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You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog for CMS Photography by Colleen Miniuk-Sperry » You Can Sleep When You're Dead

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May 062015
 
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Photo copyright Taylor Tracy

My inspiration for this photo was a two photo series that showed how men and women view themselves. The photos had a fit women looking in the mirror, seeing herself as fat, and a skinny boy seeing himself as muscular. While one was sad, the other funny, it made me think of how people see themselves can be more than just physical. Mirrors can also hold memories of the past, feelings or even what you hope the future will hold.

With that in mind I took this photo. I wanted to show the mirror showing the past or missed emotions. I wanted the person in pan or upset about something he had lost, her. I wanted to show an image of the aftermath of losing someone you love. I didn’t show how she was lost, if it was a breakup or something more dark like death. I feel it’s an emotion everyone can relate to. Everyone has loved and lost, without that love they feel ‘gray.’ This is why I put the current world of his in black and white. Usually black and white signifies the past, but in this photo I’m using color, or lack there of, as a symbol of happiness, life, and feeling. To portray that with her was when he felt alive ad happy, without her he is lifeless and sad. With this picture I want people to feel his pain and sadness and then look in the mirror to see happiness, love and joy. So maybe they will understand the phrase “it’s better to have loved and lost rather than to not have loved at all.”

For this photo I used my Canon 70D camera, set up on a tripod with a wide-angle lens. ISO 250, f14 and 1.5 sec shutter. I needed the wide angle lens because where I was shooting was in a very small apartment with only the doorway to look through onto the mirror. To take the photo I had my model stand in front of the camera in different poses till I found one that conveyed the feeling I wanted. I then set the camera to go off with a trigger. I manually focused on the mirror so that it wouldn’t change focus with the trigger. I then went into the photo to position the two in the mirror so their reflection was in the shot but they were not. In post editing I went into Photoshop for the black and white portion of the photo. I selected everything of the photo other than the reflected part of the mirror. Once selected I copied that portion and pasted it right back onto the same photo, creating a layer on top of the background. I then copied the whole photo of the ‘happy’ scene and pasted it onto the ‘sad’ photo with two layers. Making that photo have another layer I move it between the two ‘sad’ layers. Then it was simple to size the photo perfectly into the mirror to be the reflection. With the use of the tripod the mirror photo easily fits into the layers with little editing. Making the top layer black and white perfectly fit the emotion I want for this photo. With just having the top layer selected it was simple to copy and paste it onto other ‘happy’ scenes to make the editing simple and fast to choose the appropriate photo, Which is how I created this photo showing the happiness love can have as well as the pain it can, and usually does, leave behind.

About the Photographer:
I am Taylor Ann Tracy. Photography was a small hobby that came to me when I started college. I had a friend that it was his goal to become a photographer. My friend passed away from cancer and I have tried to continue his dream for him. I volunteer at an animal shelter to take photos of the animals they have up for adoption. I’m a natural photographer. I use the world around me as it is to make good photos, I don’t do a lot of setting up or trying to make things look like they’re not. I try to capture the world as it is, beautiful.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 052015
 
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Photo copyright Cory Walters

With this image, my attempt was to capture the love that this couple shares. It was easy to tell how in love they were just by being around them, and I wanted to capture that. They made my job very easy, they didn’t have to act as if they loved each other and wanted to be there, because they truly did. They loved getting to stand in the garden, holding one another close, and capturing their love in one moment.  I really wanted some sort of sun flare to be in the photo, just not on the subject themselves distracting the viewer. It was the perfect time of the day, and with all the flowers in the foreground and the house off to the right, it made for a beautiful setting.

For this image I was using a Canon 5D Mark III at this location. It was about 6:15 in the evening, with the sun quickly going down. I put the while balance on shade to give some warmth and colors to the things surrounding the couple. For this photo, I was using a 16-35 2.8 Canon lens with a shutter speed at around 1/320th of a second with a very big aperture around 3.5 with an ISO of 160.

My editing technique did not consist of much post processing work. Whenever shooting, I always try to capture the image I want in camera, so I don’t have to edit the photo all that much. Once thing I always do is add some clarity and sharpness to my photos, to make them as clear as possible. I always add a little saturation and vibrancy to the picture as well, trying to bring out some of the natural colors. One of the last things I do is add just a hint of a vignette to the photo, making the viewer’s eye go directly to the subject.

I wanted the subject to love the photo, and think of their special day every time they see it. Even for a minute, to take them back to their fairytale-like day and to push everything aside.

About the Photographer:
My name is Cory Walters and I attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. I am very involved in the university’s photography department and currently a photographer for the schools newspaper. My love for photography has grown at an incredible rate in the past two years. I have such a passion for the art and have fallen in love with capturing the special moments. My favorite genres of photography include extreme sports such as motocross, outdoor portraits, and landscapes. Even though these three genres are completely different in approach, each can still tell a story with no words.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 052015
 
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Photo copyright Parker Munsch

For this image, I wanted to get the red cliffs in Sedona, AZ. So I drove down to Sedona on a Sunday and took some pictures of them and other parts of the scenery. The photo shown is one of the other scenery photos taken. For this photo, I walked to the top of a parking garage just off of the main road in Sedona, and I just started taking pictures of all the scenery I could get. I thought this image ended up being the best picture I got because it had the best ratio of the mountains and the bottom parts of shrubs and trees. I really like nature so the great scenery of Sedona inspired me to do this photo. I do not think I was trying to say anything with this photo; I just really liked the scenery and wanted to take a picture to remember the beautiful view I had at the top of the parking garage. In terms of thought process for this image I ended up using the height of the parking garage as a good vantage point so it could almost look like it was the edge of the valley, which it sort of is there. For this image I had no filter on the end of the lens. I was using my Nikon D5200 camera, with an 18-200 millimeter 3.5-5.6, which was just zoomed in to 38 millimeters. When shooting the image my aperture was at f/14 my ISO was at 250 and the shutter went off at 1/100. It was a bright day so I wanted the ISO to be lower so I would not get any noise. I had my f-stop so high so I could get the full focal range I needed for the image. It was not until days after taking the photo that I decided to put it into black and white. At first the sky was a little bit duller than I would like it to be, however I liked the tones everywhere else. So after toying with the saturation and the vibrancy, in adobe Lightroom I ended up putting the sliders all the way down to the left so it became black and white. I cropped in the image a little bit from the right, because there was a distracting part on the end that took away from the image so I cropped it in and that is my final product.

About the Photographer:
My name is Parker Munsch. I am a photography and criminal justice major at Northern Arizona University. I have been legitimately taking pictures for a year and a half now, but before that I was interested in the backgrounds of the images, like how it was shot and what editing went into the image. I prefer landscape photography, because I love the outdoors and like taking photos when I am in a cool new place. I really do not like to do much in post usually I just play with the tones and saturation. I try to do pictures that I like and the outdoors is an area that is very inspirational to me.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 042015
 
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Photo copyright McKenzie McLoughlin

Flagstaff is a beautiful city full of many opportunities for landscape photography, especially at night. It is a little known fact that Flagstaff, AZ is an international dark city, actually the first of its kind. This means the city is the perfect spot for stargazing and that is what I wanted to capture.

I work in the Admissions Department here at NAU and my goal is to help students decide if NAU is the right fit. I have embodied the job into my creative world by photographing the beauty of our campus. I decided I wanted a picture of the iconic Northern Arizona University sign that is on McConnell drive, right off the I-17. Students who are attending NAU often take photos in front of this sign to declare their affiliation. The photos of the majestic sign are usually from camera phones, in the middle of the day with cars driving in the back. Sure the photos are spirited by it doesn’t fully capture how beautiful our campus could be.

So, I waited for a clear night. I mustered out into the brisk night bundled up a beanie, gloves and the like at 1 in the morning on a Wednesday. I decided that time would be quiet on the streets and would help me avoid ambient light. This was important because I had decided I wanted to do a long exposure that captured the stars gleaming brightly behind the NAU sign. I brought my tripod and my camera and set up in the marshy grass in front of the sign. Of course, I had forgotten to charge my phone before I left and it had died before I arrived, but I am glad it did. Not having that distraction allowed me to see the beauty of our night sky. The trick now was exposing the sign enough but making sure the focus was on the stars. It is a composite image. I shot for the sky first at a 20 second shutter speed. Then I shot for the sign which took a bit of work I was not expecting. The light was too low to get a good exposure of the sign without it fading into the background. The shot I wanted had the sign popping out. I thought, “Oh, I can use the flash light on my phone to paint the light!” Then I remembered my phone died. My next thought was, I probably have a light in my car, so I trekked back through the marshy grass and searched my car and finally found a light. It was the perfect illumination for the sign and I was able to capture the vision I had in mind. I shot with a Nikon D3200 at ISO 400 and F/18 at a 20 second shutter speed for the stars and ISO 400 F/18 and 1 second shutter speed.

About the Photographer:
I am a sophomore at Northern Arizona University seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations and minor in photography. My passion for photography started in high school where I learned to shoot film. There is something so captivating in having a hand in the entire photographic process which I learned in film but I know it is a dying form. Therefore, I switched to digital and have tried to focus on composition and creativity. I am so inspired by everyday beautiful things that get passed by and my goal is to capture those ordinary things into something extraordinary. Photography is a hobby for me, but I believe it is a useful skill for the field of communications because photography is a very important aspect of visual communications. I hope to further develop my skills so that I can continue challenging myself and going on crazy photographic adventures that land me on the sides of freeways at 1 in the morning without a cell phone.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 042015
 
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“A New Day” photo copyright Samantha Martinez

“A New Day”
On April 10th of this year, my father took an oath and became a citizen of the United States of America. During the ceremony, some people were given the opportunity to go in front, tell their story, and talk about what being a citizen means to them. Listening to their stories made me realize what being an American really means to those that were not born in the U.S. Becoming an American means freedom, liberty, and happiness. It was a very humbling experience to be able to see a glimpse of what these new citizens felt as they experienced their first few moments as Americans. Watching them recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “The Star Spangled Banner” was a life-altering sight. They proudly waved their American flags as tears of joy streamed down the cheeks of a few people caught up in the moment. At the end of the ceremony, they all received their certificates of citizenship and finally departed into a bright, sunny day as citizens. The look on my father’s face when he came out of the ceremony was priceless and is something I will never forget. This photograph captures that moment of pure joy and happiness. A moment like this comes once in a lifetime and I was lucky enough to witness it. It is this moment that inspired me to create this composited image. From my dad’s expression to the background images of him taking his oath and holding his flag, this photo expresses my father’s joy in becoming a U.S. citizen. If I had simply had a picture of his expression, you would have never known by just looking at the picture that this joy was an effect of his newfound citizenship. This is the moment I wanted to share. Something genuine; something real.

“A New Day” is a composite of three pictures. All three were taken on location at the court house in Phoenix with my Nikon D3100 with a 55-200 mm Nikon lens with an ISO of 400. I shot the main image at f/5 with the shutter speed at 1/250 of a second. The picture on the left is at f/5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/80. And, the photo of the flag on the right is at f/5 with the shutter speed at 1/320 of a second. The aim of my aperture in these pictures what to try to blur out the background and isolate him as much as possible. When it came to combining all three images, I moved the two images, one at a time, to the main image in Photoshop after doing a little basic editing of exposure and balance in Lightroom and brought down the opacity of these two layers to 34%. Then, I put a mask on each layer and proceeded to mask out the images to reveal the main image as the focus. The effect meant to show the parts of the story without overpowering the main subject and focus, which is his expression. In the end, the image tells a story within itself about a new day, becoming a U.S. citizen.

About the Photographer:
Hello, my name is Samantha Martinez from Phoenix, AZ and I am a second year Photography student at NAU. I began my exploration of this creative field in high school and it is there that my passion blossomed. My past experience in Graphic Design helped me in my creativity and skill in post-processing in Photoshop, which is showcased in my images. In my two years studying photography in high school, I participated in Skills USA for photography twice. In the summer before attending NAU, I interned under a prominent photographer in Maricopa, AZ, Jake Johnson and got to experience first-hand what a full-time photographer’s life is like. I assisted in dance portraits, editing, and even got the chance to assist Jake as he shot photographs for the clothing company Nat Nast that later ended up on their website and in their catalog. Through my experiences, I fell in love with portraiture and the abstract. I specifically have a passion in unique portraiture that experiments with lighting, effects, and unique posing. It is the ability to manipulate and create something never seen before that excites me. For the most part, I like to experiment with dramatic lighting, saturation, and lots of contrast. I love dramatic lighting because it can take a technically “perfect” image and make it exceptional. The contrast plays into this idea and the saturation allows me to make a photo more dramatic depending on the mood being exuded. My goal as an artist is to do what I love and showing the world to others through my point of view so that maybe they too can see the beauty and uniqueness I see.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 032015
 
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Photo copyright Rachel Leone

This image is not only of a dear friend of mine but also one of the people that contributes to my inspiration. My goal was to emphasize mystery, accentuate the minimal features of my subjects positioning, create a balanced background with lines, and demonstrate desaturated contrast. I took this image February 22, 2015 in Burbank, California when it was extremely overcast outside from the rain the night before that was lingering in the air. It was the last day of my weekend in Los Angeles before heading back to Arizona so we spent it drinking espresso on the porch enjoying each others company and conversation pretending not be sad about parting ways later that day. I always learn something new when I am with my friend Rebecca that makes me value our friendship even more. She is full of knowledge and mystery. When capturing this image I knew wanted to illustrate a void (darkness in light). When I am feeling low or in the dark I know Rebecca is my source of light. Friendship is like the contrast in this image, you can see it as the black bringing out the white or white bringing out the black. Her face is not visible because I wanted the other features of the image to do more of the talking rather than having her facial expression do the explaining. This photograph is sentimental but it is also a fashion statement. Her elongated legs and crouched body creates an intriguing attitude to fit the overall idea of the image.

To capture this in the outdoor overcast light I was working with, my ISO was set to 200 with an aperture of f/4.5 and shutter speed at 1/50th of a second. I edited the shots from this day all in Photoshop using the crop tool and then adjusted darker areas on the histogram to get that rich black tone to really pop. Curve and contrast in post processing are tools I find myself using quite often. I chose to keep some color in her body and hands to show that there is life in this image even though the emotion may come off as grim. My own darkness inspires me and I like to implement it to my style of photography to create a more dramatic story. Playing around with colors, tones and saturation can really contribute to setting mood to a simplistic picture.

About the Photographer:
My name is Rachel Leone and I was born where film and photography originated, in Rochester, New York. I adopted a love for 35mm film photography from my grandparents when I was eight years old, which later blossomed into what I am capable of digitally producing today. I started creating a brand for myself when I was sixteen by making my own website, participating in First Friday Art Walks and photographic events. I currently use an EOS Canon 70d and my lens of choice is a Canon fixed focal length 50mm f/1.4. My style and methods have matured over the years into what it is now and I enjoy creating stories within my images of people with or without their faces visible; focusing on the subjects’ body language and structure is important to me. I am a student at Northern Arizona University but will be continuing my college career as a digital media major at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles this July 2015.

www.1711photography.com

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 032015
 
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Photo copyright Alicia Dean

When I looked at different photographs of products, one that stood out to me was the classic cereal photography that looked super crisp and clean and it would make your mouth water looking at it. When I photographed this, I wanted people to see this as not only edible but makes your mouth water looking at it. I was inspired to photograph this because we normally don’t see the beauty in such things and after seeing this image, it inspired me to see objects in a whole new light. The way I photographed this was to specifically photograph the top part of the bowl as well as the spoon drawing your eye into the bowl and into the cereal which helps with leading you around the image itself. The bowl itself also allows you also to center your focus because of the circle surrounding the cereal. When photographing this image, I used an f-stop of 10 due to the amount of light within this shot. The exposure time when photographing this image was exactly 1/125th of a second due to the amount of light within this image and also I had an ISO of 100 which gave this image the proper lighting I needed.

Furthermore, I used a mounted flash that I bounced off of the white paper background to add a back light to the image as well as the overhead lights in my kitchen alongside a desk lamp that I used as a warm fill light. The camera that I used is my own personal camera which is a Canon Rebel T3 with a Sunpack flash. The lens I used for this was the kit lens that the camera came with and the focal length that I used my lens at was 37mm. After taking roughly 30 images of this, I finally found the perfect image that needed very minimal editing. When looking at the original image, it was a little bit too dark so I boosted up the exposure giving it a bit of a lighter feeling, also I edited the warmth in the image since it was too prominent so I gave the warmth a bit of a cooler tone. Finally I edited the background with the line from where the different boards connected and lightened the shadows and removed a line that entered on one of the sides of the image making it look weird. Finally, the image felt more complete and has become my favorite of all time.

About the Photographer:
My name is Alicia Dean and I have loved photography for a very long time, but I mostly got into it because photography inspired me and gave me so much creative inspiration. Most of what I do is that I am both a Graphic Designer as well as a photographer. The subjects that I prefer personally are portrait and landscape photography and the processes and techniques I use are mostly minor touches giving it that more natural feeling. The main reason as to why my work is different from others is that I see things for their pure beauty and try not to post process as much. My future goals are to expand my creativity and my photography and produce lots of beautiful photography for those to share my love.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 022015
 
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“Packaged Deale” photo copyright Stevie Deale

“Packaged Deale”
I have this tendency, when I photograph, to not want to force anything. I’ll be doing something with a friend or on a hike and I will see the image in my head; I will see the moment as an image. So, when I photograph, I end up taking images of moments that are happening and not going out with the specific intent to take images, which has a very polarizing effect for the people viewing my images.

In the instance of this image, entitled “Packaged Deale,” I was hiking with my brothers, Ryan and Adam Deale, in the Seattle area, Snowqualmie Falls to be specific, when I turned back around to say something to them and I saw that the way waterfall was representative of them and how the surroundings were framing them. I told them to stop and since they happen to be willing to model for me, for which I am very grateful, they did and I captured this image of them in front of this waterfall, which they now have hanging in their apartment.

However, even though I took this image in a moment of inspiration does not mean that I do not have something to say with the image in mind as I’m taking it. I saw this waterfall, with one side being slightly larger and more forceful than the other before they join into one pool, and I immediately thought that it was representative of my brothers and of the people in our society as a whole. While one of my brothers is more forceful and larger than the other, they still end up coming together and joining in the ‘pool of friendship’ as I’m calling it (cheesy, I know, but you get the idea), or (as a less cheesy option), you could say that they’re a packaged deal(e). Despite the fact that some people in this world are more forceful and stronger, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t all humans and that we all can’t come together to create a movement or create a community that supports all life (like a river, get it?).

Anyway, now I’m sure you’re wondering about the logistics of this particular image! I took this image on a Canon Rebel T3i with an 18-55mm kit lens. My ISO was 400 to capture the speed of the waterfall, my aperture was at f/4.5 with a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. I am using a shallower depth of field so that my brothers would be the main focus while allowing the waterfall to fade into the background and not take up the majority of the focus in the image.

This image really makes me realize the beauty of our world and how we are all similar despite our insistence otherwise. I hope this image is making you stop and think about our world in a new way or that it is a reminder that we are all human.

About the Photographer:
My name is Stevie Deale. I have grown up in California, but in the last two years, I have worked in various places, such as Flagstaff, Arizona, multiple locations in California, England and Madrid, Spain. I have studied photography since I was 13 and I still enjoy the practice of taking images. I take self-portraits and I explore the intricacies of the human experience through my work. My goal is to capture the unexpected and simple moments in life, such as a person in a coffee shop, or out in nature, just enjoying life.

Steviedeale.weebly.com

http://riversandroadstowardsgrowth.tumblr.com/

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 022015
 
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Photo copyright Angel Rangel

When I take photos, my first instinct is to take a photo of something colorful out in nature. However, this is a photo that I am proud of that is not colorful. I took this while I was in Sedona for spring break. My girlfriend and her family spend a few days out of the year in Sedona, at a place next to a creek. I am from the desert so I was beyond excited when I received an invitation to go with them.

While at the creek I took many photos. I got some of the ducks. This was difficult because they only want to approach you if you have food. I took photos of flowers and of my girlfriend. Generally, when I am out in nature, I take photos of cute little birds and ladybugs. However, my favorite photo from the trip is one that I took of a mushroom.

Initially, I had not noticed this little mushroom. It was tiny and blended right in with the tree that it was sitting on. This little guy looked like it was all alone and very old. I felt something for the mushroom, so I wanted to take a picture of it. Maybe the mushroom reflects my fears. I can’t say for sure why I like the mushroom, but it just made me feel something. I took the photo of the mushroom and then moved on, looking for other things to capture.

After spring break, I looked over my photos. I was scrolling through all of them in Lightroom, when I stopped at the mushroom photos. I scrolled through them. I picked the best one and decided that I would like it to be a photo that I can display.

While in Sedona, I had my 18-55mm lens. For this photo, my lens was at about 48mm. I set my camera to ISO 200, because I was in the shade, but it was still fairly sunny outside. My aperture was at 5.6 because the mushroom was very small and I wanted to make sure to really make that mushroom stand out. I also decided to take the exposure compensation down a little bit, because the mushroom and the tree that the mushroom were on contained both bright highlights and low shadows. I wanted to make sure that the shadows on the mushroom stood out.

About the Photographer:
My name is Angel Rangel and I am from Chandler, Arizona. I am currently a photo student attending Northern Arizona University. I began taking photos about 1 year when I was in a photojournalism class. I learned that I loved the photo, but wanted to drop the journalism.

I have a little experience in drawing, graphic design, interior design and writing. I like to dabble in many art forms and learn as much as possible. I prefer to shoot things that are nature related. I think I just have a very strong love of nature, which is why I am attending school in the mountains.

I one day hope to one day have a successful photography business.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 012015
 
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Photo copyright Ryan Wesson

Growing up I loved to capture daily life motions. I first picked up a Coolpix freshman year of high school. Even if it was a simple portrait I liked to spice it up. I would either put an odd prop in with the subject or capture an abnormal facial expression. The creative aspect in photography kept me hungry to find my style. I kept on taking my camera out for these past six years. I was introduced to Canon and immediately was instilled with inspiration to capture as much as I could. I think I finally figured out what I like. I love to tell a story. By telling a story I also love to explore the angles of my subject. Portraits are probably my favorite genre at this point. One thing I can say about the difference between my work and others is that I love weird-different captures. It’s a good tool to really test creativity. When I walk around I’m constantly thinking of new ideas for photos. I love looking at work as well to see what others are doing. It drives me to get out like other photographers and shoot. As I was told the ones who want to be good will utilize every opportunity you can handle. It’s not an easy time learning what you like to photograph, but the practice is worth every second. Photography is a lifestyle I plan to live in for a while. I wanted to capture a strong motion in black and white. Black and white filters have evoked new ideas, which is why I chose to put the filter on my image. Recently I have been extremely excited about black and white photography. The image’s purpose is to inspire the viewer. Opportunities are endless with hard work. Focus on the goals we choose to pursue.

I used a Canon EOS 70D. I was shooting with the kit lens 55mm. My shutter speed was at 1/400 of a second. I set my F-stop to 11. I had the ISO at 400 which I should’ve changed to 100. I also was experimenting with my flash unit. I cropped the image a little bit on the right side because of a sun ray. I gave it some nice contrast and applied the black and white filter. Then I messed with the color section to pop my subject out.

About the Photographer:
My name is Ryan James. I first discovered photography through my friends Flickr account. It was in the beginning of my freshman year. I ended up picking up my first camera at the end of freshman year. I kept progressing in photography and decided to pursue it as a major in college. In high school I didn’t do a lot with photography it was more of a hobby, during my high school career I was filming more than I photographed. Once I attended Northern Arizona University I joined The Lumberjack and I have been affiliated with Red Bull getting my photos published. On the side I’ve been experimenting with numerous genres of photography through my photo classes. I love to shoot portraits and location. When I shoot portraits I don’t just put a subject in front of my camera. I want to express who they are. Most people I shoot have a weird presence about them in which I like to capture natural shots of their daily motions. It creates a new perspective of someone in my opinion. I also love location because when you explore a location there are numerous angles you can capture of the location. You may end up finding something no one has thought to click and shoot. My favorite technique I utilize right now is Flash. Manipulating light has shown great importance to my work. My work varies away from others because I have a weird style to my work. I capture scenes that are abnormal and creative to the viewer. As an artist I want aspire to reveal my work around the world. I want to create a positive presence to show that we are all radically great in our own way. I plan to utilize photo journalism within this dream I have. I’m inspired greatly by people I run into. Chris Cunningham for instance one of my teachers who has been shooting photography has impacted my work. He always told me think outside the box. Instead of taking a cliché shot how can you produce it within your own style.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!