photography

2014 Wrap Up

2014 was quite the adventure. I went to the Olympics, and added two new countries to my list in the process. I completely totaled my first car. I spent spring break 2014 with some amazing people. Some have left. Some became a bigger part of my life. I successfully raised some fish from eggs through adulthood. (Pretty proud of that one.) I spent an excruciating amount of time at Indiana fairs. Actually, I spent every day of the Indiana State Fair in a tiny trailer with 20ish other young journalists. I even stalked the State Fair queen for two days. I photographed almost all of Ball State’s home football games. I’ve gathered some of my favorite images from the year, with some of the most important things I learned from them. Student enjoys fall sunset

There’s nothing wrong with cell phones. The best camera in this case was an IPhone, considering it was with me. I also realized I want to carry a DSLR more often.

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Midterms are excruciating when it’s 30 degrees and raining in an area that already doesn’t vote much.

Zombies takeover Ball State during food drive

Moment over makeup. I was waiting for the people with more impressive costume to show up when I spotted this really sweet hug between a grandmother and her grandson.

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My self portrait work needs help. That’s a sad Rembrandt. Also, I should take more notes about failed lighting schemes. I tend to struggle to remember what went wrong. That’s valuable, I suppose.

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You really, really have to go with the flow when blue meanie looking Russian band members almost roll you over at the Olympic Park. This was also a lesson in how much I’m terrible at self editing. I didn’t start loving this photo until three different masters of photography plucked it out.

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Rodeos apparently have sort of a nice color palette? Sports shot this year included rodeo, cheerleading, band competition, football, and poi. They were all a blast.

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Consider every angle. Always look for something new.

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Light. Light. Light. Light. Light. Light. Light. Light.

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Knowing the game is as valuable as knowing the camera.

I’m glad I can look back at this blog and realize the mistakes I’ve made and things I’ve learned in the past year. It’s enjoyable to see the holes in my work and be able to make a plan for the upcoming year.

I’m gearing up to do some more serious video in 2015 and I hope to do some documentary type work.  In March, it’s pretty certain I’ll be heading to Cuba to do some photography. I’m currently adding content to a website that will be launching. I’ll be working to improve my brand, as well as my lighting skills. I’m really excited to get started! Thank you for being on the journey.

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Winner! Winner!

One of the assignments for BSU at the Fair was to shoot a photo series. I find people who work carnival games to be entertaining and mysterious, so I thought I’d turn the camera to them. Here’s just a few from my complete series. After a week of classes, I’m really starting to miss my daily lemon shake ups and the midway sunsets.Irby 16148Carnival Workers

 

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Indiana State Everything

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It’s been a week of lemon shakeups, various animal poop, and photography. I’ve been at the Indiana State Fair everyday since it started August 1st. I’m working with a group of other students from Ball State in a program called BSU at the Fair. We’re a mobile freelance media group that helps papers with content. If you saw any of my BSU at the Games posts, yes, it’s almost exactly like that. Only most people at the Indiana Fair speaks some form of English.

 

I’ve compiled some photos that I like that show the diversity in the sort of things I’ve been shooting. There’s been a cheer leading competition, a rodeo, and flat track. I’ve processed some photos in black and white. I’ve done long exposures. The list goes on. If it’s a big deal to Hoosiers, I probably have photos of it.

 

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The Annual Acting Whipped Cream Fight

Notice the whipped cream on my lens?

Whipped cream is a vital ingredient for finals week for an artistic director and acting teacher at Hammond’s Academy for The Performing Arts.

Amid the stress finals, graduating, or homework, students inacting classes taught by Dan Taube can be found in an annual whipped cream fight on the second-to-last day of school.

    According to Taube, “The tradition started with the first year of HAPA – the last day of school can be a little bittersweet for the seniors and the underclassmen. The acting classes tend to be a very close knit group. So…the whipped cream fight started as a way to be silly and joyful and a good way to keep the tears at bay. It started one year, not knowing we would keep doing it year in and year out.”

The whipped cream fight with my class was the highlight of my last few days as a senior. For a few minutes, you get to be more worried about melting cream in your eyes than your future. It’s a chance to celebrate the relationships created in the classes, and a good way to say goodbye.

I was able to shoot it this year, and enjoyed dodging whipped cream hand fulls. I’m pretty confident that the fight is some of the most care free moments in all of Hammond each summer. It’s nice to see.

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Nature Challenge

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This weeks challenge against friend and photographer Jonathan Miksanek was simply “nature.” Limited rules.

I really like my results. I’ve got some pretty decent photos for shooting at noon. After editing my photos using Photoshop, I realized I’m a lot more liberal about my post-processing in Instagram. I decided to go ahead and tone more closely to my Instagram photos instead of trying to be “correct.” I pushed my blacks, played with color maybe too much, and didn’t let the histogram tell me what I should be doing. I shoot around outside a lot, so I let this challenge be more about noticing the details in nature. Sure, I enjoy the landscape stuff, but I was more interested in watching the light on leaves. I was looking for interesting shadows. Abstract shapes. I had fun beginning to end.

Check out Jonathan’s photos here:

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Rust and Growth

Here’s a photo from my backyard. I’ve never actually just shot around in my neighborhood, so I thought a good place to start was my own house.

Today and tomorrow I’ll be heading out to the parks and stuff around my town to work on my personal symmetry project.

Self Portrait Challege

fbphotoI’m currently working on a series of photo challenges with Jonathan, a photographer I work with at the Ball State Daily News. The first project was a self portrait. We agreed to one light only. Anything else was game. 

My goals were really simple: get experience using my soft box, play with light, and do a little portrait research. I’d be happy just accomplishing that. 
 
At some point, I will be doing more challenging, conceptual self portraits, but this challenge wasn’t the time to do it. 

With a little soft box and a speedlite, I started with a sort of Rembrandt-esque technique. The light was angled and relatively close to me, which would create a drop off of light on my face. I thought this would create an interesting shadow I could play with.  

I’m happy with the photo. It’s not any sort of studio masterpiece, but it’s a fun Facebook profile photo, and it  helped me dive a little deeper into portrait photography. I reached my goals, set a small platform for me to jump from, and got myself excited for other portraits. Good thing that was exactly the point. 

Self portraits aren’t particularly easy logistically, so I might need a model to help me out next time.  

I’ll be discussing our next challenge in a couple of weeks. So check back. 

In the meantime, I intend to do a small symmetry project this week. 

You can check out Jonathan and his super cool, artsy entry here.

 

 

Colorful and Fun

This was my favorite photo from the bunch. I like that the droplets are a little offset, and there's more black in the image.

This was my favorite photo from the bunch. I like that the droplets are a little offset, and there’s more black in the image.

Glass, candy, and light is all it took to complete this fun image. Well, that and quite a bit of trouble shooting. I started with not enough candy, water droplets that were too large, and a glass bowl that was warping the image. I used a range of tools to make the water droplets before I found the right fit.

In this instagram post  from Jordan Kartholl, a Star Press photographer, he uses a clock instead of candy. It’s a pretty cool image, and was my most recent inspiration for shooting a similar photo.

It’s a fun little photo and project. Here’s some of the places I ended up before the final look.

Here is my first image. With glass to close to the candy, too big water drops, and the wrong glass, I was pretty far from the image I wanted.

Here is my first image. With glass to close to the candy, too big water drops, and the wrong glass, I was pretty far from the image I wanted.

 

In an attempt for smaller water drops, I resorted to a spray bottle. This didn't work, and I have no coffee stirrers on hand, unfortunately.

In an attempt for smaller water drops, I resorted to a spray bottle. This didn’t work, and I have no coffee stirrers on hand, unfortunately.

 

This was one of my last images, and is my second favorite. I used a modify straw for water drops, and finally got the other factors right.

This was one of my last images, and is my second favorite. I used a modify straw for water drops, and finally got the other factors right.

Reflection

 

Junior special education major Sam Hebe gets her head shaved to raise money for Riley Children's Hospital at Ball State's Dance Marathon on Feb. 22.

Junior special education major Sam Hebe gets her head shaved to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital at Ball State’s Dance Marathon on Feb. 22.

 

Every story has a person. That’s right. For each and every tale you can tell, there is at least one human at the heart of it. Helping it grow and live on. One of the most important lessons for me this semester was that every story is so much more interesting when you let a a living, breathing, passionate person tell it. I realized recently that I’m in photography to discuss the human experience. This experience ranges from small victories, to big decisions, to little candid smiles. When I’m shooting events for the newspaper, I look for photos that capture a moment of time, a human emotion. I feel like this small collection of photos show my journey through other people’s moments and stories.

 

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A Day at the Shedd

Over spring break, I visited the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. While I was there, I noticed the the way the light filtered in off the tanks. I was looking for an image that would show people interacting with the Shedd. I found these little girls playing with each other and admiring the fish.