Thursday, September 29, 2011

Study Break for Best Photo of the Week!

I'm still playing catch up on all my work from this week and past weekend, so I'm spending my Thursday night busily working away in the library.

While taking a break, I found this really awesome image taken by Ueslei Marcelino of Reuters in Brazil.

This image accompanies a blog post from one of my favorite blogs, The Political Notebook.

This post basically talks about how the image is of a protest in Brasilia, Brazil.

And the image is all about using light in a cool way. How relevant to my project!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Party on Ivory Tower

This is entirely unrelated to photography, but today I found this link on my friends' Facebook wall.

Its a Huffington Post article about how Ivory Tower, where I live, is one of the top 10 party dorms in the country.

Now I understand why I can't focus on reading in my room. Guess I'll just have to study at Gelman from here on out.

Party on Gdub.

Blinded by the Light!

This week I'm finalizing my first project for my photography class. The concept of the project, as I said last blog post, is to find interesting ways to capture all the different types of light.

These are all examples of light used to enhance the composition of the image.

Here, the jaguar image was shot on a cloudy day, which is an example of diffuse light. However, I'm wondering if this is more an example of hard light because there is a pretty defined shadow.

The next three images are an example of hard light:

Hard light basically means the image is high contrast. There is a definite difference between objects that are highlighted by the sunlight and those at that are in the shadow.

I'm still fine-tuning the project and working on my photos in Photoshop. The project's due on Monday, so I still have some time.

Also, side note.

Yesterday was Panhellenic Bid Day, which means 52 new alpha members for the Alpha Pi chapter of Alpha Delta Pi!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sisterhood in Photos: Panhel Recruitment Weekend

This weekend, for once in my life, I didn't have softball practice. Don't get too excited though-- I didn't have the weekend completely off.

Instead, I've spent my weekend with my sorority, Alpha Delta Pi (ADPi), at our formal recruitment. Today marks the end of the third night out of four total recruitment nights.

Panhellenic recruitment can be a little confusing and crazy. Think matching girls cheering, new eager freshman and little to no sleep for everyone. Its such a whirlwind way to spend a weekend.

Although I've found almost no time to sit and do my pile of reading I have for the week, I did have my camera with my this weekend, and I decided to practice shooting in different type of light.

My latest project is to shoot 100 photos of all different depths, exposures and focuses. Basically, its a project for me to learn how I can use my camera to capture the playful things that light does to object in every day light.

For example:

This shows how different exposures (aka, different amounts of light) can really affect the color shade/darkness of shadows in the image.

This image of a statue of Alphie, our sorority's mascot, shows how different angles of lighting can affect the harshness of shadows on a subject.

This is probably my favorite picture. The backlighting from the laptop keys creates for a really stark contrast. Because the color palette in the image is fairly monotone, it really draws your eyes to the contrast in light, as opposed to the colors of the image themselves.


I have a test in photography tomorrow (gulp) and I haven't studied a whole bunch due to the craziness that is Panhel recruitment. Wish me luck!

P.S. Keep voting for me in the photo contest... you can vote more than once!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Team, unite! Vote for me!

For my study abroad program this summer, there is an alumni photo contest with a cash prize that I'm trying to win. I need to get the most number of votes before October 1st, and I need your help!

There are two links, each has two of my pictures, near the bottom of the page under "Sandra Moynihan, The George Washington University"

Landscapes contest

Local color contest

You click the corresponding number along the side that corresponds with either of my pictures, its pretty self explanatory.

I need some votes! Please vote for me! And tell your friends!

Thank you!

Also, here's a new blog post from my work with Let's Go, a travel blog site.

People who do things better than me

What happened to the weekend? I honestly feel like I missed it, or that it didn't happen or that I just wasn't paying attention. Needless to say, its a Sunday night, I'm feeling sick (yeah fever and sore throat) and I have no new photographs of my own to post since my last post on Tuesday.

So instead, I thought I could talk to you about some photographers I follow who inspire me.

There's this wonderful photography blog called All Day I Dream About Photography that does a weekly post called "Photographer of the Week."

This week, the post is about Jared Ropelato who has an uncanny eye for shooting landscapes like you have never seen before.

What's even more interesting is that a lot of the photographers featured on this "Photographer of the Week" post are normal people with other jobs...who just happen to be amazing photographers on the side.

Take Jared for example. He's a teacher. But he also has an amazing portfolio of landscapes that I can only dream about taking right now.

Its extremely inspirational to see normal people taking extraordinary pictures... it almost gives me a sense of hope that one day, when I'm not confused by light and color and shutter speed, I will be able to take amazing photos like Jared.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friends make the best subjects.

So after my class earlier this week, I thought it would be a good idea to practice what I learned about aperture, shutter speed and depth of field. Luckily, I have some awesome friends who just LOVE it when I'm taking pictures.

These are some shots from what I shot of my friends (Emmy and Johnny) yesterday afternoon when they were eating some Maryland crabs.

My friend Emmy also keeps a blog that I follow about all things food. Check it out, and let me know what you think of the photos.

Quote of the day:
"Al cabo de los años he observado que la belleza, como la felicidad, es frecuente. No pasa un día en que no estemos, un instante, en el paraíso."
--Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) Escritor argentino.

Self Promoting

I'm going to do a bit of self promoting here, but check out my blog from my summer in Argentina, its pretty bomb dot com.

Shooting on manual 101.

This Monday I had my first official photography class. It was five hours long, but surprisingly, the time really flew by-- probably because I was learning something new every three seconds.

One of the most helpful things we learned this week was how to actually take a (good) photo using the DSLR's manual settings. Basically, the trick is to make sure your shutter speed, aperture and light meter are all in sync. If none of those words made any sense to you (trust me, they didn't make sense to me a week ago), I would totally check out this article, it explains everything pretty clearly.

Basically, just know that all of these things control either exposure time, depth of field or the amount of light that is allowed in and out of the camera

But what does the right combination of all these things actually mean? It means that I can control what is in and out of focus in a shot, how bright or dark the shot is and how blurry or not a shot is.

For example:

Here, I'm playing with different apertures and depth of field. The photos to the left were shot with a wider aperture (f/4) than the photos to the right (f/32).

A wider aperture, say f/4, means that the objects closer to me, the photographer will be in focus, while objects farther away won't be in focus, creating a shallow depth of field.

On the flip side, with a smaller aperture, like f/22, all the objects in the frame will be in focus, creating a deeper depth a field.

This week, I'm going to play a bit with this whole depth of field concept. I'll let you know how my photo adventures go.

Oh Argentina.

You reblogged buenosairesby:

This photo reminds me so much of the time I spent in Buenos Aires this summer. It was absolutely amazing.

I really like that buenosairesby greyscaled this photo. It gives it a classy touch, don’t you think?


5063 by wattanaii on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Rainy days make for interesting pictures.

Seeing as it has been raining here continually for the past three days, my picture taking abilities have been limited to the random objects inside my apartment-style dorm room. Namely, my new pair of very bright, obnoxious Asics tennis shoes, which I thought would make a great subject to practice shooting aperture priority.

After watching a Youtube video to refresh myself about shooting in aperture priority, here's what I think a basic idea of what "aperture priority" actually means. Basically, this mode lets you manually change the aperture value in the camera to control how much let you let into the lens and the camera will automatically ajust the shutter speed to go along with your selected aperture setting.

What does all this mean? Basically, the wider the aperture, the easier it is to make the objects in the background of a photo blurry.


Here, the front of my new shoes are all in focus, where the background of my bathroom is (thankfully) not. I was using the widest aperture setting on my camera to shoot this shot.

I'm hoping the rain stops over the next few days so I can venture outside to do a bit of shooting, otherwise, I'm stuck shooting things around my room for a few days.

Can you hear the music?

I love pictures that remind me of sounds. Its such a sensory overload to look at an image and not only see what is going on but to feel like you can hear it too...

This past weekend at GW, we had our annual Fall Fest featuring mash-up music artist Girl Talk. Before the main act got on stage, however, a number of student groups (namely Capital Funk, our hip-hop dance group, and the GW Troubadours, an acapella group) performed in front of the crowds.

You know what this meant... picture time!

Seeing as I didn't have my photography class this week due to the Labor Day holiday, I thought I would at the very least bring out my camera to Fall Fest and shoot some pics.

These were by far my two favorite shots of the day:

They were both shot hand-held at a 125 shutter speed, no flash. It wasn't really sunny or cloudy out, but it was bright, if you catch my drift.

Basically, the photo conditions were excellent.

I think I particularly enjoy these photos because they remind me so much of the emotion that was conveying the musical performance that I was watching while snapping the shots. I almost feel like I clipped a moment in time out of the music, out of the show and turned musical or dance art into photography.

At least that's what I think for now. Maybe I should go read my photography book and see what the experts have to say.

And the adventure begins.

My dad bought a Nikon 5000 last year and decided he didn't like it.

He decided that my newly married sister and her husband should have a nice family camera, so he passed it on to them... which made me furious. See, I'm a journalism major, a student videographer and basically picture-obsessed--all of which are good reasons that I and NOT my sister should get my dad's hand-me-down camera.

Luckily, after a few weeks of convincing (and a few plane rides between Canada and back) the camera ended up in my hands.

The only problem was that I had no idea how to actually use such a nice camera.

In the past few months I've watched a few Youtube videos about shutter speed, read a few articles about framing and ultimately decided maybe its time that I actually take a real photography class.
So here I am. In my first photography class (here at GW) with a noob-level knowledge of what I'm doing.

My goals for this semester (and this blog)? To prove that:

a. I can take a good picture
b. that I can take a good picture whenever I want and,
c. that I understand what makes a good picture so... good.

Ready? Smile. Here goes nothing.