Apr 302013
 
DeAngelo_Anthony_Blog

Photograph copyright Anthony DeAngelo

The inspiration for this image came from the subject I chose to photograph. I decided to photograph hockey in Flagstaff. I had a number of different ideas that I wanted to shoot, however, the idea that stood out most in my head was to photograph a hockey player, a native of Flagstaff, in a downtown Flagstaff environment. I wanted to create an image that many hockey players, especially those native to Flagstaff, could understand and appreciate. Every hockey player growing up is raised with a hockey stick and a puck or ball but at some point doesn’t quite know how to skate. Hockey players learn to hone and develop their skills on the streets with nothing but a stick and a puck. With this image I wanted to depict just that and I felt as if the alley was a perfect choice. I shot the subject downtown at night because I really liked the effect it created in the photo. The harsh shadows and the emphasis the lighting placed on the subject really stood out to me. It gave the image a dramatic feeling and really helped to emphasize the environment around the subject. By looking at the image there is no doubt that the subject is standing in an alley. This also reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies “The Mighty Ducks.” One of the main characters in the film is discovered shooting pucks in an alley with nothing but a stick. The character is later introduced to the ice for the first time where he ends up becoming a valuable player to the team. Again it continues with this idea that all players begin by shooting pucks and developing their skills off the ice and on the street.

This image was shot with a Nikon D5000 camera and a 55mm lens. I shot this image with an ISO of 400, an aperture of f4.5 and a shutter speed of 1/3. This photograph is one of my earlier photos, however it was definitely a photo that helped to spark my interest in photography. For post-processing techniques, I used Photoshop Lightroom to lighten the exposure to get rid of some of the harsh shadows throughout the photo.

About the Photographer:
My name is Anthony DeAngelo, although I go by the name Rocky. It is a name I have gone by ever since kindergarten and a name I plan to have changed legally. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but was raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota and moved to Arizona five years ago. My childhood in Minnesota helped to shape who I am as a person and why I ended up at Northern Arizona University. If it weren’t for my love of the outdoors and winter I would have probably ended up at Arizona State University. As far as photography goes I would say I am just starting out and just dabbling for the fun of it. I chose photography as a minor because I felt that it would be a great accent with my advertising degree. However I really learned to appreciate the art of photography and found that I love to shoot everyday things as well as difficult things, like my favorite subject, hockey. As a player for the NAU IceJacks I have access to many things that not all sports photographers have access to. A lot of the images I take are all images that I have taken while wearing skates in the middle of practice. By having this privilege I feel like I can capture many fascinating and difficult images that not many others can. I also feel like this helps to separate me from other photographers my age. I would say that my goal as a photographer hasn’t quite manifested into a professional one however with time and experience I’m starting to consider and believe it is something that I could possibly pursue when I graduate.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 302013
 
Molloy_Marissa_blog

Photograph copyright Marissa Molloy

On my last day at home in Prescott over winter break, there was a pretty intense snow storm.  It finally stopped snowing a few hours before I was supposed to leave, so I decided to go out shooting on some of the trails that run through our neighborhood.  My parents’ house is on the outskirts and in the higher elevations of Prescott, so when it snows, we often get the brunt of it, and the city snow removal usually comes to plow our neighborhood.  There was at least a foot of snow, and at some parts of my trek, I was knee-deep in it.  Unfortunately, I was underdressed because I thought that Prescott winter weather couldn’t be nearly as bad as Flagstaff winter weather, so the snow completely soaked through my jeans, converse, and socks, the wind was cutting through my sweatshirt, my nose was running, and my gloveless hands were frozen and stiff by the time I arrived at this location.  I had walked so far out along the trail that I could no longer see houses or hear cars.  There was nothing but the trees, snow, wind, and myself.  It was an incredibly peaceful place, and had I dressed more warmly so as to not be freezing my ears off, I would have spent much more time there.  I wanted to capture this sense of complete and utter seclusion by shooting the wall of trees that surrounded me.  This was before I could afford to buy my own DSLR, so I was shooting with my mom’s old Canon EOS Rebel.  I had the aperture at f/5, the shutter speed at 1/2500 so I could stop the movement of the wind in the branches, and the ISO on 200.  I later used minor post processing in Adobe Lightroom.  After shooting this image, I realized I was two hours late for the time my dad and I agreed on to drive back up to Flagstaff, and my cell phone had no service.  I quickly hopped and shuffled my way back home through the snow, and soon my phone was able to receive service again, I found that my parents had called and texted me at least 10 times.  I finally returned, happy to finally be back in a warm house and dry clothes, and to have had a good morning shooting, but my parents were less than pleased with me.

About the Photographer:
My name is Marissa Molloy, and I am a Junior at Northern Arizona University studying Theatre Technology and Design and Photography.  I decided to take a photography class freshman year as an elective, and I haven’t been able to put it down since.  I believe my experiences in technical theatre influence my work in photography in a unique way.  I can find inspiration in many things, like interesting color or line.  Nature and landscape photography, as well as product and still life are my favorite things to shoot, and are my strong suits.    If you like this photograph and would like to see more of my work, please check out my website.  http://marissalynnmolloy.wix.com/molloyimaging.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 292013
 
Kooima_Rebecca_blog_small

Photograph copyright Rebecca Kooima

I love macro photography. In February, I received a macro assignment in my photography class and I took it as an opportunity to find something new to capture that I had not done before. After I searched online for inspiration, I was set on taking a photo of a paper clip in water, lit through blinds. If you have not seen this, you should search for a photo online, because it looks awesome. The blinds form a reflection in the water, and the paperclip bends the reflection. Sadly, when I made an attempt at the paperclip photo, I failed miserably, and as a result had to go back to brainstorming.

I eventually came up with the idea for a picture of an eye because I’ve seen so many that I like online. My roommate, Joy, who is a wonderful person, was kind enough to lend me her eye. In my first trial run, I managed to capture a photo that was decent, but I spent days going back to it, and just staring at it, because something just felt off. Eventually, I realized that what I saw in my head was much brighter. I also realized that the reflection of myself in her pupil would look better if it were more clear, and intentional instead of an accident.

A couple days after the original shot, my roommate allowed me to borrow her eye a second time. In order to capture the shot I had in mind, Joy and I squeezed into our tiny bathroom with the light from my room in there with us, I was also using an off camera flash to bring in even more light. While using the studio at the school would have been exponentially easier, it was closed during the times both Joy and I were available. The extra light immediately made a difference. However, in addition to making the image brighter, the light also made the reflections in Joy’s eye more noticeable, so to minimize them, I ended up standing in the shower. We then had to find the best place for the flash so that it didn’t look like something was exploding in her eye, but the amount of light was still ideal. The ideal position ended up being on top of Joy’s head, so she held the flash on her head while I took my final shots.

I used my Canon T2i with my 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens to capture the final image. The exposure of the image was 1/200 sec at f/3.2 and ISO 200. I made the iris more vibrant by using the Iris Enhancement tool in Adobe Lightroom, which boosts the saturation, brightness, clarity and contrast of the selected area.

About the Photographer:
My name is Rebecca Kooima and I am currently a senior Exercise Science major at Northern Arizona University. I hope to one day go on to medical school, which has nothing to with photography. However, photography does provide a creative life to my otherwise science filled life. I discovered my love for photography in high school with my first point and shoot camera. That love led me to take classes at NAU to challenge and improve my photography. I love macro photography and being able to show people the tiny details they ignore in every day life. I also enjoy nature photography, and the journeys that accompany it.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 292013
 
Malcolm_Clark

Photograph copyright Clark Malcolm

“Look, Mom!”
Kangaroos, Koalas, $10 beers, plastic money, too much currency in coins, and immaculate beaches are the main things I took from my recent trip ‘Down under’.  My last spring break in college was spent on a whirlwind adventure across the globe that included 48 hours of travel (including a seven hour layover in the San Francisco Airport), seeing and eating kangaroo, a mock United Nations conference, and one beautiful day touring the Great Ocean Road outside of Melbourne, Australia.

This photo was taken on that one amazing day that we spent cruising from one pristine beach to another as we drove along one of the southern most roads in the world, The Great Ocean Road.  One of our last stops was easily the highlight of the tour as we descended upon 500 Steps Beach, which was right next to the ’12 Apostles.’  The 12 Apostles, although there are only 8 left, are massive chunks of Australian land that have been separated from the main island by thousands and thousands of years of the Antarctic Ocean pounding it.  The towers of sandstone all stand at least five stories tall and vary in shape from extremely skinny to ones that look like they could, and would, have a multi million-dollar house built on top of it were it on the California coastline.

The two runners shown in the bottom right of the photo are mother and daughter, Dr. Gretchen Gee and her daughter Petra Gee.  Dr. Gee is our professor who came with us as the faculty advisor to our trip and was definitely the ‘mother’ of the group of 18 to 22 year old NAU students sent to participate in the 22nd annual Harvard World Model United Nations conference.

The beach was literally a gold mine for photographers as the piercingly blue Antarctic Ocean came crashing against the apostles one after another.  On the right side of the picture was a 100-foot cliff that lined the entire beach.  The photo was taken right as we got onto the beach and Dr. Gee and Petra began to run up and down the beach, taking in the salty air, sand beneath their toes, and amazingly beautiful view 360 degrees around us.

I snapped quite a few during this sequence but this was by far my favorite.  The photo has a strong sense of foreground; the runners, middle ground; the apostle to the left of the image, and background; the cliff side to the right of the apostle.  Also, the runners in the bottom right give the viewer a strong sense of just how large the apostles are.

There was a bit of editing done to the picture in light room.  I increased both saturation and vibrance to give the rocks, sky, and ocean a brighter more vivid color.  I tried turning the image to black and white but the colors in the image really made it pop.

There were literally a TON of images I loved from my trip but the bond between mother and daughter shown in this image, along with the natural beauty of the Australian coast really drew me into this image.  I hope you enjoy it and look forward to any feedback you may have!  Thank you!

Capture Info:

Camera- Canon T2i

Lens- EF 75-300 F/4-5.6

Focal Length- 100

Shutter Speed- 1/500

F-Stop- 8

ISO- 100

About the Photographer:
My name is Clark Malcolm and I am a senior at Northern Arizona University studying political science and photography.  I was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano, California where my parents still reside.  I have been interested in photography from a young age as my Dad always had his camera with him.  I began studying photography in high school where I took a film course.  I really enjoyed developing my own film as it had a very authentic feel to it.  Capturing people within my images is definitely my favorite aspect of photography.   When an image is able to capture an individual in a certain moment or emotion it adds another dimension to the image that cannot otherwise exist.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 282013
 
Lechwar_Kristyn

Photograph copyright Kristyn Lechwar

Limitless -  “Fishing boat on the San Francisco bay on March 2013.”
When it came to taking this particular photo, I was inspired by one of the most amazing cities in this country for Spring Break this past March. San Francisco, California is a very lively and electric city with the most amazing views. With it being my first time seeing the ocean, I was drawn to the foreign looks of a boat on the water. I was taken back by the idea and it inspired me to take the shot in a raw form.

When I took this image, I wanted to represent the basic ideas of a ship on the water. For someone like me, seeing the ocean on a regular basis is not likely. A boat on the water is an artistic expression of a lifestyle, an invention, and a surreal visual. I wanted to express a sense of vastness with a limitless feel. Being at sea and sailing may not be for everyone, but feeling unbound and free is something I feel we all look for in some point in our lives. I want this image to represent that free feeling we want.

Now, I am a Canon user. I feel that Canon is simple and basic, which is exactly how technically enhanced I am. I need basic and simple and Canon has been able to provide that for me. For this particular image, I was using a kit lens (55mm). For me, lighting is everything and getting this moving object at the right time and place was a challenge.

When I started taking the photo, I was unsure of what shutter speed and aperture to use. It was a semi cloudy day with the sun peaking in and out of the clouds. It was a constantly changing environment and I was not sure how to go about taking the photograph. I was looking for that perfect moment. My ISO was changing between 100 and 200 depending on the cloud cover. I was at an f/5.6 and was constantly changing my shutter speed. I was originally at 1/100 of a second and would switch to 1/200 of a second to see the difference. I finally got the shot surprisingly at 1/250 of a second with an f 5.6 at ISO 100. It came out exactly how I imagined. After taking this image, I knew from then on it was all about patience. I was struggling to figure out how to take this picture to the best of my ability in a short period of time. I feel that what really helped me was seeing the image in my mind before I captured it in camera. After some technical changes, I was able to achieve that correlation between my vision and reality.

About the Photographer:
I have always been a visual learner. I was a struggling student in school all the way up until my sophomore year of college. My passion has always been in photography and art. I have had the greatest opportunities through Northern Arizona University to explore my creativity. I have learned what my style is as a photographer. I see myself as a macro, food and commercial photographer. For me, black and white photos express the subject and bring out the fine details and patterns that are intentionally placed in a photograph. By biggest influence would have to be my Grandmother due to her love and support.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 282013
 
Bociung_Tiffany_behindtheimage

Photograph copyright Tiffany Bociung-Bodtke

Living in a house with a younger sister who works at a floral shop means that there are always tons of gorgeous vibrant flowers all over my house. Since my sister started working at the floral shop I have always told myself, “Those are pretty! I should take photographs of them.” Well this time I finally did! She brought home a beautiful bouquet with purple, red, and yellow flowers.

I took this picture with my Nikon D3100 with a standard 18mm- 55mm lens attached. I hand held my camera with my Neewer TT560 Speedlight external flash attached. I had the vase full of flowers positioned on my kitchen table with a light source coming from above as well as a window to provide side lighting. While I was looking at the flowers I thought about doing some traditional shots of the full bouquet with the vase and everything in view. I took a few shots of the full bouquet then my attention was taken by one red gerbera daisy surrounded by bright purple flowers. I could not believe the beauty of this single flower and I wanted to capture a photograph that showed the beauty as well as allowed the viewer to feel the same feelings.

For this particular picture I had my camera’s aperture set at f 5.6 so that the background was out of focus but the flower itself was in sharp focus. My lens was zoomed to 48 mm and my ISO was set at 100 because I did not want any noise in my picture. I used trial and error to find the correct shutter speed but the setting I felt was best was 1/250 sec. I took multiple shots with the subject in different locations of the grid but felt the off centered close crop to the right side was the most flattering. I tried multiple different angles of the flower as well but directly above the gerbera daisy straight on was the only way I could get the picture to convey the feelings that I wanted the viewer to experience.

After the picture was captured I did some minor adjustments in Lightroom 4 from Photoshop. I boosted the saturation slightly as well as the exposure and contrast so that the colors of the flowers really pop and give off a warm vibe. In the end, I was very pleased with the final image that was captured.

About the Photographer:
My name is Tiffany Bociung-Bodtke, I was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona. Growing up in such a beautiful location I have always loved taking photographs. Whether landscape pictures, macro shots, or portraiture, I love it all. If I have my Nikon D3100 hanging around my neck, I am happy. My senior year of high school I took a basic photography class. During that year I realized photography would always be a part of my life. I try to make my photographs unique by capturing things from a different point of view in a way that expresses what I am feeling.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 272013
 
French_Sherese

Photograph copyright Sherese French

Over spring break my friend, Kristine and I had the urge to do just a simple portrait session since it was so beautiful outside. I used my Nikon D5100 at an ISO of 100 and 1/200 for shutter speed since it was sunny outside. I took many pictures of her and most of the pictures came out great. This picture in particular, though, was almost like an experiment when editing. I loved the way her body, face, and eyes are all directly facing the camera. I created the split photo just to see how it would turn out. I thought it looked extremely interesting and Kristine thought it was amazing.

After editing I looked at the photo and just thought how much it reminded me of dreams that could never be fully put together. This image is like a shattered memory, different personalities, details being forgotten, and much more. This photo has so many different meanings to me. Because of the dream-like state the photo represented I named it “Stay Awake.” I feel that the title suits the picture perfectly. The filter I used to create the split image was available on photobucket.com. The filter worked for this photo because Kristine is faced toward the camera and is centered. Any of the other photos of her where she is not centered or facing the camera would not have worked. Her eyes really draw the picture together too. It was not just the way her body is positioned and the filter, it was also how intense her eyes are looking at the camera. Having all these factors put into one photo is such an accomplishment for me.

As a photographer your subject is what draws people in. I could just have a really cool filter over a so-so photo and that’s alright but having a subject or model and knowing how to work with that person or object can create an amazing photo. I feel as though I was lucky to have a great model and a unique filter for the photograph. It’s not just who you are as a photographer that takes amazing photos; it’s what you take pictures of and how you do it. I find these words immensely true when shooting inanimate objects or human models.

About the Photographer:
I started out my artistic career in high school by taking three art classes. It was not until my senior year of high school that I took a photography class. I had my first solo photography show because my teacher thought I found my medium. My teacher inspired me to take photography classes in college. In college I found that I really enjoy studio portraits. There’s just something about the human body and face that I find beautiful.

I have been taking pictures for about four years now and I am still finding my niche. I love taking pictures of more macabre things. Most of my photography imitates my older artwork which stems from a darker genre. My inspiration for such artwork and photography comes from an artist named Alex Pardee. His work is so unique and that is how I picture the artwork I produce.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 272013
 
Masters_Grant_Blog

Photograph copyright Grant Masters

Under the Pier
I have found that I get my very best images while on vacation, when my photographic abilities are at their peak.  Traveling brings about so many new opportunities to explore places never seen before that have truly complimented my photographic “eye.”  While living in Arizona continues to provide beautiful opportunities to capture landscapes from vast desert to the snowy San Francisco Peaks, there is something exciting about a change of venue.

One thing that I love about my country, besides freedom, Star Wars, and cheeseburgers, just to name a few, is the amazing scenery from coast to coast.  I can begin a road trip in the deserts of Phoenix and end up climbing sand dunes in California or exploring the fall colors in the rolling hills of Virginia.  I certainly never have, nor will, say, “Well I guess I’ve seen every pretty landscape in America.  I can quit now.”  Regardless of where my journey takes me, the new locations will always provide a fresh perspective and usually some wonderful images.

As my point and shoot photography matured into a serious hobby, I began watching other photographers for inspiration.  I noticed that there were myriads of people with the same shot of the Golden Gate Bridge or the Grand Canyon, often taken 100 feet from the tourist parking lot.  While these can very often end up being stunning images, I was most impressed with the photographers that found a way to make these striking locations totally unique.  While photographing on a road trip along the California coast, I attempted to make this method a reality.  Everyone and their mother’s brother have taken a picture of a pier on a beach at sunset so how would my photograph be any different?  While walking the crowd-less Newport Beach in the wee hours of the morning, I had a notion to deviate from the beaten path and see if anything looked cool from beneath the pier.  Much to my luck, this particular pier had a wonderful abstract quality that completely took me in.  “Under the Pier,” as shown below, is the result.  The image certainly wasn’t the most difficult to capture but it reminds me to find a different way to look at things.

I shot this photograph using my Nikon D3000, zoomed out at an 18mm.  The dim early light under the pier caused me to shoot at an aperture of f/5 and a shutter speed of 1/100 sec.

About the Photographer:
My name is Grant Masters and I am a mechanical engineering student at Northern Arizona University.  A love for photography developed quickly which inspired me to also complete a photography minor.  While often seeming out of place to my comrades in thermal/fluids analysis, I am very appreciative of my passion.  My love lies with fine art photography, including local wildlife, landscapes, and what pops of abstract color I may find.  I also greatly enjoy creating portraits of others.  My goal is to create images that my friends, family, and strangers can simply enjoy.  For more examples of my work please see www.grantmastersphotography.weebly.com

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 262013
 
Burkett_Alyssa

Photograph copyright Alyssa Burkett

We Were There
My favorite part of being a photographer is the people I get to know and when I am given the ability to portray them within a single frame. Throughout my college career I have learned what I’m good at and have tried to improve in that area. Event photography and band photography is what I plan on pursuing. The photo that I chose to display here is an example of a photo-shoot I had with a band recently. They go by “We Were There” and describe themselves as ‘PeopleCore’ with many punk rock influences. They’re overall a happy group of young guys and try to let people know it right off the bat. Through this photo I tried to capture their lightheartedness and togetherness. I added contrast to the photo because of their grungy and colorful outlook as a musical group.

When I was taking the photo I had a few problems with the lighting because it was mid day and I had very little to work with. By trying to get them all into the shadows of this abandoned building the lighting situation improved. In order to capture the image with my Canon Rebel T2i, I used my 18 mm kit lens with a shutter speed of 1/800 of a sec and an f-stop of 4.5. I was using a UV protection filter and a darkening filter. I didn’t use any special post processing techniques other than playing with the contrast and lighting.

I am studying Photojournalism and Documentary Studies at NAU. I hope to capture thought provoking images of actions and events. I also have a passion for live music which plays into my photography as well. As a photographer I have done everything from Wedding Photos to Portraits and Concerts. I have been part of the Campus Paper as the A&E Photo Editor and I have documented events for the Campus Radio Station.

My favorite subjects to capture are usually musicians when they are not always playing music. Creative people tend to have a spark that’s easy to capture on camera and are a lot of fun to be around. I try not to use too much equipment when I’m taking candid or event photos because it takes away from the moment. I have started to enjoy using a flash though.

I would say my work is different from others because of the style. It’s not always clean and occasionally this makes people dislike a photo but I see it as being truthful. One of my goals as a photographer is to only ever display the truth in an image. My inspirations are limitless. Family, friends, famous photographers. There are countless people that play a role in what I do but I think my biggest inspiration is the music that I listen to.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.

Apr 262013
 
Dean_James

Photograph copyright James Dean

Of all the images that I have taken so far as a photographer “The Lights Above” is one of my most loved ones. What I mean is that this image is one of the few that almost everyone I know absolutely loves. Many people seem to love star trail photography, it’s always intrigued me as well. It’s something about creating a beautiful image out of tiny specks in the sky that don’t appear to be moving at all that really draws me to star trail photography. While this image is my first foray into star trails I will certainly be doing more because of my experience taking this image.

I captured the “The Lights Above” in Flagstaff Arizona in October 2012 out in the middle of nowhere far away from the lights of the city that muddle up many star trail images. I am an active National Geographic reader and I got the inspiration to create star trail images from an issue of the magazine. In an issue from 2011 there was an article talking about star trail images and how to go about creating them. Since then I have been fascinated with star trails but I never had a real chance to create such an image. Previously, I lived in Tucson, Arizona and I never had a chance to create a good star trail image because of the light pollution that fills the sky above Tucson. But upon moving to Flagstaff my curiosity and fascination with star trail photography came back. Flagstaff has a clear, beautiful sky with almost no light pollution due to the small size of the city and the special lights that allows Lowell Observatory (located near Flagstaff) to conduct research unhindered by light.

When capturing “The Lights Above” I didn’t really have a clear message in mind, I tend to not do that when I am capturing an image for my own enjoyment. I do have a message in mind when I have an assignment but normally without an assignment or a purpose I tend to not think about a message behind an image, I go out and capture it. I went far out of Flagstaff to capture this image, I drove out to a clearing just south of the base of Humphrey’s peak and set up my gear and started to capture images. I had my camera attached to a large tripod angled just above the horizon through a patch of trees that were in front of the area where I set up. I used a remote trigger to set the camera off to eliminate camera shake that might occur when I set off the shutter normally. The camera that I used is a Canon Rebel XS DSLR with a 15-55mm lens with the focal length at 21mm. My exposure time was a very long 10 minutes and 40 seconds, I set it for this long because the stars in the sky that night were not very bright and I wanted the spiraling star effect to be more pronounced on the final image. Beyond the exposure time I shot this image with an f-stop of 8 and an ISO of 200, I used a large aperture because I didn’t want the image to seem compressed and I wanted the trees in the foreground to be more silhouette like and not a main focus of the image. After about 80 shots and the frustration of dealing with a dying remote trigger I finally got this one shot that I absolutely love. After my first successful foray into star trail photography I can say that it isn’t easy at all, it takes a great deal of patience and hope that something doesn’t fly into your frame and mess up the circle that the stars are slowly making.

Technical Info:  Canon Rebel XS, 15-55mm at 21mm, ISO 200, f/8 @ 10 minutes 40 seconds, triggered by remote trigger, basic post-processing.

About the Photographer:
My name is James Dean, I am a photography major at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona and I have been fascinated with photography ever since I was a young child. Throughout high school I studied photography and in my senior year I placed 4th in the Arizona Skills USA photography competition. I prefer to photograph mainly nature because I can control the subject better and my work differs from others is by my use of light and how I manipulate it in my images. My goal as an artist is to one-day work for National Geographic as a field photographer.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.