About Me

My photo
I'm a Guilford College graduate with a B.S. in Criminal Justice; I minored in Visual Arts Photography. My blog tracks the highs and lows of my experience in a Film Photography course during the Spring of 2013 and up to the present, as I delve into digital photography. I may even include other mediums of art such as acrylic paint, graphite drawings, etc. I'll talk about my experiences snapping photos or simply snapping from frustration as well as my successes and failures, tips and tricks that I've learned, and exploring the photography/art world through the lens of a Black woman.

27 May 2015

Finally, coffee mugs!

As requested, my artwork is now available on coffee/tea mugs. They will be printed on white 11 oz. classic mugs. Buy yours here. Watermark as shown is not on the actual product.

21 May 2015

Digital Photography Flashcards and Notes

My digital camera set (purchased here) came with an instructional DVD which is basically "Digital Photography for beginners." The DVD is called "Focus Digital SLR Photography in a Snap: Jumpstart Guide." You can purchase it here if you would like. Naturally, I took some notes and screenshots while watching the film and decided to make flashcards to keep in my camera case so I can always have a reminder about ISO, aperture, depth of field, etc. when I need it. Thank God for this crappy matte photo paper I bought from Amazon. I used it to print my flashcards even though it was intended for prints. I didn't like how matte it was. A little bit of gloss would've been better than this cheap crap. Nonetheless, it was perfect for printing my flashcards.

I printed the screenshots I took on one side and then wrote my notes on the other side. There was no order to the notes or what went on the back of what image. Here are a few of the many notes I took (also in no order):
  • SDXC memory cards are for massive Hi-Def pics and vids that will instantly be transferred.
  • A faster read/write speed memory card is needed for shooting bursts.
  • Back up your photos before formatting your memory card to your camera.
  • Fine JPEG is a better quality than Basic.
  • ISO: how the camera interprets a scene once its passed through the lens.
    • ISO sensitivity determines how your camera will react to light.
  • A fast shutter speed is good for action shots (i.e. 1/1000).
  • A slow shutter speed is good for night shooting. Be sure to use a tripod.
  • Aperture is the lens opening. 
    • f/2 = much light is getting in.
    • f/22 = less light is getting in.
  • Only RAW files allow for adjustment of white balance after the photo has been taken.
  • Depth of field is related to aperture and how much of the image will be in focus.
    • f/1.8 = a small portion of the scene will be in focus. This is great for portraits and flowers.
    • f/22 = a large amount will be in focus. This is great for landscapes.
  • Fast shutter speed freezes action shots.
  • Use a tripod and move the camera slowly horizontally to pan and vertically to tilt.
  • Flash
    • Use a pre-flash setting to close a subject's pupils and reduce red-eye.
    • Turn flash completely off for shooting newborns and subject's behind glass.
    • Use rear flash for motion blur effect (i.e. moving lights).
  • Studio lights
    • Key light dictates the position of the other studio lights.
    • Fill light softens shadows and should be positioned mirrored to the key light.
      • For portraits make it 1/2 as bright as the key light.
    • Position the back light 45 degrees from the background in order to illuminate the subject and separate them from the background. It makes a subtle difference.
  • Life hack: Use a bag of beans as a tripod if you need one.
  • Wide angle lenses are good for panoramas.
  • Fish eye lenses are cool for photographing animals.
  • A Polarizer 77mm minimizes reflections and intensifies blues and greens.
Camera modes
  • Fully auto: camera handles everything for those who are intimidated by adjusting settings.
  • P(rogram): sets shutter speed and aperture; user can adjust white balance and ISO; avoid overexposing.
  • AV (aperture priority): use for adjusting depth of field.
  • TV (shutter priority): to stop action of a moving subject.
  • M(anual): adjust shutter speed and aperture.
  • AF-F: full time auto focus for a moving subject.
  • Subject focus: locks focus on a moving subject.
Depth of Field
Fast shutter speed
Low F-stop and Depth of Field
Narrow aperture and high F-stop
Shutter speed and Depth of Field
Shutter speed
Telephoto lenses
White balances
Wide aperture and low F-stop
Slow shutter speed

Artist Spotlight

Joseph Wilfrid Daleus

I know that I haven't been posting for a while. I'm slacking. However, I haven't been motivated to post and I have things going on in my personal life that have distracted me from my blog. I'm feeling a little bit of motivation and productivity today, therefore I wanted to get some posts done. This one is long overdue.

On March 19, 2015 during a week long trip to Miami, FL a group of friends and I stopped by a community called "Little Haiti." We had great food, we went to a music festival, and we toured the art gallery of Joseph Wilfrid Daleus. I was very fortunate to have met him and to converse about visual art. The experience was exhilarating, phenomenal, and inspirational. I was so blown away by his craft, artwork, and expertise. Daleus is so multi-dimensional. He is a painter, but he is also a sculptor and photographer! Amazing, right?

A 20" x 24" print on a canvas retouched with paint by him costs $300. I need to step my game up and start charging more for my work! If you want a painting by hand, he charges $25,000. Yes, you read that correctly. Twenty five thousand dollars. But here's the thing... he's THAT GOOD, he deserves to charge that much. I cannot wait until my craft improves to his level and I can charge those prices. Of course, I'll always be in my own lane... he is still something to aspire to. One of his key pieces of advise was to live a substance/toxic free life. He doesn't use oil to paint. It's toxic (and smelly... and messy). Many artists have developed asthma from oil paint use. Also, he doesn't smoke, drink, or use drugs. That kind of purity and his health is very significant to him.

Daleus has been painting for 55 years. He is a second generation Haitian artist. When I asked how many paintings he does in a span of time, he said that he does 3 paintings a year. Three! I couldn't imagine that. I feel so compelled to have at least one painting done a month or else I'm wasting my talent and not sharing with the universe. However, I can somewhat understand only doing that many paintings a year, because again... that man is talented. True creativity and a work of art takes time to create. I did a charcoal drawing of Frida Kahlo... it took days to finish. I worked at least 4 hours each day on it, too.

One of his techniques that I would like to try out one day is his method of printing a photograph on a canvas and then painting over the photograph. That is so clever and unique. I would definitely need the right photo, though, with great resolution. I don't want to try with a crappy contrasted, highly pixelated photo. It will all come with time, though. I need perfect my craft as a painter before attempting that. Another thing I admire is how he is able to create texture in some of his paintings. I regret not asking him about that. It's like one can touch the painting and feel raised edges, bumps, ridges, etc. So cool. Check out his website to see more of his work.

Picture I took outside the gallery. Daleus is standing at the door.

Jerk chicken, plantains, rice and beans, and fruit champagne from Chef Créole restaurant. So delicious!