Filmonaut XIII – The Wedding

So! I just finished developeing 7 rolls of film. I know, I’ve been a little behind lately…

Now, looking through the negatives, I realized something was not quite right: it turns out that those 5 unused rolls I got from grandma had already been exposed… 

So, when looking through these images from Ned & Sarah’s wedding, you will notice Christmas trees, wicker furniture, a thimble and Coca Cola collection, lamps, etc. from Grandma’s house. I’ve posted all of the recognizable exposures, though many of them have been cropped. I’ll post the other few images from some of the other rolls soon (also double exposures, for the most part)., exploring the wedding location a few weeks before the ceremony

photo credit goes to fellow Groomsman, Tanner on this one, working hard the evening before the wedding

Evan, being awesome and being tired, the wedding photographer (

the 2A groomsmen (for the most part) credit to my buddy Luke on these ceremony shots

Beginning Design – Class is Over

Yesterday was the last day of Beginning Design class for Joy, myself, and 8 other students. It was our first try doing something like this and my first time teaching at all. It was much more difficult than I thought it would be, but so rewarding! Because my mind is still racing with everything we got to discuss and practice this last semester, I thought I would share a quick overview of the material from each of the six classes. This overview is pretty much a copy and paste from a course description one of the students requested:

For the most part, we spent this last semester defining things like design, truth, and beauty.
In lesson 1 we laid the foundations of what makes a good design and what makes good designers. First, we explained the need for a biblical worldview in order to have an objective standard of what is good. We then defined design, goodness, truth, and beauty through that worldview. We prepared the students for properly navigating design concepts and introduced them to a system of evaluation for their own design concepts. At the close of class, we introduced Antithesis, Contrast, and Simultaneous Contrast.

The assignment from this lesson required the students to create 50 thumbnail images of different compositions using only triangle and circle shapes.
In lesson 2 we introduced the students to the Principles of Design: Balance, Order, Rhythm, Unity, Proportion, and Emphasis. We taught and practiced how to analyze designs through a lens called Formalism (“ study of form” ).

The assignment from this lesson required the students to take a representational piece of art and to abstract that piece of art into its basic compositional elements primarily considering contrast and shape.

Lesson 3 was primarily concerned with the Elements of Design: Line, Shape, Value, Color, Space, Texture, and Motion.

The assignment from this lesson required the students to take the abstracted composition from their last assignment and, using the concepting process introduced to them in the first lesson, create a representational design.
Lesson 4 was entirely focused on a substantial review of the last three lessons and the topic of color. We explained the basics of additive and subtractive color, introduced the students to practical uses of different color schemes, and showed them how to construct a color composition.

The assignment from this lesson required the students to make a color wheel starting only with subtractive primary colors; to tint, tone, and shade all primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, and to create three color comps of representational pieces. so that’s all we were able to cover this lesson. We used all the same images from lesson 2 in lesson 3 to illustrate how pieces translate practically from concept to craft. We shamelessly plugged the work of Cory Godbey and Justin Gerard. We showed the students how well their work illustrates that, “color colors meaning”.
In lesson 5 we revisited the topic of worldview to introduce how worship and culture effect communication.Namely, that all men have presuppositions which shape their worldview, that because all men have an object of worship all men are religious, and that culture is religion externalized. We gave the students a context for the worldview(s) they would be encountering in the world of art outside of the classroom experience as well as how to understand those worldviews and how to combat the dangerous ones. We introduced a basic system of evaluation for the students to use when analyzing different forms of communication which we call the “ 3 C’s of Design” which are Concept, Craft, and Context. Equipped with these critical thinking tools, we introduced the students to a brief history of art periods and art philosophies, focusing mainly on the history and philosophies which are directly affecting Western cultures today: Hegelianism, Marxism, The Bauhaus, The Frankfurt School, and Communism.

The assignment from this lesson required the students to create an artist statement which established what they believe, what they want to communicate, and how they will communicate.
In lesson 6, the final lesson, we spent most of the period on the topic of composition. We narrowed the broad topic of composition into 3 basic ideas: structure, focal point, and anomaly. We showed the application of these ideas through Hollywood film clips, which illustrated the effectiveness of excellent craft to communicate a clear story or idea. We reviewed the work of modern cinematographers to illustrate foreshadowing and parallelism, approached how color in composition can effect mood, and reviewed the strength of contrast in lighting compositions to illustrate the power of intentionality in communication. For the last portion of the lesson, the entire class participated in a semester review of every lesson. This review focused on the key points that the students ought to remember from each lesson.

This class primarily focused on designing and communicating with a biblical worldview, the design principles and elements, developing artistic potential, and the general studying and applying of the basic rules of visual design created by our designer God.

Overall, the class was a wonderful experience. I think I can know fully understand why teachers say that teaching is the highest level of learning. I am more sensitive to each of these concepts from class than I ever was before teaching the class and I am sure ever more so than the students have become even after 6 lessons. We’re not sure if we will be offering this class again in the fall semester or not, nevertheless, it was an invaluable experience. Who knows, it might even come in handy for writing a curriculum some day! Thank you to everyone for your support, it is so meaningful to us. We are truly grateful for your intentional examples to us.

Coffee Monster – Photo Contest

Earlier this month my sister Sarah approached me with an idea she had for a photo contest the The Barista Guild of America is holding. This guild is holding a barista camp in Wisconsin to teach up-and-coming baristas some of the finer points of coffee (including latte art!) as well as offer differing levels of certification for baristas. Whoever wins the contest gets a free ride to barista camp, which is something Sarah has wanted to do for quite some time now.

We missed the deadline for the contest that is running right now, but she plans on entering the next contest they will be holding in October for the same camp in California.

To enter, you simply submit a photo with a caption that explains why you love the craft of being a barista. To win, you get the most votes for your photo.

This is the final image Sarah will be submitting later this year:

Building-the-Coffee-Monster-2-Sarah-Smith-Barista-Guild-Backdrop-wmiii.coSarah, crafting the coffee monster

Coffee-Monster-Sarah-Smith-Barista-Guild-Backdrop-wmiii.coLighting the coffee monster on his own backdrop we made with construction paper

Lighting-the-Extras-Sarah-Smith-Barista-Guild-Backdrop-wmiii.coTrying to match the lighting scenarios, we put the green blanket behind the subjects so that they would blend into the darker background a little easier in the final composite.

Coffee-Monster-Editing-2-Sarah-Smith-Barista-Guild-Backdrop-wmiii.coThe editing process… lots of masking!

Coffee-Monster-Introduction-Sarah-Smith-Barista-Guild-wmiii.coAnd once again, the final image

I’ll write another update when voting time comes around in October, with links and all so we can all help Sarah get to barista camp!

Indy – The Creepy Man

>Some of you may remember a series of some of the architecture in Indianapolis I did last year. Well, the same company has asked for more this year! I really enjoy this project and have liked working with this client.

Today I’m finishing most of the images I shot a few weeks ago. As usual, I’m checking my pre-sharpen at 100% (wouldn’t my teachers be proud?). It’s not very often that I’m creeped out by a photo a few weeks after I took it. This is one of those times.

I’ll probably post the rest of the series sometime this week.

Assisting the Master

Today I got the chance to assist my good friend and teacher, Rob Curfman. For as long as I can remember, Mr. Curfman has taken the Harbour Shores cast photo for Behold the Lamb. I can remember him shooting all the way in the back row of the auditorium when I was 12 years old. Now, 10 years later, I was in that back row with him myself, learning the ropes from the master.
All he needed was a White Lighting and a 50mm on his Canon 5D. The goal was to use the tungsten overheads as key and the White Lighting as fill for the shadows, which ended up being just about a two and a half stops above what we metered for the overheads.
Any white balance issues would be corrected in post, since the overheads were about 5500 K and the White Lighting is 3200 K.
I’ll get the chance to edit one of the images for practice next week, so I might post an update about the particulars then. For now, I’m still running off of the energy Curfman generally lives life with and inspired by his perspective.

Tamron 10-24mm – New Lens!

So my new lens came in the mail today! I got it because the widest lens I had was an 18mm and was not wide enough for the interiors I have needed to shoot lately. These are just a few test shots I took this evening just after I got it out of the box. I used the previous widest angle I had, a 18-55mm Canon kit lens to the new 10-24mm Tamron. Both are set to the widest angle for all the comparisons (18mm and 10mm respectively).
The last three shots all show the difference of how much scale is captured by the lens

canon-18mm-sigma-10mm-comparison-lens-distortion-2-wmiii.coThis begins to show us what the lens distortion does to the proportions of an otherwise straight-barrel of the lens. The 18mm already has quite a bit of lens distortion to it, but the 10mm definitely exaggerates things.

canon-18mm-sigma-10mm-comparison-lens-distortion-1-wmiii.coNothing shows just how much lens distortion warps proportion like the human face does.

That’s it for now. I know I’ll learn it’s strengths and get to know it much better in the future. Maybe I’ll even give you an update about it later when I have a little more experience with it under my belt. We shall see.