Behind the Image: NAU Guest Blogger – Ariana Ruiz » You Can Sleep When You're Dead: Blog by Colleen Miniuk

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May 202016

Photo copyright Ariana Ruiz

As a photographer, I believe that it is important to be versatile in what you shoot. I shoot portraits, nature, and subjects that I can control. It puts my mind at ease when I am controlling every variable. For a long time, I shied away from high-speed photography like sports and other action shots. The first DSLR I ever owned was a Nikon D40, which my dad passed down to me and is now ten years old. Technology ages and it is very difficult to get the perfect high speed shot with an older camera that is not as fast as newer models. When I got my new Nikon D7100 for Christmas, I knew the world was at my fingertips. I shot this photo with my Nikon D7100 and 18-55 mm lens. I had to choose between shooting with my new or old camera; my broken new camera needed a service repair. However, I opted for my new camera for its better quality.

This was my first time shooting rock climbing. I jumped at the opportunity when my friend offered for me to tag along on a trip out to Priest Draw. Priest Draw is known for its unique bouldering routes like the Brain, the Coffin, and the Batcave. It was our first time visiting Priest Draw so we stopped and asked other climbers who were gearing up in the parking lot for directions and advice. A couple told us to go past the Brain and that we would know the Batcave when we saw it. We nearly walked right past it, but luckily we stopped to talk to another climber who was setting up his crash pads. I adjusted my settings to our environment while other climbers gave my friend a few tips about footing and hand placement. It was mid-morning and there was plenty of light so I set the camera to f/8, with a shutter speed of 1/100, and my ISO to 200. I told everyone to act natural as I maneuvered around draping bodies. My friend posed and I love how I captured his personality in one image. The most difficult part about shooting rock climbers is the difficulty in getting pictures where the climber’s face is in the shot and not covered by their hands or arms. I took around 600 pictures over the whole trip. Back home, I sorted through my photos and opened the best ones in Photoshop. In Photoshop, I played with levels, contrast, and applied a black and white filter. Overall, I had a lovely experience and would love to go shoot at Priest Draw again.

About the Photographer:

My name is Ariana Ruiz and I have been shooting Nikon for almost eight years and using Photoshop for almost six. I am an undergraduate student at Northern Arizona University pursuing a BA in English and minors in photography and psychology. I started taking photography seriously in high school, where I won 3rd place in the Arizona State Fair and was featured in a gallery in Phoenix. I use photography to express myself and to capture the world from my perspective.  My photography inspiration comes from Christian Hopkins (if you have never head of him, you should definitely check out him out!)

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Ariana would love to hear from you!

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