Emotion

There are so many emotions that you can capture in a single day. I had a hard time choosing which emotion to focus on. Some of my favorite photos are of authentic laughter. But laughter is easy to capture. For this assignment,  I decided to avoid the easy street and make this worth the effort. My roommate is in drawing and although she is an Art History major, she prefers looking at art to creating it. She does not believe that her work is good, though I forced her to hang some of her drawings in our apartment because they are stunning.

Tuesday evening, Hannah was working late on her drawing because she was under the assumption it was due the next day (she later found out it was not). While drawing, Hannah had a lot of emotions. She tends to talk to her pencils A LOT, so I have some really bizarre ones of that. But this photo I chose because I believe it shows concentration. She would get angry and frustrated, but when she was using her finger to blend the graphite shavings on her drawing of a molecular cell, it took extreme concentration. The photo is a tad dark (under exposing seems to be my weakness these days) but I think it kind of added to the allure of the photo. I also really like my framing of the photo, including one of her previous drawings hanging on the wall as an added element.

Back to the Drawing Board

This idea came to me after an earlier failed attempt at making an illustration. I sent an “illustration” to Erik and he politely informed me that it wasn’t really expressing the message I thought it was. I thanked him and said “Back to the drawing board.” Erik’s ever-inspirational response was “How about an illustration on the drawing board?” At first I giggled and went about the rest of my day. Then it hit me, exactly what I wanted to do for the illustration.

How often do we take photos then scrap them because the exposure was off, the ISO was too low, the shutter speed was too fast or the aperture was too high? In a digital sense, we crumple them and toss them aside and construct a new mental drawing board. Composition is very important, so the drawing board in our minds is what we use to compose, then expose.

My photo is representative of the photos we take then crumple up and scrap from the project. It illustrates the ideas and attempts and compositions that enter and exit our mental drawing boards. If you look closely, the photos crumpled are photos I have taken this semester. I also incorporated other artistic tools, a pencil, a paintbrush, a drawing pad, a smudge cloth and the water cup. I did this because anyone can take a fancy camera, point it at a subject and make a nice picture. True photographers incorporate art into their photos. Technically, I took twenty shots, moving my drawing pad and rearranging things as I saw fit. I added a lamp which I think made this photo stand out from the rest. The shadows add extra drama and depth. Overall this was entertaining but I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed staging the illustration. Probably just takes practice.

General News

For my news assignment, I utilized the resources of my internship at Shriners Hospitals for Children – St. Louis. Every year before the St. Louis Moolah Shrine Circus kick-off, the Shrine brings a mini-circus to the hospital. There are clowns, acrobats and trampolines. We put out a press release to some local stations to stop by and see what the Shriners do for the children at the hospital.

Shamrock the clown visits with a halo traction patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Frontenac, MO on Thursday, March 29, 2012. The Moolah Shrine brought a mini circus to the hospital for patients and patient ambassadors. (SLU Photo/Kati Cundari)

I chose this photo to blog with because it brought together the different pieces of the event: the clowns and the patients. I liked that this photo showed the interaction of people, which I think makes for such a powerful shot. Could have been a little brighter, but overall I’m really pleased with the composition and message of this photo.

Sports

Nick Yuhas executes a roundhouse kick on Sergei at during a sparring match in Bedford Heights, OH on Monday, March 12, 2012. Students at MaxOut Sports learn many different blocks, positions, kicks and hits in Tae Kwon-Do. (SLU Photo/Kati Cundari)

I have been dabbling in photography for a couple years and rarely take sports photos. I usually am too wrapped up in the game or match itself that I don’t spend the time focusing on the photos. I had a unique opportunity to sit on on my boyfriend’s Tae Kwon-Do class over spring break in Cleveland, OH. With the fast pace of this discipline of martial arts, the shutter speed was a little off at times. Overall I was very pleased by the photos. The lighting was awful but I’m better learning to deal with the lighting by adjusting the aperture and shutter speed and following the meter. I really liked the negative space on the right side of the frame. By creating that negative space, the attention is drawn toward the kick, which is the focal point of the frame.  I also really like the images in the mirror behind the two in this frame.

Feature

I would have to say I am the least pleased with my feature photos of all the other projects. Not because it was difficult, but because I think I really missed the bar this week. My composition is okay but none of the photos I took really had my style and vision. Features in general should be quite easy. I think it was the stress and exhaustion from midterms that can be seen in my lack of composition with most of my photos. I am happy about this photo. I really enjoy the depth of field in this shot. It is a unique angle. I think I caught the moment perfectly and made a simple game of limbo look really artistic. I think I need to work on making sure I adjust my exposure before shooting because quite a few of my photos came out very dark.

Kevin German holds the limbo stick as Saint Louis University students pass through the Busch Student Center in St. Louis, Mo on Monday, March 5. German tabled for Student Health Advocates/Peer Educators’ Safer Spring Break campaign. (SLU Photo/Kati Cundari)

Portrait

I had a unique opportunity this weekend to take photos at an event I was covering for my internship. I just so happened to be able to do my project while also working, so that made the shoot a little bit easier.

The event was a red carpet event called Night of Superstars (http://www.stlnos.com/)which celebrated children who have overcome adversity and still have the strongest spirits and joy despite the hardships they’ve faced. I spent the better part of Saturday taking photos and quotes from family members of children and the children themselves. After asking Tricia, the mom of one of the girls I was following for the day, if I could use photos of her family for my project, she was excited and the kids were as well.

I was fortunate enough to be working alongside some great photographers, so we all fed off of each others ideas and energy. I think that portraits can be challenging because they are much more posed than any other captured moments. If you can get past the posing and find the true essence of a person, you can make some amazing photos.

Jake Ladlie eats "cake balls" at the after party for the Night of Superstars in Farmington, Mo. on Saturday, Feb 25, 2012. Jake attended the event to support his sister, Katie, who was being honored that evening.

I chose to share the photo of Jake because after a long day of shooting and asking questions, I got this picture of Jake being his goofy self. In most photos of Jake, he had a charming personality, but in this photo that charm and joy shines. I got to know Jake throughout the day and he completely let his guard down for me when he attempted to eat 2 cake balls at once.

Weather

It’s nice to see that everyone else had similar frustrations with the fact that this week was unseasonably mild. I took some photos over the weekend but none really stuck out as great to me. I took off work Wednesday during the day and made my way to Forest Park, my favorite place to go when the weather is favorable.

Image

Ashley, 20 months, and Alexandria, 2, watch as Prarie Dogs chase each other at the St. Louis Zoo on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Ashley and Alexandria spent the warm winter day at the zoo with their mothers and grandmothers. (SLU Photo/Kati Cundari)

What I found was just more frustration. No one was really doing anything. But I did what we were told a thousand times: sit and have the camera ready, then shoot and capture. I got some nice dog walking photos, but my favorite of the week came during my stroll through the zoo. I love photos of children. When they are too young to realize what cameras are, they are the easiest to photograph in their natural state. I shot some great photos of some children at the zoo. I found myself gaining confidence in approaching people to ask if I could use their photo for my project as the day went on. I like this photo because the girls are enjoying the zoo and are doing so without having to be bundled head to toe because of the cold. 

Overall, I’d say this shoot was the toughest we’ve had, but with that challenge, I think we made excellent photos because we were forced to get creative with how we wanted to show our theme. 

 

Light, Texture, Color, Mood – Assignment 2

I had a tough time with a couple of the photos in this week’s assignment. I know what colors, textures and light are, yet for some reason, I felt at a loss for appropriate photographs. I spent time trying to seek out the photos instead of happening upon them.

The photos I ended up with are a collection of photos I shot this week in my apartment. One of my favorites of the week actually happened at sunset on Wednesday. As I was sitting in my apartment, I saw a light shining on the wall. I spun around to see the sun setting in the window. It had been pouring all day and it was a “follow the light moment.” Sunsets are a beautiful way to isolate light.

Image

Hannah Dussold giggles as she awakes from a nap on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Dussold smiles at the thought of her roommates making dinner. (SLU Photo/Kati Cundari)

The photo I chose to share on the blog this week was a mood photo I took. My roommate Hannah Dussold was napping while I was cooking dinner. I walked over to her room to see that she was half awake. Asking her if she’d like some mac n cheese, she sprung up in smiles from her nap, in what I like to call a “fluffy” state of being. She was just so genuinely sweet and happy, I couldn’t help but take her picture. I think the lighting in this photo helps capture her joy and her smile.

Point of View

Point of View. There’s the prompt. As soon as I hear a prompt, my mind starts racing. I try to figure out what is meant by the prompt, where I can take it creatively and what I can shoot. What I like to do is tell a story with a photo. In my opinion, a photo which does not need words is the most powerful story of all.
For our assignment, I decided to shoot photos of my friend, John Glessner, as he hosted a party for the Super Bowl. I shot what seemed like 40 frames in an awfully lit loft apartment, working with 30+ camera hungry friends that would not quit posing. Not Gless though. He just went about his business hosting his party. He cooked, he cleaned up, he watched some football. 
I love this photo, but not necessarily as a point-of-view assignment. I think the angle is great and the colors are fantastic. The common theme of red throughout, the ketchup, shirt, chips, and tomatoes, bring the photo together. I also really like the framing. I think this photo captures Gless in the midst of the chaos of hosting a party.
As I mentioned before, the lighting in this apartment was terrible. I do not like that some things were made blurry in the foreground to correct for lighting. On it’s own, I wouldn’t commend the photo as being a “point-of-view” shot, but it fits well with the series of photos I submitted. In general, though, I am very pleased with the overall composition of this photo.
The reason I love photography so much is because you are given an open prompt and your mind is allowed to do the work from there. Exposure and shutter speed are important. When it comes down to the art that is photography, it is an individual’s interpretation of a reality. You can frame the photo in whichever way you feel is most aesthetically pleasing.

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