Mountain Girl

When my friend Jem was in town a few weeks ago, we went up to Chautauqua Park in Boulder with our friend A so that A could model and Jem and I could practice taking portrait shots. Chautauqua is awesome for photography because it’s snuggled up to the base of the Flatirons that look over Boulder (so it’s very picturesque) but it’s also annoying because if you don’t get there at exactly the right time of day, the sun makes taking pictures really hard (it’s too bright or it’s already hidden behind the Flatirons)! The lighting was definitely a bit frustrating when we were there but it made for a good challenge to get good pictures of A! Yay portrait practice! Can’t wait till you get a DSLR too A so that we can model for you to return the favor! :) Anyway, it was really fun and A did a great job being photogenic so I’d have to say this was a success.

I love the picture above because the rock A is standing next to mirrors the giant Flatirons behind it. I love the pictures below too… Take a look!

This one I am proud of because I just learned to make that reflection of the sun in her sunglasses into that starbursty shape. I love it. It makes the pic look super epic.

For some reason, I love the dramatic backlighting and A’s windblown hair in this picture. Plus you can see the Flatirons in the background.

This one is fun because you can see me and Jem in A’s glasses. Hi Jem! :)

What are you like in front of the camera? Are you an absolute ham like I am (sometimes it’s seriously really hard for me to decide if I want to be in front of or behind the camera…) or do you run from the camera? Is there something you really hate about yourself in pictures of you (I always feel like I’m slouching in pictures :p)? What about something you love?

By the way, don’t you love how beautiful and sunny all those pictures of A are? Yeah… it’s been ridiculously warm here… So much for December being wintery. Though I guess we are supposed to get snow this weekend…

Portrait: Fairytale wedding

I know Erin has already posted this pic on her blog but because I took it, I think it’s justifiable for me to post it here too. Anyway, this is a pic from Erin’s wedding last weekend, which Cobalt and I were fortunate enough to attend. It was awesome and this picture is also awesome. I am not sure how much of the awesomeness actually belongs to me though; it looks like Erin and her new husband Brian are doing most of the work… I just got lucky. Congrats on your wedding Erin and Brian! It was a wonderful day and I am sure you two will have a wonderful life together too. So happy we could be there to celebrate with you guys!

Anyway, I sincerely apologize for the lack of posting I’ve been doing recently. It was in part due to the fact that I was on an epic trip to the east coast (first went to a conference in New York, next went to visit my grandparents, and then ended up here at Erin’s and Brian’s wedding…) Now that that’s over, we’ll see about getting more regular posts in, shall we?

Rest in Peace Severus Snape

Sad days, friends. My venus fly trap, Severus Snape, has died. I got him back in 2008, before I was even in grad school and he’s been with me through all the craziness that has happened since. And now he’s gone. I think he had a pretty good life, chillin’ inside on my window sill while it snowed outside in the winter and sunning himself outside in the summer. Once I had to rescue him during my first year in grad school because my crazy neighbor decided not to notice that her dog was chewing on my plant! :p Last winter though he suffered a fall from my second floor balcony when the wind got too rough for him and I thought he’d pulled through okay but maybe not. Maybe this has been coming for a long time. Saddddd… I loved that plant. Sorry if I failed you Severus but I hope you’re in a better place now. Thanks for being such an awesome friend during some fairly crazy years… :( Last night, Cobalt and I had a candlelit vigil for Severus, pictured here.
Also sorry to you fellow blog readers, apparently planning for a wedding while simultaneously trying to work on getting my PhD is a lot of work! ;) I’ve been so busy that I haven’t really had time to take pictures, besides this one, which Cobalt and I took last night in honor of Severus. Maybe he was sad because his namesake died in Harry Potter 7 part 2 this summer…

Portrait: The beginning

This weekend, I had the pleasure of getting to be an event photographer. It was one of the most fun things I have done in a long time and I was totally not expecting it. Here’s what happened (in a nutshell): My friend Matt (shown here) is in a band called The Firebird 4000 Project and I went to go see their recent show. I brought along the Nikon D80 just because I thought that a concert venue might be fun to photograph. Then when I got there, The Firebird 4000 Project got really excited and told me to go ahead and photograph the entire show! It was fun. It was a really good experience I think because it showed me how much I have grown as a photographer. I was comfortable with my camera, whirling dials, pressing buttons, and even changing lenses mid-show. I was purely focusing on how to make whatever shot the best it could be. How should I frame this? Where should my subject be? What should be in focus? How much depth of field should I have? I ran all around the band trying to get some group shots and individual shots of each of the members. And I took over 100 pictures… I can’t wait to play event photographer again (whenever that is…)
You’re probably thinking to yourself right now that this picture up there looks more like a portrait than a picture from a concert and you are right. This is pre-show. But tomorrow is when the real fun begins…

Portrait: 4th…

This weekend marked Cobalt’s and my four month anniversary of being engaged! Awwww cute! :D The lady who was kind enough to take this picture noticed that we were struggling to get a good portrait on our own (see last Wednesday’s post to see our failed attempt. Hahaha…). Anyway, happiness. This weekend, my friends and I went to look for bridesmaids dresses and found two that we really like! Success. Wow… I am getting excited… :)

Portrait: Denver Chalk Art Festival

Today’s picture comes from this year’s Denver Chalk Art Festival. I love going to the Chalk Art Festival and seeing all the neat things people can put into sidewalk chalk art. Always so fun. This year it was really really hot and there were tons of people milling around so we didn’t actually stay too long. Before we escaped though, I managed to snap this picture. I brought my 50 mm lens for my Nikon D80 instead of my 18-70 mm zoom lens so I was unable to get any pictures of the full chalk art images. I think it was kind of fun to have it that way though because it forced me to be creative and really think about what I wanted to photograph instead of just clicking away at all the cool art (which is in no way bad… obviously… I just couldn’t do it with this lens…). Anyway, this is one of my results. I like it a lot. What do you think?

Portrait: The red stuff

Hello Monday!
Today I am posting this picture of my sister! Cobalt and I went to visit her this weekend and she took us to her favorite coffee shop in town! While we were enjoying our drinks, I busted out the baby camera and played some more with my favorite mode, color accent. Normally I don’t like using it with pink colors because it always bleeds into the subject’s skin color. In this case though, I think it adds a bit of artsy-ness to the picture. :)

Portrait: Congrats, Grads!

Last week, I went to see a bunch of my friends graduate with degrees in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology! Two of them got bachelors degrees and two of them got PhDs! This is a picture of my friend Chris, who is now a Doctor of Philosophy. Yes… He is now Dr. Chris! Anyway, I brought my Nikon D80 and 18-70 mm lens to the ceremony and worked on my people photography skills. In general, I have really been trying to work on my photo composition skills so the graduation ceremony was good practice for that too!
While shooting the graduation, I realized I get lazy with my autofocus setting on the D80. Sometimes, I try to rearrange my shot so that I don’t have to change the focus point on the lens instead of changing the focus point to match my shot. That seems a little silly when you think about it! I wonder if I should make myself go back to manually focusing all my pictures in order to get myself in the habit of composing a shot and not worrying about whether I can get my subject exactly in the middle of that “focus here” dot… :-/

Portrait: Duplicity

Ahhhhhh fun with mirrors to start out our week today! Cobalt and I had a bit of fun playing around with our (D)SLRs yesterday. This picture came out of playing with the mirrors in his bathroom. Of course mirrors are awkward to photograph because if you use a flash, you get that crazy bright speckle all over the subject. So you have to take pictures with really low f numbers to try to allow as much light in as possible. Remember that the consequence of low f numbers is that you have a smaller depth of field. So check it out. My eyelashes are in focus here and the rest of me is in various shades of blur. Kinda neat, huh? I also like that my reflection looks sly but my actual eyes look a little shy… Ooooo…

Btw, today is my sister’s birthday!!!! Craziness, wee! I hope you have a wonderful day… :D