Sep 032015
 
What Lies Within Counts

“What Lies Within Counts” || Abstract, close-up view of a dandelion seed head from City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho (Prints available – click on photo to order yours!)

Sometimes while photographing, we arrive at a grand scene offering so much beauty that causes us to – rightfully so – feel quickly overwhelmed.  To overcome this unsettling sensation, I tap into mindfulness techniques as a way to become more aware and connected with our surroundings (as some of you have experienced while participating in my photo workshops).

When I intentionally slow myself down to express curiosity and gratitude for my surroundings, the process oftentimes leads to a “flash of perception” experience, or in other words, a moment where I say, “WOW, look at THAT!”  When I catch myself saying this (especially if I say it aloud while alone!), I know instantly it is my cue to break out the camera gear and start creating a photograph.

Without further exploration and definition, though, the “THAT” is difficult to bottle up and stuff into a rectangular frame successfully.  To help provide additional guidance to my compositions, I will frequently title my image before I snap the shutter.  If I have trouble condensing my thoughts into a short title, I will simply talk through what I am seeing, focusing on the shapes, colors, lines, forms, etc. grabbing my attention.  As I outline my thoughts, I pay close attention to the words and concepts I can express photographically.

In May 2015, at the Moab Photography Symposium, a frequent attendee and fine photographer introduced me (and eventually the entire audience) to his favorite way to connect what he sees with what he feels – a haiku – a technique he learned from famous photographer Eddie Soloway.  Using the traditional haiku form of three lines (the first and last lines requiring five syllables and the second, seven), a photographer describes what you see in the first two lines and then how you feel about it in the final line.

Having a great interest in poetry myself and having created haikus before in a different context, I immediately gravitated towards this new idea so relevant to photographers trying to understand their surroundings and ultimately, express their thoughts in pixels.  I’ve not only incorporated this process more regularly into my own photographic pursuits, but I now also offer it to my students during my photography workshops as another option for expressing what we observe.  In fact, I put the practice to recent use on my photographic outing last week.

While hiking one afternoon among the gigantic granite spires in City of Rocks National Reserve in southern Idaho, I came upon a meadow full of summer blooms – rabbit brush, yellow salsify, asters, and more – interspersed among the junipers and sage brush.  I spent a few minutes simply admiring summer’s abundance – and my fortunate opportunity to see it.  After observing for awhile, I noticed a small dandelion seed head off on its own in a small clearing in the middle of the busyness. I walked over to inspect more closely.

Joy in the Little Things

“Joy in the Little Things” || Abstract macro view of a yellow salisfy seed from the Henry Mountains in southern Utah (Prints available – click on photo to order yours!)

Having recently photographed a similar, but much larger subject – the yellow salsify seed head – in the Henry Mountains this past July (see photo “Joy in the Little Things”  on the right) and again along the very trail I was hiking before reaching this meadow, I knew I wanted to get my lens as close as possible to study the intricate details of this smaller, but equally exciting, specimen.  To do so, I grabbed my 100mm macro lens and two 12mm extension tubes.

As I set up around the fluff ball, I started to think about how I would title my frame by considering why I picked out this exact subject.  Certainly, the intriguing shapes and structure contrasting the softness interested me.  But, there was more to it than just the visual appeal…

I came up with “What Lies Within Counts” to reference not only the dandelion within the larger context of its existence in the field and it’s relevance to life in general, but also the heart-like shape I saw (which is the shape of the out-of-focus bracts of the dandelion) that offset the bright white radiating shapes.

Immediately thereafter, in almost in a whimsical song, a haiku started to develop in my head, with the title of my photograph becoming the last line of the haiku:

Look Closely (A Haiku)
A busy field sways,
Veils one dandelion’s grace –
What lies within counts.

With the title and haiku as my guides, I tested a number of different compositions to fulfill these notions.  I eventually settled on placing the dandelion bracts as off-centered as possible to create a sense of asymmetrical balance while keeping the flower itself centered in the frame to allow for a natural vignette to occur (which is simply the edge of the flower appearing against the ground, blurred by a wide f/2.8 aperture setting).  Because of a substantial, but irregular breeze, I bumped my ISO to 800, which yielded a fast enough shutter speed (1/500th of a second) to help freeze the dandelion as it swayed in the meadow.

In addition to waiting for the breeze to calm momentarily, I also waited for a cloud to pass in front of the sun to turn the harsh, contrasty mid-day light into more pleasing, softer diffused light.

As I packed up, I still noodled on the title and tagline of the haiku as it related to photography.  In order to make our personally meaningful nature photographs, I certainly believe “what lies inside [the photographer] counts.”  By paying attention to our individual backgrounds, experience, knowledge, and interests – all the things that drive you to you say “WOW, look at THAT!” – leads to more consistent success and satisfaction in the image making process.

Just remember to look closely not just at your subjects, but at yourself as you do so…

May 022014
 
Thompson_John_Blog

Photo copyright John Thompson

Macro Photography is always fascinating to me. We tend to find ourselves moving so fast through life that we do not stop and appreciate the beautiful details that are around us. Macro photography helps me stop and see the world’s small but stunning details. I purchased my first Macro lenses at the end of last semester. At the time, I was not entirely sure of what types of macro pictures I wanted to shoot. I just knew that I wanted to shoot macro pictures. Well, to my surprise it is not as easy to shoot macro as I thought it was going to be. I probably spent more time trying to get a good macro shot then I have on any other picture style that I have taken so far.

My first problem I ran into with this shot was figuring out what to take the picture of. I decided that bugs are not my thing. It is just starting to hit spring here in Flagstaff and so most of the plants around are just starting to get some green back in them. Then I remembered that my Dad had given me a geode about 8 years ago and it had just been sitting on my dresser gathering dust. Whoo Hoo! We have a subject. So, I set up my tripod, got my camera set up and started taking pictures of this rock. Well, the first round of pictures did not come out so great. Over exposed, under exposed, just a little too much out of focus, every picture seemed to have something wrong with it. So, I gave it a few days before I came back to it. During that time, I found an App on my phone that would allow me to use a USB cable and connect to my Cannon T4i. I could then use the app to preview a live image on my Hi-definition smart phone screen. I could then remotely trigger my camera to take the shot from the phone and get it immediately shown back on my phone for review. Well taking the pictures went a lot smoother after that. The photo that I ended up with I took while I was outside (trying to get some natural lighting). Because it was in the evening after I had gotten off work I was trying to get the photo taken before I lost my light. To get the photo I wanted, I ended up taking a 15-second exposure at f/32 with an ISO of 100 while using my Tamron 90mm micro lens. I played around with different angles, f-stops, exposure times, and some different lighting effects. Finally, I got an image that I thought was good. I ran into a few more problems because I had used this app I had never used before but it is what you can expect when trying something new.

I enjoy how this picture came out because of how often I have looked at the original geode. Before this picture, it was just a rock with some little crystals in it but when I got in further with my camera, it became a crystal mountain range. Maybe it is my nerdy sense of imagination that draws me to this image but it is an image that I enjoy and find wonderful to look at and I hope you do as well.

About the Photographer:
My Name is John Thompson, I am a 5 year Navy veteran who spent his time in the military as a jet mechanic. I separated in 2005 to pursue a degree in Computer Information Systems. While on my travels in the NAVY, I took many pictures of beautiful places that were just horribly taken. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to take a photography class in college I jumped on it. From that, I found it to be one of the more satisfying things I have done with my life. I do not think I will ever do photography on a professional level but it well always be a satisfying outlet for me.

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/its-back-the-2014-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/.

Nov 052013
 
Another World

“Another World,” Eben’s Head Trail in Acadia National Park, Isle au Haut, Maine (Prints available for purchase – click on photo to order!)

NOTE:  This blog entry will appear in our new book, Photographing Acadia National Park:  The Essential Guide to When, Where, & How as “Behind the Photo #12:  Looking for Answers.”  In addition to this post, I’m featuring 11 additional behind-the-scenes stories from my experiences in the park.  If you’d like to pre-order a copy, head over to our Indiegogo campaign at www.indiegogo.com/projects/photographing-acadia-national-park-book until November 30, 2013.  Thanks for your interest and support!

Looking for Answers

“There’s more than one right answer.” ~DeWitt Jones

Gaelic Storm–a Celtic band which makes toe-tapping, knee-slapping music I enjoy tremendously–produced a song titled, “Don’t Go for the One.”  The lyrics tell of a gentleman going to buy snails to impress his house guests, but gets talked into having a single beer at the bar.  One brew becomes two, three, four, and what was supposed to have been a quick chat turns into an all-night event.  As the title and chorus hilariously suggests, one should not expect to enjoy only one beverage with your friends.

While it may seem like a stretch, this philosophy can apply to photography as well.  Don’t go for the one photograph!

Very rarely am I fortunate enough to get everything to come together perfectly in a first frame.  Even after I have spent ample time observing, analyzing, and visualizing an intriguing subject to define a clear vision, more often than not, I will also explore the scene through recording a series of frames with my camera.

Assuming the lighting conditions are not changing quickly, I contemplate an abundance of “what if” scenarios to determine how I will accomplish recording my visual message before snapping the shutter.  What if I only included this section of the scene?  What if I positioned my camera lower to the ground?  What if I used side light instead of backlight?  What if, what if, what if?  I continue tapping into this iterative evaluative process as I begin photographing, as it helps me refine what my eye is seeing and how to share that through a photograph.

Not only does this process enable me to achieve my creative vision, but it also helps me fully appreciate the subject from a variety of perspectives and find the many right answers a scene possesses, as Dewitt Jones’ quote suggests.  If I have spent the time and money to travel 3,000 miles (4,828 km) from Arizona, hopped on a passenger-only ferry to the remote Isle au Haut, biked six miles along a bumpy, single track dirt road, and then walked a mile uphill with a heavy camera backpack to get to a location, you can be sure I am not going to snap only one photo and head home.  Instead, I want to challenge myself to see how many right answers I can discover.

On the first day of our visit to Isle au Haut, my parents and I ventured to the Eben’s Head Trail well before sunset to allow extra time for wandering and discovering along the unfamiliar trail.  After a short meander through the forest, we emerged on the rocky coast and scrambled to the top of Eben’s Head, where a breathtaking 180-degree panoramic view of the isle’s western shoreline and open waters of Isle au Haut Bay greeted us.  We noticed the receding tide leaving behind small tide pools on the volcanic ledges surrounding the cobble beach directly north of our perch.  Eager for a closer look at the momentary glimpse into the typically hidden ocean world, we hiked the short distance to the seashore.

After only a few seconds of exploring, the fine, hair-like seaweed floating in the tide pools fascinated me.  A few steps ahead on the black boulders, my mom, Jacque, spotted a slightly larger saltwater puddle and called to me, “Hey Colleen, you have to see these bubbles!”

When I gazed into her find, I did not just see tangles of seaweed and floating bubbles.  The scene immediately transported me to outer space, where planets swirled in a distant galaxy.  I knew I had to create an image of precisely that subject!

I walked around the small pool to begin the visualization process, first noticing how the backlight from the late afternoon created a dark backdrop in the deep pool.  Then, I settled on a vertical orientation based on the bubbles’ arrangement.  I knew I needed to keep my lens (positioned to look down upon the scene) parallel to the surface of the water so that the face of the bubbles and the top layer of seaweed remained in focus.  A small aperture on my 100mm macro lens would provide the depth of field necessary for my tight composition.  I needed to remember to twirl my polarizer to get just enough reflected light on the water, but not so much that it overshadowed the primary scene.

With this vision in mind, after diligently setting up my composition and exposure, I snapped the frame and immediately reviewed the image on the back of my camera’s LCD.  Shockingly, on the first try, I managed to record an image that matched my vision–a right answer!

Despite being pleased with my first snap, I continued exploring the scene for 45 more minutes.  After a number of frames, I picked out an odd reddish tint occurring across the image.  It was the reflection of my red jacket!  I experimented keeping the extra color in the frame by hovering over the scene.  I also eliminated it by stepping a short distance away from the scene and triggering the shutter with a cable release.  Contrasting with the rich greens and blues, the additional color made the scene look even more other-worldly–a second right answer!

I tried turning the camera to the left slightly and then to the right slightly, utilizing a Dutch tilt, to play with the composition as the bubbles appeared, disappeared, and then reappeared, changing the visual balance entirely from image to image – more right answers!

Then, I used extension tubes to allow me to get a closer perspective (see the time image titled, “Floating in Time,” at the bottom of this post).  I felt the broader perspective better conveyed my initial notion of “planets swirling in a distant galaxy,” but I enjoyed the results of this more intimate view–another right answer!

During the process, I felt my photographic message and my confidence strengthening with each additional frame.  Had I gone for “the one” and packed up after my first shot, I would have missed the chance to see all the possibilities this magical scene had in store!

Which of the two images presented here do you prefer?  Why? Remember, there are many right answers so share your thoughts in the Comments below!

Floating in Time

“Floating in Time,” Eben’s Head Trail in Acadia National Park, Isle au Haut, Maine (Prints available for purchase – click on photo to order!)

May 162013
 
Waves of Change

“Waves of Change,” Ecola State Park (Prints available for purchase – click on photo to order!)

Almost eight years ago to the day, Craig and I celebrated the end of our first temporary stay in Oregon by standing on the headland at Indian Beach at Ecola State Park just north of Cannon Beach.

Sunset at Indian Beach

“Sunset at Indian Beach” from 2005 (Prints available for purchase – click on photo to order!)

I remember that evening in 2005 so vividly, I can still feel the memory today:  The gentle ocean breeze.  The smell of the tide change.  The warmth of the setting sun.  Two of the photographs I captured that evening – with my Contax 645 medium format film camera – now rest above our bed in our Arizona home to serve as a daily reminder of one of our favorite places and moments along the Oregon coast.

Months ago, as we prepared for our second temporary stay in Oregon, a rush of thoughts overwhelmed my mind based on our first experience.  Where to go, when to go, what to see, who to see, and how to record such ample and different beauty in Oregon. As they say, “So many places to see, so little time.” The list of places to see and things I want to do became longer than a child’s Christmas list.

Sea Stack Sunset

“Sea Stack Sunset” from 2005 (Prints available for purchase – click on photo to order!)

Despite the seemingly endless new photographic opportunities this transition presented, I decided to start my photographic journey in Oregon in the same place I left off:  on the headland at Indian Beach at Ecola State Park.  It’s a place I’d been countless times before, and yet when I arrived on Tuesday morning, nothing, nothing, looked the same as 2005.

Upon coming to the realization that nothing, nothing, had remained the same, I smiled as big as the little girl who got everything she wished for on December 25.  In that instance, I mouthed the words as the wind whispered, “No man ever steps in same river twice, for it is not the same river and he’s not the same man.”  ~Heraclitus.

(Turns out Heraclitus’ quote applies to oceans and women too!)

I couldn’t have been happier to learn that in eight years, everything, everything, has changed.  Mother Nature altered the landscape such that I can no longer stand in the same place as I did before, thanks to landslides.   Those landslides pushed new rocks into the ocean, and each wave crashed a little differently on those new sea stacks.  It’s not possible for me to re-create the same compositions I did in 2005, even if I wanted to-I didn’t.

On top of significant natural changes and differing light/weather, I’m thankfully not the same person, photographer, artist that stood on that headland before.  I replaced my film camera long ago with two generations of digital cameras.  I now know what to do with a graduated neutral density filter.   I’ve embraced my love affair with the coast, despite living in the desert.  Endless experiences – conversations, readings, successes, failures, travels, and other inspirations – have challenged and changed my perspectives over time so that when I look at a scene I’ve seen before, I’m looking through an entirely different lens.

Ansel Adams summed it best:   “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

Hang On!

“Hang On!” Ecola State Park, Oregon (Prints available for purchase – click on photo to order!)

Whether we know it or not, as time passes, we and the world around us are constantly changing.  But, neither change nor creativity needs to be a passive activity.  If we seek to create new images in the same spots, we must change as a person.  Simply buying a new lens won’t cut it.  Oh sure, new gear can help execute new visions, but we need to start with new ideas and make different associations among the knowledge we already possess to see, and ultimately photograph, something new in places we’ve already been once or a hundred times.

Consciously and subconsciously, we can gain fresh thoughts everywhere and anytime, not just while photographing.  Some ideas how:

  • Reverse engineer photos you like to understand the process they used to achieve a specific result.  How’d they do it?  Then how would you do it differently?
  • Keep asking “what if.”  What if you used a different lens?  What if you climbed the hill for a more aerial perspective?  What if you saw the ocean as the desert, metaphorically speaking?
  • Devour books.  Not just photography books, but anything that tickles your passion and stimulates your brain.
  • Listen to music, watch movies, attend plays.  And then think about how you can incorporate the concepts and ideas you hear, see, and experience into your photography.
  • Talk with and exchange ideas with others.  Not just other photographers, but also those who know nothing about photography, who explore other activities and fields you enjoy, and think differently than you.  Surround yourself with people who know more than you.
  • Screw up.  Often.  Then learn from the experience to develop even more new ideas.
  • Engage with your environment.  An experience you have in one location can help trigger ideas in a different location.  Ride a bike, go for a hike, take a field-based class – whatever gets you closer to your subject.

So last Tuesday, I brought with me to Indian Beach all my experiences from spending 90+ days in Acadia National Park in Maine over the last four years, every critique I’ve conducted during all the photography workshops I teach, the entire process of writing a book about Arizona wildflowers, and more simply, even the songs I heard on the radio as I drove to Ecola State Park, among so many other things.  And as a result, my photographs look nothing, nothing, like they did in 2005.

What other tips do you have to see the same place with fresh eyes?

Spring Emergence

“Spring Emergence,” False lily-of-the-valley at Ecola State Park, Oregon (Prints available for purchase – click on photo to order!)

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 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 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.