Photographic Study Project

California Zephyr

This has been the most challenging assignment for me so far- but also my favorite!  The train was a really fun subject to photograph.  I took my 5-year-old along and he loved playing around the train too.  We got dirty getting close up underneath it.  I’ve lived in this town for 7 years but this is the first time I’ve ever gone to check it out!

This was one of the many springs underneath the train. I loved the spiderwebs in the shot.
This was one of the many springs underneath the train. I loved the spiderwebs in the shot.
I got right next to the train to take this shot. I love the effect that it gave it!
I got right next to the train to take this shot. I love the effect that it gave it!
I took this photo through a piece of rusty metal on the train, and I loved the framing effect it gave it.
I took this photo through a piece of rusty metal on the train, and I loved the framing effect it gave it.
This photo gives a bigger picture of some of the underside components of the train.
This photo gives a bigger picture of some of the underside components of the train.
This is my favorite photo in this collection. I knew it was my favorite as I was shooting it, I think in part because it was such a challenge to get it just the way I wanted it!
This is my favorite photo in this collection. I knew it was my favorite as I was shooting it, I think in part because it was such a challenge to get it just the way I wanted it!
This grid includes my blended photo, the center image, which was also the first thing I ever created in Photoshop. The grid itself is my second Photoshop creation.
This grid includes my blended photo, the center image, which was also the first thing I ever created in Photoshop. The grid itself is my second Photoshop creation.

Process:  Taking the photos was really fun for me.  I got to learn more about my camera and more about how to adjust the focus to get the effects I want, as well as more about lighting.  I also enjoyed editing the photos in Lightroom, now that I was slightly familiar with the process.  I really like comparing the before and after in a side-by-side view!  My challenge came when it was time to work in Photoshop.  After a rocky start, that included many forums, tutorials, adobe support and classmate help, I started getting into the swing of things.  I used Sister Esplin’s book as a guide for blending my image.  I used a photo I took of the underside of the train where paint was peeling and layered that with a photo of the whole train.  I had more difficulty creating the grid, but after a few photos and some awesome tips from classmates, I started getting the hang of it.  I got my critiques and went back to edit my grid, when I realized my terrible, awful, horrible mistake—when I flattened the image of my grid, I did not do so with a duplicate.  Somehow I missed that very, very important step.  Looking at it from a positive point of view, I got more practice with the program since I had to go in and recreate the whole thing!

Critiques:  Becca Hancock critiqued my photos on Facebook on Thursday morning.  She said the top right photo felt cut off and that the strong line was leading off the image.  She also mentioned that the photos on the grid contained a mixture of tones, and recommended warming up the cool ones to match the majority.  Sister Peterson critiqued my photos Wednesday night and said that, with proximity in mind, the text should not be separated with a photo.  She recommended using a sans serif to contrast my decorative font in the second word, making it smaller, and bringing it up and underneath and to the right of the first word, aligning it between the “o” in California and the end of the word.  Because of my flattening the image and destroying my layers, I was able to go back in and have another go at practicing.  I took Becca’s advice and moved the top right photo to the top left.  I also took Sister Peterson’s advice, using a sans serif font on second word and bringing it under first, aligning it.  Sister Peterson also gave me a few ideas for making the second word stand out more against the photo background, so I chose to give the letters a 1 pt black stroke.  This time I made sure to save my layers and do a duplicate image when flattening it!

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3 thoughts on “Photographic Study Project

  1. Awesome work, as always, Chris! I love the photos you were able to get. I love your favorite photo too, but I think my favorite one is where you shot through the rusty part. I had troubles working with Photoshop too. I wish that I would have it available for more than a month so I could really use it more. Thanks for the critique of my grid. You can see my finished project here: https://nicolestock.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/perspective-of-twelve/ And check out April’s blog, her scriptures were her subject: https://saybethea.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/photographic-study-project/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those pictures are amazing! Where did you find the California Zephor? I like how the pictures really tell a story and show some of what it has been through. The spider webs and rust on the wheels and shocks have great detail. I enjoyed your post.

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