Alexandrea Lorentz's Portfolio

Photography 1

Introduction:The reason why I decided to take photography was due to the fact that my parents had bought me a camera, the year before for yearbook, and I wanted to learn how to use it. I ended up taking photo 1 the first semester of my junior year. Unfortunately I didn't save all of the photos I took during that class. Most of these images are a compilation of photos that I have taken since photo 1. I had a lot of fun in that class and learned a good amount of information about taking a well composed photo. At the time my friend Alison and I were taking the class together and both of us have recommended it to our friends. My favorite project that we did that semester was probably shutter speed because I felt the most creative with my subject.

Aperture:This was the first project that we had to turn in and I remember how happy I was to finally get to use the camera. The basic rules of aperture is that the bigger the aperture the less in focus things will be and the smaller the aperture the more things will be in focus. You have to keep in mind that the bigger the aperture the smaller the f-stop will be. Let's say you have an aperture of f/1.4, that is a big aperture and will let in more light causing more things to be less in focus. My first picture is an example of using a smaller f-stop; it was taken at f/5. My next two pictures are taken at bigger f-stops so that more of the picture is in focus; they were taken at f/13 and f/29. The depth of field is the amount of things you are able to get in focus within your shot. A smaller f-stop would be more appropriate when shooting a certain object and a bigger f-stop would be good to use when shooting a landscape.

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Shutter Speed: This was by far my favorite project to do in photo 1. On my Canon Rebel T1i my shutter speed can go from 30 seconds all the way to 1/4000 of a second. One of the biggest things that you have to remember is that anything taken below 1/60 of a second should be on a tripod. The first picture was taken on a sunny day and I was trying to get my subject, the bee, to make it look like it's wings had fluttered while I was taking the picture so I took it on 1/4 of a second. By putting my settings at a lower shutter speed I was able to show the wings in motion. The second photo is of a bunny jumping and it was taken at 1/4000 of a second. I chose to take it that fast because it was so sunny out that day I was trying to capture the bunny without any signs of motion. The last photo was taken in the west high swimming pool and it was my attempt at panning. Panning is when something is moving and you move your camera with the subject to try and make the background blurry. This photo was taken at 1/40 of a second.


Rule of Thirds: The rule of thirds was an important piece of information to me because a lot of the time I tend to center my subject and one of the key rules is not to center. Another rule that we learned while working with the rule of thirds was that you have to have a focal point and negative space is a great thing to have. Negative space can be a good thing if you are shooting for an ad or a campaign because it will allow you the space to insert text. The first photo has the focus on the lower horizontal third of the photo. The second one has the focus of the fish in the lower horizontal third, but also the right vertical third of the picture. The last photo has the subject in the left vertical third of the photo. As I have grown as a photographer it's more noticeable that I tend to put the subject of my photographs to the right.


Field of View: A persons field of view all depends on the focal length that they are shooting at. Focal length is measured in mm and it can be found on the outside of your camera lens. The smaller your focal length the more of a wide angle your picture will produce. At 50mm that is what the human eye sees. 80mm and up creates a telephoto view. My first photo is at 53mm. This was a pretty standard focal length and I just wanted to fill the frame with the tree. The next photo was taken at 96mm. This is a landscape and I was trying to get more lsnd in but I probably should have used a shorter lens to make it feel more realistic. The last photo was taken with a 235mm lens. When I shot this image I was a little bit away and I didn't want to take the chance of spooking the bird away. You would use a smaller focal length when shooting a close up object and a telephoto length is good for capturing sports.


Portraits: When learning about shooting portraits there were twenty techniques that we could choose from. Some of those techniques were looking out within the frame, introducing a prop, filling the frame, framing your subject, and playing with the background. The first portrait is of my friend in August of 2012 at Hatcher's Pass. We were lucky enough to have gone on a beautiful day with lots of sunlight. The second photo is of my cousin Brooklyn. The third photo is of my grandpa at Denali National Park this summer. Just a little point to add, none of these photos were photo shopped.The first and last photos are using the technique of playing with the background. In booth photos the background is a building with horizontal lines. The middle photo is an attempt at filling the frame and also it was taken as a landscape instead of a portrait style photograph. After getting my senior portraits done I have found out that one of the most important things to taking portrait pictures is making sure that your subject is comfortable, so I try to incorporate that now when I choose to do portraits.


Landscape: The landscape project was the most difficult for me. One of the most frustrating things about it was that it was hard to be creative with what I shot. In the first photo I was trying to break the rules of composition to see what it would produce. One of the rules is that the horizon of you landscape should be in the lower horizontal third of the photo. In my picture I added more foreground and then balanced it out with the sky and mountains. I wish that there was more contrast between the mountains, sky and ice. In the second photo I think I captured the golden hour of the day and I followed the rules of composition, while not centering the sun. In the last photo, like the first, I wanted to add a lot of foreground because I thought it added a lot of color to the photograph. Personally I like to shoot sunsets more than just mountains because I love the colors that the sun projects.


Final: Black and White: My class voted on doing black and white pictures for our final. We were told to shoot on the setting monochrome, within our camera. As a photo 2 student I now know that I should take the picture in color and then change it to black and white in photoshop. One of the tips that was given to us was to play with lighting, so for my first photograph I moved different lights in order to illuminate the glass and the bubbles within the glass. I wish that there was more of a separation between a black and a white instead of just a grey. The second photo also plays with light and I love that there is a distinctive white from the light and a separate black from the dark room. The last photo was one that I wanted to try out in black and white because of the texture between the actual fork and the bowl. Overall I thought it was a good way to end the semester because I was able to combine all of the techniques I had learned that semester into three photos.


ISO: This project was interesting because even though, at the time, it didn't seem like that big of a skill to utilize when taking a picture I now know that it can either enhance your pictures or ruin them. As a photo 2 student I have realized how critical it is to composing a well balanced photo. ISO is used to describe how sensitive your "film" will be to light. You can tell that a picture on lower ISO will have a sharper and less grainy image. The first picture is on and ISO setting of 100 because I was shooting on a sunny day outside. I could have also shot on ISO 200 but I preferred 100. The next photo was taken on ISO 400 because I had it on a widow sill on an overcast day. For the last photo I bumped my ISO to 800 because it was in a poorly lit room and by moving my ISO up I was also to make my shutter speed faster so that the cat wouldn't be blurry.


Photography 2

Photo 2: I signed up for this class because I had learned so much in photo 1 and I thought in this class I would have more freedom to focus on what I liked to shoot. One of the first things that we did was learn about the types of shooting equipment that would be available for us to check out. For example we learned about the Pentax film camera, the Canon T2i, the Pop film camera, the Bokeh kit, and the Canon 7D. Even though only having four projects due a whole semester sounds easy, if you end up procrastinating it will hurt you in the end. Towards the end of the class I feel that I have a much better understanding of what I enjoy shooting.

Project 1 Macro Clocks: I think that my original idea for this project was to take pictures of a clock. I ended up taking macro pictures of a clock and then I put them through different editing in photo shop. I shot with my Canon T1i and used my lens extenders to get the macro effect. It is a lot easier to use the extenders than flipping the lens around because you don't run the risk of dropping and breaking your equipment. Personally my favorite picture in this set is the second one because I love how you don't really know what it is unless it's with the other two photos. One of the things that I wish I would have done was have something, other than the theme of clocks, tie them all together.


Project 2 Film: This was the first project that I had ever tried in film. I ended up taking around six different rolls of 200 and 400 ISO. I tried taking pictures with a Canon but it turned out to be really hard trying to load the film so I switch over to a Diana Mini. By the end I loved the type of pictures it produced! I would say that the hardest part was that when looking through the viewfinder it isn't showing you what the picture will look like. I had to wait until my photos were developed to see what all I had gotten in my photo. These pictures were edited quite a bit because I wanted the sun and its rays to be more pronounced. In order to enhance the sun rays I turned down the brightness a little and turned up the vibrance and contrast. Also because I didn't know what all I was going to get in these pictures I cropped them so that they were all square. The Diana Mini is a really good film camera for landscape but I wouldn't recommend it for shooting and object that you have to focus on.


Project 3 Hands: The first idea that came to my mind for my third project was hands. I wanted to get the chance to work with a technique from portraits because I don't feel it's one of my strongest abilities as a photographer. All of these are of the same person, my little cousin Brooklyn. In the first photo I wanted to make it so that the card was in focus but the hands weren't, to give a sense of motion. The next photo to was trying to get her hand in focus but the text on her shirt ended up being clearer. The last photo is the only one where the hand is in focus but also a bit of the writing on the book is too. I decided to convert these photos into black and white because I felt that the original colors were too distracting when trying to focus on a body part. If I could redo the project I would have made all of the hands in focus and I would have changed my ISO to 800 instead of 100, because I was shooting indoors with poor lighting.

Project 4 Toy: I wanted to end my final photography class with some good pictures that showcased what I had learned in photo 1 and in photoshop. I chose to focus on a little tiny glass snail. I took pictures of that snail on bright days and in places all around my backyard. All of my photos were taken with my lens extenders and a 18mm-55mm lens. The first photo was taken inside my house while in the sunlight. It is also balancing on an orange. I wanted to get a lot of the orange in the foreground so that it would illuminate the orange from the snail's back. The next photo was taken outside in my mothers bird feeder. The blue along the lower right hand corner is part of the bird feeder. I loved creating the texture between the glass snail and all of the bits of food. My last photo is of the snail "crawling" on a sleeping gnome. Yet again I liked having the difference in colors between the grey/white gnome and the green and orange snail. After I loaded all of these photos on to the computer I put them through photoshop and bumped up the vibrance, contrast and saturation. I would say that the hardest part was trying to get the camera to focus on the snail's entene. Overall I would say that this was a really good project to finish off with and I wish I would have tried this earlier in the year.

Photoshop TutorialsRetouching Blemishes: In this tutorial we learned how to use the spot healing brush. While it can be used to errase blemishes I tried to use it by errasing food stains on my subjects face. Even though I didn't end up using this tool a lot I still think it is important.
Brightness: For this photoshop tutorial we learned how to either brighten or darken the photograph. This is one of the most important tools I have learned to use because sometimes my pictures don't turn out as light as I would like them to and with this tool I am able to correct it. It also comes in handy when combining it with selecting portions of an image and then you are able to lighten that layer of the photograph while keeping the background layer at the right brightness.


Dodge and Burn: In the photoshop tutorial we learned to use the dodge and burn tools to brighten a face and darken a background. What I wanted to try was taking an unflattering looking bird and trying to enhance its colors. I used the dodge tool to brighten its feathers to a nicer white. The burn tool was used to darken the eye, the beak and the feathers. I think it was a sucessful change in the picture. Along with the dodge and burn tools I cropped it so that the bird was a more prominent part of the picture. I also used the sharpening tool to make its eye more in focus.