Archive for the ‘photos’ Category

Daily Shoot Favorites

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Daily Shoot 1:

Foliage in Light

Showcase the beauty of living foliage! Make a photo of a single leaf or an entire “greenscape” today.

My favorite reflection of prompt 1 belongs to Jenn. I believe it was the only photo taken at night, so it immediately caught my attention as I was looking at the course blog. How creative of Jenn to capture the beauty of living foliage during the evening! She framed the shot well-the lit greenery stands out toward the center of the image, but we also are able to place the foliage in the context of the buildings behind it. As a result, this is my favorite photo resulting from Daily Shoot 1.

Daily Shoot 2:

Make a photo of two complementary objects arranged in a pleasing composition, one large and one small.

Sadie’s image is sweet. On a day most people posted photographs of  inanimate objects, Sadie treated us to this. Not only is the baby adorable, the photo is framed well. Sadie did well to recognize the connection of two complementary objects within the hands of the father and child.

Daily Shoot 3:

Burts II

Some carry a talisman, amulet, “lucky charm”, or just a comforting thing in our pocket. What do you carry?

Lindsay’s photo has several nice elements complimenting one another within it. I like how Lindsay actually gave us the sight of the object extending from her pocket. Viewers can see the tension, or “action” in the hand–the photo comes to life. I did not see a color version of the photo, but even if I had I think I would still prefer this black and white image, as the different shades in the photo appeal to me.

Daily Shoot 4:

Take a photograph of something that is soft, or at least looks that way. Convince the viewer of the softness.

Another inspiring shot from Sadie! We only see the child’s hands and ice cream, but that’s really all we need. It’s a simple idea, but the image speaks loudly. She gives us only what we need to see, and that method works well. The way she responded to the day’s assignment even got me thinking about what I could do to improve my own photography.

Daily Shoot 5:

Use a mirror as part of a composition in a photograph today. Show yourself in the image if you’d like!

Jessica went above and beyond the prompt by using not one, not two but three mirrors in her image. The way the three mirrors are depicted is really interesting. What I like most in this photo is how we don’t really see the back of the eyeshadow palette, but we certainly see its mirrored front in a separate mirror. Very cool!

Daily Shoot 6:

Treasure Chest

Communicate chaos, disorganization or messiness in a photograph. Find some beauty in it.

Lindsay again! Here we have chaos, but also beauty within all the shapes and colors found in the jewelry box. That is why this is my favorite image of Daily Shoot 6.

Daily Shoot 7:

Daily Shoot: Symmetry

Symmetry can be calm and soothing. Make a photo today featuring symmetry, either in subject or composition.

This photo depicts a nice scene with symmetry front and center in two places, the boat and the bridge. I like how Jenn chose to display just the front of the boat in this image, as I almost feel the photo would have been weakened if she stood (or sat) further back to take the shot. She made a good decision to take the photograph from where she did.

Daily Shoot 8:


Make a photo of an interesting stack of books or magazines. Consider how you handle repeating lines in your composition.

Ashley’s photo is awesome. It’s obvious she considered how to creatively handle repeating lines in the composition. Rather than simply stack the books atop one another, she criss-crossed them and gave us a more intriguing view, which is why it is my favorite shot from Daily Shoot 8.

Before and After-Image Stories

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Nicolai Howalt’s “Boxer” installation, but the link has been sitting in my bookmarks folder for awhile. The collection of images, which depict young Danish boxers before and after a match, is quite haunting. Some of these boys look so young to be engaged in the combat sport, which I think is why I was so shocked when I first saw these photos. Maybe I was naive, but I had no idea boys this young were participating in the sport. These photos say a lot in just two frames-from the postures of the boys to their facial expressions.

Nicolai Howalt

Nicolai Howalt

Nicolai Howalt

Nicolai Howalt

Nicolai Howalt

Then there’s Sergey Larenkov’s (yes, that links to a livejournal account) ”Ghosts of World War II’s Past.” Larenkov used Photoshop to produce these powerful images:




There are several more images on his blog, including my favorite. What a cool way to get people considering the past and present!

Also worth mentioning:

Adventures with Lightbox 2

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Tonight, I decided to tackle how photos are displayed on my blog. I did not like the way clicking on an image led to another page on my site, where visitors had to click on the image again to view a larger version of the photo.

I discovered Lightbox 2 after doing some extensive Google searches for the best WordPress image plugins. Once again, this might be the “long” way (I’ll expand more on this below), but here’s the short version of how my very time-consuming process with installing it on my site went:

First, here is why I think I might have gone the “long” route with this plugin. I searched for Lightbox and activated it through the Plugins link on my blog. However, I didn’t know how to get it working at this point, so I resorted to following the directions on the WordPress page, which tells users to download the zipped plugin, load it to the file manager, and then activate the plugin. When I opened my file manager, a Lightbox 2 file already existed. I still uploaded the zipped file. So, perhaps searching for the plugin through your blog and activating it will let you skip the cPanel/File Manager steps? Either way, here’s how my process went:

Locate Lightbox 2 in the plugin directory at and click “Download Version 2.9.2.”

Locate the Lightbox-2 file on your computer.

Unless it is already saved there, move the Lightbox file to your desktop. Right click it and select “Compress lightbox-2″ into a zip file.

Login to cPanel and click File Manager.

When the File Manager Directory Selection box appears, select Web Root (public_html/www) and click Go.

Once in your File Manager:

Expand public.html.

Expand blog.

Expand wp-content.

Expand plugins.

Make sure the box at the top of the screen says /public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins.

Click Upload and load your Lightbox zip file. Return to your blog and Activate the plugin (*this is where I’m wondering if you can immediately do this upon installing it through your blog and avoid cPanel/File Manager).

At this point, I got confused. I didn’t know how to get the plugin to overlay images on the same page, so I turned to Google. I found a lot of forums that mentioned CSS and HTML, so I switched from Visual to HTML in an earlier post and began to play around. This was a mistake, because I ended up with this (so glad WordPress lets you switch back to an earlier revision!):

I restored that page to an earlier draft and ditched it to experiment on a different post. On a whim, I clicked “Link to Image,” saved my new draft, and clicked on my test image to discover…Lightbox was working!

I went through each of my posts and selected “Link to Image” for each photograph. Now, instead of being transferred to another page to see a larger image, the screen darkens to display a highlighted image:

Of course, the feature isn’t without its flukes. Here’s what happened when I was double-checking each photo to make sure it was Lightbox activated.

A simple page refresh erased my panic:

Lastly, be sure to visit your Lightbox 2 settings page and check “Shrink large images to fit smaller screens” so the images don’t take up your whole screen!

This took me a long time to figure out, but I think it is actually very simple. If one of the forums I visited about installing the plugin had simply instructed bloggers to upload an image and select “Link to Image,” this process would have been much faster. I like this feature, so the time was well worth it!