Moving On Up

For this post, I thought it worthwhile to write about my move up to Photoshop CS6.  Considering how I’ve had time to use it for a few months and get into my rhythm of how I use it, I could write briefly about how I’ve used it so far, and a few opinions on it.

Before moving up to CS6, I was using Gimp.  While using Gimp, it wasn’t meeting my needs as far as options available to me, at least as far as pure photo editing power was concerned.  I either didn’t have a raw converter with it, or didn’t find one I liked.  Don’t ask me what raw converters I’ve tried with Gimp, because I abandoned them long ago and have since forgotten their names.  I was pretty much stuck shooting jpeg until recently.  I’ve shot jpeg since starting digital photography my junior year of high school (2006-07) up until July 2012, when I switched permanently to shooting raw.  Even when using Photoshop in high school (they had CS3 on some of their machines at the time), inexplicably I wasn’t shooting raw.  (Likely, it was due to just getting started, and learning how everything else worked.)

Anyway, when I was finally able to shell out the change to get Photoshop, I felt like it was a godsend.  Luckily, I got the student discount on it, saving a ton (something like 80% off the original price, if I’m remembering correctly).  Sidenote, if you’re still a student, I’d highly recommend you get Photoshop while you can, if only just for the discount.  I now have so much more control over the look of the image.  During my transition into Photoshop, I had a few photos I took shooting raw+jpeg, so I could see how my photos look after doing my edits on each file type.

One important idea I learned from shooting jpeg was to get as much right in-camera as I could.  This idea holds regardless of whether I’m shooting jpeg or raw.  There are, though, a few things I do adjust, even when I get my photos mostly right.  Let’s take white balance as an example.  Let’s say I set it on daylight white balance when I’m walking around outside taking photos (or tungsten or fluorescent, depending on the lights when I’m inside).  The white balance will be pretty close, but still wouldn’t quite there yet.  I could adjust the jpeg to get that white balance looking closer, but it still wouldn’t look right.  With raw, I just move two sliders around until it looks right.  (One is color temperature, such as 3200K, 5400K, etc. and affects the image by making it look either more reddish or more blueish.  The other slider is tint, which affects whether the photo looks either more magenta or more green.)  When shooting raw, for me it makes my processing easier to handle, so I don’t have to do as much to make it look the way I want it to.

On that note, I’ll end my post here.  In the next couple of posts, I’ll cover the comparison between how I’d process a photo from raw compared to from jpeg.


Now on Flickr

Good evening.  I thought I would write a quick post to let you all know that I’m on Flickr now, and from time to time I’ll be posting some new images there.  I’ll be posting there more often than I am here, but I won’t be posting all the time.

Your photography friend,

I Dropped the Ball

I totally dropped the ball, guys.  I haven’t posted in months.  Sorry about that.  Thanks for understanding that I haven’t posted in so long.  January has been exhaustingly busy for everybody here at the Andrew ranch.  Aside from that, I don’t have any good reason for not posting after I came home from Italy.

About Italy… I didn’t do very many video clips while I was there, so it would make no sense if I made a video of a bunch of short clips of things I saw.  I may make that video, as soon as I’m able to find proper video editing software.  Windows MovieMaker isn’t exactly the best thing to use if I want to make HD video.

Something else that is cool, is that I’m helping out some friends with their video needs.  There’s a thing at my college during Spring Fling, in which there is the student film fest.  Pretty self-explanatory, yes?  I thought so.  Basically, I’m the go-to guy for when they need to film, considering the nice camera, and all.  I’ll have my own projects as well.  I’m thinking I might do a Doctor Who parody.  I think that’s all from me today.  Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Your photography friend, Andrew.

New camera, Italy, and film noir

I’ve been busy with school lately, and thus have not been able to write much on the blog.  There are a few things I would like to write about today, in which you can tell by the title of this post.

First of which, I have a new camera now.  It’s the Canon T2i.  The main reason for getting the camera would be for the video aspect.  This also ties in with my next reason, which would be for when I go to Italy.  I’ll want to take pictures and do video while I’m there.

Second, I’ll be going to Italy for about two weeks.  It’s a part of my Italian Renaissance class.  I’ll document my time there mainly with pictures, and some video.  I may write a post after I return home from Italy.  If I have sufficient video from Italy, I may post a video to YouTube, talking about my time in Italy.

Third, I’m thinking of doing some film noir with my new camera, since I’ll have much more creative control as far as video goes.  I decided I would do something in the film noir style after seeing some gameplay from LA Noir.  My personal photography style would seemingly lend itself naturally to the film noir style.  The main thing now is to write the story.  I’ll enter the film into my school’s short film competition next year.  After that, though, I’ll probably post it to YouTube.  I’m really looking forward to making this movie.

That is all from me today.  I’ll probably write back after Italy.

Your photography friend, Andrew.

A Rainy Day in Kansas

Today has been one of those rainy Thursdays of a perhaps, not so usual but familiar Kansas October days.  This evening I have felt reminiscent of days past.  I suppose I’ve felt this due to watching some videos on YouTube from back in 2006; but also due to the seasonal changes that have gone on lately, the summer shifting into autumn.  The rain has accentuated this even more, especially so when combined with the autumn chill that has come at twilight.

The darkness, rain, and autumn chill have awakened something inside me I only experience this time of year, although it’s something I’ve only been able to recognize as of this semester.

Martyrdom of St Andrew by Jusepe de Ribera, 1628

Martyrdom of St Andrew by Jusepe de Ribera, 1628

Here’s some context.  In my art history class, we have learned about the baroque, rococo, romanticism, neoclassical periods, etc.  One painting style we learned about was tenebrism.  This comes from the Italian tenebroso, which means “murky.”  The style is also known as dramatic illumination.  One painting exhibiting the tenebrism style is Martyrdom of St. Andrew by Jusepe de Ribera.  What I’ve recognized in me has to do with my photography.  I’ve noticed that around this time of year, especially on the chilly, wet autumn nights is really where this tenebrism style has taken hold of my art style (although, any somewhat chilly and somewhat rainy nights will suffice).  I have nothing against tenebrism, it’s just something I’ve noticed, and thoroughly enjoy.

Something else I’ve noticed in other photographic artists, most particularly of Alfred Stieglitz of the early 20th century had a kind of tenebrism in how he did his art, more particularly in his night photography, such as Icy Night, or From the Back Window, 291, or even Sun Rays–Paula, Berlin.  There’s many more of his photos I could list, because I’m sure Stieglitz knew his art history, saw the paintings done in the tenebrism style, liked what he saw, and incorporated that element into some of his works.

I’ve recognized my fascination with tenebrism, and knowing this, can make my imitation of the style get better.  I find it a joy to walk around on nights when it has rained, seeing the reflections of street lights and building lights on the cement and asphalt that makes up the sidewalks and streets.  Even on summer nights, I enjoy when it’s rained, and you can feel the heat rising from the asphalt, and see it rising as steam.  The wet and steamy summer nights and wet and chilly nights of autumn are truly sublime, and make for some truly wonderful photographs (not to mention a few becoming a bit ethereal).

Your photography friend, Andrew.

An Introductory to Me

Hello, and welcome to the world of Andrew.  Before I go into the main bulk of posting about my day and about things photography and art, I thought it would be a good idea to give this space of the web a bit of context.  So, I think a proper introduction is in order.

As stated before, my name is Andrew.  Going by the title of this blog, I’m sure you can guess a little something about that which shall be written here.  I very much enjoy doing photography, and I support the arts.  I am currently a sophomore in college (although I won’t say which), and I am an art major, emphasizing in photography (as you may have already guessed), and I am also working with our school newspaper as a photographer.

In high school, I took all the art classes offered; the courses taught drawing, charcoal, colored pencil, watercolor, and sculpture.  A digital photography class became available my junior year, so I decided I would take the class.  Needless to say, I immediately fell in love with photography.  My senior year, I took Advanced Art, which is like a self guided study of art, where you could choose which medium of art to work with.  I took this class both semesters, one semester I did photography, the other I did colored pencil and painting.  I do enjoy doing art forms other than photography, specifically the colored pencil and painting.  The work I love doing with painting is non-objective work.  For those of you who don’t know, what non-objective means is that there is no defined subject matter.

Now to college.  I began my freshman year doing a drawing class and an art history class.  In the drawing class, we worked with graphite and colored pencils, oil pastels, and charcoal.  The second semester I took a photography course.  We worked with film rather than digital.  I must say, I do think film is fun to work with; it really gets you to slow down and think about your photo.  Enter my sophomore year, this year.  My art classes are art history this semester, and photography the next.  As stated earlier, I’m an art major and working with the school newspaper.

Now, about my photography.  I have yet to find out exactly what kind of photography I would like to do, whether that be photojournalism, studio/wedding photography, or just art photography.  I admire the works of the masters, such as Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and the like.  I do also like the work of contemporary photographers as well, such as Jesh de Rox, Jeff Ascough, Corey McNabb, and Mike Colón.

Thank you for coming to my blog to read this introduction.  Tomorrow may bring another post, along with new ideas and new inspiration.  Your photography friend, Andrew.

Welcome to the Life and Times of a Photographer!

Hello, and welcome to my first blog post, upon which I will start sorting out everything, and begin my writings on my photography, my life, and my dealings in the art and photography worlds.  Thank you for coming to see what this is all about, and stay tuned for the beginnings of this blog.