Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 40: Kansas City, Take 2

Amy and I went to Kansas City for the weekend as a little mini-vacation. We went to the City Market, a couple of museums, some good restaurants, and a blues bar. Every little trip is an opportunity for me to try and get some good photos. This weekend I tried to step out of my comfort zone some more and take more photos of people. It's still really hard for me. I'm still very tentative and shy and try to take photos without people noticing. However, every time I do it it does get easier. Here's hoping that trend continues.

These bridge towers are so random, but so interesting. I tried to take a photo in the evening, but there were some lights outside of our hotel that were washing out the window and turning everything pink. I was not happy. This was taken on a very foggy morning.

Just some birds at the market devouring some corn. 

I wish I had been a bit more brave for this photo. The guys working the grill were really energetic and friendly and I think I could have gotten a much better photo if I was willing to get a little closer and not be worried about them seeing me. 

I really like the depth in this photo. 

I love shooting transactions between people. There's a definite connection in this moment between the buyer and the seller. I love the way he's smiling and looking into the eyes of the person buying the spices. 

This woman was also incredibly friendly. I tried to get a lot more photos of her, but I was still feeling pretty shy at this point. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 39: Geminid Shower

Since I've lived in Kansas I've experienced two meteor showers. Each one I've tried to photograph by going out super late at night, when the meteors are at their peak, and each time I've utterly failed to get a photograph of one. The first meteor shower I barely saw any meteors and the second I didn't see a single one.

Last night was my third meteor shower, and I had high hopes for this one. Not only was it a new moon, but there were actually two meteor showers happening at once. Leading up to last night I had seen random shooting stars, so I figured my chances were good.

I left the house around 12:30 and drove half an hour to a place I knew would be relatively dark and had some interesting things to use as subjects. If there's one thing I've learned about star photography lately is that you need a subject other than the stars. It was a little terrifying being way out in the country, away from most civilization, in the middle of the night, while hearing coyotes in the not-so-distant distance.

My first ever official photo of a meteor!!! Not a lot of subject in this photo, but I was just so thrilled to capture a meteor in the shot. It was nice and bright. It was so exciting.

This one is a little darker than I would have liked. I would have liked the truck lit up a tad more, but the light painting that I tried didn't really work out. 

I like this one quite a bit. Not only did a get a meteor in the shot, but I also got the trail of an airplane. The horizon was kind of cloudy this night, so lights from the city were brighter than I would have wanted. Earlier in the evening I was trying to fight it, but at this point I started to embrace the extra light and use it to create silhouettes of the cars I was photographing. 

Even though it doesn't contain a meteor, this might be my favorite photo. I really like the silhouette of the truck and the way the city lights look like the setting sun.

Probably my favorite photo that includes a meteor. Not only is there a nice silhouette of the truck, but you can kind of see some detail of the front. 

No meteor, but I did get another airplane. 

All in all a very successful night. I was seeing between one and two meteors a minute, but it was still tricky to capture them in a photo. It was a bit cold, but considering it was the middle of December it was quite pleasant.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Week 38: Portraits

I've never really done portrait work before. I've taken random photos of friends and family, but nothing really official that was an entire photo shoot. This is unfortunate because I really do love taking photos of people. It's challenging for me because I'm fairly shy, but I always love the results.

Well, that all changed in the past week, things have kind of exploded. It all started when the director of our office asked me if I wanted to take senior pictures for her son. She knew I hadn't really done any portraits in the past, but he didn't want to make a big deal out of it and didn't want to go into a studio. I very nervously said sure and then proceeded to freak out a bit. I had no idea where to start, or what locations to use, or how to pose someone. I was scheduled to take his photos the week after thanksgiving.

While I was home in Madison for thanksgiving my aunt wanted me to take my cousin's senior pictures. It was a last minute thing and I figured it would give me some good practice. It boosted my confidence a lot and made me much more relaxed for my actual paying gig.

These are three of my favorite shots with my cousin. We took a lot of shots outside, but it was very cold and cloudy. We moved inside and there wasn't a ton of light, so I plopped her right next to the windows and doors and got some really nice shots with some really nice light.

These are my three favorite shots with Andre. It was certainly a different experience taking photos of a guy. It's easier to pose a girl and they seem to do things more naturally, but I think we got some really good shots. These don't necessarily look like senior picture shots, but I think that's why I like them.

These last two are of a co-worker of mine. She was looking for a new photo to give to her mom for christmas. These photos show the importance of lighting and going out when the lighting is good. I was worried because it had been cloudy all day, but the sun came out just when we needed it to.

Not a shot she's going to give her mom, but I love the background and the little bit of sun in the hair.