May 302016
 

Photo copyright Jacquelyn Reimer

This photo of a mural is on the side of my house in Flagstaff, AZ. I am currently in a photography class at Northern Arizona University and I took this photo for our “Twilight” assignment. I have always wanted to capture this mural because I am graduating and leaving Flagstaff in one month and this house holds so many memories of mine. I have lived in this house for the last two years of my college career and made so many memories with so many friends that I would love to be able to fondly look back on.

My cousin lived in this house when he attended Northern Arizona University and I moved in when he graduated and moved back home. My cousin and his friends created the mural on the side of the house with permission from the landlord during the first year they lived there. I miss my cousin very much and this mural reminds me of him every time that I see it. It impacted part of my life, I want to preserve it and I thought photography would be a great way to do just that.

I did not want to make this a standard picture of the side of my house though. I wanted it to be interesting and unique. Noticing all of the color in the mural and the assignment having to do with an unusual color setting, twilight, I thought this may be a good opportunity to make this image. The mural, in my opinion, is funky, fun and bright with a personality of its own. So, I chose to tilt the camera on my tripod and attempt to make the picture itself different and unique as well.

As for the technical side of this image, I shot it with a Canon EOS 60D camera at a focal length of 18mm, ISO 100, aperture f/16 with a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds. An off-camera flash was used with wireless triggers. I originally placed the camera on a tripod but that image seemed too boring for me. I decided to spice it up a tad by putting all of the legs of the tripod together and tilting it. I kept it on the tripod to steady it a little bit because of the long shutter speed.

 About the Photographer:

Now, just a little bit about me. I am currently a student at Northern Arizona University studying Communications Studies with a minor in Public Relations. I am graduating this coming May 2016 and will be moving back to my hometown of Seattle, WA. I originally dipped my toe in photography to fill college credits but ended up really enjoying the art and am now taking my third photography class in the past three semesters here at NAU. I had no idea all of the components that go into creating a single image and I feel privileged to have been able to just begin to scratch the surface into the world of photography.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Jacquelyn would love to hear from you!

May 302016
 

Photo copyright Danny Kimball

I was inspired to take this image after watching my teacher Amy Horn take high-speed liquid shots at one of her seminars during the photography club at Northern Arizona University. Her images are amazing, especially the collision of two water droplets, so when it came up in class as an assignment, I was given the chance to create an image I had been interested in and as a class assignment. In this image I chose a background that had two very contrasting colors, first so I could see the difference since I am color blind and secondly because I wanted to simulate a drop of rain in the cool blue water at sunrise. I thought it amazing to think that during a rain shower this is happening every time a drop strikes the surface of a pond, lake, or stream, not thought of as something miraculous that is happening right in front of us.

I set this image up by cutting an “X” in a plastic sandwich bag, putting a rock climbing carabineer through the “X”, and hanging it from a tripod. Once I filled the bag with water I poked a hole in the bag with a thumbtack, giving me a drop about once every 10 seconds. I placed a black mug underneath and changed the background to get different moods.

For this image I shot with a Nikon d7100 using a 85mm macro lens. My ISO was at 100, which I realized after I could have varied while I was shooting to see the effect. My aperture was at f/3.8 and my shutter was at 1/200. The flash I used was a Yongnuo speedlite YN560 IV. Since I am not versed in post processing, yet, I only turned down the highlights. I thought that increasing or decreasing other settings took away too much from what the image originally was.

About the Photographer:

Let me introduce myself. My name is Daniel Kimball; I’m an Environmental Studies major, with a minor in biology, and certificate in wildlife management and ecology. I got into photography after seeing my brother’s work and being a competitive older brother decided I should try it out for myself, only later realizing that I have this creative side somewhere inside. I haven’t done too much when it comes to photography, but I have big plans for this summer. Not having to study for exams every week, will allow me to think solely on my images and planning them out. My first goal in photography is to capture an image that someone is willing to purchase, but my overall goal in nature photography is to inspire someone to go to a location where I have shot to witness the beauty for him or herself.

I typically enjoy taking shots of nature or of a subject within nature, but lately I’ve been enjoying each of our class assignments, whether its high-speed liquid, portraits, sunbursts, etc. I relish shooting nature most because beauty to me, rests most in nature. I enjoy this water droplet image since it is an element that occurs naturally, taken into an artificial setting, to then resemble a natural event. Some people that inspire me are Marc Adamus, Shane Knight, and pretty much anyone who can take beautiful astrophotography shots.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Danny would love to hear from you!

May 292016
 

“Light in the Night Sky” || Photo copyright Kaylee Johnson

While I was home one weekend from NAU, my parents suggested going to the Desert Botanical Gardens down in Phoenix. At nighttime, the gardens host a special event called “Sonoran Light” by Bruce Munro. Munro’s art reflects across the desert with a mixture of acrylic, light, and other items that bring the desert to life at night. The careful placement and themes of each piece reflect well with the night feel of the desert. When I found out that I was going to this event, I wanted to take a picture that was unlike all the ones I’ve originally seen. As I was walking around, I basically took pictures of everything I saw from every angle. However, when I approached a mountain draped in beautiful color changing lights, I knew it had potential.

I began taking pictures of the mountain; it was completely covered in lights as seen in my photo. These lights changed colors every few seconds. However, what I captured didn’t interest me as much as the lights on the ground and the background of the city of Phoenix. The bright city lights and the night sky were much more captivating than just the mountain itself. When I saw this scene I immediately knew this was my chance to get a unique picture. However, I didn’t bring a tripod with me to fully capture the brilliance of the lights and the night sky at the proper exposure. I noticed a drinking fountain and decided that that was my best bet. I set my camera on top of the flat part leading to the fountain and simply clicked the shutter.

One shot was all it took. Without the stable use of the water fountain the picture would’ve been underexposed and completely blurry. I captured this image at an ISO of 800, an aperture of 3.5, and a shutter speed of 1 second using a Canon T5 with an 18-200mm lens. I edited this image to make the colors pop more and look more vibrant.

All in all, I want to communicate to other photographers that even when you think a shot is impossible to capture, think outside the box and try something new, you never know what you may end up with. I also really encourage going to the Sonoran Lights at Desert Botanical Garden because the lights are really stunning to look at it and for picture taking as well.

About The Photographer:

My name is Kaylee Johnson and I’m majoring in photography at NAU. I have been taking pictures for seven years now and I absolutely love photography. In high school, I was in yearbook and photographed sports for three years, and then became the editor and chief and took pictures around the school. Here at NAU I work for NAU Athletics and take pictures at sports games and other events going on around campus. My photography ranges from everything to portraits, landscape, sports, and anything else you can think of. I can’t wait to see what my future in photography holds.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Kaylee would love to hear from you!

May 292016
 

Photo copyright Cassandra Coyle

Does this picture have you wondering? Do you have questions about it, such as who is this girl? Why is she hiding? Is she as mysterious as she seems? Why is she staring so intently? What is this photo trying to tell me as a viewer? One of my favorite quotes about photography comes from Diane Arbus and it goes, “a picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”

In our class earlier this semester, we were given a portrait assignment with off-camera flash and I knew immediately that this photo would be a challenge for me. Most of the portraits I take are of my nephew, who is just over a year old. I love the kid, but he doesn’t listen very well to instructions for photos! I’m not used to having so much control over my subject, and it can be hard for me to come up with poses or ideas for the portraits. I went to my roommate, Marti, in my Tuesday afternoon crisis (our photos for class are due on Wednesdays), and persuaded her to be my model. We set up in our apartment living room and the shoot started out with me blinding her a few times since I’m still new to the world of external flashes. Once I managed to get the flash figured out, it was just the question of what to have her do.

I like portraits that show happy, smiling people best. I started with telling Marti to smile. We tried more candid-looking shots of her laughing, as well as some other basic happy shots. We tried using props including a coffee mug, a Fifty Shades of Grey novel, and a chef’s knife. I looked at her at some point during the shoot and decided that since she has such beautiful eyes, I wanted to focus on them. I came up with the idea of the scarf hiding some of her face, leaving an air of mystery in the shot. I feel the vibrant red of the scarf was a great contrast to her lighter eyes. I was a bit worried about the scarf being a distraction from her eyes, but I think viewers are still immediately drawn to them.

I shoot with a Canon Rebel T3, and I use the kit lens, an 18-55 mm. My focal length was at 42 mm for this photo. My aperture was at 6.3 and my shutter speed was 1/160 of a second. I currently use is a Yongnuo YN560-IV flash. I don’t have very much experience with Lightroom, so I don’t do much post-processing on my photos. I believe I softened her skin just slightly for this one. I was very happy with my result in the end. Not too bad for a girl who doesn’t take many portraits!

Going back to the quote by Diane Arbus, I think knowing the story behind the image can change a person’s feelings about the photo. I find that sometimes I want to know the story, but sometimes it’s fun to be left to my imagination and fill in the blanks myself. You might not be able to guess the true story behind my photo here: a tale of challenges, trial and error, and even a bit of humor (at least I find it funny). Some might feel that this story detracts from the photo, making it less interesting. I think it adds to it. This photo is from a time of growth as a photographer for me. I feel more confident in taking portraits now.

About the Photographer:

I come from a very small town in Southern Arizona by the name of Ajo. My passion for photography began when I was a little girl, playing with the family camera. I photographed anything and everything. I finally got a DSLR in high school, and I often took photos for my yearbook class and local newspaper. My favorite subjects to photograph are my nephew and vehicles, but I love being able to capture a moment and I’ll shoot just about anything I find interesting. Photography will most likely end up a lifelong hobby for me. I have no goals to become a professional, but I enjoy improving my skills and learning more about both my camera and myself.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Cassandra would love to hear from you!

May 282016
 

Photo copyright Emily Frankel

I took this photo while on a camping trip with my boyfriend and my dog at Windy Hill campground. A drive that was supposed to be less than 3 hours became over 5 after a series of misadventures. First the mobile map led us to an empty parking lot, and then when we made it to the campground it turned out to be temporarily closed, we finally found a place to stay at around 1 in the morning after driving an extra hour to Globe in order to get a Tonto parking pass. We had set out to spend a fun weekend swimming in the Salt River, but ended up on the edge of a lake that can’t even be swum in at a campground filled with snowbird retirees in their RVs while we slept in my yellow tent. Even though it was not what we had planned, the unexpected camping destination became just what it took to find the inspiration I needed and provide the adventure I craved.

I was born and raised in Prescott, AZ and have always considered the greener and lusher parts of the country to be far more beautiful. Growing up spending summers by a lake in Maine made me dislike the dry climate even more for most of my life. This changed when I started camping in central Arizona, which has taught me to truly appreciate the unique beauty of the desert. There is no greater feeling than sitting by a campfire as the sun sets over the desert and the coyotes start to howl at the moon. As beautiful as moments like this are, they never last for long until the impulse to capture the scene overcomes the desire to simply enjoy it. Depicting the relaxed bliss of camping in the Valley was exactly what I hoped to accomplish with this image.

Arizona has beautiful sunsets and spectacular cacti; I wanted to encapsulate both of these in a photo. This image was taken using my Canon 70D with an 18-200mm lens sitting on a tripod while I was crouching on the ground so that I could photograph the silhouette of the saguaro in front of the remnants of the sunset. As a coyote howled just a few yards away from our tent in the desert by Lake Roosevelt I took this photo at 18mm, with an ISO of 800, an aperture of f /10, and a shutter speed of 30 seconds. In post-processing I just tweaked a few minor settings such as clarity, highlights, and vibrance. In the end everything worked out just right to allow me to take this photo and always have a reminder of the beauty I had to learn to see.

About the Photographer:

My dad taught me to appreciate photography growing up when he bought me my first purple windup film camera. The interest that this sparked only grew as I got older and started to travel. It finally became an actual goal when I received my dad’s old Canon 1000D and began to teach myself throughout high school. During a year at Yavapai Community College I started taking photography classes. I am now majoring in Strategic Communications (with an emphasis in merchandising) and Photography. I hope to someday put both of my degrees to use and pursue a career in fashion photography

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Emily would love to hear from you!

May 282016
 

Photo copyright Wendel Navenma

I set out on this photo by trying to find a subject to shoot for window light for an in class assignment. I had scrambled around trying to figure out what I could shoot that would look good. I finally asked my boy, who is 4 years old, if he could let me take a picture of him. He was very excited to do this. This was also my first time that I had asked him to pose for me for a shoot. I captured images of him smiling when I told him to, and facing in different directions. This image shows the true emotions of how he was feeling, tired and grumpy. He just wanted to have it over with and go do something else. Thus, the reasons in which I chose this photo.

So the image, a portrait, uses the window light as my only source of lighting. I have taken a few portraits but still feel hesitant taking them, as portraits are a challenge for me. The image shows the raw emotion of my boy. I took quite a few photos of him. I had him look this and that way, to smile.  Like any child would, he began to get tired and no longer wanted to participate. He was ready to go play but I called him back and told him just one more then you can go play. He reluctantly agreed too. He was not taking any direction; he was done with all that. I asked him to smile and in return he made this face. What I get from the expression of his face is that he is telling me to be quiet, to stop telling him what to do and to just hurry up and take the photo.

The camera which I used is the Canon Rebel T3i with the 18-55mm kit lens. I shot this with an aperture of 5.6, ISO at 200, at 1/500 of a sec., and focal length at 36mm from an angle lower than the subject. For post processing I lowered the highlights, added some contrast, and added just a bit of clarity. Nothing crazy. I like to keep my edits as minimal as possible. I would have cropped the far right shadow out but felt it added to the image, it added some depth.

About the Photographer:

I am drawn to the idea of photography but have never jumped on it. Finally, I decided to take a couple of classes at Coconino Community College. I enjoyed it and I am now minoring in photography at Northern Arizona University. I am drawn to the outdoors, to nature, so this is what a lot of my work consists of. I enjoy that sense of freedom and calmness from the outdoors, away from that concrete jungle. I appreciate the little things in life that the natural world around us has to offer, things that some may tend to overlook.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Wendel would love to hear from you!

May 272016
 

Photo copyright Cole King

Driving up to the mountain, we passed by an old derailed train unit, but I paid it no mind. My goal was to take photos of not one, but two of the most beautiful things that I’d ever seen: my girlfriend and my favorite time of day. I was so lucky to have this opportunity as an assignment to motivate me to finally go out and shoot it.

We got to the top of the mountain and waited for the sun to set. My camera equipment waited on the branches of a tree as I attached my flash unit to my camera. I was prepared to take a gorgeous picture of my girlfriend against the changing colors of a beautiful Arizona sunset. My eyes were drawn to a blinking light below my eye level. It was already on?! I switched the “on/off” switch a few times, and to my horror and dismay, it died right before my eyes. I started freaking out; it would be just my luck that I didn’t have any other batteries, either! What was it with technology hating me so much lately? We headed back home to see if we had batteries and could find a closer area to try later shots.

I looked out the window sadly, as I really did want to be a good student. The train we’d talked about earlier that day caught my eye, and I realized that we could use our truck’s headlights in place of a flash! I knew that I had another option and I was losing it quick as the sun faded behind the horizon. I shouted at my boyfriend (yep you heard me right,  I was with my girlfriend and boyfriend; I’m polyamorous!) to stop the truck! I had an idea! So, we pulled in front of it and angled the headlights at the train, and I hopped out and began frantically taking pictures. The lighting was even better for the assignment than what I’d had in mind! It had all worked out in the end.

With this photo I wanted to express the subtle sadness and tranquility that I felt when I looked at this train at dusk, with the navy sky behind me and a beautiful piece of history in front of me. There was a very distinct feeling of mystery that pertained to the train; the rest of it still ran, why not this one? I had so many questions for this train and yet I couldn’t get any answers. But somehow I was okay with this little mystery. I captured the curiosity and beauty of it enough to satisfy me, even though I was still disappointed that I hadn’t been able to take photos of my girlfriend. I still captured something meaningful, and that was good enough for me.

I used my 18-55 lens on my Nikon D3200 that I had received from my parents as a graduation gift. I enjoy working with a shallow depth of field, so I turned the knob to make it as small as I could, at an aperture of 4.5. The shutter speed that I went with to match my aperture was 1/15 a second. I am a naturalistic photographer in the sense that I don’t like making too many adjustments in post processing, so I left it as it was aside from changing the size of the image.

About the Photographer:

My name is Cole King, and I enjoy capturing anything that calls to me in nature and in my every day life. I’m currently branching out in all types of photography, as I want to become a more versatile photographer with a large amount of experience so I can learn different strategies and styles. I have done multiple professional shoots for clients, and my photography is on display in a gallery at NAU. You can find my photography at my Facebook page: Cole King Photography, though there is a website in the works.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Cole would love to hear from you!

May 272016
 

“Two-Faced” || Photo copyright Jessica Vazquez

“Two Faced”

My most favorite thing about photography is how people interpret an image. How there is always a deeper meaning to everything that we see. It’s fascinating, to say the least. That’s one of the reasons why I chose this photo. I believe that we live in a world today filled with such deceit and lies. We sometimes surround ourselves with people that hold no value to us. We continue to let people in, only to find out in the end, they weren’t really there for us. This has sadly occurred in a lot of people’s lives, mine included. We are exposed to two-faced people. It occurs on a daily basis. How can people go from acting a certain way to acting an entirely different way? Why does this happen? What possess people to do? Is it because they want acceptance? Because they feel the need to be like this? Because they can’t express their true self? For whatever the reason, it’s a shame people live their lives like that. People should accept who they are and surround themselves with the same type of people. They should be around people that would gladly acknowledge and appreciate their differences. Shouldn’t we all?

Now when I was taking this photo, nowhere did I ever intend to shoot it for this reason. It was actually an accidental photograph. That evening I was trying to drag the shutter with flash. My subject turned out to be my boyfriend, Reilly. He always loves being my subject, even though he doesn’t know it. Anyway, my original idea for this picture was to capture a moving train behind him, while I used the flash to freeze him standing up right. I had encountered some problems during the shoot. For one, the surrounding lights made the image come out orange and it was drawing away from the image. So, to resolve this, we made our way to a darker spot that wasn’t exposed to the orange light and I sat him down while I got my tripod and flash set up for the next train to come by. I had my Canon EOS Rebel T5 set for a two second shutter speed, my aperture was f/5, and my ISO was at 800. Along with my camera, I had my off camera Yongnuo YN-560 III flash set to the lowest flash setting. As it came, I took as many shots as I could with the limited time that we had. I’m almost certain that I had blinded Reilly. But out of the many photos, I had captured what I wanted. While I was looking back through all the photos, I noticed this one. Reilly moved his head during one of the two second shots and I thought it looked pretty interesting, daunting even.  I love it and the deeper meaning behind it.

About the Photographer:

My admiration for photography came from my grandfather. Growing up, he always had a camera in his possession, taking pictures of just about anything and everything. Now, I have decided to follow in his footsteps. I have developed my own sense of style when it comes to photography. My drive and dedication shows in my work and it’s what sets me apart from everyone else. I favor nature and portraiture photography. I am willing to go the extra mile to capture any given image. I plan to continue to improve my photography for as long as I possibly can.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Jessica would love to hear from you!

May 262016
 

“Love Yourself” || Photo copyright Mariah Doka

“Love Yourself”

Many people say that your younger siblings look up to you and want to be like you. For me it’s the opposite; I wish to be like her. She is so full of life and energy. She has no shame is what she does and what she does always has a purpose. She’s very smart, lovable, comfortable, funny, and cute. My sister has a personality that rubs off on anyone that is near her. To be able to capture her personality in a photo is an accomplishment. Although I will say that it wasn’t that hard to do; she is very photogenic.

I’m not sure if you would call this a portrait. I think of it more of as a candid shot. I didn’t pose her this way, I didn’t tell her what to do, nor did I tell her how to look. All I did was point the camera at her and she just moved and moved. She did different poses, different facial expressions, and I was just the one to click the shutter button. We took almost a hundred photos and each photo had a different pose. She’d be smiling in one and in the next it was a more serious expression. This one is my favorite simply because her smile is beautiful and there is a “cuteness” and a “comfortableness” to her and that’s what I wanted to portray in a photo of her.

I’m going to be honest and say that I don’t do “portraits” a lot, not as much as I would like to anyway. The only reason I don’t do portraits is because I’m not very good at talking to people and that’s probably a trait that any photographer needs to be successful. The reason I’ve taken such an interest in photography is that there are a lot of aspects that don’t require talking to people. Landscape, nature, and whatever else is out there. Although, yes I will have to talk to people eventually but I’m not looking to be a professional and sell my photos and take clients. I’m simply here because I want to do something for me. I want to capture an image that shows that I did something amazing and keep it for myself. With photography, I imagine I can take some awesome photos and not have to talk to anyone about it.

This photo was for a photography assignment that required a portrait of someone using an off camera flash. For this particular set up, using an umbrella flash kit, I set it to my left and had my Canon 5D Mark III camera in my hand. The lens I chose was a 50mm with an aperture of 2.8, shutter speed of 1/100 and an ISO of 1000. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t realize my ISO was so high and it really didn’t need to be. As far as post processing goes, I did very little. I removed some blemishes and adjusted the contrast and exposure.

About the Photographer:

My name is Mariah Doka and I am currently a student at Northern Arizona University. I am majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Photography. Everyone always says that those are two random subjects to put together, and I know they are but those are two things that I’ve come to love. As far as photography, I didn’t do much shooting before college but my interest in it has definitely taken off since I started taking photography courses. I like to do it because photographers have a different way of seeing the world. We’re always looking for interesting things and figuring out how we could take a picture is various ways. I’m here for the aspect of thinking differently and looking at the world differently than the average person.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Mariah would love to hear from you!

May 262016
 

Photo copyright Tyler Walker

When most people take photos they just point and shoot the camera. Very little thought goes into the process of capturing the image.  As those of us who have taken a photo class or have done any professional work know, there is a lot more that goes into an image. There are some times when you plan the image out and it only takes a few minutes. There, however, are other times were you spend a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to capture the vision you see in your head.  This was the case for myself with this image.

This image came about from a night of complete boredom, and a week of mild depression. What was funny is that I was pretty happy at the time of taking the image. It gave me a creative outlet to express some of the things that I was too embarrassed to admit out loud to those around me. I think there is some beauty in that. This is the first time I have shared this image with anyone. I had aspirations to share it on social media but I was afraid of what some might have thought, or that some would have over reacted to something that was nothing more than a creative outlet.

Going about creating this image is one of the hardest things I have to do with a camera. This had to do with the fact that I had zero help in almost every aspect of the image, which only makes its all the more personal for myself. I had set up a tripod in my bathroom (how many times have you heard that phrase said, it can’t be many) and a hot shoe flash with a receiver set up pointed at a reflector angled at my shower. This was the basic set up but it was everything else that I added that made this shot rather difficult. I had set the shutter speed at 20 seconds in order to allow myself to accomplish everything I had to do.  I put a red fill onto the hot shoe flash while I added a blue one to a flash I had borrowed from a friend attached to my camera. Since I only had one receiver I had to manually hit the shutter button which set off the blue flash and then I would have to move around the tripod in the dark to get into the shower. After I was in the shower I had the trigger in hand and flashed the red flash several times to try and offset how strong the blue flash was. Initially with this image I had the idea to turn the water on as I thought that having the flash stopping the water while adding color would look cool. I was right about that, but I was very wrong on how easy it would be. Electronics and water do not mix. While my flash was not in the shower it was still susceptible to over spray and it promptly started to spasm and freak out. This was the only time I tried it with the water, but I do want to try it again sometime.

I took many different shots when trying to capture this image but this is the one I settled on. It was very hard with a twenty second shutter to have enough light on myself actually stand out. This was the one that I turned out best in. Having just a basic red light that I could turn on and off would have worked better. Is this the perfect image? Not by a longshot but it something I am actually pretty proud of. This is because of the personal nature of it. It would have been nice to have help taking the image but in doing it alone it made taking the image very therapeutic. This was a hard image to take, but one that I had a good time making and if I can get this much joy out of making other photos in the future then I’ll be happy.

About the Photographer:

Robert Tyler Walker grew up living in Santa Ana, California before deciding to attend in the fall of 2012 Northern Arizona University where he majors in Journalism and is minoring in business, and creative media and film. He has interned in the Senate Press Gallery in Washington D.C. and one day hopes to be a travel writer. In the mean time he likes to go exploring with friends, camera always in tow.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Tyler would love to hear from you!