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Studio Photography- Shooting Indoors

 Today we were unable to take pictures outside. For the first time in about 23 years, Chula Vista was able to see a partial solar eclipse, something i had never really experienced and the same can be said for most of my classmates. As a result, it was crucial that we didn’t set a foot outside with a camera in our hands for some might have dared to get a shot of the (literally) blinding eclipse. As our photography teacher had mentioned before to us, a camera can be ruined by such a shot, therefore he decided to keep us inside for the good of our equipment. Inside the classroom, he set up some studio lighting and a backdrop prepping the scene for today’s assignment. Our model for the day was Melani; she posed in variety and the class got a couple of shots. Overall, this assignment was a learning experience for it was my first time experimenting with studio lights and a backdrop.  

Macro Photography- Sunflowers 

We had gone outside to take some photographs on another occasion, but we hadn’t really been assigned a task that would be graded. As a result, our photography teacher thought it would be appropriate to finally give us an assignment in which we proved what we had learned during the past month by taking some macro-shots. The assignment consisted of the class going to our school’s garden, which at the moment was being handled by some students. As they watered the plants, our class began to walk around, looking for a situation that could become an interesting macro-shot. Most of the garden had green plants with a couple of colorful flowers. I wanted a splash of color in my photo, so i decided to take a shot of a sunflower settled at the front of the garden. The flower stood a few inches taller than me (I’m 5’2”), so i was able to take a good macro-shot that i was happy with. This assignment was one that i enjoyed and i would love to do again.

Line Photography

 For today's assignment we had to take a photograph that involved lines in one way or another. We were given about 15 minutes to go out and shoot all kinds of lines we saw around campus. As i sped walked around campus i tried to take as many interesting shots as i could, but the short time we were given was simply not enough for me to take a picture that i was truly proud of. While this is not a terrible shot, it is not very interesting, so i will try and re-shoot for a more interesting and creative shot as soon as i get my hands on an SD card reader. This will just have to do for a couple of days.


          It was a warm cloudy day. This week's assignment challenged us to incorporate some kind of pattern and/or texture, as well as depth of field, in our picture. We had about 20 minutes to shoot outside of the classroom, and this time it was just enough to get a couple of interesting photos. As we walked out the hallway, the small garden next to the school's cafeteria caught my eye. At first I took some shots of the patterned wooden fence, but everyone else seemed to be interested in this fence as well, so I tried to look for something else. We walked further into the garden, looking at all the plants with beautiful flowers. Patterns were everywhere, it was only  matter of creativity and interesting angles. One of the blooming plants I decided to shoot was quite low to the ground, so I had to lay down thinking about how ridiculous i must've looked, but it was worth it in my opinion. At the end the picture ended up looking like a bit of a silhouette, the plant contrasting on the bright cloudy sky. Overall, this photo was much more satisfactory than the one on my last assignment.

Black and White 

Our class was assigned the task of black and white portrait photography. As always, our teacher gave us around 20 minutes for us to step outside and shoot. It was imperative that we shot our portraits on a white background for further contrast and good lighting. The problem was not fining  a white background (for our school colors are royal blue and white), the problem was getting someone to model for your assignment. As most people would imagine, it can get kind of awkward to stand in front of a camera, especially when the photographer gets really close to your face. And this was no exception, nobody in my group wanted to volunteer for the task. As a result, I ended up not taking a photograph during class time. Instead, I came back to school the next day with the camera my uncle had let me borrow, and I asked a few of my friends if they would like to be my models. As the "selfie" fans they are, they agreed without hesitation. Their posing was pretty good for my two non-model friends. To give it the black and white effect, little more contrast, and cropping some excess sides of the picture, the ending result was the one above. In the end they were just as happy with the pictures as I was.

Implied Lines

As almost every weekend, my family and I had gone down to Tijuana to spend some time with relatives who live there. This time around, one of my uncles put together some carne asada and snacks for all of us. My uncle’s house is in the middle of nowhere, next to a graveyard, so I thought it would be interesting to bring my camera with me. As everyone finished their food and snacked on some chips, the sun began to set, tinting the sky with a golden orange, turning the landscape into a silhouette. It took me a while before I could figure out what settings I needed to capture the best shot. After some trial and error, I managed to get a good image, although I think the focus could have been a little better on the silhouette. Overall it was a good shot for an assignment on implied lines.


Last night I was laying back on my couch, adding final details to a drawing on my sketchbook. It was around 9pm, and my mom asked me to feed the goldfish as she got ready for bed. As I fed the goldfish (while I was at it I also fed the turtle and my guinea pigs), I realized how well they would look in a motion photograph; the dim light of the room made the warm lighting in the fish tank stand out, and the swift movement of the goldfish, it would make up a great photo. I finished feeding my pets and went to set up my camera. I went back to the living room and kneeled to the fish tank’s level. I held my camera steadily and experimented with different settings to get a good picture that showed motion but did not have a blurry background. It took me a little longer than I expected since I patiently waited for the goldfish to go into the spot of the fish tank that was most interesting. I laid down on the floor for most shots, trying to get an appealing angle. Overall this was an interesting learning experience for motion photography.

Outdoor Flash

This week’s assignment required for us to use flash outdoors. Before we went outside, our teacher showed us a couple of YouTube videos that introduced the topic. The video gave tips on how to make an outdoor flash photo look good by balancing the settings of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. We finished the video and walked outside, each with a camera on hand. Our teacher gave us instructions and allowed us to begin. At first, I did not know who I was going to take a portrait of, everyone (including myself) seemed hesitant to pose for a shoot. I looked around to see if anyone was posing, and found myself blinded by the group of people taking photos of one of my classmates. I had no model for my portrait, and I didn’t think I’d have one soon, so I rushed to join the photoshoot. The model rested her side on a tree and our teacher casted a golden shine onto her skin with a reflector. The effect the reflector gave off was quite interesting and helped my shot look a little better. I’m happy with this portrait, although I would’ve liked for it to have more depth of field.

Bird's Eye View

    For this week’s assignment, the intent was to take interesting looking pictures from a “bird’s eye” point of view. Before going outside to shoot, our teacher went over the recommended ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It was early in the morning and the sun was still rising, therefore we could capture very nice pictures in this lighting. As I walked around campus with two other students, we began to experiment with different levels of elevation for our pictures. Eventually we got to the 1800 building and went upstairs for some shots of the P.E. area. In the end the picture ended up looking pretty nice, although I would have liked a higher altitude for the shot.


   The SCPA program offers classes from Mariachi to Design Studio. Each of the classes the program offers is filled with creative people with great ideas and distinct talents. At the time I was given time to shoot some pictures of SCPA, I went to a 3D Design class that was taking time during first period since I know the teacher. After asking for permission from Ms. Stewart, I jumped right in to take photos of all the colorful masks the students were working on. While some students were still working on the base of their mask, most were painting or adding the final touches to their masks. As I photographed their work, I asked them to keep on working and to try not to mind me too much. Since my photos turned a little too dark in the classroom, I slowed my shutter speed and raised my ISO a little. I tried to get several different angles to capture the colorful and imaginative masks. The students working on the mask were very peaceful and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. As much as I would have liked to experiment with the camera and capture more of the masks, my time was out. I thanked Ms. Stewart and her 3D Design students for their time and rushed to my photography class to download the photos into my drive. I liked the photos I got, although I would have liked a little more time to look at my settings a little more carefully to shoot.

Wide and Shallow DOP

 This week’s assignment asked for two separate images; one that showed wide depth of field, and shallow depth of field. The images had to essentially be focused on the same subject, but the depth of field on the pictures had to be notably different. On the class time we had to shoot, my group and I went to the garden next to our school’s little theater. This garden was all put together by a group of students and the help of teachers. As we approached the garden, we saw a group of students eating and collecting some of the vegetables that had been previously planted. One girl excitedly showed me a bulk of green and fresh-looking lettuce. I decided to take a picture of the lettuce as the girl extended her arms towards the camera. For the wide depth of field, I used a 7.1 f and for the shallow depth of field 3.2 f. The result was a picture where both the lettuce and (somewhat) the girl are in focus. The other picture shows the same girl holding the lettuce, except this time only the lettuce is in focus. I really like how these pictures turned out and I think it is clear which is a shallow DOP and wide DOP.

Geometric Shapes

This week’s assignment required us to take photographs of man-made shapes. We were given time to photograph our subjects, and I took a long time to find something that interested me and had geometric shapes. As I walked from one of our school gardens to the other, I came across an object with a lot of interesting geometric shapes and a rough texture. I crouched down enough to make the picture a little more interesting than if I shot it straight from above. It was very bright outside, so I lowered my ISO and raised my shutter speed. I arranged my settings enough to make the setting look a bit dark to suit the ‘old looking’ feel to it. In the end I was satisfied with the results.

Organic Shapes

In contrast to our last assignment, our task was to capture organic shapes in nature. As soon as I stepped out of our classroom, I walked directly to the new school garden. The morning sun was barely beginning to hit the plants in the garden, creating interesting shadows. I specifically focused on a small palm tree that caught my eye. I tried a lot of angles, but they didn’t look interesting enough. Then I had the idea of taking a picture of the plant very up close, creating an interesting pattern in my photo. To photograph the leaf I had to increase my shutter speed a bit to get a little more contrast yet not high enough to loose the bright green color.

Studio Portrait

Before we got to work on in this week’s assignment, we were showed a couple of videos on tips for getting the best shots when it comes to studio photography. One thing I learned from these videos was that a relaxed model, the right settings and a good composition are key to a good result. Our teacher arranged some studio lights in front of a white backdrop, having everything set for us to begin shooting. We had three different models to take pictures of, each one had a different style to their clothes and personality which made the pictures quite different form each other. In the end I settled with auto white balance and played around with different ISO levels and depth of field. When I started to edit my favorite picture, I noticed the picture was a bit grainy. I’m not sure what caused it to turn out this way, but it was more than likely a high ISO, or I simply over sharpened my image without noticing before. Next time I will double-check my ISO and make sure I am sharpening the picture without going overboard.

Outdoor Flash Portraits

For this week’s assignment, our task was to turn in three black and white student portraits using flash outdoors. We had already discussed outdoor flash on a previous assignment, so the class picked up a camera and went outside. At first I did not have a model to take pictures of, so I walked around to see who everyone else were shooting. I photographed 3 models, but I still did not have pictures I was entirely happy with. As a result, I checked out a camera during lunch and took a few shots of my friends. As I fixed my ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, I told my friends to be natural and relaxed. Most of the people I took pictures of are very photogenic, so it was easy to pose them. I was happy with these portraits although shooting with flash outdoors isn’t really my cup of tea. Maybe it’s that I still have some things to learn about outdoor flash photography, but I think I’d still prefer a no flash photograph.

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