Monday, January 31, 2011

Day Twenty-One

Another day in the 365! This day in particular was very busy, emotional wise because I realized that all the photos taken for my projects have to be redone. So once classes were done, I decided to relax and not think about school.
Of course, I couldn't forget about this individual project, so I tried to think of something simple but interesting. This is what I came up with...
Shot with a Nikon D80 using a 60mm macro lens, with the settings f/3.2, 1/60 shutter speed, and 640 ISO.
Simple enough but has something to it!
There is no way turning back now! 344 days to go!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day Twenty

Oh wow, was today a long/frustrating/cold/etc. day! I took photos for two different projects, and one in particular took the longest. Again, my photos were taken in .jpg (I swear I changed it this morning as I was packing everything up) and because they are for one of my photo projects, I have to redo them.
Knowing I have to redo them, I thought I'd show you the progress in the mime project. So keep in mind that this isn't the final project, it's just steering in the direction that I am aiming for.
Let me know what you think! (I am going for irony)
Shot with Nikon D3 28-70mm wide-angle zoom lens(Yes, it seems like I am only using this lens for my photos, but I'm using three different lenses. It's just that this lens seems to be the only one that takes photos that I like. :]) F/2.8, 1/320 shutter speed, and 100 ISO.

Day Nineteen

So again, I realized that my blog didn't post when I posted it last night. I don't know what is going on this weekend! Again, I have been shooting everything in .jpg! You'd think I'd learn from Dave and Dana's shoot (I swear I changed it back to RAW) but obviously not!
Not only are my 365 pictures in .jpg but my project photos are as well. So lucky me, I have to reshoot them.
Anyway, I took this picture probably 5 minutes to 12am, so that's why it is weird but at least I took the picture! :P

Shot with a Nikon D3 with 28-70mm wide-angle zoom lens. f/2.8, 1/100 shutter speed, and 1600 ISO.
Now, I need to write today's blog.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day Eighteen

Today was a very interesting/annoying/fun day.
It started off with school, which ended early because everything was completed early. Then I had to wait at school for three hours until I could use the photo studio to take photos for one of my classes. They turned out pretty cool until I realized I couldn't use them! Why? Because I shot in JPEG and not RAW!
I didn't even find this out until after I helped Dave and Dana (from my work) with their photo shoot. Which is the photo that I am using for today! I love how it turned out, except for the fact that it wasn't taken in RAW. I know, it shouldn't be that big of a deal but it really bummed me out when I found out.
Anyways, this is the photo.

It was taken with a Nikon D3 and 28-70mm wide-angle zoom lens. F/2.8, 1/320 shutter speed, and 2500 ISO.
I ended up taking this image into Photoshop and played with the colors a little bit to give it a different feel. Also, I made two layers to lighten and darken the water coming off of Dave.
For a jpeg image; this turned out pretty sweet!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day Seventeen

Okay, today's picture. I can't believe I am still doing this. And I know it looks bad that I don't write a lot, but I got off of work at 10PM tonight and I still have a lot of homework to do.
So, here is today's photo.

Day Sixteen

Well, I was about to post my day seventeen picture when I realized that my day sixteen photo didn't post! At first I thought I was just looking at my blog page wrong but no. I just didn't post it.
It was a very long story about how my day went, and how the picture was probably 10 minutes of that day because I was too busy to really think of a good one. I didn't save the writing, thinking that I didn't need to keep a second draft, obviously I was very wrong.
Anyways, I have nothing else to really say because I still have to post today's picture. So here ya go!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day Fifteen

Tuesday is always such an interesting day of the week! Not only do I work with Dave, but I get off at 1:45PM, so I have the rest of the day to do my projects/photos.
A project that I have due soon, is a professional portrait that shows drama or irony. Since, it has to be a real job, I decided to use Kevin's brother-in-law, who is a police officer. The shoot was scheduled today but because it gets dark early, I didn't have enough time to get everything done that I wanted. So, I decided to go a different route.
How about a portrait of a mime?
No, this isn't my final, I wanted to see if I could actually do the makeup. It is fairly easy, but a little messy when it comes to putting eye makeup on a guy who doesn't like their eyes being touched. (aka Kevin) :]
I won't be using him as my final model because I'm looking for someone who can play with their facial gestures a bit more. This is the first step, but I thought I'd use this as today's picture just to tell you about my idea.
Wonder what tomorrow will bring. :]

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day Fourteen

It has been a very eventful day; project wise. Not only do I have to take a photo every day, I now have two different photo projects for my classes. It is the third week of school and I already find myself getting stressed out by the little things.
I've been tempted to give up on this 365 project, so I can put my mind at ease a little more but I realized that this was the point all along! To challenge myself, to take a photograph every day, to push my creativity.
For example, today I went home after school knowing I still had to take todays photo. Nothing around me seemed interesting enough or I didn't feel like going outside in the cold. So, I pushed myself to think outside the box.
Honestly, this picture is awkward! The way it is cropped, how the bar on the top is angled, the balls on the shoes seem too distracting, the glare on the shower door, etc. It's exactly what I wanted!
You need to examine this picture, and dissect it; one imperfection at a time.

Shot with Nikon D80 with 18-135mm zoom lens. ISO 400, f/3.5, and 1/100 shutter speed.

14 down, 351 photos to go!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day Thirteen

Today didn't go exactly how I planned. Kevin and I were supposed to go to Elk Grove to take pictures of his sisters husband, but something happened where we couldn't. So today ended up being a lazy day.
Oh by the way; Go Packers! I watched the game today, which is making me excited to go to school tomorrow and see what everyone says! Anyways, my neighbor was being super loud when the game was going on, so I thought I would be a creep and take a picture of his door through my peep hole!
Hopefully tomorrow will bring a more interesting photograph.

Day Twelve

So I am posting this really late because Kevin and I ended up staying at his brothers house later than expected. But you should know that this picture was taken before 12AM so it still counts as the days photo. :]
I am going to try and be quick because it is 2:20AM and I need to get up by 9 to do a photo shoot. So here's the photo!

Quick enough?!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day Eleven

This is already the eleventh day of my 365 project! I know, 11/365 is not that big of a deal but this is a really big step for me! This is the first time, in a long time, that I am sticking with a goal.
Normally, I tell myself that I need to do or work on something and in the end I give up. I don’t know if you remember me saying in my first blog, how Dave and I are doing this project together. Well, now I am a loner. Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to call him out or anything, it is better he got out now rather then waiting til he’s halfway through. Maybe next time Dave! :]
Anyways, class ended early today, so I finished my homework for the class already that’s due next week. The main reason is so I have one less thing to worry about this weekend. I decided to take my 365 while the sun was still shining but I just couldn’t get a decent shot. It also doesn’t help that the sun reflects off the snow, so you have to constantly watch/change my settings.
I had some time to myself, so I decided to finish up all my product shots for Gene’s class. Not many of them turned out the way I wanted them to, and honestly wouldn’t be posting these if I had a choice. I worked on these for so long that I lost track of time, and before I knew it, it was already 10 minutes to 12AM. So, I am using one of my product shot pictures as today’s picture.

I know, very boring, at least compared to what I normally do but i can't do anything about that. So, look forward to tomorrow's picture. Hopefully that one will be more interesting. :]

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day Ten

I should really quit smoking cigarettes! Not only are they horrible for my health, but they make it difficult to breathe during winter, especially when it’s below zero.
Work went from 11am til 10pm today, so I had to take my photo within two hours. I decided to go to the Glenview train station because I had been there before, and I remember seeing this red telephone booth. Every time I passed this booth, I always thought what a cool picture it would be.
So, I drove the 35 minutes to Glenview so I could take this one picture. Which by the way took about two minutes because I couldn’t breathe.

Taken with a Nikon D3 with a 24-70mm wide angle zoom lens, set to 1600 ISO, f/2.8, and 1/100 shutter speed.
But it is late, and I realized that I cannot write, so I will end it here.
Ten down! Three hundred fifty-five to go!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day Nine

Today seemed like such a long day, and I have no idea why. Maybe it's because I am realizing all the work I have to do for my classes, and I am having a hard time to find my creativity.
I have to take product shots for one of my classes, so I stayed after school today to use the photo studio.
I was in there for about two hours before I gave up because I realized that I didn't have all the products that I needed to make it look good. So, I decided to use the 'best' one for my photo of the day.
I am not a fan of product photography. Why? Because I am not that good at lighting yet and product photography is ALL about the lighting. So, I dislike it very much and give major props to the photographers who do it. So, here's my sad excuse for product photography.
Oh, by the way, this is the pipe that I recieved from my Opa in Germany that I recently talked about in one of my blogs.

Let me know what you think?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day Eight

Happy 7 months Kevin!
Today all I did was work from 7:45AM til 2PM, go home for two hours to take a nap, then back to school from 4-7PM, to assist Manol with teaching high school teachers how to take photography. Afterwards, Manol gave me some tips on how I can improve on my photography, and tips on the project for his class.
After school I felt inspired to take today’s photo, so this is what I came up with.

Shot with a Nikon D3 using an 85mm lens at f/1.4, 1/80 shutter speed, and 1600 ISO. I edited this first in Lightroom, to get the color corrected, then I opened it in Photoshop and individually masked out 3 sections to apply filters to add different sharpness filters.
What do you think?!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day Seven

I am going to make this quick, since my photo was taken very quickly, so I could take it before 12AM. I had a very lazy day today, and honestly forgot about my 365 project until 11:45PM. So, I had very little time to decide what I wanted my picture to be.
This is shot with a Nikon D3 with 85mm lens shot 1/100 shutter speed, f/2.8, and ISO of 1600. But I feel very rushed right now, so I have very little ideas what to write at this point. So, comments or anything else is welcome. I’m off to bed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day Six

Today was very eventful! To start off, my parents got back from Germany today, which I had to pick them up from the O’Hare airport around 2pm. I brought my camera along with to maybe take today’s photo, but I was only there for about 5 minutes before they came out of the doors. So, I didn’t get any good shots while being there, hopefully another time though.
They brought back German chocolate, which is the only chocolate I like to eat, and two smoking tobacco pipes! Both of which my Opa had bought, before he quit smoking. I do not have any pictures of them at the moment but I was thinking maybe I could take some creative shots of them for one of my 365 days.
When they were about to leave, their car wouldn’t start, so we had to go to Wal-Mart to get jumping cables, and once everything was settled, they went on their way back to Wisconsin. Now, I am at Kevin’s house writing my proposal for Manol’s class, and trying to figure out which products I will be using for my product shots for Gene’s class.
Today’s picture is actually located in Kevin’s basement. It’s the type of basement where the size is the entire space of the house but you have to crawl to get your way around it. It was so dark under there, I had no idea what was right in front of me. So, when I was taking pictures, I put the camera on auto focus and just started shooting. And I ended up with this shot.
Again, not one of my best shots but I think it is interesting in its own way. I guess this is what I get for just pointing and shooting my camera without even looking.
I am going to start something new in these blogs now, where I tell you the process of editing my pictures. There has been a couple of people asking me questions on what I did to achieve certain looks, so I thought that I would make it easier and just explain it on here.
Shot with Nikon D3 camera body and a 24-70mm wide zoom lens, set at an f-stop of 2.8, shutter speed 1/120 and an ISO of 1000. The only editing I did to this photo was take it in Lightroom3 and turn it black and whit and turn up the clarity. Also, I lightened the blacks so you could see a little more detail.
Three hundred fifty-nine pictures to go!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day Five

Today was more of a relaxed/lazy day for me. My day consisted of sleeping in, watching family guy, helping Kevin with his project, and taking today’s picture.
I will not say the location where this picture was taken, let’s just say that this bathroom is never used. When I was looking around the location, I saw the bathroom and automatically knew that it was going to be the location of day five. I started taking pictures of the falling down ceiling paint, the holes in the walls, the rusty, moldy sink, and then I opened the shower door.

Normally, you would get disgusted at a sight like this, but I was oddly inspired. Wondering how a photo will show the grotesque look and feel but will make the audience want to keep looking at it. I shot every possible angle and distance that I could think of to achieve this. Once I thought I got the shot, I hurried out to get a fresh breath of air.
Think I accomplished what I wanted?
Comments always welcome!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day Four

You know how when you’re trying to qui,t or keep yourself committed to something, and they say the third day is always the hardest? They lied. Every day is the hardest. Even though last night was the third night, and I was very tempted to not post my day three picture; because honestly, it sucks. The only reason why it’s actually posted, is because Kevin, my boyfriend, made me. But everyday has obstacles that you need to overcome, and I honestly think for this project, everyday gets harder.
I understand that a photographer is always going to have photos better than others but I have to admit, I absolutely hate showing people photos that I don’t feel are strong. Maybe, that’s another reason why it is good for me to be doing this.
Today I had class until 12PM, so thankfully, I had the rest of the day to put my mind towards today’s photo.
I ended up finding a nature preserve off Schaumburg Road and walked around there for about two hours, which I absolutely loved! I feel like I haven’t gone on a nature walk in so long from being stuck in a city, but now I know there are at least some places where I can enjoy the fresh air.
Anyways, as I was walking, three female were walking in front of me, stopping me in my tracks. Without even thinking, I brought my camera to my eye and started to shoot. Two of them ended up running away, but one just stood there and stared at me; as if she knew she was being photographed and wanted to be my subject.
I was using a Nikon 85mm lens, which is not that good for far away distances, so after about 10 decent pictures, I reached for the 70-200mm around my shoulder, but by the time I took the lens cap off, she was already on her way to catch up with the other two.

This photo is when she was staring at me. This isn’t the best picture in the world, I can admit that but the connection I felt with this deer; makes the whole entire picture for me. Like she knew I was going to be there and that I was going to use this picture for my project. (If you can't see this, you can always click on the picture, and it will go to a new tab and get larger)
4 days down.. 361 left to go.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day Three

Surprisingly I had a very good day today. Even though I was at school since 11:00AM til close just to work. I felt like I got a lot of homework done, and this reason was to put my mind towards this project. I find myself starting to look at things in a different way than what I am used to.
Normally, I don’t even take a second look at what I am surrounded with everyday. Now, I am starting to look at this ‘normality’ and try to see if it can be twisted, poked, bent or formed into something new. Something that really made my creativity want to come out, was a reading that was assigned from my favorite teacher, Manol.
“Whistler’s Hippopotamus” by M.F. Agha talks about “the quest for a way to define opposing camps in photography…” The one thing that made me actually want to read and not just skim through, was the title(hippopotamus’ are my favorite animals) Still, when I first started this reading, I had the mindset of another college student about to read another forced homework reading. But as I read on, I felt myself engaging in the words being said.
He started talking about the Modern photography and how it leans more toward the “strange, weird, grotesque things”. And then comes my favorite part, “Our friend, the hippopotamus, represents the spirit of modern photography in more ways than one. He stands for everything that is strange and bewildering, formidable and repulsive; but, at the same time, he symbolizes the triumph of honest photography over fake photography. Just look at his skin… It’s full of spots and blotches—as the skin should be in an honest, unretouched, Modern photograph.”
I realized I had a huge smile on my face! My favorite animal represents what I believe my photography to be. I have never edited a photograph of mine, to the point where it looked nothing like how it did when I captured the photograph (unless, I obviously had to do it for a class). It definitely spiked my motivation level up a couple notches.
Anyways, here is a picture one of my friends from WI (Kat Grudowski) sent me after realizing my favorite animal is a hippo.

Isn’t it adorable! :] No, it isn’t my photo, I just wanted to show it!

Here is my third photo of 365.
It's not a good representation of what I was talking about in the earlier paragraph but hopefully my later photos will.
I've been looking at it too long now, so I will end it and make you the ones that have to look at it now.

Only 362 to go!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day Two

Okay! It’s only day two, and I already have to tell myself to not give up! I never realized how difficult and how much motivation I need to take a photo everyday! But I am doing it! Dave Mahan(my friend, schoolmate, and co-worker) and I decided that we would start our 365 project on the same day to make sure the other will not give up. So far, so good!
I won’t go into too much detail about my day because it was fairly boring. So, I will tell you how this picture was created. I used my Canon 40D and the 18-125mm kit lens. I shot at 1600 ISO, shutter speed of 1/60, and 3.5 F-stop. If you ask me, I have no idea why I have to have my ISO at the highest it will go, maybe because it is a cheap camera.

I actually like it though, because I only have one lense and camera body to work with(if I don’t have access to the Nikon D3 from school), so it really forces me to think outside the box. They always say, it doesn’t matter on what type of camera you have, it depends on how good the photographer is.
Anyways, let me know what you think! I love constructive critisism, so don’t hold back on comments!

Only 363 days left!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day One

Today was very interesting I must say. Not exactly what I had hoped for the first day of my 365 project.
I had work 7:45am until 2pm, and had to stay an hour later because Steve(my boss,) always has meetings for us at work in the beginning of the quarter. Then I headed to CarX for a much needed oil change and was told that I needed new tires because mine were going bad(keep in mind that I JUST got tires a little over a month ago). The mechanic said I would have to pay $500 for tires and $75 for alignment. Really?! Just because I am a girl, doesn’t mean that I am stupid!
Anyways, by the time they finished changing my oil, it was already getting dark out. And I was already disappointed that I had forgotten my camera at home, so I tried to drive as fast as I could in this horrible weather before the sun came down. I got ready to be outside for a while and by the time I got outside, it was already dark! I was so ready to give up this 365 but I am refusing to give this up already!
So after a long time being outside, driving here, driving there; I finally found something somewhat interesting! And this is what I came up with. Not my best, I know. But Hey! That’s what 365 is all about! To get better at taking photographs.

1 down! 364 to go!

P.S. I would have had this posted before 12AM if:
1. I knew how to upload an image. (it took me a couple tries to finally figure it out)
2. My internet wasn’t slow!
3. I didn’t spend so much time writing this blog. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project 365

So I’m not really sure where to start off, I am new to this whole blogging thing, so I’ll start off with the basics about myself.
            My name is Zenita Hill, I am 19 years old and I am a Digital Photography student at The Illinois Institute of Art – Schaumburg. I am in my seventh quarter and have been LOVING it! I came to this school with a goal of wanting to be a photographer for National Geographic. I have not given up that goal, but being at this school has broadened my horizon for the type of photography that I am interested in.
            So, with the inspiration of my sister, Krysta Hill, who just recently was hired for an internship in New York with Marie Claire (CONGRATULATIONS KRYSTA!! I LOVE YOU!), and Kate Barr, who just recently finished her 365 project, I have started this blog.
            In hopes for my photography and writing skills to become stronger, I am starting my own 365 project. What is a 365 project? It is a year long project where you take one photo everyday, for 365 days, with a theme of your choice. What is my theme? Inspiration.
            I haven’t thought of a great title yet, but I will basically take one photo of anything that inspires me. I wanted to start on January 1, but I let myself get distracted and let myself forget about it, so now it’s January 10 and I still have not started!
            This is why I am doing a blog! I am setting a goal for myself that I have to post the picture that I take everyday. I decided that tomorrow will be my first day, since it is already 10pm at night and I just thought of this idea now.
            Oh! Something that you might find a little helpful is that I have a Canon EOS 40D with the cheap zoom lenses that really make me want to throw them across the room. BUT being the lucky person that I am, I work at The Equipment Cage at my school! And having an amazing boss like Steve, I am able to have access to a Nikon D3 and amazing lenses!
            But I think I’ll end it here, seeing as it is my first post, I don’t want to bore anyone with my unpleasant writing skills and no pictures.