Jun 022011

Tonight is the awards ceremony for the University of Tennessee’s Personal and Professional Development Photography program. I’m actually a little nervous. I’ve never displayed my prints in public before except in a classroom setting. Yes, I display them all the time here on my blog, but it’s a little different to watch people walk by and evaluate your work. It was kind of difficult to select the photos I wanted to display. I tried to pick a variety of subjects. The images below are the ones that made the final cut. You can click on them to see them at a larger size.

This one looks really nice at 16 X 24. I wish they’d allow us to show 24 X 36 because it would have totally been worth the money. The detail on the door is really incredible. You can read a lot of the graffiti and such that’s been scribbled on the it.

I changed the picture of Mary to a 12 X 12 crop just to do something a little different and I actually like it better that way. The bottom part of the image doesn’t really add anything.

Aug 032010

I thought I was done shooting for the day (last Sunday) when I went to pick Mary up from the veterinary hospital at UT. However, as I was waiting for her to get her things together, I went wandering around the publicly accessible areas and stumbled on this hallway with two open doors.

Click for a larger view

This is an HDR image that I intentionally over processed to get some halo effects. To me, the halos and the black and white image combine to make the hallway look a little creepy; like an image you remember from a nightmare. I can only speak for myself, but there’s always been something about long hallways that just compels me to look all the way down them to see what’s at the other end. In this case, the curiosity about the hallway is added to by the fact there is another set of doors which means it goes on even further back.

Aug 022010

The Rock at UT

(Click to see full size)

As I mentioned yesterday, when I went out on my Just Shoot Something assignment, I parked near The Rock on UT’s campus. Having never gone to UT myself, I don’t really know the full story about it. Below is what the UT website has to say.

The Rock
Unearthed in the 1960s, the Rock probably soon thereafter became a “canvas” for student messages. For years the university sandblasted away the messages but eventually deferred to students’ artistic endeavors. The Daily Beacon has editorialized: “Originally a smaller rock, The Rock has grown in prestige and size while thousands of coats of paint have been thrown on its jagged face. Really, its function is as an open forum for students.”

This is an HDR image that I purposely over processed to get just a touch of that grunge look. It seemed rather appropriate given the subject matter. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don’t find this image all that compelling. I wish I could have captured someone actually painting on it but since I was there during the summer session and on a very hot and humid day, I was out of luck. I also didn’t spend time trying out other angles because after setting up and taking a few shots, I was ready to get out of the sun. Still, I like how you can make out the texture of the rock underneath the countless layers of paint. Once the students start returning for the fall semester, I might see if I can catch a more interesting scene.

Speaking of returning students, I’m also considering heading back to UT on the day they let the students move into the dorms. Last year, it was a mad house getting Mary moved in. This year, she’s moving into an apartment on campus the day before the dorms open. Depending on how hot it is and some other logistical considerations, I’m thinking about heading down there and doing some street photography of the move-in madness.

Jul 202010

Back in April, I went on a field trip to the University of Tennessee Trial Gardens with my close-up/macro photography class. I came out of that trip with several shots that I’m really happy with. One of the shots that ended up being among my favorites was almost discarded as a disappointment until I fiddled with the white balance. Below is the shot as it came out of the camera.

I was pleased with the composition and the flower in general, but the background was bland, at best. I don’t remember now what prompted me to do, but I decided to try the other white balance settings. The shot was made in daylight mode and shade and cloudy made small and unremarkable (IMHO) changes. When I changed it to fluorescent however, I immediately fell in love. Eighty-five percent (okay, that’s a guess) of the impact between the image above and the image below was just changing the white balance. Sure, I played with vibrance and clarity and a little sharpening and so on, but the bulk of the impact was made just on the white balance change.

This picture has convinced me to make checking out other white balance options part of my workflow for just about every image. Sure, there are some images where white needs to be white, but anytime I have the option, I check it out. You never know what you might come up with.

Jul 172010

Here’s a second post today to make up for the fact I didn’t write one yesterday. This one is photography related. Today I attended an all day workshop on lighting put on by the University of Tennessee Professional & Personal Development department. It was taught by Patrick Murphy-Racey and he provided a ton of information and literally brought a truck load of equipment for us to look at and see in action. He certainly knows his stuff and he got me to thinking about what type of lighting modifiers I should consider buying when I’m ready to start learning portrait photography. (Technically, I am ready but I want to practice on my family first and they always have an excuse.)

In other UT-related news, they have released their fall schedule. While I was very disappointed in the tiny number of courses offered over the summer (none of which I took save today’s one day workshop), they made up for it in the fall semester. There are at least 6 different classes that I would like to take and there will be another one day workshop in November that looks really interesting. Unfortunately, I can’t possibly afford to take all of them nor would I have the time.

The candidate classes are:

  • Lighting Essentials (likely more of what today was about but that would be okay)
  • Portrait Photography (would help me learn how to pose people among other things)
  • Intro to Photojournalism (story telling with photography)
  • Night Photography (I’ve seen some amazing stuff taken at night but only had limited success myself)
  • Intro to Fashion & Glamour Photography (that sounds like a lot of fun)
  • Intermediate Photoshop (Can never have too much Photoshop-Fu)

There are even other courses they are offering that I would like to take eventually. Those are just my top choices. Even if I could find the time to take all of those courses, it would cost me over $1300 so that’s just totally out of the question. I’ll have to limit myself to 2 classes and maybe the workshop in November. I’ll have to make a decision quickly because I don’t want the classes to fill up. I’ll probably spend some time tomorrow looking at a calendar and seeing what fits best my schedule.