ROUND 2: Photobook Finished

Click Here to See my photobook (opens new tab)

These last weeks have been awesome for photography. I did a set during the winter, and this set during the spring, and I have loved the differences that I can see in the type of pictures that I took and how they were different because of the weather and my improvements in skill.

The photo book below is something that I made using some of my favorite pictures from these last 14 weeks. I used Adobe Indesign and some photoshop to prepare the files, and even Illustrator for things like my signature or some of the minor repeating elements.

My fonts used were Bodoni 72 and Futura. After making the whole photobook in InDesign, I exported each page as a jpeg and sent it to the website I chose. Ours was made through Snapfish. It was pretty inexpensive (around $20). They have deals constantly that rotate, so keep an eye out for when it’s most beneficial for you.

Good luck and happy photo shooting!



ROUND 2: Contest Submissions

Photo Crowd was a website I found that will be very beneficial for me as I improve my photography skills.  The website is:

It was simple to make an entry. All I had to do was create an account and vote on a few others’ entries and rate them what I think they earned. It encouraged me to keep doing this, but said that I could now make my own entries and continue voting. After that, I was able to upload my picture (whether from my computer or another source) and then write a little about it. The deadline will come up sometime in the next couple weeks and I will be able to see the results and vote.

I chose this contest because they are all free, for one, but also because I can continually challenge myself to win them. There are so many different contests every week on this website, that I will continually have ideas for what to take pictures of and continue brainstorming how I can work in that topic of contest.

These were the submissions that I did on July 6, 2017:

Levitation Contest Submission: Tell us the story behind the image: Bannack Ghost Town
What were the technical challenges? We put her too close to the wall, so the shadow from the stool was showing. Describe any post-processing or retouching: Also, she had her feet showing, but you couldn’t see the bottom of her feet, so we removed them. We had her standing on a stool and took the image then took one without her or the stool so that we could edit out the stool.

Submitted to Masterful Macro: Tell us the story behind the image: I love art and writing. I had my macro tubes with me and found some shavings sitting around in one of the rooms at BYU-Idaho. What were the technical challenges? I had to move the paper that it was sitting on near a light source. There was a window nearby, so I put it there. Describe any post-processing or retouching Very light exposure change on the shaving and the tip of the broken lead.

Submitted to “Dark Portrait” contest: Tell us the story behind the image: I have always loved contrasted light on someone’s face in photos. To me, it all seems symbolic because it makes me feel that although people have a side that you can see clearly, there is a lot more that you can’t, or that they hide. So, one side is light, one side is shadow. What were the technical challenges? An obstacle in this instance was getting her in focus and using the light source. I took this picture with a corded trigger and standing off to the side with a light source stretched out in my hand. We took a few shots to get it lighted how I wanted. Describe any post-processing or retouching: I did some exposure edits to her face and left side of the body, and darkened the right side slightly.

As you can see, this website was relatively simple and straightforward. There are so many competitions that you could keep taking pictures for a while and still have more to submit. There were a lot of different things to compete for, as well, so look into those and find something that excites you! Good luck!


ROUND 2: Fine Art Print

I am printing out two of my favorite pictures from these past weeks. It has been hard to decide which pictures to print because I have a few that I like, but these two are the ones that stick out most to me. The problem was that–even though I love the compositions and subjects, I was still getting rid of some bad habits of recomposing my photos. So the lady bug is out of focus slightly. Still, this is my favorite photo because guitar is one of my few ways to escape, and the blue of my guitar is one of my favorite colors. The guitar strap is my next favorite because it’s a macro and because of the meaning and title that I gave it: “Wrap Me Around Your Shoulders.” Guitar is something that also comforts me and makes me feel safe and calm. Both of the pictures were taken in front of my apartment in Rexburg, Idaho at about 10am.

Some of the edits I made for printing were sharpness, exposure, and removing some of the yellow color of the bridge and pins on the right. I also removed some of the scratches of the guitar from strumming and playing it recently. I love this image, even with its imperfections and the bad habit of recomposing that I used to have. On the strap, I just changed the exposure and sharpness, and some saturation and contrast.

Also, I changed the size to 24 inches from about 21 inches, and the resolution to 150ppi from 200ppi with the bicubic sharper selection.


Edited for print
Original picture
Edited for large format

Video explanation of guitar strap:

ROUND 2: Top 5 Images

I need to pick an image to print in large format. I have chosen a few of my favorites and need your vote to help me decide. Leave your vote in the poll below! (or in the comments)


#1 – Blue Sea Bug
#2 – More Bass, More Treble
#3 – Wrap Me Around Your Shoulders
#4 – Secure Sound
#5 – A Long Road Traveled

ROUND 2: Photobook: Covers, First spread, TOC, Professional Page

This week, I started on my photobook. Here are the Covers, First spread, TOC, and my Professional Page/Bio. I really like the bio page, but I might mess around more with my covers and the spread layout because they’re both pretty basic.

Front Cover
Back Cover
Alternate Front Cover – let me know your vote… 
Table of Contents
Professional Page
First Spread… actually, it’s the second.

So this is what I have so far. I know that there will be a lot more changes and better design as I consider ways to show off the photos in a more creative way. For now, this is what I have. Thanks for checking it out.

ROUND 2: Bannack State Park – Themed Images

I looked around the buildings for things that stood out to me on the construction, whether it was from weather over time, or simply nature. I looked for any wallpapers that were torn and would make a good composition, floors with stains (now that I think about it… stains from what?), and the walls where the weather had caused water damage over time inside the house.

In Adobe Lightroom, I edited the photos for better exposure and emphasis on certain spots with brush exposure and sharpness to the intended focal points.

I considered how these pictures meant something to me (it’s habit by now, and sometimes a curse…) then thought of ways to express it, and in Adobe Photoshop, I added the text and shapes and lowered the opacity so that the text had a better contrast. I would like to practice other ways to not have to use the shapes and still have the text look good.

Themed images, Photo Grid Layout Practice
My theme was “Walls,” which surprisingly has a bit of meaning to me. I write a lot and focus on symbolism. Walls are actually pretty interesting things in the sense of symbolism. (Font: Bodoni 72 Oldstyle Book title and body)
Dividers and walls… seems like a divider is more easily moved and managed. But still require some effort. (Font: Euphemia UCAS Regular Body and Bodoni 72 Oldstyle Book title)
Even when we protect ourselves from getting hurt, love can get past our walls and through to us. (Font: Euphemia UCAS Regular)

Thanks for checking these out. I was considering ways to use the open space for advertisements and other things. I think some of these would look pretty nice with a brand or logo on it. Maybe I’ll experiment with that in the future.

ROUND 2: Bannack Best: FINE ART – non-portraits

These are my non-portrait images that I took at Bannack Ghost Town. Thanks for checking out my blog.

HDR Photo – Bracketed image with cropping and rotation



No edits, Natural Lighting
No Edits
This was a shoe I found on one of the porches. It was kinda gross to touch but I moved it to a good place for a better background – Some in-camera editing
Black and White edit in Lightroom, slight edits to contrast

ROUND 2: Bannack Best: Portraits

We went to Bannack Ghost Town in Jackson, Montana last Friday with a few people dressed up in western outfits. Bannack itself is just beautiful for photography, but these models did a fantastic job.

These portraits have edits to exposure, and some saturation or contrast in Adobe Lightroom, and a couple, such as the 1st and 3rd have some in camera edits.

Natural Light, Reflector, Some exposure edits in Adobe Lightroom
Natural Light, Reflector, Some exposure edits in Adobe Lightroom
Off Camera Strobe, some in-camera edits, some exposure edits in Adobe Lightroom
Strobe, Reflector, Camera mounted speed light to trigger strobe, some exposure edits in Adobe Lightroom
Light Source: Strobe and Camera mounted Speedlight pointed 45 degrees to trigger flash, some exposure edits in Adobe Lightroom
Ghost Portrait of Michael, 5 Second Exposure, Natural Light, some exposure edits in Adobe Lightroom

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