Mattrah Souq Jewelry

The jewelry being sold at the Mattrah Souq in Muscat, Oman offered a sea of silver and genuine stone to photograph. I love the photographs of the jewelry being sold in this market because of the authenticity of the subjects themselves and the composition of how the bowls are placed. The aperture was set nicely on the close up pictures to allow for a shallow depth of field with sharp focus on the pieces up close and a background that was out of focus. I enjoy the lighting of these photographs because it emphasizes the pieces in the front. This along with the shallow depth of field makes for very interesting pictures.


Clothing Photography

Fashion and visual communications are two fields that work very well together. Being able to represent fashion in a digital way can truly revolutionize the fashion world. Below are tips I have consolidated to photograph clothing in a studio. I can use these tips in my life to photograph clothing and then convert the images into a digital piece.

  • When photographing clothes in the studio, it is better to use soft lighting instead of hard light. Hard light will emphasize texture too much and create harsh shadows. Soft light will retain more of the detail and tone down glare from reflective fabrics
  • When it comes to lighting, size matters. Using a larger light source will more evenly distribute light across the product. This will help obtain a softer light and decrease fall off  along the edges.
  • It is best to use a wide angle lens for clothing photography. This will allow you to see a larger area of the clothing. Still be careful not to use too small of a zoom (i.e. 18mm) because the clothing may begin to warp.
  • Using a camera tethered to a computer can help control the camera. This will allow you to instantly view the photo larger so that you can work more efficiently. You can also adjust your camera settings from the camera so it allows you to adjust your photos without having to touch the camera.
  • It is simple to strip a background from behind a mannequin or clothing item. If you would like to remove the background and have a pure white background, you can use apps like Photoshop. By using the selection tool and inverting the selection to have the clothing item selected, you can create a new layer just of the clothing item. You can then add this to a white background or whatever color you desire.

Travel Photography Inspo

This week I find myself again thinking and longing for my journey to Australia this coming fall. Of course going to an amazing place warrants a photo journal of the experience. I wanted to find travel photography inspiration for Australia and the site that is linked below gave me just that. Pictures from all over Australia are included, from the most famous landmarks to streets in West Australia and parking lots that just presented an interesting photo subject. This post gave me some good advice. First, you should decide what you want to photograph before you go since a lot of places can be farther away. Also, pay attention to detail. Sometimes you really have to pay attention to what’s in front of you or you may miss something really cool. After seeing these photos I am excited to photograph the “touristy” landmarks like the Opera House in a different light not typically done by other photographers. I also saw some amazing infrared photographs. I don’t know exactly what that is but I have a feeling my next blog post may dive deeper into that (*spoiler alert*). These photos on this blog have truly inspired me to dig deeper into not only the different culture but the differing landscapes and terrains there.

Supermodel Rehab by Steven Meisel

In celebration of USC’s 10th Annual Fashion Week next week, I thought it only fitting to post about one of the most famous fashion photographers in the world, Steven Meisel.

Steven Meisel has shot every cover of Vogue from 1988 to now and has shown his skill with Prada campaigns and commercial images for Versace and Valentino. The way Meisel photographs has made him one of themes important fashion photographers of his time. In particular, he knows how to step outside of the box and use controversial ideas to create a beautiful piece.

This week I want to highlight his 2007 editorial shoot for Vogue Italia, where Meisel depicts supermodels in rehab. While this was controversial it was seen as still brilliant. He took and idea that most would be scared to dabble in and he jumped right in. The photos are amazing and rehab has never looked so fabulous. Thank you Steven Meisel for inspiring us in the fashion world to step far outside the box and create something truly amazing.

Check out the link below to view photos from this shoot.

Blogger Appreciation – PeaceLoveShea

While researching new blogs to follow I found one that is truly inspiring to anyone who enjoys fashion, travel, photography, and more. Peace Love Shea is by Shea Marie, a stylist, designer, model, photographer, creative director and everything else you could possibly imagine. I was drawn to her blog and inspired by it not only because of the strong visual presence but the way in which she posts. In her blog posts, she not only right them herself but either styles for them, photographs them or models in them. She knows how to incorporate many of her talents into one collective piece and she has gained a lot of interest for it. Since Shea studied Communications and Journalism at the University of California San Diego, it is interesting to see the possibilities of a degree I am personally taking classes to complete. Here is her blog link so check it out!

World Beer Festival – Columbia

This past Saturday, Columbia welcomed the World Beer Festival to its State Fair Grounds. The ninth annual World Beer Festival had its first session from 12pm-4pm and its second session from 6pm-10pm. At the State Fair Grounds, guests got to taste beers from breweries all around the world. Columbia saw guests from Clemson, Raleigh and other cities around the Carolinas. Beer cups, pretzel necklaces and funny t-shirts were the highlights of the day. This is one event you want to miss when it rolls around next year. Cheers!

Working with the Wind

This past weekend I worked on an environmental portrait project and I found myself at odds with the elements. For my environmental portrait I decided to photograph a surfer and explore the idea of the South being not only full of tradition that is often thought about but also full of activities on the southern coast like surfing. Expecting a nice and sunny day, I stepped out of the car to feel gusts of winding blowing from every direction. I instantly knew that the wind was going to be an issue that I would have to overcome for my shoot. I also had to work with a Canon Speedlite that I haven’t worked too much with thus far in my photography experience.

When my subject and I got onto the beach I found a spot that would offer a good background with no distractions. I exposed the photo for the background of the ocean because the sun was coming from behind my subject at a side angle. So I exposed for the background and then turned on my Speedlite and tested the shot. What I found was a shot that was WAY overexposed. For some reason, every time I would try to focus would turn my 1/2500th of a second shutter speed to 1/250th of a second which was letting in way too much light for the background of my shot to be properly exposed. After becoming frustrated for a while and not knowing how to fix it I started digging into my camera’s settings and finally found the answer! I realized that since I was shooting at such a high shutter speed I had to set the external flash settings for a Hi-Speed Flash setting. After that the flash worked properly and I used it to like the dark side of my subject’s face that was on the opposite side of the sun lighting.

As far as the wind went, I had to learn how to position my model so that her hair was not blowing directly into her face but at a good direction to not take away from the shot and her focus.

There were a lot of challenges with my shoot but I am glad I had them because I learned how to face a lot of problems during a shoot. I am ready for the next windy, sunny shoot on the beach.