One Eight Photography

September 22, 2009

My first photos…ever

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — JW @ 7:44 pm

I recently stumbled upon the first real photographs I ever took and thought it would be fun to show you where I started.  These were from the 10th grade in my very first photography class, taught by Marsha Sesack.  She was one of the most inspirational and encouraging teachers I had.  She had patience with us when we were taking our first photos or developing our first roll of Tri-X film.  She also never stood in our way if we had a creative idea (at least, if we thought it was creative).  It’s funny, the same type of shots I took way back then are still some of the shots I go for now.  I’m glad to see that I have evolved, but that my foundation was strong.  Out of all the things she taught me, I can pull out the main two.

1. You can take a great shot, or you can make a great shot. The lesson here was that you can plan your shot (or even be spontaneous) once you developed your eye and your relationship with your camera, or you can compensate by spending extra time in the lab (or in front of a computer) post-processing and correcting for all your mistakes.  I’m kinda lazy, so I prefer to take a great shot.  Granted, some people can do wondrous things with Photoshop and other programs, but it’s just not my bag, baby.

2. Always find the good in someone’s work. No matter how crappy our work was, Mrs. Sesack always found the silver lining.  She never lied to us (at least, I don’t think so) or inflated our egos, but she critiqued so well.  I’ve left other critiques defeated, thinking my work was garbage (and it might have been), but she found the right words to keep us inspired.

So, without further ado, here are my first three photos I ever shot.  The only thing I did to these prior to uploading was some dust removal since these were really old prints that were scanned in.  Aside from that, what you see is what I got.

This first one is a photogram.  It’s a photographic process that creates an image without a camera.  We found a variety of opaque and translucent materials and placed them on photographic paper while exposing it to light.  Once developed, it left a cool negative print.  I remember picking this conch shell because I could see some contrast when I held it up to the light and I thought the shape was interesting.  With this photogram, I was practicing my “rule of thirds”.

vbhs_photogram

This next one was shot with a pinhole camera I made (and I wish I still had!).  I shot this in the front lawn of our school, laying on the ground (which I like to do a lot).  I was very proud of myself when I took this back to the lab.  I think I was the only person who got a good exposure on their first try.  This makes me want to build another pinhole camera.  For those non-photographers out there, a pinhole camera is basically a light-tight box with a piece of photographic paper taped inside (this is your ‘film’).  The ‘lens’ of the camera is a pinhole that is covered up or taped over until you are ready to ‘shoot’ (or expose the paper to light).  You control the exposure by varying the amount of time you expose the paper to light and by the size of the pinhole.

vbhs_pinhole_camera_hydrant

If I remember correctly, this photo was the first that I took with actual film.  As a class, we walked to a nearby park and with our partners we could each take 2 photos on the roll of film.  I still have these negatives to prove it!  Again, I liked to get in crazy positions and find something different (there were a lot of photos of the same tree in this class).  With this shot, I layed down and peered through a small sewer to the other side.  There was a little bit of water at the bottom, which provided a reflection of the sticks and grass at the other end.

vbhs_sewer

September 15, 2009

Will it blend?

Filed under: Photography, Videos — Tags: , , , — JW @ 3:54 pm

See what happens when you put an Olympus DSLR in a blender.  I’m a Nikon guy, but this still makes me cringe a little.

September 14, 2009

Camera Van comes to Spartanburg

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , , , — JW @ 3:25 pm

This just pulled up in front of my office at the Herald-Journal.  The Camera Van, created by Harrod Blank, has over 2,000 cameras, four working monitors and even has six functioning Canon EOS cameras wired via remote cables to a shutter button panel on the dashboard.

To the average passerby, this van is weird, but to a photographer and collector of antique cameras, this van is awesome.   Unfortunately, I had to get back to work or else I could have spent all afternoon talking to Harrod and exploring the features of the van.  However, I was able to hand him $20 for his book of Art Cars and snap a couple pics with my Blackberry.  Check out his website www.cameravan.com.  He will be showing his documentary film about Art Cars at the Chapman Cultural Center on Wednesday.

Harrod and his camera van

monitors and more cameras

license plate

CameraVan4

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