Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Model wanted for shoot, spring semester

I'm am going to begin casting for a shoot that will take place on a weekend in February or March (it's dependent on the availability of the location, which I have not confirmed yet. I want to cast someone and then work with their schedule to find a good time).

Theme/Concept: Mixing dance (ballet) with fashion. The wardrobe will be a semi-formal dress, most likely black, that I will provide unless you have something you prefer that will work for the shoot.
I am looking for someone who has a dance background and knows how to safely work in ballet pointe shoes and can provide their own.**
Flexibility, strength, stamina, and patience will be needed for this very active shoot.

Location: University of Southern Maine, Gorham Campus

MUA will be provided, and possibly hair stylist as well.

Non-USM Students: I will provide print-ready digital negs and web-ready versions of the final images in exchange for your time. A meal on campus will be provided if you wish, and depending on how far away you come from I can cover a portion of the gas cost or have a few images printed in 8x11 for your portfolio.

USM Students: Digital files for you to print at your leisure as well as ready to upload versions for the web. Possibly a few 8x11 prints.

Please message me with any questions or to let me know you're interested.

** If you have experience with other forms of dance other than ballet let me know, I might not be able to use you for this particular project but I have a few other ideas cooking that could use your skills.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

9th Annual USM Royal Majesty Drag Competition and Show

Competitors and performers who I have taken photos of: please feel free to use them, but link back to me at http://selizabeth.deviantart.com

The lovely hostess, Crystal Ball

one of the non-competing queens putting on their act while a woman interprets for the deaf

Bunny Wonderland, a prominent Portland drag queen judging the event, does a number that included sound clips from the original Willy Wonka mashed up with Britney Spears

The Competitors

Sound techs actually played the wrong song for this competitor, but he was given a chance to perform again to the correct one.

The winning Queen performing as a naughty nurse with a non-competing partner (not shown)

Winning Kings, the Dynamic Dicktaphones, perform their number.

Non-competing "Kings of the Hill" perform YMCA as the Village People while the judges deliberated.

The winners doing a victory walk down the runway.

Competitors and performers who I have taken photos of: please feel free to use them, but link back to me at http://selizabeth.deviantart.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Published & New Camera

Look familiar? Yup, that's my photo, published for the first time! Click it for a full view. And as you might notice Dylan wrote the article it accompanies.

After some hurdles and roadblocks, my new camera, the Canon 5D, is in my possession and working beautifully. I can already see the improvement from the D40. It'll take me a little while to get a handle on this beast of a camera because it is quite larger than the D40 and set up very differently (just about reversed in some ways). But with Thanksgiving break coming up I'll have time to spend with it and the manual and you should start seeing a steady stream of photos coming through. If you're going to the drag show (which you absolutely should - this Friday November 21st, 8-11pm , more info on facebook) then you'll see me flitting about with it.

To get an idea of the 5D's power and capabilities, check out these photos which were all taken with it.

Here's what I've snapped so far today -

Nothing terribly impressive because my head still feels half dead from being sick, but I'm excited. In the bottom one you can see my reflection in the bottom left corner :P

I'll be organizing shoots after thanksgiving break, so keep your eyes peeled if you want to model.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Coffee House

Just got back from the coffee house in burnham lounge... it was a smaller turnout than expected but still a fun time. Dylan will be running an article in the free press covering it in more detail and (hopefully) featuring some of my photos. Here are my personal favorites from the evening:

performers, please feel free to use the photos of yourselves, but a link back to here or my deviantART page under the photos would be great.

paypal woes

I've been verified by paypal, but now I have to wait for my echeck to clear because I didn't realize the difference between drawing directly from a bank account versus a debit card T_T

Although verifying was supposed to take 3-5 days and it took just a few hours. So hopefully the check will clear fast so the camera can be sent to me!

I'm on myspace now, woo http://www.myspace.com/selizabethphotography
we should be friends :P

I'm building my team right now... I have someone to assist me with holding reflectors and keeping track of equipment, and I also have a MUA (make-up artist). What I need is someone who is good, REALLY good, at doing hair (as in, I can show you a photo of a style and you could replicate it to a good degree), and then of course the issue of finding a good place to supply nice clothes. I've been checking out goodwill since you can find some gems there, but I think I'll have to hit some consignment boutiques since they tend to have higher quality more stylish clothes on the cheap. But if anyone fancies themself as a designer or stylist I'd more than welcome you to help out with shoots :)

The reason I'm putting together a team is because I've started reaching out more into the Portland modeling community to find models, and I've got a reply back from a serious model who wants to do a shoot at some point. You can find her on myspace @ http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=49318653
I also contacted a modeling agency who said that they aren't currently hiring photographers but to check back in four months. So basically four months to create a kickass portfolio... it can be done!


And I was going to post photos but now I need to run to class...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

sun and lighting

Those will probably be the last photos I take with my current camera... hopefully I'll be getting the 5D soon!

Also thinking of advertising cheap head shots in the theater building here on campus... I had a look at the photographers advertising and they all seemed a bit steep, plus not on campus. I figure someone on campus who's charging a fraction of the cost might be a welcome change. If anyone has had their head shots done let me know how much you paid if you don't mind.

my brain is dead... blah.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

An Evening with the Cambiata

If you missed the show last at the student center then you missed a great concert. The USM student body seems to be rather notorious for just not giving a fuck about what's going on on campus... whether it be because everyone is partying in the dorms or just oblivious that things actually happen here (a recent poll in the Free Press showed that a large percentage of students wished more concerts happen on campus, seemingly unaware that we usually have one every one or two weeks!).
Last night was a very big exception though, with a crowd of around 80 flocking to the Brooks Student Center to see The Cambiata. I saw them last spring at Space Gallery and was a little put off by the loudness, but last night the music seemed more controlled, more mature, and overall much more enjoyable.

The Cambiata performing at USM, Fall 2008

The Student Center isn't the most technologically advanced, super trendy venue, however the band overcame any issues with the tiny stage and gave a really great performance. For someone who doesn't really listen to that kind of music I even found myself getting into it and enjoying their sound.

the stage at the student center is thin and long, forcing the band to spread out in a line

I do hope that someday USM has a better concert set-up than we currently have. The small stage, limited equipment, and sub-par lighting make it very hard to put on the amazing shows that other colleges pull off. However the crowd last night didn't seem to mind at all.

three students seated facing the right side of the stage

I did notice that the 'no mans land' effect was in strong force that night, leaving a large area empty. In the future chairs will probably be set up directly in front of the stage to help solve this problem.

concert-goers formed a ring around the stage with an empty half circle space between them and the performers

Despite the empty area everyone still had a great time, listening to the music and having fun. Hopefully this is a trend that can keep going in the future!

friend The Cambiata on myspace

Upcoming USM Events:
Thursday 11/13 - Disco Night [Brooks Student Center, 9pm]
Saturday 11/15 - The Dark Knight [Brooks Student Center, 8pm]
Thursday 11/20 - Coffee House [Burnham Lounge, 7pm]

Thursday 12/4 - Husky Film Fest (deadline for entries is November 20th, Film Fest will start 12/4 @ 9pm)
Thursday 12/11 - Stress Relief Night [Brooks Student Center, 9pm]

FMI on the Gorham Events Board or Thirsty Thursday events, email daniella.nevells[nospam]@maine.edu

Saturday, November 8, 2008

need a good camera? I'm selling mine!

If you are reading this from facebook and cannot see any pictures, please go to the blog (http://selizabethphotography.blogspot.com) and read the original post where they actually show up. Thanks! :)

Yup, that's right. I'm selling all my equipment. I want to upgrade to a professional level camera and I've found one that's the right fit and price for me, but part of being able to afford it means selling my D40 and the things I've gotten for it. Below is a list of what I'm selling, I've also included photos beneath the items to show what you can achieve with it - click them to see larger versions. I'm going to take photos of the equipment as well when I get a moment or you can just look them up on google to see what they look like.

I'm selling:
the D40 body This is a camera body - no lens, and it needs a lens to take photos. I wouldn't recommend just buying the body unless you already have lenses!

The D40 is a great, lightweight, entry level Digital SLR. It's my first DSLR and I was able to jump from a point and shoot up to it without problems. It has the standard scene modes that compact digitals have but also allows you to grow into manual modes and focusing as you are ready. It is VERY hard to take bad photos with this camera, it just works. The manual is very clear and helpful and there are numerous resources online on how to get the most out of this great little camera. Comes with the neck strap, manual, battery, and charger.

Photo examples: see my deviantART page. Every photo on there was taken with my D40.

18-55mm AF-S Nikkor lens This is an autofocus lens, the standard kit lens that comes with the D40. If you want you can also turn auto-focus off to focus manually. Works well for most general photography from spontaneous photos to portraits. It comes with a front cap.

55-200mm AF-S Nikkor DX Lens Autofocus telephoto lens. Like the 18-55mm you can also use manual focus with this if you want. Great for wildlife as you can see below, and I've also used it for marching band competitions where I'm stuck far away in the stands. It comes with a bayonet hood, front lens cap, rear lens cap, and pouch.

50mm AF Nikkor Only focuses manually with the D40, but is a great lens for low light situations and to learn manual focus with. I also use it with the extension tubes to take macro shots. I use it for concerts and close up work. Comes with front and rear caps.

Kenko Extension Tube Set DG This is a set of 12mm, 20mm, and 36mm rings. They can be stacked in any order or combination between the body of the camera and the lens. They are useful for close up photos. When using them you CAN NOT autofocus. As you can see below I use these for macro and close up. Comes with front and rear caps and the box it came in for easy storage.

UV Glass Filter by Tiffen This is a simple glass filter that screws on the front of any of the lenses I am selling. It filters out UV light to reduce some glare and it also protects your lens from being scratched accidently. It really is a must have, because if you scratch a lens you'll spend a fortune replacing it. Scratch one of these guys and you can plunk down a few bucks and get a new one.

Camera Bag It's a simple light weight bag with an adjustable long shoulder strap and a shorter handle. It fits the camera with either the 18-55mm or the 50mm lens on, and you can store the other small lens in a pocket. With the telephoto lens on you can't fit any others in. It's also got some small pockets on the outside that can fit things like a glasses case, wallet, or keys.

Tripod and two mounting shoes (they go on the bottom of the camera and attach to the tripod) that I'll probably be selling as well. The new camera is most likely too heavy for this. The tripod is light weight (very easy to carry around) but holds the D40 just fine, just be careful leaving it alone with the telephoto lens on, I haven't tried that and it's possible it could tip over if it's in harsh conditions or on unstable ground. The tripod has worked fabulously for what I've used it for - night shots, self portraits, and macro work. Includes tripod, two mounting shoes, and a bag with shoulder strap.

If you were to go out and replicate my system - the camera, lenses, accessories (including tripod and bag) you could end up paying around $1000. These are all used, so I won't be asking for 1k, but I've taken extremely good care of this equipment and it is all like new, plus you save shipping and handling from getting it from me - and you can play with it before you buy it. Moreover since I've used all the equipment I know it works and how it works, so I'm rather good tech support for it as opposed to chasing around googling and learning things the hard way (like I've done!).

I'm hoping to sell this for no less than $800, but hopefully closer to $900. I cannot give a 100% promise to anyone to be the one who buys the camera because with the way the world is you never know what will happen with prices of technology or financial emergencies that happen. I also do not plan on selling it for a couple of months, I'm waiting for a new model of camera to come out and make the camera I'm looking at drop it's price, so you have a little while to think and gather up your pennies. I'm hoping to sell everything all together as a kit, but if you just want one piece or just a few let me know and I'll see if it's realistic to do.

If you have any questions at all about any of the equipment, want to know more details or explanations about them, more example pictures, or want to put in a bid for it send me a note on facebook or email me at stephanie.elizabeth.m[nospam]@gmail.com

Thursday, November 6, 2008

weekend update and some camera education

Ah, well, it's only Thursday, but it's the weekend for most of us at USM.

I've been getting assigned tons of projects but still hope to keep up doing shoots. I'm trying to get out with my camera at least once a week.

I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago who didn't think digital photography was an art... they thought that the camera just did everything for you. I think their only experience with digital photography had been with point and shoot cameras that DO do everything for you though, so I want to explain the differences between my camera and point and shoot cameras for those who are still uninformed.

My camera is the Nikon D40, a DSLR (Digital Single Reflex Camera). It's in the category of a "prosumer" camera. That means that it's a step above a point and shot (I'll call it a P&S from now on), but not a professional camera. There's one (maybe two) more levels above the D40 before you hit professional level cameras that cost thousands and thousands of dollars (check out my dream camera, the D3, which starts at a mere $5,000).

model: Katie

My camera has a number of preset modes, some that are common among point and shoots and a few that are more specific: Night, Macro, Sports, Children, Landscape, Portrait, No Flash, and Auto. But it also has four others - M, A, S, and P. Without getting into too many details they stand for Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Program. For the sake of your brain I won't get into the specifics of what they all do, but I shoot in manual.

Shooting manual gives you the greatest control over what the camera does and how it takes photos. In a P&S camera you set the mode and that's it... the camera has preset things it does to best handle the situation. In my camera, I have control of the sensitivity to light, the amount of light let in, and how fast the shutter moves, just to name the three biggest factors. There is an almost endless possibility of combination's I could have with all these different settings! It also requires a lot of thought - if I'm shooting a concert I need to let as much light in as possible because of the darkness of the venue. I turn the camera's sensitivity to light up, and open the aperture to let in as much light as possible. In low light situations you also generally need to use a slower shutter speed, but for a concert you have to find the balance between slow enough to let enough light in but fast enough to catch the action. Too fast and you'll end up with a black photo. Two slow and it will be all blurs.

"little black dress"
model: Katie

In every day situations (like the photo shown above), you have to find the balance between letting enough light in to see the shadows - like on her face- but not "blowing out" (over exposing) the areas that have the most light - her arms. It becomes a juggling act between light sensitivity, amount of light, and shutter speed.

So when comparing digital to film, the mechanics are essentially the same... there are key differences in that you use a menu for a digital camera and things are computerized, however it requires just as much knowledge for GOOD digital photography as it does film.
Artistically there is no difference. There are some things you can achieve with film, such as a nice looking grain, that are very hard to duplicate with digital. However with concept, planning, and execution, there is no difference between what I do as an artist and what someone with a film camera does. It's just different mediums.

I also want to point out that it's not the camera, but the person behind it that makes the photo. I have seen photographers with cameras that are hundreds (sometimes thousands) more expensive than mine that produce uninteresting, bland, bad quality shots. I have also seen people with my same model camera produce photos that I can only dream of.

Too long blog post? No one cares about how cameras work as long as they keep seeing pretty pictures? :P

I'm out!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

fall fashion, Obama

First, Obama.
I am a liberal, I largely support Democrats, and I have been rooting for and voted for Barack Obama in the presidential election. As you know by now unless you live under a rock, is that he is now Presidential Elect Obama, not just Senator or Candidate.

I am hoping that in the coming months and years we as a country and as a human race on earth will come together to create better lives for ourselves. I am hoping that the gut reactions of those who did not support Obama will subside, and that instead of the childishness I am seeing in some people I will instead see a willingness to work together.

Congratulations everyone, We Did It!


Now, "fall fashion"

Fall Fashion
model: Katie P

photographer: Stephanie Elizabeth

One of four photos from the shoot. More will be coming along. It was fabulous to wander around the inside and out of the building and shoot. I'm going to try to do more shoots more often. I have a few people lined up so I'm hoping I can pull things together!

<3 goodnight

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

USM at night + go vote!

I went out last night with my camera and tripod and did some night photography... got a lot of stupid comments from passersby but also got a few gems.

Above is the front of robie-andrews, it's a long exposure with a car driving by - you can see the streak of light on the road. It has not been edited beyond toning down a little red and resizing it.

Behind robie-andrews looking at the art department. The longer exposures cause the lights to look like that.

This is probably my favorite from the night... this is behind robie-andrews facing Corthell with all the street lamps glowing. I would really suggest clicking it to view the whole photo larger.

I also got pictures of a plane moving across the sky, some of the stars, and experimented with shooting the intersection down the street with all the cars going by. I think it'll take me a little more time to refine the technique I use for those.