Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I Shoot People (3)

The Photographer, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum.

Week 3 of my portraiture class didn't actually revolve around portraiture at all. Part of our assignment was to roam the halls of ACAD and shoot stuff demonstrating some principles of composition. I was at a loss for what to shoot, so waited for Vania to see what she would come up with. When I looked at her, I noticed that her head was at the convergence point of all the diagonals in the frame. So I quickly snapped off a few shots to capture this. Unfortunately, what I had envisioned in my mind, didn't quite translate into the image that I captured.

As it is right now, Vania really is the focal point of the photo, yet she's out of focus. The DoF is set too shallow, and the focal point too close to the camera (the only parts that are sharp are a section of the pipes overhead, and a bit of the lockers down below. This seems very distracting to me with two small areas in focus that are separated by a space that isn't really in focus, leading your eyes to jump around the frame confusedly. If this hadn't been a candid shot, I would've placed her further into the frame, so that your eyes would follow the lines, and end up at her further in the background. Then I think it would've been okay to have her slightly out of focus. Thought process - good, but final result - fail.

Even despite this, I still ended up with a couple shots from our adventure that I liked:

Rule of Thirds
Rule of Thirds, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum

Galoshes, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum

Alright, the Oilers just shot their playoffs hopes like a midget out of a cannon into a brick wall. I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Self Portrait Sunday

Self Portrait Sunday, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum.

I've ruminated over the idea of doing a 365 project (a photo of yourself everyday for a year), but for 3 reasons have decided against it:

1) Nobody wants to see 365 pics of me (not even me).
2) I couldn't muster the energy to do something different and creative for 365 days in a row - there'd be about 300 photos of me in my PJ's
3) The idea of taking and posting a photo everyday is akin to going to work - you do it because you have to, but your heart won't always be in it that day. I take photos because it's fun and is a creative release - I don't need it to become a chore.

So instead, I'm gonna try out my own variation on this theme called Selfy Sundays. It'll be only 52 photos of me, hopefully sandwiched between photos of much more interesting subject matter.

Oh, and I guess in case you're wondering - this selfy is a reflection off of my iMac's monitor, and the blurry image on the right is my blog (it's the photo from the previous post).


Thursday, March 26, 2009


Dreary, originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum.

Aside from the few portraits I've shot lately of Wayne and Vania, I feel like I've been put in a blender with a heaping spoonful of boredom, lethargy, and apathy. If my current state of mind was a Starbucks drink, I'd be a Venti Ennui Smoothie that got spilled out in the parking lot.

Last night we decided we were going to get away for a bit (a mini vacation, before our vacation to Japan in May). Our first thought was Chicago for Easter, but now we've decided to do New York instead. I'm excited, and think that city will rejuvenate and recharge this half dead battery of inspiration. At the very least, I'll get to heckle the Rangers at MSG.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Shoot People (2)

Week two of my portraiture class. Lesson - use of reflectors (in my case, a $10 white foamcore board from Michael's). I would post a side by side diptych of a with and without reflected light portrait, but I'm tired, so forget it. This is what you get.

I really like this portrait. She's got that perfect expression - staring straight into the camera, intense, but relaxed. This one was shot sans reflector. A second shot was taken moments later with a translucent white reflector to camera right, but it was so blinding that it made Vania squint. Note to self - back off a little bit when reflecting the sun.

This is a portrait of Wayne, shot backlit against the sun. There is a reflector being held by Vania (gal in above photo) just over top of my camera to put a bit of light back into Wayne's face. The photo without the reflector has much deeper shadows in his face, which isn't nice and evenly lit like it is here.

Only 44 sleeps till Japan... Good night!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Pat's

Johnny No Neck
Originally uploaded by iHeartDimSum
Happy St. Patty's Day to you all! I hope you indulged in some green beer for me...

I had grandiose plans to do a macro shot of a pint of guiness tonight or something else with an Irish theme, but just didn't have it in me. This is a pic I took during my Christmas visit to Vegreville, with the Diana F+ and fisheye on Portra 400VC. I love how saturated the colours came out, and a friend on flickr pointed out that Dean looks like he's squished inside a snowglobe. I love it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


After a 7 year hiatus (aka, my career), I've gone back to school! ART school at that. I'm taking a portraiture class at ACAD (the Alberta College of Art and Design). No labs, seminars, midterms, or finals. Why the frick didn't I choose this instead of a microbiology honors degree...

We spent most of our first class on the basics of camera operations, but did get a few minutes of actual roam around and shoot time. I'm not really happy with these shots, but thought I'd post a couple anyways.

Vania giving us her rockstar look. I usually frame my portraits much more tightly than this one, but I like the use of space - I just wish I had included more of the wall above her, and maybe moved her off center a bit more. And the glare on both her glasses and the paint of the wall is distracting. Oh well, we only had 20 minutes to roam, set up, and shoot.

Wayne, all around good guy. I like this portrait for it's simple side lighting from the window. But the sun was a bit too bright, and even after spot metering this exposure, there's a hot spot on the side of his face. No actual clipping, but still a bit hot. Kind of hard to turn off the sun though, so I'm not sure I could've done much to change this short of moving him further from the window.

Hopefully by the end of this course, I'll actually snap a portrait that just works. Time for bed. Damn work in the morning...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wasted Days

It was my day off today, so I decided I was going to cull through some old photos from our scrambling adventures in the Rockies. I've been hesitant to post them to flickr -they're not terribly great in terms of resolution coming from my old point and shooters. But there are some pretty dramatic shots in amongst them, so I decided I'd post one. I picked a strange shot of James hoisting a shovel on the summit of Mt. Sparrowhawk.

Do You DIG It?

Then, rather than getting off the computer to do something constructive with my day, I started messing around with the colours, and eventually turned it into a motivational poster... I seriously need a life.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

H to the Izzo

I was sorting through my receipts, and found this one of interest. We bought a 1TB external drive from Costco last weekend. Apparently, I bought it from HOVA himself, Jay Z. Check the cashier name.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Leaky Faucet

So I guess I haven't posted in awhile. I will do a real photo blog post tomorrow, but thought I'd give a slight update. I'm sick, and my nose is dripping like the title of this post. Yay me. I'm tired. Just got home from Maddie's 'small gathering' (I define small as like, two or three people). I don't even want to imagine what a 'large party' would be for her. But it was good. Food was awesome, I made crappy warm caesars (which did not do my already upset stomach any favours), and I borrowed her Canon AE-1 Program SLR. It strangely only has program and shutter priority modes... but I'll give it a whirl anyways.

Okay, time to fix the plumbing in me right nostril, and gets me some rest. Be back tomorrow with hopefully, something a little more inspired than this pathetic cry out for sympathy.