Friday, May 15, 2009


I created a series of three podcast's using the program Audacity. I used my voice to narrate the podcasts and then added background music to give them a more friendly, professional feel. The first podcast is a minute and a half long, covering the top three main mishaps that people encounter when shooting photography, that causes them to create a bad picture. The song that was used was from A Starbucks Collection of Unforgettable Piano Jazz album and was the song "Nature Boy" by The Three Sounds. The three points discussed include bad lighting, composition, and camera type. The second podcast is two and a half minutes long and it dicusses the three most important features needed in camera. The accompaning music is called "Smooth Jazz", by artist Wayman Tisdale. The three features include focus, aperture, and shutter speed.
All three files were then exported as an MP3 files. From there, I uploaded the files onto a podcast creating website called and posted them to my blog. They can be listened to on any mp3 compatible program, including Windows Media Player and iTunes. You can listen to my series of podcasts by clicking play on the box above. This box contains all three podcasts and can be alternately listened to. After listening, make sure to explore the rest of my blog! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vodcast: Capture the Moment

Using iMovie, I created a two minute video that shows a variety of my photographs that have been taken over the past couple of months. Throughout the video, I use transitions, titles, and the Ken Burns effect. The video uses background music from the artist Kate Voegele with the song "Manhattan From the Sky." The video is titled "Capture the Moment". I edited, produced, and directed the movie myself, exported it as a Quicktime file, and then uploaded the video onto YouTube and posted the video onto my blog. You can view the video below:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Indesign Brochure

Photography opens a lot of doors. With a degree or experience in photography, enthusiasts can choose from a long list of careers in which their talents will come to use. Because of this, I created a double-side brochure that contains six different photography careers, with a small paragraph about each. This brochure was created in Adobe's Indesign program. It can be folded into thirds as a brochure and distributed. In addition to the explanation paragraphs, each type of photography has an example photo. After the project was completed, the brochure was exported as a PDF file. Click on the link below to view the PDF brochure that I created! Once on the sight, you download my brochure. After viewing, make sure to press the back button to return to my blog so you can explore the rest of my online portfolio!


Focused on the topic of photography, I created a five page website using Adobe Dreamweaver. This website covers four different topics of photography. It provides pages dedicated to the history of photography, a gallery of famous photographs, careers in photography, and additional resources to explore. Several of the photographs on the site were taken by me, and the ones that were not, are followed by a citation. Once I had finished formatting the project in Dreamweaver, I uploaded it to the class web page using Filezilla. The website contains links to many of my other projects, including my Indesign brochure and this blog. Also, there are several hyper linked links that take the viewer to sites that will further advance their knowledge and curiosity about photography. Take a look at my website by clicking HERE or following the link below! After viewing all pages of the website, there is a link on the "Additional Resources" page that has a green highlighted link that will bring you back to my blog.


One of the first projects of the season was created using Adobe Photoshop. I took a personal photograph and then condensed it in size, and exported it for both Indesign and for the web. Then in addition, I used a filter to give the third photo a more creative and artistic look. The filter that I used was called "Smudge-Stick" and is represented in the bottom photo. The original photograph was taken in 2006 in Kenya, Africa, when I traveled there for a volunteer opportunity. The first photograph in this sequence is the one that was edited for Indesign, the second is for the web, and the third (as mentioned previously) was created using a filter and exported for the web.

Team Wiki

As a course requirement, three of my classmates and I created a Wikipedia page. This project is the only part of my portfolio that is not dedicated to photography. Instead, it discusses President Obama's administration. The page covers the many topics of the Presidential administration, from how people become appointed to the administration to the different members of the administration. It also discusses the plans the Obama has for different parts of our economy and country welfare. Each of the four members of this Wikipedia contributed equally to this project, by doing approximately four posts each. Each post contains a signature at the end that ties the post to a certain member. The following four posts were created by me:
  • The Home Page
  • What IS the Obama Administration?
  • How Members Become Appointed to the Presidential Administration
  • Barack Obama's Plans for Energy and the Environment
Click HERE or follow the link listed below to view the Wikipedia page:
After exploring the wikipedia page, you can either press the back button to continue viewing my blog or simply exit the internet. The Wikipedia page does not have a link to this blog and that is why I saved it for the last posting of my electronic portfolio.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Vignetting is a technique in photography that is used primarily to add depth and creativity to a subject. It requires reducing the brightness and saturation on the outer edges of the photograph instead of in the center. The word vignette originally referred to a decorative border in a book. Vignetting is usually unintended and often undesired, but is sometimes purposely introduced for a creative effect. A photographer can specifically choose a lens in which to produce vignetting. Special filters and post-processing procedures can also create this effect. In addition, in the area of digital photography, some photo editing programs have the availability of a vignetting tool that can be added after the photograph has been taken and imported.

There are four types of vignetting: mechanical, optical, natural, and pixel. The first, mechanical vignetting, occurs when light beams from an object is partially blocked by external objects such as thick or stacked filters. The darkening can either be gradual or abrupt, depending on the aperture.
Optical vignetting is cause by the physical dimensions of multiple element lens. Rear elements are shaded by elements in front of them which reduces the effective lens opening for off axis light. The result is a gradual decrease in the light intensity. This effect is sensitive to aperture.
Natural Vignetting is unlike the two previous types. It is not due to the blocking of light rays. The falloff is approximated the angle at which the light hits the film or sensor. It is affected by the cosine of the angle of the light.
The last kind of vignetting, Pixel, only affect digital cameras and is cause by the angle dependence of the digital sensors. Most digital cameras use built in image processing to compensate for optical this vignetting when converting raw sensor data to standard image formats, such as JPEG or TIFF.
Whether you mean to have vignetting in your photograph or it comes as a mistake, this technique can draw the viewer to the center of the photograph and can add interest to an otherwise dull photograph.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Photographic Printing

Check SpellingPhotographic printing is the process of producing a final image for viewing on paper, using chemically sensitized paper. The paper is exposed to either a negative, a transparency or slide, or a digital image file.
Photographs can be printed on color or black and white paper. Printing on black and white paper consists of four major steps, performed in a dark room or with a printing machine:
1. The image is exposed onto the paper using a contact printer or enlarger.
2. Processing of the latent image using the following chemical process:
  • Development of the exposed image reduces the silver halide in the latent image to metallic silver;
  • Stopping development by neutralising, diluting or removing the developing chemicals;
  • Fixing the image by dissolving undeveloped silver halide from the light-sensitive emulsion:
  • Washing thoroughly to remove processing chemicals protects the finished print from fading and deterioration
3. After fixing, the photograph is cleansed using a hypo clearing agent to remove any fixer that could damage the print.
4. Prints are then chemically toned or hand colored after processing.Printing on colored paper requires the use of processing with certain propriety chemicals. The two main processes are RA-4, which is used for printing color negatives, and lifochrome, which is for printing color transparencies.
RA-4 prints are color negatives printed on RA-4 paper and produce a type-c print. They consist of three emulsion layers, each sensitive to red, green, and blue light. During processing, couplers produce cyan, magenta, and yellow dyes, to represent the true colors of the subject. The combination of all of these colors is what give a photograph its final look.
Lifochrome prints use a specialized Lifochrome paper that use the dye destruction process to produce prints from positive transparencies. The color dyes are induced onto the paper and are bleached during processing.
Aside from printing an image in a dark room using chemicals, photographers can also print photographers from a digital computer file. The artist can view his or her photographs on the computer and edit them before they decide whether or not to print them. They can then be printed using Ink jet printers or specialized photo printers. Image files can also be taken in to labs so that professionals can develop your images for you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Uno, Dos, Tres: Rule of Thirds In Photography

The rule of thirds is one of the main compositional rules in visual arts, including painting, design, and (of course) photography. This rule is based around the idea that an image should be imagined as being divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two similar vertical lines, as shown in the photograph below. The rule continues on to state the important elements within the photograph, on these lines in order to obtain a successful photograph.Photographers claim that the reason use this technique is because it creates tension, energy and interest in the composition, more so then a photograph where the subject is dead center. For example, in the photograph below, the main subject is centered on one of the vertical lines, with the subjects eyes centered on one of the horizontal lines.

However, points of interest in a photograph do not necessarily have to lie on these lines to take advantage of the rule of thirds. If a point of interest lies on the intersection between two lines, this also is considered to be using the rule of thirds. This intersection of two lines is often called a power point, and it is common to see a photograph place a subject of aspect of what they are photographing at this point.
As mentioned earlier, the rule of third is not a technique used solely in photography. In any art form that has a main subject or point of interest, the rule of thirds is often used. In addition to photography, film uses this compositional rule as well. If filming a moving subject, the same pattern is followed with the majority of the empty space in front of the subject or in the direction that they are moving towards.
The rule of thirds was first used as early as 1797 as a rule for creating correct proportion in scenic paintings. In J T Smith's illustrated book, published in 1797, the rule of thirds is clearly defined. "...the rule of thirds according to which a landscape having one third of land should have two thirds of water, and these together, forming about one third of the picture..."
Any person who is avidly involved in art or photography would agree that using the rule of thirds is a good idea to make your photograph much more interesting and professional. Often, digital cameras will have a setting that allows the photographer to permanently have a set of lines following the rule of thirds in their viewfinder. However, it is also easy to do manually by eye and guessing. Like with most forms of art, this rule does not need to be perfect.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Panning Has Nothing To Do With A Pan

This week, I am talking about panning. Panning is a technique that many photographers use to make their photographs more visually pleasing and interesting. Panning is used to catch a object that is in motion and get a photograph of that movement.To create panning in an image, a photographer will scan the subject as they move. The photographer will focus on the subject and then as they begin or continue to move, will hold down the shutter and move the camera along horizontally or vertically with them. The result of doing this is the creation of all of the pictures that you see above and below: the subject is mostly or somewhat in focus and the background and surroundings are blurred.
Panning is often used in film to follow a subject as the move of display the surroundings in a certain scene. It can also be used on a person that is standing still. If you subject is standing still in the midst of many moving objects, you can capture them, surrounded by a variety of motion blurs from the objects around them. This causes the photograph to focus in on the still subject and give a photograph an artistic edge.
To obtain a clear picture during panning, the photographer must keep the subject in the same place in the frame for the duration of the pictures exposure. The exposure time must be long enough to allow the background to blur as you move the camera. If your exposure time is too short or quick, the background will also be in focus like the subject. Similarly, if the exposure time is too long, then both the subject and the background can become blurred if you stop or continue to move the camera. Exposure time is dependant on the shutter speed and aperture settings of your camera. On manual cameras and on some automatic cameras, this can be easily fixed by altering one or the other to get a longer exposure time. To help photographers get a more clear, steady panned photograph, they often use a tripod, to reduce camera shake and other interruptions.
People may ask, "Why would you want a picture to be blurry?". However, when you look at a picture where one thing is clear and the rest is blurry, it gives the photograph a sense of complexity and artistic flare that may not be present in a regular photograph. It gives photographers the availability to capture something in motion and freeze it, making it more interesting and enjoyable to viewers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Top Six Reaons To Convert to Digital Photography

Over the course of photography's history, the medium with which photographers capture their subjects has varied. From long exposure film to high tech digital cameras, advances in technology and innovation have opened multiple doors for photographs to choose what kind of camera they want to use. Most photographers own several cameras, often including at least one film based camera. However, with the further development of digital cameras, there is many reasons to take photographs using a digital camera. Here are the top six reasons you as a photographer should use a digital camera:

Reason #1: It's easy and convenient. Digital cameras are user friendly, with easy to use features and gadgets. They are also more compact, not needed extra film, so they are more convenient for carrying around with you to ensure that you don't miss a photographic moment.

Reason #2: Digital cameras save time and space. With digital photography, you won't have those piles of used film sitting around waiting to be developed. In addition, you don't need a light room. Your light room for digital photography is your home computer! Also, digital cameras store the pictures on a memory system, making them available to review immediately after taking and deleting if they don't meet your expectations.

Reason #3: Digital photographs are easy to edit and alter. You simply plug the camera into your computer, open some photograph editing program, and your good to go. You can edit them on your own time and can easily fix and alter things in the photograph that may take away from your complete satisfaction. While you can still do this with film, it is harder and more time consuming.

Reason #4: Digital photographs are versatile. These kinds of photos can be printed anywhere, anytime, on just about any surface. They can be blown up without losing any of their quality and can be transferred to something as big as a billboard.

Reason #5: It's cheaper! With film photography, you have to buy expensive film and supplies or pay the fee to have your photos developed for you. The cost of cleaning, repairs, development, and film can get ahead of you before you know it, mounting up to more than your paid for camera originally. Digital cameras only require a memory card and inexpensive photo paper.

Reason #6: Digital photographs are easily transferred. You can share your digital photographs with family, friends, or distant relatives. Since most of your digital photographs, if not all, are stored on your computer, all you need to do is either upload the files to an email and send or copy them to a CD or other writable storage device. Film photography is harder to share and more time consuming.

Making the transition from film to digital is something that some photographers were reluctant to do. Its hard to alter the medium you use cause it can change your style and artistic creativity. However, in this growing technological age, the change to digital is welcomed and is worth the hard work and the risk.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Night Photography

Night photography is an art that is done outdoors between the hours of dusk and dawn. Because of the lack of light, photographers have the option of either using artificial light to capture a photograph or use an long exposure time to give the camera enough to time to capture the right amount of light to properly expose the photograph. With the development of higher sensitivity image sensors, wide-aperture lenses, and a larger amount of urban light, the availability of taking photographs at has increased drastically.
Night photography started to gain its popularity in the 1900's, when a select few photographers began to experiment with lighting at night time. Over the next century, many people began to take on night photography. College courses started to appear that covered the many aspects of taking a good photograph at night time. Photographers began to be known primarily for their work done at night. During the beginning of the 21st century, the invention of digital cameras helped photographers to take better pictures at night time and greatly enhanced the number of people that pursued a career in this particular type of photography.

The most common subjects photographed in night photography are stars and planets, and skylines. Astronomers have used the technology of film to capture a picture of the way that the planets and stars look from Earth. It has helped many scientists enhance their understanding of our universe. City skylines are also a popular subject. At night when the buildings light up, the contrast between their light and the darkness of the sky provides composition for a good photograph. In addition, a city skyline provides a sufficient amount of light that is needed in order to be photographed. Some other things that are often photographed at night include fireworks, streets often accompanied by moving cars, and amusement rides, as shown above.

Due to the lack of light at night time, night photography requires a large amount of technique and a wide range of equipment. To avoid motion blur often produced during long exposure times, photographers often use a tripod to keep the camera steady. By using a self timer, photographers reduce the risk of producing camera shake when the shutter is released. Also, since auto-focus doesn't work right during low light conditions, a manual focus is often used so that the photographer can get a clean picture of the subject he is photographing.
As I have stated previously, night photography is very difficulty because of the lack of light. However, night photography is a very beautiful form of art that captures many extraordinary sights and helps us to view things that only appear at night during the day time. It may be difficult, but if it was easy, where would the fun be?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Full Spectrum Photography

Full spectrum film captures visible and near infrared light, commonly referred to as "VNIR". Some digital cameras can detect some ultraviolet light and minimal amounts of the near infrared spectrum. However, most digital cameras contain a built in ifrared hot mirrot filter that blocks these kinds of lights. Replacing this filter with an infrared pass or a wide spectrally transmitting filter enables the photograph to detect the complete spectrum of light. This provides the avaliablility to take ultraviolet or infrared photography.Full spectrum photography is used for fine art photography, geology, forensice and law enforcement.
Full spectrum photography started in the 1950's and was used primarily for geological and militaries needs. In the 1990's, photographers began shooting photos in infrared with their digital cameras. Throughout the 2000's, full spectrum photography was used for a variety of things from forensic science to paranormal ghost hunting. Full spectrum photography is commonly used for fine art photographs. Using full spectrum can enable the photographer to yeild colors that are siilar to visible color film but with an enhanced brightness of infrared. The large amount of full spectrum photography is landscapes and has recently begun to be used for portraits of people.
Full spectrum photograph is also used for forensics imaging. Forensic specialists use full specturm cameras to excentuate non visible materials which are more easily seen through ultraviolet and infrared lighting. The applications of these materials helps to reveal a variety of crime related substances, including non visible inks, disturbed soil, gun shot residue, body fluids, and fibers. In addition, full spectrum photography has been used to capture archelogical finds.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Color Photography

Color Photography uses media that is capable of producing colors chemically during a processing phase. The first known permanent color photograph was produced by James Clerk Maxwell in 1861. The first modern color film, known as Kodachrome, was created by Eastman Kodak Company in 1935. However most modern color technoglogy uses Agfacolor, which was introduced to the public in 1936. Also, instant color film was produced by Polaroid in 1963.Color photography uses two different kinds of film; negative and reversal. Negative film forms a negative image, also known as a color-reversed photo, when exposed and then made permanent during development. At the end of the process, the photograph is then developed onto photographic paper to form a positive image.
The other type of film used in color photograph is reversal film. This kind of film, also known as slide film, forms a negative film as well when exposed and is then reversed during developing. The photograph can then be projected.In addition to types of film. Color photography has two different types of color systems. The first, additive, uses the most common set of primary colors; red, green, and blue. This system uses colored lights to add the color to photographs. The other system uses a subtractive color system. In this system, colors are subtracted from white lights by dyes or pigments. The most common set of primary colors in this system is cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Black And White Photography

There are a lot of different types of photographes. Depending on what you are photographing, you may want to use a different form of photography. One aspect is black and white photography.
With the first photograph and up until color film was created, every photograph was in black and white. This basically means that the photograph has the two tone colors of black and white accompanied by several other shades of grey. Even after color film was introduced, black and white photography continued to dominate for decades. Nowadays, black and white photography is often used for a more dramatic or artistic affect. It has a lower cost and produces a more classic photograph look. There are four basic things that you need to remember when taking black and white photography:

Practice: Taking a good picture doesnt come naturally. Taking a good black and white picture is not easy either, seeing as to take a good photo all of the following aspects need to be present. Therefore, it takes a lot of practice and concentration that can only be obtained over time to take a good black and white photograph.Contrast:Being able to spot proper contrast between black and white and ignore the aspects of the color is not something that you pick up automatically. Recognizing that a certain object will make a good back and white photo is something that is crucial to getting the right photo.
Texture: Photographing a object or subject that has a high degree of texture can make a photograph a lot more interesting. It increases the amount of contrast creating a more dynamic eye catchig photo.Color: Never shoot in black and white. If you want to have a truly fascinating black and white photo, shoot in color and turn the photo into black and white manually after you capture it.
By using these listed tips and techniques, almost anyone can produce a truly beautiful black and white photograph.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How To Work A Digital SLR Camera

In my last blog post, I recommended the top cameras with the lowest costs for photography. Once you have the camera, you need to learn how to use it. This blog post will be all about how you work your camera so that you can get the best results in your photos.

The main things you need to know about SLR cameras in order to take a perfect picture is shutter speed, aperture, depth of field and your ISO setting.

Shutter speed can be defined as how long the shutter is opened. Shutter speed is represented by fractions. The bigger the denominator, the shorter the amount of time that the shutter is open. For example, 1/1000 represents a thousandth of a second and is therefore faster than a shutter speed of 1/60.
Example of a photograph taken using a slow shutter speed.

The longer the shutter is open the more light reaches the sensor. A very slow shutter speed can produce a blur in pictures. To get a sharp, clear picture, the rule of thumb is that you use a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second or larger.
Example of photograph using a fast shutter speed
Aperture, also known as F-Stop, refers to the amount of light that you are letting in through your lens. It is defined as the diameter that the shutter opens to to let the light in. If it is open wide it lets in more light then if it was barely opened. The aperture works similar to the way that your eye functions in letting light in and out. Also, Aperture settings are represented as decimal numbers. The numbers is where it gets confusing. Smaller numbers represent a larger aperture and vis-versa, larger numbers represent a smaller aperture. For example, an aperture of f/2.8 is larger than one of f/11. There is a large range of f-stops on most cameras, but different lenses have different ranges of f-stops. A cheaper lens might only open to an f-stop of 4.0 while a more expensive lens could reach as high as 1.6. Aperture and shutter speed directly relate to each other because as you change one of them, you must also change the other to counterbalance the first change. For example, if you have to increase the shutter speed so that you can capture a fast moving object then you must decrease the aperture so that your picture can still come out looking right.
Additionally, aperture directly affects the next aspect of taking a good photo; depth of field. Depth of field is the range of which your photo is in focus. A large depth of field puts more objects in focus, a greater distance from the photographer. A shallow depth of field puts things in focus that are closer and more prominent in the picture. For pictures that include a wide range of objects that you want to be in focus, a large depth of field should be used, while for close-ups a shallow depth of field is appropriate. Depth of Field can be manipulated using Aperture. A large aperture such as 2.8 lets in more light and is therefore used to create photos with a large depth of field. Similarly, a small aperture such as 11 lets in less light and is used for shallow pictures.Example of depth of field. Top photo has a shallow DOF and the lower photo has a wide DOF.
Lastly is ISO, which stands for International Organization for Standardization, is the standard
for measuring light sensitivity and how that affects the picture. The higher the ISO the more sensitive the sensor is to light. ISO is usually represented as larger numbers, such as 100 or 300.This chart shows the relationship between f-stop, located on the left, and shutter speed, on the right, with depth of field represented by the blue arrows.

When you are trying to take a good photograph, you have to consider all of the above aspects in order to obtain that perfect image. Each one directly affects the other. As we discussed, aperture and shutter speed correspond to each other, as well as ISO and aperture and depth of field. Therefore, understanding how your cameras works and how the functionality uses the things discussed is crucial to being a photographer.

Happy shooting!