The semester is well underway now, and as I have officially been promoted to photography editor of The Wood Word, I have been very busy covering all of the various events on campus. The images in this blog post are the best I’ve taken this year so far, and I think I’m finally getting to the point where my work is more consistent in quality.
Most of these images were taken with flash, some with a typical shutter speed for medium-paced events, however, one set of event images was taken with a slower shutter speed and flash. Flash freezes motion, and a slow shutter speed allows for lots of motion blur (think long exposure waterfalls, light drags, etc.), so the combination of the two creates an interesting effect. The subjects are sharp and in focus, but the lights surrounding them can be blurry and have a lot of motion to them, adding a fun and playful effect to the final images without a lot of editing.
Glow In The Dark Party
Since these images are for photo-journalistic purposes, they are only edited for exposure, color correction, and cropping, otherwise, they are rather close to the raw images. This technique is also very popular with wedding and event photographers and is used during dancing and party moment photos to capture the excitement of a dance floor or party atmosphere. I decided to use it during a party put on by Marywood student engagement, where the theme was glow in the dark. They had a lot of lights, the room was darker with no overhead lighting, just the moving colored lights from the DJ’s set, and I decided this was the perfect time to try out a slow shutter and flash. I made sure to move my camera around in a circular motion while shooting, to really emphasize the light drags in the photo. I love how the final images came out, and look forward to using this concept more often!
Amazon Go Store Ribbon Cutting
Earlier in the first few weeks, I covered the opening of the new amazon go store in Naz, and definitely gained some much-needed confidence with my flash during this shoot. I did have some trouble with what would have been my favorite shots, as my flash didn’t fire since I had been shooting continuously to capture the ribbon cutting. Unfortunately, flashes need time to recycle before they can fire again, and sometimes that means that a shot that is great compositionally will turn out very dark, and depending on the lighting conditions, even editing can not bring out enough light in the image. Despite this, I am still happy with how most of the ribbon-cutting images came out, as well as the pictures of the demonstration of the store, as they were very expressive and captured most of the subject’s faces. Capturing the whole face in photojournalism is something I do struggle with sometimes, as people have a tendency to turn away if they spot a camera pointed at them, or in crowded conditions, it is simply hard to get to the right spot and have the subject face me.
The opening liturgy was an event I was a bit apprehensive about covering, as last year we had three people working the event, but this year it was just me. It did however work out very well, and I was even able to get some images of the people on stage, which is another thing I struggle with. Stage lighting while flattering in person, can sometimes pose an issue in photos, and people with warmer complexions can end up looking very red or very orange, which can be fixed in post, but is easier to fix if you can get the lighting right when shooting. While I still think I have some things to learn about shooting under stage lighting, I think I have improved from last year, and I am glad that I was able to get 10 usable images for the Wood Word.
I’m looking forward to learning more this year as I continue taking pictures for The Wood Word, as well as looking forward to teaching some of our new photojournalists the things I’ve learned so far! And somewhat unrelated, but if you’re looking for fun photo-themed things to do on campus, The Shutterbugs photography club will be doing a free cyanotype print day soon, with chemicals and some totes provided! Feel free to bring your own t-shirts, totes, paper, or anything else you might want to print on! We’ll be doing this on October 1st, 12 pm-2 pm on the art field.