Trail tunnel in Rocheport, Mo. We divided into two groups and took turns being the photographers and the artists.

These techniques were accomplished by setting the shutter speed down to bulb and keeping the ISO low as well. Our classmates posed, threw balloons, and played with light while we left the shutter open. The end result was very playful!

Then we had to turn in a “real” assignment we completed with our final group team. Here’s ours.

No photoshop

With photoshop

 

Lighting diagram

 

Dancing around the shadows… again

Our assignment this week was to use our rainbow of gels to change the kind of light our flash put out to match ambient light. This method is used because some lights put out a color. Tungsten lights are warm and usually give photos a orangey-cast. Fluorescent puts out cool green and sometimes a little magenta. By putting a gel on the light, you can alleviate some of the color cast.

Here’s the photo I chose for my select, and also my lighting diagram.

Rachel Holmberg and Deb Forck practice ballet at the bar on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Both take classes at Studio B in Columbia, Mo. Holmberg just began ballet this summer. “(Ballet is) relaxing. It’s strengthening while centering me,” Holmberg said.

I am very happy about how the light fell on her face. I forgot to bring anything to diffuse my flash with but luckily there were some paper towels on the floor that I used instead. I found that increasing the power of the flash would allow enough light through but still soften the shadow
and angles. I know this photo is a a bit under exposed, but I think it was the best from my take that demonstrated all the proper techniques.

 

 

 

 

Here’s a few more from today, just to look at!

Holmberg and Forck again.

Cory Keck and Kari Laudano practice a rhythm medley.
I think I would have turned this one in, if it wasn’t for the expression on Keck’s face! He must have blinked from the flash. But I love the shadow at their feet.

Keck and Laundano.
I thought this shot was fun, but it was too underexposed to make the select.

P.S. If you like to watch dance, Keck and Laundano will be performing a showcase at Studio B on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m.!

Why are you using flash during the day?

Yeah, why am I using flash during the day?

So this happens:

Henry Hellmuth installs low tunnels above a row of lettuce on one of Sustain Mizzou’s plots at the University of Missouri Bradford Research and Extension Center. This “mini-greenhouse” allows crops to grow a few more weeks despite the dropping temperatures. Hellmuth is a member of Sustain Mizzou.

By using flash, I filled his face and body with additional light. Without that, the side of his body facing me would have been darkened by a deep shadow due to the position of the sun.

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I had a dream once…

… That shooting with flash wouldn’t be too bad.

That dream turned into a nightmare in real life. I’m not sure if I’ve ever so spectacularly failed at anything photo-related thus far! I guess everyone has to do a belly-flop once in a while.

The whole time I was taking photos, I had to think so hard. It made it more difficult to think about the shot itself when I was so concerned about getting the light right. The few times I did get it right, I felt like it happened by accident!

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Lighting metal

Pinterest, Stumbleupon, a myriad blogs… a new culture has arisen in America. The rise of the DIY: the do-it-yourselfer. People are turning to these ideas to make gifts for friends for a personal touch, instead of buying presents.

The hardest part of the Glass/Metal assignment was coming up with a concept. The first time I met with my group, I really didn’t have a good idea. My first idea involved the same scissors, a flag and a string. My idea was a reference to the Three Fates of Greek mythology make the decision of a person’s life; and the American people make the decision about the future of the American presidency.  I wanted to stay with the idea, but did not have time to put more effort into it. And, it just felt so abstract. I didn’t think I would even come close to making an audience “get” the concept.

Then I came up with the Do It Yourself culture idea. I felt like it was a concept that could be much easier to convey and was a lot more fun, especially as a DIY follower myself.

I’m not sure how my lighting of the scissors came out. Since it wasn’t super reflective metal, I wasn’t sure exactly how the lighting was supposed to look. I only used one strobe with a barn door that shot through a sheet, a reflector and a black card. So, I’m hoping I did alright!

An inspiration

This week we’re beginning to learn more and more about studio lighting and the effects angles can have on a subject.

I am really excited to learn more on this topic. Although I take lots of portraits at work, they’re the yearbook-style photo: make sure the light is balanced and the person looks good. There’s no posing, no playing and no fun!

We were each asked to find a portrait we found inspiring. Here’s the one I chose:

*Image copyright of Paul Quiambao*

 

I find pictures of old people to be the most compelling. It has something to do with their wrinkles, I think. Watching the way the light spills onto this person’s face and how the light weaves into and out of wrinkles is inspiring to look at.

I believe that the photographer used only one light here, to the side that the person is facing. Then he took the photo from a different angle. The way the one light highlights the subject’s profile, but giving it just enough more detail to keep it from being a silhouette is beautiful and stunning. I hope I know how to do this someday!

 

Getting famous?

Curious why I was in the middle of a corn field? Keep reading!

Here is some blatant evidence of a drought, even if you’ve never seen a field: deep cracks in the earth.

Even though I grew accustomed to seeing my name online or in the paper at the Missourian, the feeling never wears off.

I’m not trying to sound full of myself– but whenever I see my own work actually published it gets me all excited.

The first mention I received was from the story I published about the Amish community nearby.

This story, in the entire process, took almost two weeks to finally get published. It was also bittersweet, as it was the last story I published for the Missourian.

By some stroke of lunch, my story was found by a blogger from Ohio who specializes in Amish cooking! Oxymoron, I understand, but you can read his “about” page to figure it out. Not only did he tweet about my story, but he also featured it on his blog! You can read his humbling remarks about my story here.

Now that the Missourian class is over, I’m back to work at Cooperative Media, full-time until school starts up again.

On Monday we got a random call from Rob Wile, a writer for the Business Insider, a community-styled website.

He was doing a short story about the terrible drought in the Midwest and asked if we had any photos of dried up corn fields, etc. We didn’t, but I drove over to Bradford Research Center and Tim Reinbott, the superintendent there, helped me find what I needed.

I shipped over around 30 photos to Rob, and here’s how it turned out! It was thrilling to see my name on a decently trafficked website!

(It also gave me a very good reason to get back in the habit of updating my blog!)