Black and White: What’s that you see, Russell?

Sometimes I think that I shouldn’t be allowed to have as much fun as I do with my DSLR and its remote control. This picture (and the one below) were taken out of boredom and a huge desire to take a picture of me “lurking” upstairs. So I borrowed Cobalt’s tripod and set it up crazily on the stairs and then busted out the remote control. Russell the shark came along for the ride. These pictures were kind of silly not only to pose for but just to take in general. Every few pictures, I’d stop and run down the stairs to check out my results/determine if I wanted to change any of the settings/my poses or whatever. Ha… I am so weird. Anyway, I love this picture because it is just so goofy. I feel like I am on some crazy children’s network TV show and Russell and I have to solve some sort of crazy mystery before the evil guy gets us!
On a completely different note, check out the picture below. Here, I felt like I was going to sneeze and I thought it would be funny to have a picture of me sneezing with Russell just hanging out… So here it is.
FINALLY… on a completely random note, when I typed this post’s title, I typed “Blah and White.” I hope you don’t think these pictures are blah… :(

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

A softer side

I think this one works best if you are a bit farther away from your computer screen. Hey… better for your eyes anyway, huh? Anyway, I LOVE this picture. It turned out so neat. Looks all old or something. Or looks like I just paused a movie on an old VHS… Anyway, I’ve been messing around with this new technique to take softer portraits. Used to be that you smeared vaseline on a lens filter and then used that filter to make your portraits softer. That just sounds messy to me. So now people use nylon! I went a bit overboard with this picture and I actually put my nylon black stockings over my camera lens as if it were getting all dressed up to go out. Apparently that’s a bit much since Cobalt is so dark. Though I kind of like the grittiness.
As much as I like the drama of the above picture, I think it is a bit much for your every day “soft” portrait. I tried it again with a nylon “ped” that you get at a shoe store (got new shoes last weekend!)… This makes for a much much more subtle effect…
You can barely tell that I am any softer…. ooooo the subtleties… It was a lot of fun to play with this nylon. I found that if I stretched it differently across my lens, I could get more or less “soft” tones. I also found that this is one of those types of photography that doesn’t work so well with the backlit subject. You’ll probably see some more of my “soft” attempts in the near future. Yay! Fun new camera techniques!!!

Shark Comfort

I took this picture probably about a year ago when I was studying for my giant oral qualifying exam (definition: if you pass it, you get to stay in grad school as a Ph.D candidate/basically get your master’s degree – I passed, btw). I was really really stressed about it and studying like a crazy person. So to calm myself down this particular evening, I curled up on my bean bag chair in the corner of my room to read my papers. As you can see, I surrounded myself with all my sharks/shark stuff (you can even see the dorsal fin of my shark arm warmers at the bottom) to help calm myself down too.
I’ve been feeling pretty down lately – mostly just stressed out with work and life – and I wanted a picture to relate how I feel. I feel like a lot of times pictures/daily snapshots focus on happiness (which is a good thing! don’t get me wrong…) but I think that it’s nice to have some contrasting shots in there to make sure that people know it’s okay to be down sometimes too.

Black and White: Waiting out the Rain

I thought I would do another self portrait for today. Like Sunday’s picture, I also took this one with the DSLR on manual focus. This picture comes from when Cobalt and I were visiting Trinidad Lake in Southern Colorado (like you can almost see New Mexico across the lake). We brought our fake glasses, my guitar, and his ukulele to the beach of the lake and tried to take some pictures that looked like indie rock band album covers (hence the black and white… and the glasses…). Ha! At one point, it started raining and we didn’t want our instruments or my camera to get wet so we hid in the car. While in the car, I took this picture.

Happy New Year!

Before I say anything about this picture, I just want to apologize for not posting on Friday! Cobalt and I had a hell of a time trying to get back to Colorado on Thursday because of all the crazy snow and we didn’t end up actually getting home until about 2:30am Friday morning. So I thought sleeping on Friday would be a better idea than doing anything else – such as posting on here! I thought I would make up for it by posting a picture today!
Because of all the snow and the crazy cold temperatures and the threat of wind chill up to -25 degrees F, we decided to stay in and have our own New Years Party instead of attempting to get to one. So here are me and Cobalt all curled up on the couch ready to wish everyone a happy new year! This picture is neat because it is taken with my mom’s old 28 mm lens (so about 50 mm lens for my DSLR) from her old film SLR. She bought it in the 70’s so it doesn’t have an autofocus motor and you actually have to set the aperture on the lens instead of on the camera. Fun times. Anyway, all this gibberish boils down to the fact that you can’t autofocus with this lens. So yes, this is a self portrait taken with manual focus. That means I have to guess how far away I am going to hold the camera from our faces and focus the camera on something equally as far away. Ooooo the challenges! :D Anyway, happy new year everyone!

Portrait: So emo…

I think it’s time for a self portrait. Also, this is one of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken of myself. This was taken in October 2009 with my DLSR a few weeks after getting it. I did NOT use autofocus so I had to focus on a cup on my desk that was about the same distance away as the camera would be away from me/my tear when I set it down and took the picture. I took this picture partly because I was procrastinating on my biophysics homework (you can see it lurking under my arm) and partly because I was actually really frustrated with my biophysics homework (hence the emo picture). For the record, that is not a real tear (it’s water) but I can pretty much guarantee you that that emotion on my face is still genuine. Anyway, I just love this picture because it is so nicely focused even without using autofocus.
No worries, I am not feeling emo right now. I am really excited for this week. Should be a lot of fun. Speaking of fun, I will only be posting pictures today (obviously) and tomorrow this week. I figure that I should be spending my time enjoying the Thanksgiving season (/getting more exciting pictures) instead of worrying what to post every day! I hope you all have fun things planned for your Thanksgiving weeks too!

I don’t think I did much to this picture besides crop it and then desaturate the colors a bit to make for a more dreary picture. Goes with the emo-ness.