Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Intro to Levitation Photography

Levitation: when someone appears to be floating in mid-air without support.
Paranormal: something like a person levitating that can't be explained using science although it can be doing on photoshop.

When making a levitation photo, you first need to decide what kind of position you want the person in the photo to be in. You also need to decide what you want the photo to look like. You usually need to take at least 2 pictures of the scene, one with the person and prop holding them up, and another that's just the scene without the person or prop. More than two pictures can be taken of the scene. Once you've taken the photos you need, use photoshop to to combine the images and tweak them so the two images are combined into one and it looks like the person is floating. The end result should be a photo of a levitating person.

By Terra Kate

By Tatyana Chaiko

By Somewhere Lovely

I think it could be fun to do a levitation photo of someone with some books, although it might be hard since I'd be photoshopping more than one thing. I do have a lot of books that could be used in the photo, though. Someone who looks like they're sleeping could be interesting, like the one in the first photo. Someone who's actively doing something, like the girl reading in the second photography, could also be interesting. I guess it depends on which one would be easier to do, since this is my first time doing levitation photography. I think that either one could be interesting and fun to do, but it depends. Someone who's just floating would probably a lot easier than someone who's actively doing something. I do like the way the ones where they're just floating look a little more eerie than the ones where someone's doing a normal thing except for the fact that they're floating.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Photographers

One thing that I thought was interesting from this movie was how sometimes the photographers took amazing photographers completely by accident and often didn't realize they had until they were looking through the photos. After learning so much about how to try and take good photographs, I thought it was interesting that some really good ones could be taken completely by accident. Another interesting thing that I learned from this movie was how much work goes into getting to the locations where the photos were taken. I didn't realize that being a photographer for National Geographic took so much time, or how hard it was to find good subjects or get to the locations for the stories. A third thing that I thought was interesting was how much freedom the photographers were given in their assignments. I always thought that they had much more strict rules about photographing for the magazine, but it turns out that they're usually just given the topic of the assignment and then have free reign over what photos they take.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Reflections Pie

I saw a mermaid in the harbor, once. I was seven or eight, old enough that I was expected to be growing out of my imaginary fancies, but young enough that everyone thought I was still making things up when I tried to tell them about what I'd seen later. I was standing on the dock throwing breadcrumbs to the gulls above when she surfaced. Just for a second, but long enough for me to see that she wasn't a large, weirdly shaped fish, but rather a young woman with greenish skin and hair the color of kelp. Silver-green scales covered her from collarbone to the end of her tail, like some strange wetsuit. She saw me looking at her and raised one hand, briefly, in my direction. I would have waved back, but I was too stunned to even blink. In the next second, her tail gave a powerful flip and she dove underwater and was gone. All that was left to show she'd even been there was the rippling of the water. Even that was gone soon enough, and the surface of the water was undisturbed.  I almost thought that I could have imagined the whole thing, except for those few seconds of waves when she went under. I went back to that harbor again and again in the next few years, but I never saw anything except seaweed and lobstermen and the reflections of the boats in the harbor. Not even so much as a scale or a shape moving beneath the water.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

History of Photography

One interesting fact that I learned while doing this project was the history of Steve McCurry’s photograph “Afghan Girl.” I’d seen the photo before doing this project, since it’s fairly famous and was once on the cover of National Geographic, but while doing this project, I learned that the photo was taken when McCurry disguised himself and his photography equipment in order to sneak into Afghanistan and take pictures of the refugees. I thought this was a really interesting history and also showed me what kind of lengths people will go to document the world around them. Another interesting fact I learned was that Henry Fox Talbot was one of the four founders of photography because he invented the Calotype process, which I hadn’t known before doing this project. A third fact that I learned while doing this project was how photographer Lewis Hine used photography in the early 1900s to highlight the poor working conditions of children. Despite having studied this time period in other classes, I hadn’t learned about this and I thought it was an interesting way to document child labor. A fourth interesting fact that I learned while doing this project was that the first digital camera was made in only 1975–I always thought that digital cameras had been around for longer than that, and it helped highlight that the history of photography isn’t actually that old.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Photos With Quotes

One way that I made this quote look unified was using the color for all the words of the quote. Since the quote is about the sky, and so is the background picture, I wanted the words to be a color that matched the sky. I went with dark blue, because it was more visible against the background than light blue. I decided to make all the words the same shade of blue to make them more unified looking. Another way that I made this look both more unified and unique was arranging the text in a similar yet interesting way. Although the middle section of the quote doesn't curve up or down, I made the other parts of the quote do that. I wanted them to look more interesting than just straight lines across the picture, and I made them both curve in a similar way so they would match.

I chose to make the font for this quote green so that it would stand out against the black of the bookshelf in the picture behind it and catch the eye. Although part of the writing is green and part of it is white, I chose to make them the same font so that it would overall look more unified. I decided on a font that looks sort of like handwriting, because this quote is all about books and I thought it would be fitting. In order not to have any of the quote being on top of the books in the picture, I chose to put the quote in a different section of the picture. This way, you can see both the books and the quote clearly, without any overlap between them. Luckily, there was plenty of empty space in the photo so I could make the words of the quote large enough to be read clearly. There is a good balance between books and words in the picture.

For this picture, I made the font purple so that it would be seen clearly as a contrast between both the blue of the ocean and the blue of the sky. In my first picture with a quote, I made the words a similar color to the background. However, for this one, I chose to make it a different color for the contrast and to make it look more unique. The quote is in both the same color and font so that it seems unified, though the author is in a different color because white showed up better against that part of the background. The first and last lines of the quote are also a little larger, because I wanted them to stand out. I decided to have the quote slanting down from the left to match the space left by the trees in that part of the photo, so it begins at the top and finishes in the space between the trees on the bottom. This way, I hoped to make the arrangement of the quote look interesting and unique compared to the trees in the background.

One important thing that I learned by doing this assignment was how to use photoshop. I’d never used photoshop before this project, so it was a new experience and a new thing to learn. I learned how to edit a picture on photoshop to include word. I learned how to edit the words, to change the colors or font, and the beginnings of how to use the basics of photoshop. I previously didn’t know how to use photoshop at all. A second thing that I learned about was about a bit about graphic design. I learned things like the best way to make words stand out when they have a colorful background, and what I can do to make the words most legible.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Food, Pie

Food Photo
Lemon and lime.
Yellow and green.
Bitter and bitter.
They rest in
he same rough box
at a grocery market
but are divided
by a wooden slat
Both so tart
you can hardly stand to eat them,
only squeeze them into juice
or over a fancy meal.
Lemon and lime.
Yellow and green.
Bitter and bitter.

Monday, March 13, 2017


I've only been in the graveyard in my town once, which is more than most people can claim. Usually, the only people allowed in are the gravediggers and the men who carry the caskets for them. They stay long enough to see it done before leaving and locking the gate behind them. You can't get in or out without the key, which the mayor keeps with him at all times unless there's a funeral. There's a wall around the whole place, too, nine feet tall and made of solid rock, tipped with iron spikes. Once the gate is locked after the funeral, the living stay out and the dead stay in. Doesn't matter that they only come out at night, and only a couple of nights a year at that. No one wants to take the chance of them escaping. Imagine having your obituary read "eaten by your zombie great-great grandmother" just because your town was too lazy to put up a good fence.
The only reason my obituary doesn't say that is because I was lucky. Two years ago, my cousin Vera dared me to climb to the top of the wall and see what there was to see. I'd been rock climbing since I could walk, so I figured it would be easy, and it was the middle of winter, so I was bored out of my mind being stuck in the house all day after weeks of storms. I said yes. I waited for a nice, dark night when no one passing by could see me, and then I climbed the fence.
There wasn't actually that much to see. Just a couple of old trees here and there, a narrow little path going down the middle, and the graves themselves. No dead, or at least no dead that I could see.
I was just about to turn a go tell Vera, who was keeping watch for me, that there was nothing much to see, except then I saw one of the dead. I think she might have been a girl once, but it was hard to tell since she was covered in snow and dirt and ice. Frankly, I didn't stick around long enough to try and find out. She ran out of the shadows underneath one of the trees and right at me, trying to claw her way up the stone barrier to where I was balancing between the iron spikes.
I was so surprised I almost fell over, right into the graveyard. It was touch and go for a few seconds, and then I got my balance back and climbed down the other side of the wall to where Vera was standing. I didn't even wait for her, I just started running away from that dead girl and didn't stop until I reached my own house.
I swear, I'm never going back to that graveyard again. Not until it's my turn to be buried there.