May 032013
 
NAU Guest Blogger Project

Introducing the 35 NAU students who will act as Guest Bloggers on this blog starting today through early May: (In alphabetical order)
First row (left to right):First row (left to right): Evan Atwood, Tiffany Bociung-Bodtke, Heather Brick, Alyssa Burkett, Niko Chaffin, James Dean, and Anthony DeAngelo
Second row (l to r): McKenna Edwards, Sherese French, Daniel Garcia, Alex Gaynor, Mark Goodger, Tom Heger, and Shelby Irons
Third row (l to r): Rebecca Kooima, Emily Larsen, Kristyn Lechwar, Jenna Lyter, Clark Malcolm, Grant Masters, and Christine McCully
Fourth row (l to r): Marissa Molloy, Takashi Okunda, Jordan Patton, Jennifer Radke, Amanda Ray, Karen Renner, and Colby Rycus
Fifth row (l to r): Stephanie Sherban, Jessica Silvius, Quinn Tucker, Keenan Turner, Tracy Valgento, Margaret Whittaker, and Kimberly Yip

Whelp, gang, there you have it!  Since April 15, thirty-five students have posted their heartfelt and insightful “Behind the Image” stories and shared their wonderfully creative images with us.  Congratulations and a high-five for a job well done to all the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Intermediate Photography students who participated!  Let’s give them a round of applause as the students take a well-deserved bow!

What I appreciated most was the diversity of work displayed.  Though some of the subjects were similar, the presentations and visual messages differed and often directly reflected the individual photographers’ passions and specific interests.  I also found it refreshing to hear honest stories about how the image finally came together.  Sometimes things worked out perfectly, sometimes they didn’t right away.  The important thing is that they kept trying, and I admired these students’ persistence and commitment to achieve their unique visions as well as their willingness to openly shared their trials and tribulations with us.

At the risk of this blog post turning into one of those endless Emmy Awards speeches, I also want to once again thank NAU Photography Instructor, Amy Horn, for coordinating this assignment – no small task!  Thank you, Amy, for being so easy to work with and for enabling this partnering opportunity.

And thanks to YOU, especially those of you who have not only taken the time to enjoy the images and stories, but also have offered comments and constructive critiques on them.  For those of you who haven’t had the chance to review them (and I personally haven’t with my messy travel schedule, but intend to comment on each and every one), there’s good news!  All thirty-five entries will remain live on our blog, so when you do have time, you’ll still be able to offer your input moving forward.  To find them, simply click on “Guest Blogger” in the Categories box on the right-most column on your screen.  Then, feel free to add your thoughts in the Comments section below anytime that’s convenient for you.

While we’re at it, since this was the first time we’ve offered our platform to Guest Bloggers, I’d also welcome your thoughts on whether or not this is something you’d like to see more of in the future?

To the NAU Photography students specifically, what did you think of your blogging experience here?   Would you do it again?  Would you do anything differently in hindsight now that you’ve completed your assignment?

Let us know what you think by leaving us a comment on this post, as I value your opinions tremendously.  Looking forward to hearing from you.  Thanks again everyone!  It’s a wrap!

May 022013
 
McCully_Christine_

Photograph copyright Christine McCully

This image, taken November 6, 2012, is one of my personal favorites. While I love taking all sorts of pictures in general, this particular one was a milestone for me. It reminds me, and will continue to remind me, of this highly challenging senior year at Northern Arizona University. It also reminds me that even when stressed to the limits, I can go out on an assignment and take something so stunning, and it will bring me back to Earth and ground every aspect of my being.

I hope that any viewers of this particular panorama see in it what I do, or something equally as wonderful, and enjoy every golden detail, every hill and tree, every flare of the sunshine as it begins to set behind the mountains and valleys beyond Flagstaff, Arizona. This view, for those who are interested in catching their own version of it, is taken just before the ascent to Snowbowl. From town, I decided to go North on Humphreys merging through onto Columbus (left turn), and then I continued my journey until I reached Snowbowl road. Here, I made a right turn and maintained my course up the mountain until I found this perfect spot. Parking on the right with this view on the left, I hurried to grab my gear and ran out there with my hiking companion, a boxer mix named Dozie. Luckily for me, while Miss Dozie was off running in the wilderness like grass and wind were going out of style, I managed to capture the last few shots of the day. I captured trees and stumps, boulders and far away wildfires, and of course Dozie, running around with her tongue trailing behind her like Taz, the Tasmanian devil.

Just before the sun began its descent into the sky the golden hour of the day hit and the only way I could capture it just they way I wanted was to make a panorama. Dozie resting at my side, I shot. At ISO 100, using only 50mm of my 300mm lens, and f/4.2 at 1/320 second, this photograph is what came out. Before I had a chance to shoot any other photographs my batteries all died and the golden light of this day was drifting away into darkness. The wind picked up with a cold November chill in the air, so Miss Dozie and I called it a day.

About the Photographer:
My name is Christine McCully and I am a Public Relations major, photo minor, at Northern Arizona University. I have loved photography since childhood but my most important photographical influence or inspiration is my godfather. He travels the world and photographs images that should be in National Geographic, in my opinion. I enjoy shooting a variety of subjects, not one is my favorite. I have shot models and landscapes, children and macro, pets and events, yet all of them thrill me. What makes my work so different is that the shots really encompass the feelings of that moment captured. I think Photography is my passion, it defines me and it grounds me.

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.

May 022013
 
Atwood_Evan

Photograph copyright Evan Atwood

Coming from my own experience with film & media, this image was very cinematic to me. Cinematic in the sense that there is a story behind whom the subject is, the significance of the yellow jacket, and why are they in the middle of a river. The most I hope to get out of people is to know that there is some lost subject in the river. I am absolutely sure that no two people will have the same meaning by it, just as I have my own personal connection to the photo and my past experiences. I wanted to capture the shadows so that the light on the subjects face would really show. I also knew that I wanted to be in the water for this and to have the waterfall in the background. For me, however, having such a cinematic shot is exactly what I wanted and it’s exactly what I got.

I knew I would be able to capture it once I got in the water with my tripod because it was just deep enough that I could leave my camera on my tripod without being worried.  Then I took a couple of test shots, figured out what I wanted, put the drive to timer & used my remote shutter release to capture the images of myself. Since I put the remote on 2 seconds that’s how much time I had to get rid of it. Each time I put the remote in my mouth to conceal it.

I shot this with my Canon 7D, with my 30mm f1.4 lens. So the focal length was 30mm at ISO 100, 1/1600, and f1.4. I had a UV filter on my lens, but it was an overcast day so there wasn’t much use out of it other than protecting my glass. I did use special post-processing: I used the brenizer method to compose my shot of several that I took after I shot my own. This means that I shot the picture with the subject inside of the frame along with the reflection so nothing would be missing and then shot several shots around in order to have a wider shot in the end. By using different layers in Photoshop, this was easily obtainable.  Of course, one must be careful to shoot in manual mode in order to have the same settings for each shot you take. I hope that someone is able to make up their own story about what this photo means.

About the Photographer:
My name is Evan James Atwood & I am a primarily self taught photographer from New Mexico. My inspiration for photography first came through film, cinema, and music. This started when I was about 14 & it has only escaladed from there. I have since been published in a few local magazines, some photography websites, and have reached over 53,000 followers on Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook. Primarily, I am a portrait, fashion, and fine art photographer and prefer photographing people because of the amount emotion that can be captured in the most beautiful moments. I hope that my work can differ from others in technique, subject and emotion. As for the future, I hope to be able to either be a freelance commercial/magazine photographer for a multitude of ideas/subjects with a job within marketing or be able to have a stable job as a photographer.

May 012013
 
SONY DSC

Photograph copyright Jennifer Radke

I chose to create this image because I enjoy being outdoors, seeing nature and water. I did not plan to capture this photograph until I came upon it while walking up the trail at one of the waterfalls in Oregon, and happened to look down to see where the water was flowing below the bridge. The main thing I was trying to say with this scene is that we may know where the waterfall starts, but we never truly know where that water ends up even if we follow it all the way down the stream. While taking this picture I was just walking around and taking as many pictures as I could before my parents said they were ready to walk back down toward the truck to leave. I actually took the UV filter off the camera lens to capture a lot of the pictures I took that day because the sun glare streaming from the rain clouds was creating hot spots throughout the first few pictures, and I did not like or want that aspect within my photographs of the falls.

This trip to the waterfall in Oregon happened because we made a family trip to Bremerton, Washington, for my cousins wedding in April 2012. After the wedding we were driving back to California which means we have to drive through Oregon. Halfway through Oregon my dad sees a sign that says “waterfall 30 miles.” So he proceeds to ask everyone if they want to go to the waterfall and says that it is only thirty minutes away, therefore everyone says “yeah, sounds like a fun adventure.” About two and a half hours later we finally arrive at the falls and exit the truck to stretch and get prepared to walk up the bridges for the waterfall. I am using my mom’s Sony DSC DSLR-A 100 camera, so I ask her if I can take her camera up the fall with us so I can take pictures and she said I could, as long as I took care of it, although she knew I was going to because I had been using it for classes for three semesters by this point. I promised I would take care of it and then we started toward the fall and I keep stopping at random points trying to get different angles and different viewpoints of this magical place. Then after walking what seemed to be forever, making it halfway, we stop because of it being a long walk in the cold, rain, and wind. I happen to glance down, while I was looking anywhere and everywhere, and I see this small stream on the side of the bridge next to the main waterfall stream because it is in its own area between the trees and foliage. I take some pictures standing up and then kneeling down and at one point I was almost sitting down trying to get a right angle while adjusting the settings on the camera to get different lighting and perspectives. I achieve this shot and quickly put the camera back into my sweater and run to my parents to show them to see what they think and wipe a few water drops off the camera. The final image had the settings of ISO 100 and 1/15th of a second at f/5.6, which caused the water to stay flowing in the picture. The post-production steps that I proceeded to do happened in lightroom and it is simply bringing the saturation back to add more contrasting colors within the greens and the stream with the darker rocks below the water.

About the Photographer:
I’m Jennifer Radke. I started photography classes’ junior year of high school and have been intrigued with taking pictures since and would rather be behind the camera than in front of it. I have worked with my uncle to take pictures of fundraising events they plan. I enjoy being outdoors and capturing photographs within nature, because it is a simple place to relax and inspire me by what is around daily. What inspires me is being able to break my routine and have adventurous walks without knowing where they lead, while enjoying the breeze, clearing my mind, and giving me a new look on life.

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.

 

May 012013
 
The Outcast

Photograph copyright Niko Chaffin

I do love the winter in Flagstaff, even though I have to remove the frost, snow, and ice from my car. I’ve always wanted to take a close-up photo of ice, snow or frost. One day, I was getting into my car and I noticed there were larger flakes, so I immediately grabbed my camera from my apartment. Often I’ve been angry about having frost and snow on my car, but this photo has helped me realize I don’t need to get upset, and just appreciate the phenomenon that occurs. The image brings me a touch of calmness. Now,I feel a connection to appreciate rain, snow, frost, ice.

When I got the idea of the photo, I grabbed my Canon T1i with my Canon 50mm Prime lens to shoot, but I thought it would be better to get my macro extension tube. So, I ran back to my apartment and grabbed the tube. I knew Auto Focus would be useless, so I switched into Manual Focus so I could freely focus. I took a lot of photos. Trying to get it balanced. I thought it was quite irritating. After that, I had to search for a prime target. But I had no luck of getting a shot I enjoyed. But then I found this snow flake within its “personal bubble” I thought it would be fantastic to get a shot.I really like how the blur looks as if the strong blur is a tidal wave about to attack the snow flake.

So I finally got an exposure of 1/90th second, F/2, ISO 800. Using the macro tube, I had an amplitude of ideas for a subject. For this shooting, I used an UV filter, and an ND8 filter. My primary focus point was the lonely snowflake even with a slightly blurred flake, it makes me feel that it is starting to melt. After taking multiple shots, I took my favorite and brought them into Lightroom. I decided to add more clarity so it was smoother; I also made a slight color change and a tad shift to the exposure. I shot various photos that gave different formations and details. Even though I had a variety of favorite photos, this one is a personal favorite.

About the Photographer:
My name is Niko Chaffin, I have a creative mind. I tried drawing and sculpting, but, I didn’t feel satisfied in such media. When I got my first digital camera, it was cool. That basically shot off my interest of photography. I could evoke different moods. Photography was my hobby. When I switched to the photography major, I found a possible career path. Since my minor is criminal justice, I am thinking to become a crime scene photographer, and possibly try to come noticeable with various Medias. I’ve taken photos at my high school during prom, dances, or expeditions. I loved doing it. Photography is my passion, I love photographing family vacations, macro or shallow depth, and cityscapes.

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
 
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.