Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Enjoying My Porch

My stepdad transformed/built the three wonderful porches that I have at home. He put down the planks of wood and constructed the bamboo fences. My mom then made the porches colorful and comfortable. The porches we have at home are some of the best places to hang out in the summer. One has a barbecue on it, and the others have cool seating with umbrellas overhead. Beyond the fences, I have a beautiful green view that I take in and enjoy on many sunny days. I am very thankful for the porches I have at home, and am well aware that I probably won't have any of my own for several years. I try to enjoy the porches now while I still live at home; it's not going to last much longer.
Here's a tribute:

Fellow Companion:
My Experience:

Extra Reading:
Mark Thiessen and Becky Hale: Thiessen and Hale, who work for National Geographic, are constantly challenged to make ordinary objects look interesting. In order to home their creative abilities, the photographers shot water balloons in the studio to see the affects they could get. Along with aiming the balloons at the wall, they also aimed them at them at each other! Using strobes that were triggered by the sound of the breaking balloons, Thiessen and Hale were able to get some really interesting shots. Their blog post also talks about the photographer, Desmond Downs, who shoots water balloons in the studio as well. Go check out their work. The images all the photographers were able to capture are amazing!


It's pretty fascinating how much an image changes with a few small alterations to the way it's edited. A photograph that elicits happiness can suddenly become creepy; an image that looks sad and dark can be transformed into an uplifting piece. Last night after I got out of the shower, I took a self-portrait, and the steam from the shower fogged up my camera lens. The fog gives the photograph a slightly strange color, while also giving the image a soft focus. When editing this photograph, I noticed that the contrast level drastically changed the image, as well as the saturation level, and the exposure. These three things would change any image significantly, but the soft-focused, foggy nature of the self-portrait I took enhanced the changes made with different contrast, saturation, and exposure levels.

Extra Reading:
Nick Fochtman: I met Nick last summer when we both took part in the Young Photographers Alliance mentorship program. Nick is from Michigan (the state shaped like a hand!), and has a political science background. He has an editorial style (partly due to his experience working for the Oregonian, I'm sure). Nick is one of the kindest and most genuine guys you will ever meet, and you should definitely go check out his new website!

On another note, if you are a photographer between the ages of 18 and 29, you should apply for this year's Young Photographers Alliance mentorship program! YPA has programs in multiple states, so if you don't live in Oregon, it is likely that YPA has a mentorship program in the state you live in (there are even a few international teams). The mentorship experience is invaluable and challenging; you will be treated like a professional, working photographer, and will be pushed to produce better work than you have before. To apply, click here.

This year's theme is titled "Boundaries," and applications will be accepted until May 19th. In order to apply, you must:

  • be 18-29 years of age
  • be able to commit yourself from June 1st to August 31st
  • submit 5-8 images (the images do not have to relate to this year's theme)
  • submit a letter of recommendation from an advisor, professor, mentor, or employer
  • give a short summary of the photography classes you've taken
  • explain how you might approach the theme (these ideas are not set in stone)
Each of the above requirements applies to mentorships in all states and countries. 
Being mentored by professional photographers changed my life, and I would highly recommend applying if you are very interested in photography or want to become a professional photographer. At the end of the summer you will put on your own show in your home state and in New York.

Again, if you'd like to apply to the YPA summer mentorship, click here.

As always, thank you for reading!