This time, something for fall. I posted this one yesterday on Instagram.
I've been keeping up taking and posting more pictures on a regular basis, so I'm trying to decide when to retire this goal. One of the biggest things that prevented me from taking pictures before was not having enough time or not having the right stuff but I've kind of solved the first problem by graduating and for the second problem, I recently started using my semi-abandoned Amazon account and ordered myself a ring light for my phone. I've experimented using different lighting setups, which makes the process a lot less cringe-worthy when it actually comes time to shoot.
So now that I'm actually able to work more regularly at this goal, I'll probably be retiring this in a few more months. I kind of feel like my photography skills have improved greatly since I started working more in animation, film, and design…I have to be more cognizant of the rule of thirds, of aspect ratio. I'm really lucky there's so much overlap in skills I'm already familiar with…color theory, staging, composition, lighting, etc. It's kind of fitting together in this holistic fashion.
I think lighting in photography is harder for me than it is in 3D modeling. In applications like Maya, you have an ungodly amount of power and control over your lights…if you don't like something, you can select the light and change the settings on it to your liking…and most of those settings you barely even use to begin with. So if you have a shadow that's casting too harsh of an edge, you can select the light and change the penumbra angle, which adjusts the fall-off of your shadows. You can also do some unrealistic ridiculous nonsense like changing the shadows to white or making shadows only affect certain objects. It's ungodly the amount of power you have!
In real life photography you can either move the light source away from your subject or use something like tissue paper to diffuse the light, which ends up casting much softer shadows. To me, this is way too much of a pain in the rear… I don't know how photographers or film gaffers have the patience to sit there and tweak and tweak and tweak their lights all day. To have to walk around and put paper on this or tape a cord down there. And all that heavy equipment? At the end of the day, that's a lot of work.
So props to photographers! It's a wonderful craft to learn and I have a ton of respect for the people that can make a living doing it.
I don't take as many self portraits anymore…and I've barely taken selfies in the past (I'm pretty sure the number I've taken is in the single digits) because I reaaaally hate the low production value and arm-showing thing that most selfies have.
My parents got me a selfie stick as a gag gift in my Christmas stocking a year ago that I have never even taken out of the box…I heard that can help eliminate the "arm showing" problem but I guess I've always been too lazy to look into it and I just haven't really taken a lot of pictures with my phone…up until recently.
I think I'm really bad at Instagramming but I've resolved to step my Insta-game up since I've graduated. I just want sharper images, decent lighting, and a better use of composition. That's all I can really improve on.
So for this one, I just sort of snapped a quick selfie and managed to get a decent shot with a ring light clipped to my phone. While I prefer to shoot during the day in natural, indirect light, the extra ring light adds more power to the exposure of the shots.
Now that I've done about five or six of these, I'm starting to have a system for taking them. I determine a theme to work with, base a color palette off of the theme, look around my house for certain things that fit that theme (with consideration towards things like color, contrast, typography, texture), find a background to place them on (I only have wooden furniture and the cement patio on my back porch for now), and then arrange them in a compositionally pleasing way.
For lighting setup, I usually try to use natural indirect light with softboxes when I'm inside and then natural indirect shade with a ring light on my phone for outdoor photos.
Like most people, I use Snapseed to do most of the post production…adjusting basic things like exposure and contrast (which is pretty minimal these days considering I have a better lighting setup) and then head in VSCO if it needs any actual colorization or filters.
I have a pretty abandoned Instagram account that I'd like to breathe some light into, and now that I'm graduated, I have more time for small creative but fun endeavors like photography! I just always worry I don't have interesting things to take pictures of so I end up never taking pictures anymore. And for a long time, all I ever did was animation so it didn't seem like something most people would be into.
I am pretty basic…and I don't have a theme, which people seem to believe is a bad thing. 😱 I like things with good lighting, interesting composition, but I don't really have a strong theme going on and I don't really use filters so this will be an uhh…interesting endeavor.
I know food photography is fun but I just don't think anyone cares what I'm eating, to be completely honest…I'd LIKE to post something other than my work but I'm blank coming up with ideas. Today, I tried to do my first flatlay picture, which was fun but terrifying.
I know flatlays are supposed to be a fashion photography thing but I love the look because it reminds me of flat design, which is trendy right now in web/graphic design. (Thanks Apple.) You're supposed to take an image from orthographic view of a table setting…often featuring hipster stuff like coffee, flowers, candles, and clothes, and then arrange these elements in an interesting composition. Usually in post, people brighten and filter their images with soft pink and blue undertones, but I generally just use Curves in Photoshop to do my color correction because filters overwhelm me!
I kind of love the creativity in flatlay photography though…I'm no fashionista though, especially like the young talented creatives that do these, so I'm just going to have to throw in my own nerdy interests and hopefully nobody will notice I have no sense of actual taste.
I will go for this goal sometime soon. So far I've only been taking pictures for practical reasons, but I remember this goal from 43T & how doing it made me look around with more interest & I saw more cool things around me. I will get to this.