Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Post XI: Instagram

If you have a smart phone, you've probably heard about Instagram. Instagram is a social networking app that lets people post pictures instead of words. Like a twitter, but instead of tweets, you post photos.

Instagram allows you to use filters and frames to make your photos look old, new, or black and white. You can also "tag" people in your photos so they are associated with another person's Instagram account, or use hashtags (#) to tag objects in your photos.

Recently, Instagram announced that they now have web profiles for all Instagram accounts, so you can look at the photos online on your computer instead of a phone.

My Instagram username is @thecollegiatenail, after my blog. I post anything from nail photos to pet photos to my recent weightloss journey and food.

I found a widget that displays my recent Instagram photos in my blog, so please feel free to take a look!

In my opinion, Instagram is quite the innovation for smart phones. Some of my instagram photos are ones that I will want to have for the rest of my life, and having them stored electronically where I can access them on my phone or computer makes it easy to do so!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Post X: Light Box Tutorial

I'm super excited for tonight's post. I will be showing you how to make a light box out of a shoebox. Light boxes are great because they diffuse light really well.

Step 1:

Choose any shoebox.

Step 2:

Cut out the top, left, and right sides with an exacto knife, only keeping the frame in tact.

Step 3:

Your box should look like this when you're done cutting out the sides.

Step 4:

Tape white tissue paper to the frame of the box to cover up the square holes you just cut out. (I folded mine so it was thicker by 3 layers. The more layers you have the more diffused your light will be.)

Your box will start looking like this as you tape the tissue paper down.

Step 5:

Cut a piece of white poster board to fit inside the box, but make it slightly longer than the length of the box. Fit it into the top of the back of the box like so.

Step 6:

Fold the remainder over the bottom of the box and tape it down.

Your box should look like this when you have finished the above steps!

Step 7:

Next, adjust a light source at any side of the box. I use a Trademark UV light lamp, which was about $25 on eBay.

Step 8:

Now you are ready to take pictures! Adjust your object within the box and snap away!

Here are two pictures, one without a light box (left) and one using a light box (right).

You can see how in the picture without the light box, there is a huge glare on the nails. With the light box, it's easier to see the shapes of the glitter and the depth of the polish. The photo using the light box also has softer shadows, a sign that diffused lighting was used.

You can use light boxes for photographing other products as well...

This is the best way to photograph something where you don't want the background to distract the audience.

I hope this tutorial was helpful for anyone looking to make a light box!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Event Photos: SC Pride

On Saturday, October 20th, I went to the SC Pride festival on Main Street in Columbia, South Carolina. The main attractions included a parade, vendors, drag shows and a whole lot of rainbows. Here are some photos I took at the event.

Here, Roller Derby player Michelle rolls around the parade watchers handing out flyers. Many of her teammates were skating around doing the same. Their flyers promoted their game that was held later that night.

This is a touching photo of young parade walker Amanda Catherine. She swept past me on her scooter and smiled when I snapped a photo of her and her sign, reading "Straight But Not Narrow-Minded." There was a unexpectedly large crowd of youngsters at the festival events.

Here a drag queen dressed as Lady Gaga hands out flyers to parade-goers. This was only one of many crazy costumes seen at the parade.

On stage is Reverend Joe Wilm, who was promoting equal rights for members of his church. There was a very strong religious tone to many of the events, speeches, and parade floats at the festival.

In this photo, festival-goer Sarah Cross takes photos of her friends sporting their rainbow attire.

Here are some of the friends of Sarah Cross (pictured above). Bryan M. and Braxton H. are taking in all of the events around them.

Here, Jonathan Green and Kay Stennhouse pose for a photo. Kay is sporting a bright rainbow-colored tutu.

This is John Carell and his crazy rainbow hair accessories.

Festival-goer Mandy Covington bears a rainbow flag across her back while walking from vendor to vendor.

Here a same-sex couple is seen holding hands while watching a show on the main stage.

There were protesters at the parade as well. Many of them (regardless of not being provoked) taunted festival-goers as they walked by, asking "You like that?" while shoving their signs in peoples' faces. Signs they were holding said things like "March With Shame," or had the words "SAME SEX MARRIAGE" or  "ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE" crossed out with a big red mark.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Post VIII: Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens

When we first started discussing shutter speed, aperture, ISO--and how they were all connected--I froze. It was a lot to take in. The only way I was going to figure it out was to practice on my own.  When my roommate suggested a trip to the zoo, I couldn't think of a better place to test my camera out. Most of these photos were taken in Shutter Speed priorities with differing shutter speeds and ISOs. I had to adjust the ISO a lot when we went inside to see the reptiles because they keep it pretty dark in there. We started with the animals, then took a nature walk all the way to the botanical gardens. Here are some of my favorite photos from the day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post VII: Pet Photography

I did not realize how wonderful strobes make your pictures look. They give them an honest, soft quality that could never be achieved with the pop up camera flash. When professor McGill was introducing strobes to the class, she said, "Once you learn how to utilize a strobe you will wonder how you ever lived without one in the first place." She was so right! I was so impressed by the quality of my photos with the strobe that I took the time to do a little photo shoot of my pets when I had it rented out. All of these photos use bounce flash. Another great thing about strobe and bounce flash with pets is that they don't get those evil green eyes from all of the reflecting light. The Chihuahua's name is Lilly, the Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix's name is Piper, and the Lab/Beagle mix's name is Henny. They all have such huge personalities. Enjoy!

The end :)

Another cool thing about these photos is that you can tell huge differences in the lighting between the room with yellow walls and the room with purple walls. Since I used bounce flash, the purple walls gave cooler tones to the photos and the yellow walls gave them a warmer look. Very cool!