This is a view from the 11th floor of my residence where I lived for the past two years. It’s an old one from earlier in the year as you can see from the winter wonderland scene.
A couple nights ago I attended an event called “Flow in the Dark” hosted by a well known student group that I am a part of here on campus. Basically, the concept was to hold a blacklight (flow) yoga class that combined yoga with a nightclub-like atmosphere. It was a year kickoff event that the group had been planning since the end of last school year.We had a great turnout (as you will see).
In terms of photographic styles, I had never done anything quite like this before. The low lighting conditions combined with the movement of the “yogis” were the main difficulties. I did some research before the big day and made some notes:
I did borrow a tripod from my friend, but through most of the night, I ended up just sticking to using a really high ISO and a very large aperture (“quick handheld shots”) because I needed to be on my feet. Because of these restricted settings, much of the depth and quality was lost in the photos. To remedy some of the graininess in the photos, noise reduction had to be applied in Lightroom during post-processing. I took advantage of the time during sound/light check to play around with camera settings with the tripod. I tried a deeper depth of field and a lower ISO, but I couldn’t get it how I wanted it (there was always too much light resulting from the shutter being open for too long). Perhaps adjusting shutter speed in M mode or investing in an external flash would have been a good bet, but either way I had to move around so a tripod was not a practical option. Overall, I have to say this event was quite a challenge for me and I did learn a lot just from going out there and trying. Shout-out to Health and Wellness Movement for hosting this great event! I had so much fun!
Here are some of the highlights from the night. Enjoy!
These shots captured the nightclub atmosphere.
The party begins…
Our amazing crowd 🙂
And lastly, it wouldn’t be Bonnie Chow Photography without some bokeh ❤
This was a bittersweet day. It was probably the last field trip I will ever go on as a high school student. Nevertheless, it was tons of fun and a day to remember. In terms of photos there were tons of cool HDR and texture shoots. The lighting was questionable as it was too harsh and direct sunlight. I made use of lens flares and star effects; and aimed to shoot in the open shade or with the sun as backlight. When we first arrived, I wasn’t overly inspired or creative enough to dive right in a start shooting because the setting was kind of out of my style. I soon found interesting subjects and looked for different perspectives that others may not capture. My goal was for every picture to be shot with a purpose or to include an interesting element, like a lens flare, HDR, cool foreground, or contrasted textures.
Highlights: I really like how these shots turned out.
Texts and Textures: These flat designs were emphasized with some post-production. The texture combined with the contrast and texts really made these photos stand out to me.
This was apparently a long-awaited-for post. I was deciding whether or not to upload this composite. I was not completely happy with the “green version” of this because the water drops did not blend that well with the shapes in the background photo. I decided to put it on a black background to see the effect it would have; I like the simplicity of it. To give it more dimension, I added a glow from the bottom left corner and a neon line. It took a lot of blocks and layers in Photoshop. Through this process, I became more comfortable with managing layers. Next time, I think a little more planning beforehand would have been better and would have made for a much less painful process. I really liked how the wave at the bottom turned out. the shape was able to fit the way I wanted it to fit into the photo.
Recently I have been working on producing composite images. I just completed my second Photoshop composite of the semester. Here are the photos it consists of.
White background added.
Layer masking after selections to get the separate parts.
Displacement mapping was used to create the blur of the bottom of the bottle as the eye would see it through the water.
There were two layers of the splash itself; one above and one under the bottle layer. The opacity of the one on the top was lessened in order to let the bottle show through a little more. (in a gradient manner, less opaque near base) The splash was also warped and transformed to shape to better work with the shape of the bottle. The opacity of the reflection was also brought down.
Level adjustments were added to blend the lighting further.
I like the detailed sharpness of this photo and the fresh blue/green tones. Something I noticed that could be improved is that the edges of the bottle are not very distinct because it is too “blown out”.
Since last year, I have always had “re-shoot waterdrops” on my photo list. This weekend I got around to it. Despite not having done anything to do with the external flash for a very long time, I figured out the set-up very quickly. I’d say the second time around went way smoother, compared to last year. I was able to focus on getting the shoot instead of the technicalities behind it. The splash would be light up by the flash and that would indicate to me if I had gotten the shot or not. This skill was something I have developed.
Over the long weekend, I did a wedding photoshoot for a client. It was a very hectic day and I was on my feet for 12 hours straight. I have learned a lot over the course of my experience as a intern wedding photographer. Here are some main things I picked up:
• Be bold, but never obstructive (This is during the ceremony mainly…I never know where to stand.)
• Create a ‘Shot List’ for formals (This helped me to stay organized and on track of things. It also puts pressure off you knowing you haven’t missed a single shot.)
• Wedding Photography Family Photo Coordinator (This part of the day is chaotic. Having someone who knows the family well will be very helpful.)
• Shoot the small details (Don’t lose track of the small things.)
• Consider Your Backgrounds
• Change Your Perspective
• Fill flash is your friend (I have become more comfortable with using flashes in low lighting conditions.)
• Continuous Shooting Mode (This allows me to never miss a moment.)
Here are some black and white conversions of some of my favourite photos from the wedding.
Wedding Cake Decor: I wanted to incorporate the streak of light in the background to create depth and interest in the black and white conversion.
Portrait: I am happy with how this simple subject turned out.
Some things I kept in mind while shooting with black and white in mind included, contrast, texture, and defined shadows and highlights. I was shooting in RAW for most flexible post-manipulation and a fairly low ISO to reduce noise, in the blacks especially. I like how black and white is suitable for almost any occassion.
On this shoot, my goal was to capture the details in the sky as the sun was setting. I was to strengthen my skills shooting in manual mode . I also wanted to experiment with shooting panoramic images. During the shoot, I keep in mind that I may want to incorporate theses images into composite (backgrounds) in post production, but in the end I did not use any of these shoots for my composites as I came up with other ideas.
My first panorama images:
Notes when shooting:
(Shoot in manual; lock in shutter, aperture, ISO; portrait orientation; 1/4 overlap)
Notes in Postproduction :
(Program: Photoshop CS6 Merge to Panorama)
(Edit–>Fill–>Content Aware Fill)