Daily reflections

January 19

Today in class we learned about a camera obscura. I had never heard of this before and I found it intriguing and I find it fascinating how it worked. I would to someday be able to use one to get a first hand experience on how they work. We also talked about depth of field. I found this to be very informative and I will be making sure I take this into account every time I take a photograph. I learned that depending on the distance from the camera to the subject and the distance from film to lens can determine how much you are able to focus on with your camera.

January 24th

Today we watched a few minutes of “Genius of Photograph” and learned about Kertesz’s Meudon, Paris pictures. I find it very interesting how something can reveal so much while still revealing so little. The photos taken beautiful freeze time and capture a specific moment which helps show the viewer life in Meudon while still keeping so many things a mystery. We also learned about orientation, subject placement, lines, vanishing point, and balance. How all these things are vital when taking a really good picture and how they help make it interesting to the viewer.

January 26th

What is light? That was the main focus of today’s class. For the most part I already knew about the electromagnetic field and wavelengths but it was still an interesting review. We also talked about how a camera works and this was new material for me. We talked about how a lens works and how it refracts the light projecting the subject upside down and how mirrors in the camera help to make the picture right-side up so we can see it in the view finder. We also discussed the light meter which I had never used before. It was informative to learn about because I now use it EVERY time I take a picture to help make sure the picture comes out as best as it can.

January 31st and February 2nd

Today we learned how to make a bracket. This means to take pictures at different setting in order to compare them later on the see what the best settings were. We also learned what an f-stop was and that it was the ratio between the length from lens to film and the diameter of the aperture. After this class was over I knew enough to be able to set the f-stop at the proper setting for each picture I took. We also started our first lab. In the lab we compared shadows and used window light and soft box lighting. I thought it was interesting how in the sunlight the shadows are more defined; harder, while the soft box light was more diffused therefore lighter and less defined.

February 7th

Today we learned the steps in developing film. I now kinda know why people switched to digital; developing film can be very tedious! We also presented our first two labs and it was nice to see all the work the other students were doing. I think we are all doing a very good job. We also said who our photographer was who we were going to write our papers on, I chose Toni Frissel.

February 9th

Today we continued to learn about the film developing process and that it has six steps.

1. developer    2. stop bath    3. fixer    4. wash 1    5. perma wash    6. wash 2

I didn’t realize how in-depth developing film was and how long it actually took! It was good to learn about a second time because now I know I will be able to do it properly.

February 14th

Today we learned about Henry Fox Talbot. We learned that he made photogenic drawings and wrote about Louis Daguerre in 1839. He was also asked by Niepce to form a partnership and they began to work together. Talbot originally used bitumen when making his pictures. We also learned that Talbot published his paper about photography before Daguerre and this made them rivals. After watching this I found Talbot to be a very interesting man.

February 21st

Today we watched more of the film “Genius of Photography.” We learned that the first recording of photography happened in 1830 and that photographers learned that certain chemicals where sensitive to light such as silver nitrate and that allowed them to capture an image. We also learned more about Daguerre and how he began to experiment with photography in 1824 and used a process called Daguerreotype. I thought it was fascinating how they were able to capture an image using chemicals spread on a mirrored metal plate!

We also watched a video called “Kodak Fiends.” It discussed how photography became available to the general public when Eastman designed the first 100 picture roll of film and the first camera that could be sold to the public. The most interesting thing in the video, to me, was when they talked about the “Brownie Camera.” It was made in 1900 and was the first children’s camera. It was also interesting to learn that the first “Brownie Camera” only cost $1.55 but back then that was almost two weeks salary. The first official Kodak camera was first sold in 1888 and cost $5, it used film that could take 100 picture. Today’s average roll only takes around 25-36.

February 23rd

Today we reviewed for the exam. I found it very informative and helpful. I wrote down all the questions and their answers and I plan on using them to study for Tuesdays midterm exam. We also had time to work on our labs and I was so happy to finally develop a roll of film. It came out great!

March 6th

Today in class we discussed more about depth of field and we also began to discuss COLOR. We talked about how, when working on the depth of field lab, we need to focus on an object and have a shallow depth of field, then without changing the focus, change the setting to a wide depth of field. Then compare the two images. We only change the aperature not the focus. I didn’t realize this so I am glad he talked about it again in class! When discussing color we talked about white balance and the different types of light (ie. sunlight vs. softbox light vs. inside light) and how it can effect the settings on your camera and how your picture will come out. We also discussed color temperature which I had never learned before and I found it to be very interesting how the Kelvin scale is determined by the color the object looks. By describing the color of a heated object you can determine, to a degree, what the temperature may be on the Kelvin scale.

March 8th

Today in lab we worked on studio light (still-life). We took pictures of a glass goblet in different lighting set-ups. We learned how different set-ups can cause the light to hit the goblet in different ways either showing the goblet with a white outline or a black. We learned to control reflections in order to define the shape of the glass goblet.

March 13th

Today we talked about color theory and light theory (additive theory). We learned the concept of additive theory was discovered by a man named Maxwell in 1861. We also talked about the opposite of additive theory which is subtractive theory (pigment). We also watched a video where we learned about Chuck Close and Lartigue (french photographer). We learned about pictorial-ism and how Lartigue photographed his family from age 8-18 and his photos are perfect examples of amateur photography at its best. As Close said, “there is no accidental masterpieces in painting but they do exist in photography.” For lab we worked more with studio lighting but this time with human models (beauty lighting). We learned how different lighting set-ups can change the shadowing that appears on the models face.

March 15th

Today we talked again about angles of incidence and the 3 main points and their functions. The first is main and its function if to create shadows and the 3D effect. The second is fill and its function is to illuminate the shadows so they are not to dark but still there. The third is back light and its function is to separate the subject from the background (ex. backlight, hairlight, edge light). We also learned that in our cameras the sunshine setting is called daylight and the indoor incandescent setting is called tungsten. Finally we watched a video about Norman Parkinson. Parkinson was a photographer for 50 years and was a unique, humorous, and friendly person. According to him photography is not an art it is a trade/craft.

April 3rd

Today we talked about the Excellence Expo which will be happening May 2nd at ECSU. We learned that our framed prints and slideshows of our illustrated themes and emotions will be shown there and we have a chance to win 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place. We also discussed the important events that occurred between 1839 and 1878. We also talked about Sepia Toning. I find it interesting how sepia toning is used to make the photograph look more archival. Finally, we watched a video about Maybridge and his work photographing panoramas and working with glass plate prints. He was the first to work with “moving pictures” where he lined up a bunch of cameras and set them to a trip wire. When it was tripped they all went off and took pictures very quickly one after the other of a horse trotting. This showed for the first time that when a horse runs all its feet leave the ground. I found this fascinating and really cool how we took this concept and used it to discover making films and movies. In lab we worked on past labs and any work that we missed.

April 5th

Today we talked about the view camera and how its is used for still-life photographs. It was made during the Daguerrotye era and how it can be moved up (rise), down (fall), and shifted left to right. We learned how a couple named Guzmann used a view camera to photograph clothing models and specific clothing types. They could focus on the clothing and make everything above and below the item blurry so the specific item was focused on. We then watched a video that showed how photography influenced painting. It showed how painters began to “cutout” scenes and not show the entire event just like a photograph. Finally, we talked about strobe lights and how they work. I found it interesting how there are strobes that can be attached to the top of a camera and how there are ones that are built into the camera. All depends how much money you spend. Haha! In lab we continued to work on beauty lighting and any missed labs.

April 10th

Today we worked on make-up work and we also presented our favorite framed print, the white balance digital lab, and our finished “Titles” lab. It was nice to see all the hard work everyone was doing. It was cool to see how everyone photographed their titles and showed their own view on the title and what they thought it meant.

April 12th

Today we went over the timeline of events in photographic history (5th cent. BC – 1947). We talked about the first camera obscura, the first roll cameras, etc. It was cool to see how photography progressed over the years. We also talked about the rainbow and how a prism works. How it splits the white light into all the colors of the rainbow. I was fascinated to learn how a rainbow works and how the rain works as the prism to split the white light into the many colors of the rainbow. Finally, we watched a video about the wet plate process. We also continued to work on labs and make-up work.




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