Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dream Big Project Introduction

     Over the past few months I have been learning photography for my Honors Humanities Dream Big Project. We were given 20 hours to learn something we wanted to, and be able to show what we learned and how we progressed over those hours. For my Dream Big Project first semester, I learned how to play the ukulele. I had a lot of fun doing that project, but I haven't picked up my ukulele in months. For this project, I wanted to pick something that I thought I could continue with after the project is done.
     I chose photography because its always been something that has interested me. I always see cool pictures on social media and think, "Man, I wish I could do that." So, when I was given an opportunity to learn how to, I took it. Another reason I chose photography, is because of my love for sports. I know that I really love when parents on my team take pictures and share them with us, and I figured now I could give back. At first I thought about printing out the pictures and selling them, but I decided against that idea. It would cost a lot to buy the special paper and the ink, especially on top of the camera itself, plus I don't think very many people would buy them.
     Going into this project, I knew showing my improvement and what I learned would be difficult. After all, most of it came from research, and then trial and error. So, in my video, I showed my starting point, where the pictures were really dark. Then, I showed some that were decent pictures, but they definitely weren't great. Lastly, I had a slideshow of my favorite pictures from the entire project. I'm not sure how well this will show my progression, but I'm hoping my blog can make up for it. 
     Overall, I really like the learning part of the project, but not the video part. I enjoyed learning a skill that I will have for the rest of my life, and I'm hoping I will still keep up with taking some action shots and cool photos. The only things I disliked about the project were blogging, because it became extremely annoying, and putting together my video, because I was stupid and had major problems. I won't go into depth because you can read my last post about the problems I ran into, but it was just a pain in the butt. After doing two projects like this, I would recommend everyone go out and learn something new that they've always wanted to learn. 

Day 16: Major Video Struggles

     To present my project, I decided to make a video showing what I did and some of the pictures I took. I was having a really tough time with the audio, but I finally got it. Overall, I spent nearly 10 hours over a week putting the video together and editing it. I finally finished it last night at about 8:00. It was a bit longer than I wanted it to be, but I was really happy with how it turned out. I was so proud of it, I decided to show my whole family before I put it on YouTube. They all liked it a lot too. After showing it to my family, I tried to upload it from my iPad. I had edited the video on iMovie on my iPad. I got a message that said I didn't have enough storage to upload it. So I thought, "Okay, no problem. I'll just delete some of the videos off of my camera roll." That is probably the worst decision I have ever made in my entire life. After deleting the videos off of my camera roll, I went back to iMovie to try and upload it again. This time I got a message saying some of the videos were missing, so I couldn't upload it. Panicking, I went to see if they were in my recently deleted, but they weren't because I didn't have enough storage for the videos to go there. I have never been more mad at myself in my entire life.
     After spending 3 hours and 300 dollars on recovery software that didn't even work, my dad emailed my teacher. I was a little pissed off that my dad emailed my teacher without asking me, because it probably should have been me that emailed him. Luckily, my teacher was very understanding and is now giving me until the end of spring break to get the video uploaded.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Day 15: Hummingbird Pictures

     One of my goals this whole project was to get a picture of a hummingbird while it was flying. I'd tried doing this a couple times, but I had either lost my patience, or screwed up the pictures. So today, I committed myself to getting some. I was not going to go inside until I had at least one hummingbird picture I was happy with.
     For the first 15 minutes, there were no hummingbirds. I started to lose interest, and went to go take pictures of the bees in the flowers. This was a little bit scary for me, because I don't like bees. Eventually I made my way back to the plants where the hummingbirds usually come. Finally, after about 40 minutes total, a hummingbird appeared. I tried super hard to get some pictures of it, but they just weren't in focus. I was pretty mad at myself, because now I had to wait for another hummingbird. Lucky for me, the next hummingbird came about 10 minutes after that. I was able to get some pretty good pictures of this one. I was about to go inside, but then another hummingbird appeared. I started snapping pictures of it, hoping they'd turn out okay. I actually ended up liking these pictures the best. Even though waiting for the birds wasn't fun, I'm really glad I was able to achieve one of my goals for this project.

pics from today:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Day 14: Butterfly Pictures

     Today I went outside with the intent of taking cute pictures of my dogs. But, after about 10 minutes, a big yellow butterfly caught my eye. As it was fluttering around my backyard, I realized it would be super cool to get some pictures of it. So, I followed it around from a distance, waiting for it to land somewhere. I followed it around for about 3 minutes, but it felt more like 20. Finally, it landed on one of the palm trees in my yard. I crept up to it really slowly, so I wouldn't scare it. Once I was about 2 yards away, I took out my camera to take pictures of it. I took a lot, because I wasn't sure how long it would sit there for. I wanted to get a picture of it flying away, but I unfortunately missed that opportunity. I was really happy with the pictures I got of it, though. I got pictures of it from the side, and from the top. I got some cute pictures of my dogs too, but I personally think the butterfly is way cooler.

pics from today:

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Day 13: Action Shots Weekend 2, Day 2

     My sister Sydney had another soccer game today in Irvine. On the drive up, I entertained myself by looking through the window at all the places that I thought would be cool places to do photoshoots. When we got to the field, I noticed they were playing on turf. Because it was cloudy and the light was not great, I was curious to see if this would make a difference in the pictures.
     When I got home and uploaded the pictures to my computer, I was pleased to see that the pictures were better than the ones from yesterday. Not only were they brighter, but more of them were in focus. I've decided that I like shooting on turf better than grass. However, I'm not really sure if the turf actually does make the lighting better, or if I've just been lucky the times I've shot on turf. Anyway, I'm really happy with my pictures from this whole weekend, and I can definitely see a lot of improvement.

pics from today:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Day 12 (part 2): Photoshoot with the Youngest One

     So today after the soccer game, I was finally able to convince my youngest sister to do a photoshoot with me. I was a little bit nervous about how she would be in front of the camera. I quickly discovered I was right to be nervous. She always looked awkward when she looked at the camera. I tried everything I could think of to make her look more natural, but nothing worked. I ended up having to take all the pictures of her not looking at the camera so she wouldn't look constipated. I actually really like the way my pictures turned out, but I wish I had been able to get some good ones of her looking at the camera.
     Another thing I discovered, is that when you work with younger kids, you have to make it fun for them. To do this I would take pictures of my sister balancing on the curb, or doing funny poses. I actually like these pictures a lot, maybe even more than the ones where I told her how to pose.

Pics from today:

Day 12: Action Shots Weekend 2

     My other sister had soccer games this weekend, so I decided to go try and take some action shots of her team. When I sat down and took my camera out to shoot, I noticed the lighting was really bad. So, I shot on sport mode, but manually changed the IOS to try and make my pictures brighter. It worked a little bit, but a lot of my pictures were still dark. In the second half, however, the lighting started to improve because it was getting sunny. I like these pictures better than the ones from the first half.
     When I got home and looked at my pictures, I noticed something. At the field they were playing at in Irvine, there was a giant orange balloon that would go up and down on a rope. It was in the background of some of the pictures. So, instead of the person being the first thing you see when you look at the picture, its this obnoxiously bright orange balloon. I could Photoshop it out, but I want all of my pictures unedited for this project, so I guess it'll have to stay for now.

Pics from today:

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Day 11: Photoshoot Round 2

     My favorite day out of this project so far was hands down taking pictures of my sister, Sydney. I really liked exploring places in my neighborhood to shoot at, especially with her. We had a lot of fun our first photoshoot, so we decided to do another one. We went to a lot of the same places we did for the first one, but we had more time this time around, so we explored some new places along the way. I've decided (for now) that taking pictures of people is my favorite. One thing that makes our photoshoots so fun is that we take a lot of silly pictures along with serious pictures. Sydney and I both had a lot of fun today, and I'm really happy with the pictures I took. I can definitely see improvement, which makes photography even more fun for me.

Pics from today:

and here are some funny ones:

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Day 10: Dog Pictures

     I've been really busy the last week, and didn't have time to take pictures until today. So, I started by taking more pictures of some flowers in my backyard. I took a couple, but then got distracted by my soccer ball sitting in the grass. I started kicking it around, and then decided to try and take some pictures of it, just to see how they would turn out. They turned out okay, but I felt like they were kind of boring, so I moved on. My dogs were the next thing to catch my eye, so I decided to take pictures of them. I was a little bit nervous after my first attempt at taking pictures of them, but I was actually happy with the pictures I took. I had my dad throw a tennis ball to them, so I could get pictures of them catching it. It looked super cool when they caught it, and there were also some funny ones of when they missed the ball. Overall, today was definitely not a failure.

Pics from today:

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Day 9: Manual Round 2

     After finally figuring out all the settings on my camera, I decided to give manual another shot. Instead of taking pictures of my dogs, however, I took pictures of the plants in my yard. I figured this would be easier because plants don't move when you're trying to take a picture of them. I basically did trial and error. I would guess what I thought would work, and then adjust my camera accordingly. I ended up getting a lot of pictures that were either too bright, or too dark, but I did get a lot that I was happy with. I was also really happy because I was able to see firsthand what each setting on my camera controlled.
     Since I was feeling really confident, I decided to do a small photo shoot with my sister, Sydney. I really liked using my sister as a model because she's really photogenic. She also doesn't act all weird in front of the camera the way other people do. In addition to her being a good model, she likes it, so it was easy to get her to participate. I'm extremely happy with my results from today. I'm also really thankful my sister was patient enough to let me fix the settings on my camera multiple times for each picture.

Pics from today:

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Day 8: First Time on Manual

     After all my research yesterday, I thought I would be able to try shooting on manual today. It did not go well at all. I went into my backyard before sunset to try and take some pictures of my dogs. They were all turning out very dark and I couldn't figure out how to fix the settings on my camera. The sun started setting, making my pictures even worse than they already were. So, I decided to go figure out how to change the settings. By the time I figured out how my camera worked, it was too dark to go take pictures. Overall, my first time on manual was pretty disastrous.

Pics from this disaster: