Backstage with Cirque Ziva – Port Angeles, WA (January 31, 2014)

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365 Project: Photojournalism homework – black & white environmental photograph

In my photojournalism class I learned what an “environmental” photograph is, which has to do with paying attention to your surroundings and background of a shot, to help define the context of your photograph.

I took several photos during a movie shoot here in Port Angeles and for my homework assignment I chose this photo of director Dickie Flicks because I captured a commanding expression on his face, catch light in his eyes, the texture of his shirt, skin, and tatoos,; the courthouse building behind him is defined by the doors, pillars and the sign.  However, during my class critique, the photo did not give enough context about what was happening at this moment.  The photo would have been stronger if I included a camera, or anything that gave me context explaining that a movie was being shot at this location.

I included additional photos which MAY have been better choices to illustrate an environmental photograph.   I’m enjoying my class and happy to be learning what it takes to capture a photojournalistic shot. 🙂

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Director Dickie Flicks outside Clallam County Courthouse – Port Angeles, WA

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Director Dickie Flicks “seeing” his shot outside Clallam County Courthouse – Port Angeles, WA

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Actor Dave Schecter at the podium with director Dickie Flicks

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Actor Dave Schecter at the podium with actress Allison Weathers. Cinematographer Domenic Barberi in glasses with David Gardner.

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Makeup artist Jamie Scott with actor Dave Schecter

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Makeup artist Jamie Scott with actress Allison Weathers

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Actress Allison Weathers with co-director Ryan Herring, stepping in as an actor.

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Camera operator Dave Gardner taking a break with co-director Ryan Herring behind him.

365 Project: Photojournalism homework – black & white portrait of a stranger

I’m taking a photojournalism class and our first photography assignment was to take portraits of strangers then print one 8×10 to be critiqued during class.  Suprisingly, my photo received the most votes in regards to technical and aesthetic merit.  Eek! (that was a happy squeal, by the way…LOL)

How I shot this photo: I chose this vendor who was working during a local street fair because he was in the shade (the sun was bright and overhead), the backdrop of his white tent was sparse creating a simple (eg. not distracting) background, and I thought the textures of his face would make for a good black and white photo.  I used my Nikon D7000 with 50mm/1.4 lens.  I shot at ISO 200, F/5, 1/320 shutter speed.  Our assignment was to have the eyes looking at us and filling the frame with the face.  In Lightroom, I converted the photo to black and white and bumped up the black until the histogram was at a bell-shaped curve.  No other post-processing. The only improvement that was suggested was trying to get more catch-light in his eyes.  I was pleased as punch about this capture. 🙂

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About the assignment:  Although I’m not typically afraid of talking to strangers, initially it felt awkward for me to walk up to strangers and ask to take their photo.  Especially since I had to get up really close using my 50mm lens!  After the first ask, the assignment got easier.  In general, the men were more willing to let me take their pics.  The women were concerned about how they looked, wishing they put makeup on or did their hair.  When I assured them they looked fine and the photo would be for class and my photo blog, they let me take their pic.  Out of the twelve strangers I approached,  no one refused letting me take their photo. It was a good photojournalism exercise!

365 Project – 149: Drawing a bath with Aveda stress-fix soaking salts (May 29, 2013)

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A hot soak for my achy muscles

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A scoop of these Aveda stress-fix soaking salts and a cup of Epsom salts turned my home bath into a lavender-scented spa 🙂