May 212016
 

Photo copyright Laura Jones

Flagstaff, Arizona is a hub for tourism, with people passing through my town on their way to Sedona or the Grand Canyon. Many stop for food, shopping, or to hang out in our quaint downtown square. Lovely as it is, San Francisco, a main street in the downtown area, is often forgotten about “south of the tracks.” There are up and coming businesses taking over the streets of south San Francisco, reviving the life on the “other” side of the tracks. My friend Sebastian works at a hair salon almost as far south on San Francisco as you can get. Not only does Sebastian have great energy and charisma, but he could be my model to show off a bit of Flagstaff many just pass by. A loud and intense drumming came from a Brazilian drumming class next door to the studio Sebastian worked. As people drove by, they would slow down to listen and watch as my tripod, umbrella, and camera added another interesting layer to the loud music everyone could hear.

I wanted to capture a portrait that was reminiscent of “street photography,” as if I grabbed a passerby and asked to take their photo. I shot at twilight, about 30 minutes after sunset, and the cool, blue light was a beautiful background for my subject. We shot next to an intersection and as cars drove by their lights reflected off the “one way,” sign hanging in the top left corner of my shot.

The cool tones of twilight looked too blue on Sebastian’s skin, so I opted for a gold umbrella to bring some of those warm tones back into the image. I made the image on my Nikon D90, which I’ve had for approximately 5 years, and my Nikkor 60mm lens, which is a newer addition to my kit. The aperture was set at f/2.8, which allowed me to capture Sebastian’s face clearly and have the background drop with blur. Every now and then, I showed Sebastian a couple images and gauged his reaction on the style I’d take. If he said something self-deprecating, I’d take different angles until the image reflected something we both liked. I’d positioned myself a bit lower than eye level with Sebastian; my lens looked up at him and his gaze was slightly down. He looked strong and confident and there was this wonderful iridescent color reflected off the “one way” sign and I knew this was my shot.

About the Photographer:

Laura is an Illinois native who moved to the arid southwest in 2011. Her photography began in a stuffy dark room in her hometown of Metamora, Illinois while she was in high school. When she progressed into digital photography, she was able to photograph more often than with film. She loves landscape photography, but aspires to capture more portrait photography that incorporates the beautiful Arizona outdoors. Laura has a degree in Fine Arts and started attending NAU to study Photography, giving her an artistic edge over other photographers. After graduating, Laura wants to open her own photography studio in Flagstaff.

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

May 192016
 

“Broken Connections” || Photo copyright Dakota Wolfe

“Broken Connections”

Isn’t it funny how many people feel alone when there are so many other people in this world? Most of society can feel alone in their personal situations, but the truth is that there are so many others who feel the same way.  Interactions have become almost scripted because people have this dire need to feel secure. Not very often does a person say how they truly feel because of what someone may think. For me personally, when someone asks me “how are you”, I usually have an automated response that in no way reflects how I am actually doing. I believe society has created this wall between people, where it would not be socially acceptable to fully poor out how you’re actually doing to another person. It’s ironic that everyone wants to create this façade, because most of the time others are feeling the same way. I chose to do a portrait because it reelected my favorite style.

Emotion inspired me to capture this image. It reveals a hidden feeling that I think most try to bury. It is rare to see someone in a social environment look this way. In my case, I smile all of the time even when I am stressed out or sad, or really any kind of negative emotion because I want people to think I am okay. I am trying to communicate the truth behind what some people try to hide. I purposefully wanted this darker feeling, therefore I adjusted the lighting to reflect the emotional seriousness. Overall, I wanted the audience to get a sense of truth. I wanted the audience to connect to this photo personally. I wanted to evoke people to think, “I am feeling this same way.”

For this image I used a 16-35mm lens in a photo studio. I shoot with a Cannon Rebel T5i because I feel most comfortable using this brand of camera. My focal length was 24 mm, and my exposure of 1/60sec at f/5.6. My ISO was 1600 because of the soft lighting I used. For the lighting effect, I posed the subject about five feet away from the wall behind him. I used a soft box in order to get a cool and soft light that highlighted the face. Originally, I thought about using an off camera flash, but it was too harsh.

About the Photographer:

Hi, my name is Dakota Wolfe. I am a senior at Northern Arizona University and I am studying Strategic Communications with an Emphasis in Public Relations. I am also minoring in Photography. I have been very interested in photography and cameras for about six years and have only recently began taking it seriously. Photography is an escape from my daily routine and stresses. I began taking pictures for fun and wanted to get better so I added the minor in order to get better and more experienced. I like taking portraits and stylizing them to get a unique photograph.

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

May 112016
 

“Lauren” || Photo copyright Carissa Schattke

“Lauren”

Over the course of this semester there has been endless photo assignments that I am supposed to complete, and with that comes the rushed photos done right before the deadline because with being a student with a job and five other classes definitely gets hard. Although at the same time there are the photographs that you have been thinking about for a while and you know just exactly how you want to go about them and execute them well. With this photograph, I really wanted to do something simple, but at the same time create a photograph that speaks. What really pushed me to create this image was my desire to photograph a subject in natural light.

When it came time to actually doing the shoot, it was quite the feat. The room I chose to work in had shutters on the window, which in a way really helped control the light; this made things a lot easier because the lighting was all round even. The tough part was making sure that if I opened the shutters a little too much, it ended up placing sun lines all over her face, which were not ideal in this situation. On top of that, the walls were not in the sun so I ended up having to hang the sheet in front of the windows with poles.

On the odd chance that I choose portraiture; I like to make my subject feel as comfortable as possible, whether that is playing music or watching funny videos.  With this case, I chose to show Lauren a video of me being caked in the face for my 19th birthday and then a video of her being caked in the face with our friend Haley for their birthdays last year. Needless to say, the videos worked because she started laughing and smiling, all while remembering the good times that we had when we lived not even ten steps away from each other.

For this photograph, I used my Canon Rebel T5i and a Canon18-55mm lens set to f/6.3, an ISO of 200 and a shutter speed set to 1/25 of a second shot at 32mm focal length. Once I went into to post processing there was very little I did to the photograph. I changed the white balance to daylight and upped the exposure a little and lowered the contrast and upped the shadows and highlights just a smidge. After I edited the whole photo, I went in with a brush and I darkened and smoothed the background some just to have her stand out from the background.

About the Photographer:

My name is Carissa Schattke and I am a second year student at Northern Arizona University currently studying Strategic Communications with a Public Relations emphasis and also Photography. I have grown up around photography and come to appreciate it at a young age, especially with my grandfather being a professional photographer. He was the one who inspired me to become a photographer in the first place. I was the photo editor for my high school’s yearbook, which has offered me valuable insight. I prefer to shoot landscapes and nature more often than not, so shooting portraits is definitely new to 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/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-projectPlease take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Carissa would love to hear from you!

May 162015
 

“Amanda: the Knowledge” photo copyright Don Olson

“Amanda: the Knowledge”
Although I photograph a variety of subjects, the human face fascinates me most. I usually shoot black and white for portraiture, and to reveal that certain inner essence that represents how I see the individual requires the model’s trust. We must reach a point in our session where we are just two people in conversation and the camera recedes from attention.

If you ask someone to look determined, or fierce, or elated, it will not work, in my experience. The photographer must elicit actual determination, ferocity, or elation. An actor who can completely and convincingly portray true emotion on cue scarcely exists outside of stage and screen, and in our media-saturated world, I think people find it difficult to react in a pure and genuine manner with a camera around—frequently we mimic what we have seen as the “correct” response that fits the zeitgeist and meets the perceived approval of our peers, or the photographer. I don’t want to capture a pose, but rather a personality.

Amanda Belles’ team recently won a competition at the “Hack Arizona” convention for a robot they built in just 36 hours. The robot teaches itself how to walk in varied terrain. Amanda wrote the software—the robot’s brain, in effect— with techniques from genetic programming, one aspect of her astounding intelligence revealed. And yet she is the most approachable, down-to-earth individual imaginable, quick to joke and laugh, and as agreeable a model as one could want for a portrait session.

ut the problem is exactly this. Amanda’s bright, wide smile, and her openness actually mask the fiercely curious, competitive, and incisive intelligence that compels this image. I had only ten minutes to get this particular shot, so I tried to make her laugh to reduce any nervousness—who can relax when a giant black camera with a massive piece of glass is thrust into one’s face? We changed locations for softer light, and I sensed that like a lot of people do when forced to pose for the camera, she began to lose interest. So I asked her something rather dumb.

It worked. She took just a moment to form her answer—too polite to call me an idiot—and I got the shot I wanted. In it, you see what sharp focus she possesses, and the hint of her smile reveals her amusement at someone—me—not quite so bright as she is. The intensity of her eyes mirrors her absolute clarity and confidence. Amanda shows this expression rarely, almost as if she wants to conceal her genius or that it embarrasses her, but irrepressibly, it breaks through.

Of course, people I photograph do not always love my pictures of them, which I understand. I don’t airbrush freckles, cowlicks, and the like out of a photo. I do not make idealized images of the physical form of the person, but instead seek what lies at the core. I find this far more beautiful than highly stylized, tone-perfect glorification that cannot exist without an army of stylists, art directors, and post-processors. I greatly admire such photography, but I search for something else. Some call it the “Leica look,” and photographers I revere, like Sebastião Salgado and Steve McCurry, heavily influence how I try to see.

In this session we used a Canon 5D Mk III and a 50mm 1.2L lens set to f/5.6. Typically portraits call for moderate telephoto lenses in the 70mm to 135mm range, but I use this particular 50mm for close portraits because I can remain at normal conversational distance as I shoot and it gathers enough light to control the depth of field to a ridiculous sliver, if necessary.

About the Photographer:
In the early 1970s I learned film photography, how to process and print in the darkroom. After a long hiatus from photography, I decided to tackle the new digital technology, but that ancient film experience comes in very handy. I still love street and portrait photography in black and white, but thoroughly enjoy the variety that digital allows without breaking the bank. I now take classes at Northern Arizona University as an irregular postgraduate to fill in the great gaps in my knowledge and to expand my artistic horizons.

After all, in the end only the image matters.

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

May 152015
 

Photo copyright Sydney Roberts

This inspiration behind this image comes from trying to create a unique portrait. I dislike portraits that are the average ‘graduation photo’ or ‘senior portrait.’ I like the idea of capturing pure emotion and not just a cheesy smile. In order to get a portrait that portrays a genuine emotion or feeling I like to take a bunch of photos. For this photo I posed the model and started taking photos that turned out to be the average image you would expect. After a while she got more comfortable in front of the camera and I was able to capture a relaxed and genuine expression. In this instance the model is someone that I know well so it did not take long for her to be comfortable. However, when I wake photos of people that are less comfortable in front of the camera I find it is best to be myself and not act super professional in order to capture images that do not feel fake.

As for the technical aspects of this image I used a canon rebel t3i body and the 18-55mm kit lens. I also used a canon speedlite flash and a reflector. I used the reflector to bounce light off of the sun from underneath her face to remove harsh shadows. I used the flash on camera to fill in her face. The focal length in this image was at 55mm. The shutter speed is set at 1/200 with an f-stop of 5.6. The ISO is set at 100 so that I could capture a lot of details. Post-production is done in  Adobe Lightroom. I have desaturated most of the colors to give the eyes more vibrance.

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

May 112015
 

Photo copyright Thomas Miner

I was inspired to create this image from seeing this type of photo done before online. However, I wanted to try it with my own creative style and see what sort of image I could create. I wanted to show the natural beauty of my model, as she doesn’t always think she is pretty but she really is. One thing I had difficulty with was trying to find a good location and model. When planning this shot the most important thing was to have a model that is experienced and extremely comfortable with the photographer. I chose to go with a close friend of mine who has modeled for me in the past as my subject. The main reason why I picked her was because of her blue eyes, I think they are really piercing and defiantly provide a good example for the saying that the eyes are the windows of the soul.

To light this I wanted it to look like natural light so I used a flash and a white reflector underneath her face to give a very subtle fill light. The flash was on the lowest power as to not blow out the highlights in the face.  My setting were Shutter Speed 1/200 aperture f7.0 and ISO 800. I had difficulty getting the eyes tack sharp as the eyes are the main focus of this image. I used a Cannon 5DMkIII with the 70-200 2.8 lens at 125mm length. I chose this lens because of the beautiful bokeh that it produces as well as the compression that it creates in the background. I would have preferred to have used a 85 f1.4 however at the time I only had access to the 70-200. I am normally a Nikon D610 shooter so shooting with a Canon was a little odd. A problem I did have was when I went from inside to outside the UV filter on the lens was not tightened all the way to some air got inside and formed a nice hazy circle in the very center of the lens. This proved to be a huge headache as I had no idea what was going on until I looked closely at the lens. The hat on the model is what really draws the viewer’s eyes to the models eyes. I think that it defiantly complements the face and almost frames it.

About the Photographer:
My name is Thomas Miner, I am a freelance photojournalist who covers everything from weddings to landscapes. I been a photography for five years now and started my photographic journey my Junior year of high school. I have photographed the 2015 USA hockey national championships in Salt Lake City. I prefer to photograph people because I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. I feel that everyone has a story to tell, but they sometimes may not come off as someone who does but they really do. As a photojournalist it is my job to take everyday events and make them seem like something extraordinary. I really love color in my images, especially my landscapes. Showing the true color of the subject is very important in conveying the correct message.

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

May 102015
 

Photo copyright Jordan Thompson

Portraits to me, should capture the true essence of the person that is photographed. With portraits, I am not a big fan of photographs that look extremely posed and unnatural. This image of my friend Andy does just that. She is someone with a beautiful smile that sometimes is a bit camera shy and I truly wanted to grasp that smile in a natural, gracefully type of way. My friend and I went to Lake Mary during sunset to achieve the look I aimed for with this photoshoot. We decided to go at a time we were both available but would also give beautiful light, and since it happened to be cloudy on this day, I thought it was the perfect time. However, when we arrive at Lake Mary, there is not a cloud in sight and harsh sunlight lit the whole area. I have to adjust to the situation at hand, I ask my friend to try a variety of different poses and postures until I find one I really liked. Andy sat on a rock in the field and the backlight from the sun creates the most beautiful rim light around her as well as the illumination of the grass field behind her in such a gorgeous way. Her friend came along the shoot as well and told jokes and sang songs to help me achieve that natural smile you see in the finished photograph. To get this backlit photograph, I had my Canon 60D with a 50mm fixed lens at F1.8 to get that nice shallow depth of field, I was at 1/400 because it was getting dark outside, this is also the reason I chose to shoot at ISO 320. For post-processing, I use Lightroom to edit and make small changes to the picture. I added a radial filter to brighten up her face, this allowed me to maintain the background because of how beautiful and whimsical as it is. I continued to edit the image further with slight increases to the overall contrast, exposure, and clarity. I choose not to add filters to the photograph because the way it was lit was just too beautiful to adjust. In black and white, the image looked a little flat and unlively. In a cool tone, the image did not read as beautifully as it does currently. The warm tones really added to the photograph and gave Andy the nice radiant effect a lot of people look for.

About the Photographer:
My name is Jordan Thompson and I am currently a student at Northern Arizona University. I am majoring in photography and minoring in sociology. My main passion within the photography realm is portraits. I don’t have a specific area of interest within portraits because I love to photograph sports, senior portraits, weddings, engagements, newborns, and everything and anything in between. Capturing the true essence of a person is what I am so incredibly drawn to and what I make my mission as a photographer, whether they are running down the field with determination in their eyes or a couple gazing at each other with complete and genuine love.

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

May 042015
 

“A New Day” photo copyright Samantha Martinez

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

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

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

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

Apr 292015
 

“Bright Eyes” photo copyright Cloie Bright

“Bright Eyes”
This world is filled with beautiful and eclectic people.  It is an honor as a photographer to try to capture that beauty in a single frame.  One such honor came to me as a good friend of mine is graduating and when is not a better time to capture such moments as graduating college?  She is naturally a gorgeous woman and therefore getting a ‘pretty’ shot wasn’t going to prove to be that difficult.  However, sometimes life does not end up as perfect as you expect and in this case it came in the form of a foot boot that she had to wear because of a surgery.  As a photographer you have to be able to bend to those particular whims if you have any chances of succeeding at achieving the goal you set out to do.  In this case to capture the exuberant expression of a woman who has succeeded at overcoming five grueling years of schooling to become a professional.

How was I going to do this?  My client wanted to do outdoor photography.  Flagstaff is a beautiful place and she wanted to show that in her graduation photos.  My job was to make sure to get shots that both herself and her family would love.  So, I did my research.  How I learn the best is learning from the example of other individuals.  Sites that give great examples of photography that I use are Pinterest and Behance.  Some things that I found worthy of taking note of, especially in regards to a young woman being the model, was to have her shoulders tilted, use multiple different points of view, make sure that the focal point a was her eyes, and to try to keep her as comfortable as possible.  Doing this research helped to better prepare me for the shoot upping my own confidence, which hopefully helped her to be more relaxed in front of the camera.

To best execute this photo I decided to take her out during the golden hour to a park with flat land and great landscape shots.  For this shoot I used my Nikon D750 partnered with a 24-120mm lens.  The overall goal of the shoot was to keep her comfortable and having fun because those positive feelings would hopefully then show through the image.  However, because of her wearing the boot, that handicap started to overall cross over to her feeling unattractive.  I fixed this as best I could by encouraging her through words and putting her in positions that were natural and flowed well with her clothing and her personality.  I also made sure to show her if there was a great shot of her that right away was a ‘winner’ to boost her confidence and make the overall experience positive.

The end results to the shoot were fantastic.  This image was one of the strongest because it justly shows her happiness about graduating and focuses on her eyes, captivating the viewer.  The settings for this particular shot was: 1/620 sec, f/4, ISO 200.  In post processing the first thing that I did was find the perfect crop with the dimension of 5 x 7 inches to best fit the purpose of the photograph.  After which I focused on the exposure and sharpness/clarity of the photograph.  Then I moved into her face and softened her skin and dodged (the iris and whites) and burned (the pupil and edge of the iris) her eyes to make them sparkle just a little more.  With this image I both satisfied myself and my client with a great shot that would look great in her announcements!

About the Photographer:
My name is Cloie Bright and I am studying Photography.  In photography I have taken Senior Portraits, been the photographer at an animal shelter’s fundraisers, taken family portraits, and photographed a wedding.  However, I have a passion for landscape portrait photography.  I have not mastered the kind of style that I want, but am slowly developing it with each photograph that I take.  Eventually I would love to be a photographer for a park and recreation agency.  Being able to record the time that people have exploring the great outdoors tugs at my roots and heartstrings.

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

May 102014
 
Townsend_Carlye_Blog

Photo copyright Carlye Townsend

The subject of this image actually inspired me to create this photograph. She was in a horrific accident and was left with significant facial damage. I wanted to take photos of her magnificent recovery and healing process.  After two extreme plastic surgeries, there is only a scar on her forehead and under her left eye.  She is also graduating from the College of Natural Sciences in the beginning of May, so why not hit two birds with one stone and take her graduation photos as well.  After witnessing her accident, something inside me changed. I realized that anything could happen at any moment, so I started taking notice of the smaller things in life and living in the moment. And with her quick recovery, she inspired me to capture the moments as best as I could.

My subject and I took this image in downtown Flagstaff, AZ while roaming around to find a contrasting backdrop to take her senior portraits.  She found this beautiful brick wall that is on the side of a building and I took the image between the steps of a staircase that lead up to the entrance of the business.

I took this image with my Nikon D3000 with a focal length of 55mm.  I took this photo with an ISO of 100, aperture of f/7.1 and shutter speed of 1/125. I edited this image in Lightroom with only a couple slight adjustments.  I softened the skin around her left eye and forehead to make her scars more defined.  I increased the contrast of the image to give it a more rustic look along with sharpening it, so the details in the brick wall were more noticeable. I also love using the tone curve so I used that to brighten up the dark spots on the image along with darken the light spots.

About the Photographer:
I am Carlye Townsend. I am a sophomore at Northern Arizona University.  I believe that capturing life’s moments as they pass us by, evoke a sense of bliss that can be enjoyed over and over again. Through my photography, I strive to open a new world of photography that brings positive life back into fine art photographs.  My goal is to capture moments that no one thought they could relive; I want to show people the value of living.

I prefer portrait photography over anything but I do sometimes like to switch it up a little bit and take either nature or architecture photography. I love using Lightroom because not every image is going to be perfect when you take it.  Mine definitely aren’t. Lightroom and even Photoshop help me correct the little quirks and allow me to add my own twists to the image.

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/.