Landscapes have always been one of my favorite things to photograph. In the town I live in I really didn’t think I would find much to take pictures of. So I looked and looked and ended up at the lake and a bunch of country back roads. I went hiking through a bunch of mud at the lake to get to the water falls. I had to work around people and lots of trees. When I drove on the backroads I ended up getting a bunch of fences in my shots because I actually took the pictures from a car window while my Dad was driving. And because of this I tried to shoot high and get a lot of sky in the picture. My Dad asks me “Why are you getting so much sky in the pictures”? Well recently we have been having a bunch of storms and rain come through so the sky had some nice clouds that I knew if I burned in Photoshop they would turn out really nice, and they did! (Have I mentioned that I’m Photoshop certified!?) If I were to do these same pictures again I would get out of the car to completely avoid the fences and get a better shot of the land. I personally think these pictures came out well and I am pleased with the results. I hope you enjoy them! Get outside and appreciate the beauty of God’s creations!
This is my set up. I used the auto tech garage at my school for careers. (Thank you to the teachers for making it free of cars) It worked out perfectly because it was really dark. I set up in the middle of the garage with a backdrop holder. I just clipped a black queen size sheet up to use as a background. From there we added two lights one on each side to light up the body and the flour. i just used a roll of black paper as the flooring for this and held it down with some heavy equipment from the shop. On the sides of the floor was a reflector (left in picture) And then I placed something to hold up another black sheet on the right side to block the glare from the light as you can see in the first picture. After I got everything set up I had my photography teacher throw up some flour so I could see if the light was bright enough to capture it. He then drowned my models (health students) in flour. This was a big mess. It was also dangerous. When my models jumped and came back down they would occasionally slip on the flour so we had to be very careful. After the project was completed it was clean up time. We took all the equipment down and cleared the floor so it could be swept and sprayed down. Again very dangerous because when we swept up the flour it was still slippery and we had to be careful walking around. Especially when we started to spray down the ground and the flour mixing with the water made dough. This was worse then just walking on the flour. But in the end we got the garage cleaned and I hope my models came clean too. Big thanks to all my models, teachers and assistants (Ashley, Mitchel, Smallwood, My health students, Jason, and the shop teachers for allowing me to use their space as a studio). The results are amazing.
Finding wildflower fields in Texas has been a struggle for me this year. Due to the drought, most of what we used to have isn’t coming back. The flowers that I do see are small patches of bluebonnets off the side of the road in areas that are not exactly safe to stop. Maybe I started my search too soon, they may or may not come out soon. So I drove around and didn’t find patches anywhere! So my Mom called up her brother to see if he had any flowers on his land in Florence, TX. He said yes and allowed me to go out and shoot for a bit. My aunt walked my mom and I around the land and they had plenty to take pictures of. This included bluebonnets, cactus, and many other flowers I don’t know the names of. For some of the pictures I used macro tubes. This was my first time playing with the tubes so I’m not really sure if I like them or not. It was weird getting so close up to something and then focusing on it when you got close enough. I don’t know why but at times I wasn’t sure If I had the flower in focus or not. Because of this I would take multiple shots of the same flower, adjusting the focus ever so slightly each time. It was also cloudy outside so I was constantly changing my WB. I would have it set for cloudy when it wasn’t very bright outside, then when the sun decided to shine its face I would change it to sunny. Of course along with this I would adjust my ISO as well. And when I would get in a shady spot I would use the cameras flash. So this trip kept me busy changing settings. I had to be patient the whole time. For example when I would finally get my settings right the wind would blow and the flowers would move, making it hard for my to manually focus on them, and when the wind stopped blowing a cloud would cover the sun or the sun would come out causing me to change my WB once again. But at the end of the day I’m just glad I found some flowers! Big thanks to my aunt and uncle for walking me through their land. I greatly appreciate it.
Writing with sparklers was definitely a bigger challenge for me than writing with flashlights. I found it harder to be creative with what to draw because of the sparks. The first idea that came to mind was Cinderella and her fairy Godmother going “bibbidi bobbidi boo!” For this I used my grandmother and young cousin. My dad then suggested how about somebody welding? So I decided to use my brother who in fact is already a welder. We just had him pull the welder out and stick a sparkler in the rod and pretended to weld while wearing the safety mask. This turned out well in my opinion. With writing I found the biggest complication. The wind was pretty strong as I was doing this and when I was writing names and such I was trying not to get burned but in the process of that my body ended up blocking the light. Also with sparklers your time is limited before it dies so you have to work quickly. I have learned that sparklers are more fun to play with than flashlights but flashlights make for better pictures in my opinion. To do this project I used the settings f5.6 iso100 and my ss was set on bulb
Welcome to Harker Heights Elementary School! Home of the Bobcats where they are learning to be the leaders of tomorrow. I knew the Principle of this school personally because I had attended this school for six years. It was very strange coming back to this school after several years but it reminded me of my childhood. I did not take a camera bag into the school, only my camera with a small zoom lens. I didn’t have to direct her to do anything, I just followed her around. She would check up on every classroom to see how they were doing and would even sit and talk with some kids about their assignment. But the life of a principle isn’t as easy as I make it sound, there are some behind scenes issues that was not to be photographed, such as trouble with a parent. I did not have any trouble with lighting except for recess when the light is obviously a lot brighter than lights inside of a building. I wasn’t continuously shooting I just waited for the right moments. I totally forgot by the end of the day that I needed to get a self portrait of her in her normal work environment, so I walked into the office and she was busy on the phone so I waved goodbye and she looked up and smiled and I took the shot. This was a fairly successful shoot in my opinion and it was fun being reunited with the school that I hadn’t walked inside of in years!
Meet Austin. I was matched with Austin to be his photographer at the Bell County youth fair and livestock show. There were two different days that I watched Austin show his animals, which consisted of a steer and a sheep.
The steers were to be led around in a circle around the pin as the judge watched them.
When the showers were directed to come to a halt they would use a showstick to rub the belly of the steer. First the steers legs needed to be lined up. They would use their boots to first make the steers front legs become square then adjust the back legs so they were square to the front. They also had to check that the steers body was not stretched out. They then continued to rub the belly of the steer and adjust the legs as the steer moved.
Unfortunately Austin did not rank at the top. The judge would walk around, look at the steers, then wave a shower away to the back of the pin. As Austin waited for the judge to finish up the show he stood patiently while continuing to please Bruno by rubbing his belly. Bruno seemed to be getting bored as he was slobbering uncontrollably and making loud noises. Austin’s face is priceless as he did not know what was up with Bruno.
It was a fairly quick show for Austin but I stayed just a bit longer to watch the following round. It’s amazing how these young kids can control animals so much bigger than them. This boy right here seemed to be talking in his steers ear during the showing. It must have been some encouraging words because he was the winner.
At this show there where children young and old showing their animals. Can you imagine how much time they spend practicing for this show? Win or lose, I was impressed by how well everyone did at keeping their animals under control.
There was a lot going on during the day. There were pigs, goats and sheep. I waited about five hours until Austin’s showing but I didn’t mind because there was plenty of stuff to keep me entertained. This guy right here was a natural in front of the camera. He told me that he was six years old and he was in first grade. He also questioned why I was taking pictures of other people and that if I wanted to take pictures of him I had to pay him$1000.00 because he wasn’t a model. As his mother called him to leave he jumped off the railing and ran to her side. Soon after I felt a light punch on my leg and looked down to see him waving goodbye. He gave me a good laugh and I’m glad to have met him.
Austin was watching the previous showings before his so I whispered his name and as he turned around this is the face he gave me. I thought it was hilarious and told him I was going to keep it, he said okay.
Finally! It was Austin’s turn to show. There were people on all four sides of the pin watching the show so I had to find a place to squeeze in. I eventually stood on the gate so I wouldn’t get poles in my way. It was difficult trying to balance on a pole and shoot at the same time but I managed. The judge had all the showers enter the pin with their sheep and circle around him. The showers made sure to keep their sheep between them and the judge. They also had the sheep’s head facing the judge as they walked.
The judge would then tell the group to line up. They had to make their sheep’s legs square so they would use their hands to move their feet. Sometimes the sheep would be stubborn and move its leg back to where it was before their shower adjusted it. When the showers are satisfied with the position of their sheep whey would hold its head into their chests and wait to be judge. The judge came down the line and felt the sheep and waved people away if he did not choose them. Austin did not make the cut but he did well in my opinion. Now he has an idea of what to expect from this new judge.
Overall it was a pleasure working with Austin. He was very nice and easy to work with. The livestock show was something totally new to me but it was enjoyable. Now that I know what it’s like and what to expect I wouldn’t mind going back.