Finished Photobook

My portfolio photobook was created in Adobe InDesign, then uploaded (in PDF form) to blurb.com. I’m really happy with how the book turned out and am excited to have a physical copy to share with others.

All photos, illustrations, and layout designs were created by yours truly. I used a couple different fonts that I felt went well with my layout design. The neat double-lined font is called, “PhotoWall Sans Shadow,” and the serif font is called, “Bookman Old Style”. Check out the entire photobook below:

Photo Printing Prep

Before & After

Original and Edited Images, Side-by-Side

My Photo Editing Process

First Things First

When I edit photos the first thing I do is lower my screen brightness. When I’m working on my iMac, I usually lower the brightness to about 50%. If I’m working on my Laptop, I lower the brightness to about 60%. Lowering your brightness helps to prevent your images from printing too dark.

Basic Edits

I always start with some basic photo editing. Using Adobe Camera Raw, I raise my shadows and blacks; this helps retain the photos detail when printing. Next, I adjust the sliders starting with the temperature sliders (yellow/magenta). Then I’ll move on to add some clarity, texture, or de-hazing. 

Photoshop

After the basic edits, I open my image in Adobe Photoshop. I start by adjusting my image to a larger size then I zoom in 100% to make sure the pixels hold up at a larger size.

Additional Editing

This photo didn’t need very much additional editing. Using masks and filters, I adjusted the vibrancy of the photo, the shadows were darkened a little, and the highlights were brought up a bit. Then, a little color burning and sharpening was done to the dock portion of the image. I also used the Spot Healing tool to get rid of sensor dust spots and little imperfections.

All that was left was to save and export my photo, then I uploaded it to McKenna Pro. I’m really happy with how my photo edits turned out and can’t wait to see the print when it arrives!

Idaho Falls Magazine

Photo Contest Entries

On June 13th, 2019 I entered the following three photos in the Idaho Falls Magazine Photo Contest under the Nature and Wildlife category:

Idaho Falls, Idaho
Yellowstone Bear World, Idaho
Snake River, Idaho

I chose to enter the above photos because I LOVE IDAHO! My favorite photos to shoot are those that reflect the beauty in nature and Idaho is so beautiful! Even if I don’t win a prize for my photographs, I hope that those who view them will get a sense of the deep gratitude I feel for my beautiful surroundings here in Idaho.

5 Best Photos

Skills Cultivated During Digital Imaging

Bannack Ghost Town, Montana

I have gains loads of new “smarts” while taking Digital Imaging this semester, much of which have to do with how to use my SLR camera’s full potential. One of the most useful skills I’ve learned is how to use photo bracketing. The picture above (Bannack Ghost Town) was taken using the bracketing setting on my camera. A bracketed photo consist of three photos: one over-exposure, one normal exposure, and one under-exposure, then all three are blended together during post.

Yellowstone Bear World, Idaho

Speaking of post, I’ve picked up some new know-how when it comes to using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. The photo of the bear above was a bit dark, so I was able to increase the light during post; this brought out the beautiful reflections in the water — I love all that green!

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Some ingenuity I’ve added to my repertoire during this semester is the use of a tripod. I’ve owned one for a long time, but have never really used it much until now. Using a tripod helped me capture the beautiful soft-looking flow of water in the falls pictured above.

Snake River, Idaho

Another discovery that has given my photos more moxie is the Aurora HDR program. It blends bracketed photos perfectly. Caryn Esplin shared all the success she has had using Aurora for editing photos during Digital Imaging class, and now I’m hooked! The last two river photos in this post are bracketed photos that have been edited using the Aurora HDR program.

Buffalo River, Idaho

The techniques that I have learned this semester have been invaluable. I have fallen even more in love with taking photographs (if that’s possible) and found joy in learning new skills while focusing on Caryn Esplin’s four photography principals of Light, Focus, Composition, and Creativity.

Experimenting with Macro

Learning to Focus

This was my first time experimenting with Macro photography. I had a lot of fun focusing on tiny areas of objects.

The jar below is less than an inch high. I zoomed in on the tiny black key.

In this next photo, you can see the detail in the sand so clearly:

Using Water

While experimenting with Macro photography, I tried to capture water droplets. I love the way the water drops look on top of this peacock feather:

The yellow rose below was spritzed with a spray bottle of water. I love all the tiny water droplets, they almost make the rose look like it’s diamond encrusted.

I loved capturing one large droplet on the flowers in these next two photos:

I discovered that I really love taking macro photographs. It’s definitely something that I will be experimenting with more often.

Bannack Ghost Town: Fine Art

I’m new to the world of Fine Art Photography but I gave it my best shot (literally). The day spent photographing Bannack Ghost Town was a beautifully overcast day. The sun would peek out every once in a while, though.

Because of the overcast weather, most of the photographs were pretty saturated. Still, I added some saturation and played with the detail and color a bit in photoshop.

The Hotel was my favorite place to shoot “Ghost” pictures but was bare-bones empty inside.

On the contrary, the Doctors House was decorated authentically which proved for some fun fine art and detail photos.

I loved the stillness and quiet beauty of Bannack Ghost Town. There was beautiful texture to be found everywhere.

Exploring the old houses was so interesting. It’s hard to imagine how the people of Bannack lived back then before indoor plumbing and toilets.

I truly enjoyed my time spent at Bannack Ghost Town and will definitely visit again.

Bannack Ghost Town: Portraits

Traveling to Montana to visit Bannack Ghost Town with my Digital Imaging class was so much more fun than I thought it would be. I learned a lot about photography and made some new friends along the way.

One of our assignments was taking portraits. This was the first time I had shot portraits using Auxiliary Light. Not only did I learn how to use added light when taking portraits, but I also learned the many benefits of added light.

Portraits Using Auxiliary Light

Following are a few examples of the portraits I was able to shoot using different forms of Auxiliary Light.

The following portrait was shot using a continuous LED light along with the natural window light:

LED Continuous Light

The next photo was taken using a Rouge Speed Light. This was the first time I’d ever used an off-camera flash and learned what it meant to put a flash in SL mode (or Slave Mode).

Rouge Speed Lights; Reflector

Below was a photo shot outdoors using a Godax AD200 Strobe Light.

Godax Strobe Light AD200

Group Portrait with Auxilary Light

The following shot was taken using Einstein Strobe Lights. I was shocked at how much adding light can improve photographs and make them look more professional.

Einstein Strobe Lights; B. Dish

Before & After Portraits

Next, I’ll share a couple before and after shots. Both of the photos I am sharing were shot outside in overcast weather.

This first before and after shot was an experiment with reflected light. First, you will see the photo taken without a reflector around noon on a cloudy day:

Before: Without Using Gold Reflector

Next, you will see the photo taken with a gold reflector:

After: Using Gold Reflector

So much better, don’t you think?

The next photo was taken outdoors in the evening. This before shot shows the shot straight-out-of-the-camera with no flash or edits:

Before: Without Godax Strobe Light AD500

For the after shot, an AD500 Strobe light was used:

After: Using Godax With Strobe Light AD500

It’s a huge difference! This shows the benefits of adding light during a portrait shoot, even when outdoors.

I learned a lot during this day-long photography excursion. I will most definitely be using added light when I shoot portraits.

Bannack Ghost Town: Creative

Levitation

I have to say, creating a levation photo was way more fun than I thought it would be. It was also easier than I thought it would be. I simply used a tripod to take a photo of Brenna (above) lying on a bench, then kept my camera in the exact same spot on the tripod and took a photo of the room without Brenna or the bench. I erased the bench in photoshop and blended the two photographs. Voila! Levitation achieved.

Ghost

The most fun I had during my Bannack Ghost Town trip was taking slow-shutter Ghost photographs. My group experimented with these types of photos several times during the day. We came up with some fun ideas and a lot of our photos turned out really spooky-looking.

Abstract

I created the above abstract photo by blending several different Bannack Ghost Town photos. I started with a photo of old, peeling wallpaper and blended it with a photo of a large drill bit in a wooden box. After that, I added a shadow of a man (on the left) and an eye in a part of the wallpaper that made a perfect eye shape. Can you find the eye?

Commercial

One of my class assignments was to create a commercial-style photograph. While in an old store, I shot some photographs of Sharing Size Peanut butter M&M’s. I shot these photos during a time when I did not realize my Auto-ISO was on. All of my commercial shots were at 6400 ISO, which made them difficult to work with but I think the above shot turned out alright.

I really loved the old counter (which looked like they must have served fresh meats or some sort of food). There was even old food wrapping paper there which made a perfect backdrop for commercial photographs.

Conceptual

Before even leaving for Bannack, I thought of several concepts for photographs. I knew I wanted to shoot some ghost-style photographs in a long hallway and blend it with some sort of texture. When I was wandering around during some free time, I found a little house that had old newspapers on the walls (underneath some peeling wallpaper). When I saw the headline: Boys Coming, I knew it would be perfect for a ghost shot (I used photoshop to remove the “s” in the word, boys). My “ghost” friend, Will definitely looks like he’s coming for you in the photo above.

Creepy

While photographing for my window series, I spied the above dresser through a window in a glass door. Suddenly I was really spooked when I saw a woman’s figure in the mirror above the dresser. I quickly realized I was seeing my own reflection and thought it would make a fun “creepy” ghost photo. What do you think? Is it creepy?