Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PPNS Assignment #1

I took these photos for a Point Park News Service story on shoe repair/cobblers in Pittsburgh. The story is by Gregg Harrington but has not been published yet. I took these photos at Ulrich Show Repair on Liberty Avenue.

Eric Blair of Larimer waxes the surface of a boot to restore texture at Ullrich Shoe Repair at 545 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA on September 27, 2012. Before waxing it, Blair used Cadillac Cream to put moisture back in the leather. "Brush it off and it'll be brand new!” he said.
Paul Manno of the North Hills works at a sewing machine to repair the zipper on a boot at Ullrich Shoe Repair at 545 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA on September 27, 2012. Manno was trained in Italy for shoe repair and has experience in zipper and purse repair.
Paul Manno of the North Hills works at a sewing machine to repair the zipper on a boot at Ullrich Shoe Repair at 545 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA on September 27, 2012. Manno was trained in Italy for shoe repair and has experience in zipper and purse repair.
Rex Streno, owner of Ullrich Shoe Repair, has been working at his shop at 545 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA for over 30 years.  Streno’s business provides a variety of repair services for shoes, purses, belts and zippers.  
Rex Streno, owner of Ullrich Shoe Repair, works on the sole of a shoe at his shop at 545 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA on September 27, 2012. Streno’s business provides a variety of services including sole and heel repair, shoe stretching, waterproofing, zipper and purse repair, and shines. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Light Painting

I've done light painting in the past and I've always enjoyed it so I was excited for this assignment in my studio class. I've light painted outside mostly in the past and did the classic random squiggles and such, so this time I moved indoors and wanted to try a few new things.

The first photo is of my polaroid camera. I was going for a crazy, fun lighting effect. I used a flash light covered in colored tissue paper to give the camera a red or orange cast, and then I moved around different colored glow sticks around the bottom to get the lines.

This next one is of a pinwheel and I used flashlights again with colored tissue paper and a green glow stick to cast the hints of green on the silver and on the wall behind. I also blew on the pinwheel to get the motion.

This last photo was supposed to be for my final project but it's now taken a different direction. In the photo below, I used my flash to fire a yellow cast on the picture, then light painted her coat orange with a flashlight, and light painted the leaf with a purple flashlight. Obviously it's not super sharp but I ended liking it anyway. My final project will be similar to this but indoors and hopefully a bit sharper.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Polaroid Pack Film Negative Process

All semester I've been working on a project with my professor regarding Polaroid pack film. Once you develop a peel apart Polaroid  you have a print on one side and the other side is well, the best way to describe it is goopy. But don't mistake this goop as trash! Save it because under all of that goop is a negative. Saving the goop side can be difficult because it needs time to dry. So when you're out in the field shooting, keep in mind that you'll need a place to store them. Drying time varies depending on the environment. Once the goopy side has dried, tear it away from the print side and you're ready to try this process! There are several methods for doing this process, but this is the way I've been doing it with consistent results. 

What else you need:
-          clean sheet of glass
-          bleach spray
-          painters or masking tape
-          foam brushes
-          paper towels

After you've detached the negative from the Polaroid print, peel off the excess paper around the outside. (I usually leave the white part attached so I can easily hang the negatives to dry.) Now take a look at each side of your negative. One side will be matte black like this:
The other side will have a border and you might be able to see outlines of your photo. It also might be a bit dusty like this one:
 See the differences? Now you’ll want to place the negative face down on the glass. This means the black matte side should be facing up.

Place tape only around the edges. Although you cannot see the edges on the black matte side, before you place the negative down, pay attention to where the edge is on the other side. Make sure the tape is firmly in place so the bleach cannot seep underneath and damage the other side. Every once in a while I would have liquid seep under the negative (usually this happened during the rinsing process so nothing happened to the other side). If you’re paranoid, try using clear packing tape (that stuff is really sticky!).
Spray the bleach product onto the negative so it’s covered well in liquid. It’s hard to tell you how much to use but usually 5 or so squirts of the bleach worked well.
Using the foam brush, wipe the bleach around the negative in brush strokes. You may want to use a wet paper towel to wipe off some of the excess black goop or use a fresh brush. Sometimes I would spray a little more bleach product on there to ensure all of the black goop dissolves. There’s not real time frame for this part, some negatives are quicker than others. 
You should be able to tell when you can see the negative come through. Generally it takes about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how much you work the bleach with the brush. 
While the negative is still taped to the glass, rinse it under warm water. There may be some gooey parts left along the sides, but those can be gently wiped away. If you still see black parts on your negative, you can go back and wipe it away with the brush or sometimes I would spray on a little more bleach if it was being extra stubborn.
Once the bleach is all rinsed off of the negative, peel off the tape and rinse the other side. Now your negative can be hung up to dry. I used the film dryer at my college but with some twine and close pins, I was also able to hang them up at home in my laundry room.
Before repeating the process, be sure to clean the glass and brushes. Once your negatives are dry, they're ready to be scanned!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My Room (Texture Assignment)

I was a little stumped on the texture assignment because I was thinking too literally. I decided to shoot little parts of my room (with a focus on accessories) and found some really nice texture. A year ago I did a black and white film project on my home life and this project reminded me of that in some ways. I ended up being really happy with these pictures and the textures I found. It's also a little inside look at some of my favorite accessories and items I own. I shot all of these with one hot light.

Leaves (Small Strobe Workshop)

For the small strobe workshop, we had to use an external flash off camera so it acts like a small strobe. I decided to build a snoot for my flash using a toilet paper roll, black construction paper, and electrical tape. Then using close up filters for my kit lens, I photographed close ups of leaves with the small strobe behind them. I wanted to illuminate the leaves and capture all of the little details. I really enjoyed this project and I'd love to try it again, especially with bright colored fall leaves.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Election Day 2012

Election Day is always an exciting day as a journalist. I captured the day for my photojournalism class on a deadline, which was challenging and a good experience. I went to the Moon Township Municipal Building and Moon Area High School to capture some of the volunteers and voters in the afternoon. A few of my photos were published on the Point Park News Service website here.

Gwen Ogle, 82, of Moon Township hands out Republican literature outside of the Moon Township Municipal Building in the afternoon of Election Day 2012. Ogle has lived in Moon Township since 1959 and has never missed voting in an election. She tries to work the election every year by handing out flyers and information. 
Frank Wisen, 23, passes out flyers at Moon Area High School for Republican candidate Mark Mustio, who is running for state representative for the 44th legislative district. This is Wisen’s first time hanging out flyers in an election. 
Crimson Pavlekovsky, 18, holds up her voter stub after voting in her first election at Moon Area High School in the afternoon of Election Day 2012.  She was excited to vote for the first time and feels “pretty confident” that her candidate will win. Pavleskovky is a student at Robert Morris University and the school provided shuttles for students to vote at Moon Area High School. 
Volunteers pass out literature for voters entering Moon Area High School in the afternoon of Election Day 2012.

Specular Highlights Assignment

I was a little stumped on the specular highlights assignment. I had already taken some photos for previous assignments that showed specular highlights really well. I knew I need something somewhat shiny for this so I decided on candy. With the light reflecting off of the surfaces of the various candies, it (hopefully) makes them look juicy and appealing. I didn't get too many images I liked from this shoot but I think the jellybeans have a nice specular highlight. All images were taken with a small soft box on the right and a snoot on the left.