Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day 296; Art and Absence

It's been a while. I feel slightly guilty that I've left the blog for so long, but I wasn't sitting idle all this time. Summer is an incredibly busy time for me, and I had to prioritize my time. In fact, my life won't be slowing down much this fall either, so posts will be sporadic.

Today's photo is of a rose I made from an old book for a project at my county fair this year. I was thrilled with how the arrangement turned out and plan to try making more again in the future. The text and the rounded shape of the petals add some interesting lines and shapes to the photo. When composing the shot, I wanted the eye to be drawn first toward the center of the flower and then radiate out to examine the petals. This was a really old book, so the pages were really yellow. I wanted the focus to be more on the lines and depth than on the color, so I used a faded black and white effect so there was still a touch of warmth.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day 295; Black, White, and Backlight

Today's post is a close up of one of my scarves. This one was hanging on the end of my bed and I happened to notice the way the window behind the scarf was providing a really nice backlight. Originally I loved the teal color of the scarf and the way the lighting interacted with it, but in the end I wanted the focus on the lines and contrast so I opted for a black and white effect.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day 294; Bread Line

This is another shot from my recent trip to DC. These statues are part of the FDR memorial near the Tidal Basin. I loved the way these statues were indistinct and imperfect, while so many of the others I saw were smooth and flawless. I also liked the symmetry here, with the line of men with similar hats and downcast faces.  I wanted the photo to look a little less vibrant and more subdued, so I applied a black and white effect but faded it so there was still warmth from the original bronze color.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 293; Cherry Blossoms in D.C.

Late on Thursday I got back from a week in Washington, D.C. for the 2015 National 4-H Conference. It was a truly incredible experience, and I met many amazing people from all over the country. I took loads of pictures, especially since we were there during peak cherry blossom bloom. This was one of my favorites. It was taken at the Tidal Basin, with cherry blossoms in the foreground and the Washington Monument in the background. We were there in the middle of the afternoon, so the light was a little harsh. I adjusted the saturation and exposure, which left the flowers looking a little more pink than they were in real life, but I liked the final look much more.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Day 292; Through the Pine

The past few weeks have been really busy around here. In fact, this time next week I'll be in Washington, D.C. on a 4-H trip. Today's photo was taken a couple of days ago when I was out checking on our pigs. It was relatively early in the morning, so the lighting behind this little pine tree was very pretty and soft. I cropped the photo so the branches would form more of a window, but that's the only editing I did. I really liked the colors in the tree and grass, and how clearly outlined the branches were with the backlighting.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Day 291; Sun Beams

There was a solar ellipse today, but unfortunately those of us in America couldn't see it. So with no moon in the way, I was able to get this shot of the setting sun behind the vines from this post. To show off the sun's warm hues I chose a dusk effect from picmonkey.com instead of black and white. I was careful when taking the photo to line up a branch in front of the sun to avoid sun spots, but this angle also caused a lot of the detail of the vines to be lost.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Day 290; Rule of Thirds

I've taken lots of photos of this old shed over the years, but each one turns out a little different. This one I cropped to a wider, shorter size to empathize the lines of the ground and the fence. I also made this particular shot unique through editing. I wanted a different look, so I used a faded black and white filter to give an older, more artsy feel. If you're not a photographer, you probably don't know what the title of this post means. The rule of thirds is a basic rule of thumb for composition. I won't explain it here, but there are lots of articles online if you want to know more.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 289; Lines and Vines

These honeysuckle vines are growing up along the side of my house. Even though it's starting to feel like spring, these vines are still bare except for a few dead leaves left over from last fall. The sunset provided good lighting and when paired with the curving, unpredictable lines of the vines made for a very interesting photo. I used black and white to highlight these traits.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day 288; Brown Bales

I actually took this photo a couple weeks ago on my grandfather's farm. Now, these hay bales are covered in snow. I love the golden and brown colors present in the bales, and edited to enhance and complement them. I also liked how there were so many different textures (the hay, the grass, and the trees) but the image didn't seem too busy. In retrospect, I would have framed the image so a little more of the face of the first bale was visible.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 287; Ordinary Orchid

My great grandfather passed away last week. I went to the funeral on Monday. My mom and I brought home these beautiful orchids which were red and yellow, which are the colors of Iowa State University, which happened to be where he went to college. I loved the colors, but after being in the car on the way home the flowers kind of wilted and turned brown. So, I decided to make the photo black and white. This also had the added benefit of drawing attention to the texture and structure of the flower.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Day 286; A Classic Crown

My last post and today's post show two different sides of my personality. I love reading, and I feel smarter and more studious when wearing my glasses. But I'm also a super girly girl, who loves dresses and high heels. So, instead of a book and glasses today's shot is of one of the tiaras I've won. I set the tiara on a piece of fabric I had laying around because I liked the contrast of the round diamonds with the straight stripes. I used an overhead light source and took the shot pretty much head on. The one thing I don't like is that the top center portion of the tiara is kind of out of focus. I used a black and white effect because I wanted to draw attention to the details, lines, and textures.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day 285; Poe & Poetry

I've always wanted to do a photo like this, and now that I have my own glasses I can. I set the glasses on a book opened to the poem "Annabel Lee" by Edgar Allan Poe (which is a really good poem, in case you were wondering).  I knew I wanted the final product to be black and white, and I ended up using a reverse focal soften effect, so the text in the glasses would be clear while the rest of the image was out of focus. If I had a do over I would probably experiment more with lighting and the composition - the focal point is a little too centered.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Day 284; Barren Lane

I haven't posted any color photos recently. This one is of my grandpa's lane. I used the Dusk effect from picmonkey.com to enhance the present brown colors.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Day 283; Snow Teeth

Today's photo is of the snow and icicles which formed on the gutter of the poultry barn. I wasn't a huge fan of this photo when I first saw it on my camera, but then a couple things happened. For one thing, I edited it. That always has an impact on the way the final product is perceived. But perhaps more importantly, I got glasses today! They make a huge difference. Everything is so much crisper and clearer. I predict having glasses is going to help my photography a lot. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Day 282; Lane Loveliness

I realize you're probably getting tired of black and white winterscapes, but with all of the snow we've been getting I don't foresee an end to the trend anytime soon. This view is one of my favorites though. It's looking from our garage down the lane toward the highway, but with all the snow it looks like it's from Narnia or some other fairy tale setting. The editing was simple, just a black and white filter with dark edges to bring out the tree trunks and branches.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Day 281; Wintry Woods

My last post was a tree in winter. Today's post is a tree in winter, although there are significant differences between the two, especially the extra 6 inches of snow which has recently fallen.  My house surrounded by woods on all sides which is really pretty, especially after snow fall, but it does get hard to switch up the types of winter photos I take. Today we have a very simple photo of the cottonwood tree in my yard with a background of the woods. I did no editing to the photo except for a white vignetting around the edges to soften the image a little.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Day 280; Hickory Tree

Today we had a gorgeous sunset. Unfortunately, the best of it only lasted a couple minutes. Even though I didn't get any good sunset shots I did get this one of a hickory nut tree with an old shed in the background. I liked the lines and textures in the shot, so to pull those out I used black and white. I loved how the sky and remaining snow are so bright, and to balance that out I used vignetting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Day 279; Foil Curls

Back at Christmas time I needed a cardboard tube for a present. The one holding our aluminum foil was the perfect size. I didn't think there was much foil left on the roll, but it turns out I was wrong. I hastily rolled the foil back up loosely after extracting the tube. The roll had been sitting there every since, until today when I got it out for pictures. The texture of the crumpled foil was very cool, and it reflected the light and cast shadows to create a very interesting lighting pattern. I shot the photo in black and white, and then added some vignetting to finish the look.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 278; Beauty in Death

This was a flower back when it was warm out. Now it doesn't look much like a flower, but it's still very pretty and intricate. I loved the warm brown colors and I enhanced them to make them a little more vibrant.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day 277; Snowman Figurine

While my last post was about summer, this one is entirely about winter. There hasn't been any snow recently, but there has been a lot of mud. So since I don't have any real snow to play in, today's photo is of a snowman figurine. The snowman was on a windowsill with some fake snow. The light from the window created a really nice natural lighting pattern. I loved the colors in the original shot so I didn't do much editing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day 276; Time Flies

It's been a very long time since my last post and I am incredibly sorry. A lot of things have been going on and I simply have not gotten around to it. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, because I know I sure did. This weekend it's been relatively warm, which has been great. It's made me wish summer were back though, so I dug out this old photo from the summer of 2012. My little brother Noah is holding a baby rabbit and was pretty happy about it. I didn't do too much editing to this back then, except for a scratch on his right eyebrow which I had decided to airbrush out. Now, it looks clumsy and kind of obvious, but back then I didn't know any better. I do love the natural lighting going on here.