Original Photography by a Unique Guy

Posts tagged “black and white

Black, White, Color.

I really wish that i could blog more often, but I have been rather busy. Today I will be posting my 3 most recent photo assignments, and I hope you will enjoy what I have to offer. Be aware- today there is a lot of text, feel free to pass over it if you just want to see some photos!

NOTE: As always, I ask that you do not save images to your local computer with out permission. Information about permission can be found on the About page. Thank You.

First, for my Photography Appreciation class, I had to go out and shoot my favorite place in Winona. I decided to go to Rock in the House, because My friend Megan said it would be fun to shoot. It most certainly was fun to shoot, however while there, my 16-35mm L USM II took a dive off of some rocks, and ended up costing me $175.10 to fix, Thanks DAD! anyways, here is the photo that I turned in. I shot it moments before the lens dented.

Rock in the House


When given the task to go out and shoot one’s favorite place, it can be rather difficult to think about. I have many spots that I like in Winona, many that I have photographed already. So for this assignment I decided to take it my own way and think of a place where I could take a photo in an interesting way, show place in a way that it is not often shown. As a person who appreciates good photography, I get bored of seeing the same types of images. After learning about Rock in the House, I figured that there would certainly be a way to show this “famous” spot that many people have not viewed it. I thought back to some more abstract photos of wreckage that I have taken in the past, and immediately knew how I wanted to shoot Rock in the House. I stepped into the house, next to the rock, and walked all the way to the back where only a head or a camera could get through the wreckage. I first stuck my head through the opening and looked around, I saw how all the splintered portions of house lead to the center, and then it was just white.  I knew that the only way to shoot this would be by using my ultra wide lens, So I put it on, and then stuck the camera through the hole and shot a few shots, at different exposures. The light meter had a difficult time with the intense white in the center, but after 4 attempts I came up with this image. It is not likely an image that you would see in a book on Winona or the surrounding area, which I know was the hidden agenda for the assignment, however it is does show an area favorite in a new light, and makes the viewer think about what is actually in the photo. If a viewer spends even 2 seconds trying to figure it all out, I am happy to know that they didn’t just pass it on by like the hundreds of “facebook” photos they pass by on a daily basis.

This next photo is yet another self portrait. For this assignment I really wanted to shoot my shadow, and the shadow of my tripod against the Milwaukee Art Museum to showcase my love of art, modern architecture, and photography, however while in Milwaukee, I woke up at 5:30am for 4 straight days, hoping for the necessary sun and it never happened. After getting back to Winona, I decided to hit up the studio, and this is what I came up with.

March 2011 Self Portrait

The Creative:
There were several different ideas that I considered for my self-portrait before deciding on this final composition. Ever since a young child, I have been fascinated in war in general, and also army surplus. I am also a huge fan of bright/ “loud” clothing. That being said, it may seem that the neon yellow hoodie, although not obvious that it is neon or yellow, and the gas mask may seem like “obvious props” but there is more to it then that. The bright clothing is symbolic of my loud and outgoing personality. I am always put others first, trying to put myself as out there to the world as I can, and all the while I never refrain from voicing my opinion without regard to the status quo. The gas mask is symbolic of the amount of stress that I usually have in my life. Sometimes it is so much that I feel like I can’t breathe. Finally, I am making a fist to show how I am tough when it comes to debating, and that I will fight for what I believe in. In designing the composition, I chose to follow the guide of thirds, pushing my head to the upper left of the frame.  This is a “one” image in the sense that there is really only one thing (me) in the frame. Although there are a few hard lines in the image over all it is a soft composition, and lighting wise there is no hard shadows. The gas mask brings tension into the image, especially for most viewers.

The Technical:
Although this photograph was taken by Robbie Christiano, It was shot on my camera, and I chose all the settings, he simply pushed the shutter release. I chose an aperture of f/5.6 because I like a shallower depth of field. The gas mask is in critical focus, and the rest of my body is just shy of in focus. The dark studio backdrop, remains completely out of focus. I also chose to light the image from the “left” using an external flash unit. Since a flash was used, I set the shutter to 1/125. Once in the darkroom, I set the enlarger aperture to f/22, because I get the best detail printing with a small aperture. After printing one image without solarization, I knew that solarizing would make the hoodie look more reflective/brighter. To solarize, I cut the exposure time from 16 seconds to 13 seconds. Then I re-exposed for 2.2 seconds. I let the photo sit in the developer the second time for 3 minutes, just long enough to produce the image as I wanted it.


For my third assignment, and last darkroom assignment for awhile, I was required to explore “like digital effects” in the darkroom. I decided to go with solarization once again, because I came up with a smarter way to solarize that almost completely inverts the image.

Doerre 1892

My new process: Instead of removing the print from the developer, I simply brought the light over to the developer, and re-exposed the image while it was still in the developer. This resulted in an almost complete color reversal, which I personally think is quite awesome. The image was exposed first at f/22 for 18 seconds, and then re-exposed under a bright desk lamp for 2.2 seconds. The image quality looks similar to a Daguerreotype, and the age on the building make it seem period. When I shot this, I was thinking that solarization would make the image look antique, and I think my final product does a nice job of that.

Finally here is another solarized image made using my new process. I think this one really looks antique.

Leithold's Music

Hope you enjoyed this weeks photos, and that you didn’t lose too much interest with all my ramblings. Hopefully I will be able to blog more regularly, but until next time, Enjoy!



Due to my busy schedule last week, and with starting a new job and all, I was unable to post some photos that I shot last week for Photography Appreciation, until now. By waiting however, I will now include a photo I shot yesterday for Photocommunication. Interestingly enough, I was given the same assignment for both classes. To capture/ experiment with Composition. I used 2 different approaches to satisfy these assignments and hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I do.

NOTE: As always, I ask that you do not save images to your local computer with out permission. Information about permission can be found on the About page. Thank You.

For my first assignment in Composition, I had to arrange an inanimate object, and leave it in that spot for the duration of the shoot. This assignment is always a fun one to push the photographer work with what they are given and still create something interesting. Here are just 5 photos that I shot, out of 110 total.

Front View


Remembering the Past

Duty Calls


First off I want to state that the above photo is my favorite. I have experimented with zoom blur in the past, with little success, but given the subject of the gas mask and the helmet, the blur successfully, in my mind, conveys a feeling of chaos. When thinking about when these would be used, I think about chaotic situations, and that is what I wanted to portray. After shooting in color for a while, I switched to black and white, because when I think of the war, I think of the B/W photos that my grandfather has. I used 3 different lenses, and work by all 3 is represented here, I ended up slightly cropping the photo, Front View, that was originally shot with the wide-angle lens. I took many different shots, 110 total, using all different focal lengths ranging from 16-300mm, and a wide range of aperture settings as well. Some of the photos I wanted to use a tight aperture, and still use a low ISO, so I brought out my trusty tripod. I have to say I am not a fan of staging a scene. I would much rather go out and experience the world then stage something in my own environment. But this was still a valuable photographic experience.


This photo is of some street art that I found under the bridge on Latsch Island. I always find street art interesting, but under that bridge is a whole new world. (to me). So many unique stories, but at the end of the day, life goes on, fading into the abyss, just like the end of the bridge. In terms of composition, there is a high level of contrast in the image. It contains both true white and true black, and every shade of grey in between. Since the sky is exposed as true white, it serves as ground, and the bridge as a whole serves as figure. There is a diminishing perspective, and the vanishing point is located just to the left of the image. I would also choose to classify this image as a mainly content image due to the fact that it is clearly a recognizable object.

I am not going to try to make you as a viewer feel what I feel when I view this image, but maybe to provide some insight to my personality, I will tell you that I feel calm, peaceful, almost Tranquil when I view this image. This may be because it takes me back to when I shot it, and it was a still winters day, and it was peaceful to see all the street art. Who knows. But until next time, Enjoy!!

The Darrell W. Krueger Library

This past week I had the task of shooting “Framing” in Black and White. There are many ways that this can be taken, after all what the photographer chooses to include (or not include) in the image framing in itself. Elements within the image can also serve as frames. here are 2 very different takes on framing and I hope you Enjoy!

NOTE: As always, I ask that you do not save images to your local computer with out permission. Information about permission can be found on the About page. Thank You.

The Darrell W. Krueger Library

I shot this photo with my 16mm lens  at ~1/750 sec and ~f/16 on Sunday 2/20/2011. It is taken from the third floor of the Integrated Wellness Complex on Winona State’s campus. As a result of the fast shutter speed, the aluminum that separates the windows, becomes silhouetted, which was a goal of mine. I wanted the black around the windows to frame the windows, and the individual windows to frame other aspects of the image, namely the Darrell W. Krueger Library. To improve this image I would Spot Tone the image, which is something I will probably do in the near future.

Jefferson's Pub and Grill

This photo was shot the night prior to the last one. I brought my tripod down to the river, and took a few shots of the Winona bridge, and then decided to shoot Jefferson’s as well. I personally LOVE the way lights will star in long exposures, so I shot this for 30 seconds at f/16. This image is Framing in the sense that I chose what and what not to include in the image.

Hope you enjoyed these images. More to come later this week!

Winona Amtrak Station.

Well this was Week 2 of Chiaroscuro, only this week I had the task of going out and shooting an exposure that shows “meaning/depth” or something like that. Personally I am not a fan of taking images with a direct meaning or intent. I would rather have the viewer look at an image and pull their own meaning from it. but none the less, this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy!

NOTE: As always, I ask that you do not save images to your local computer with out permission. Information about permission can be found on the About page. Thank You.



This photo is of the Winona Amtrak Station. I shot it on Saturday night, just as the Empire Builder arrived. Despite the numerous odd looks, I was able to capture this shot with a 20-30 second exposure using an aperture setting of f/8-16.

The “Final” print is actually the first print that I made. I was quite happy with it, but I wanted to clean the negative and try to remove some of the dust spots from it to make the second print look better. In the cleaning process, I ended up scratching the negative as you can see in the “Rough” image. In the “Rough” Image I also used less time, to try and bring out more of the building, however then I lost the true black of night, and was less than impressed. Over all, I think the first print is the best, and I went through quite a few test prints to get it to come out with such sharp contrast. In my opinion the shadows in the image emit sort of an eerie feeling, but how does it make you feel?

Until next time, Enjoy!

An Attempt at Chiaroscuro.

For this weeks photo I did my best (that’s a lie) to capture Chiaroscuro. For those who don’t know, Chiaroscuro is one of the most important means of expressing feeling through light and contrast. I am sure I could have come up with something better, however due to the darkroom being closed because of $1.50 worth of stolen/misplaced property, I didn’t want to waste film I wouldn’t be able to use, so I waited until I got the go ahead to process to shoot. that go ahead came on a sunless day, with little shadows. Anyways, this is what I have to show.

NOTE: As always, I ask that you do not save images to your local computer with out permission. Information about permission can be found on the About page. Thank You.

Winona Architecture (Rough)

Winona Architecture (Final)

These images are of a building along the river in Winona. I shot them today after I learned that I would be able to complete my assignment. I really liked the shadowing on the building, and I liked the way the dark building stood out against the lighter sky. It makes for nice contrast. The initial print was rather muddy, and dull, so I added a #2.5 contrast filter and another .2 seconds to burn some more contrast into the image. I think that there is a large difference, and I am much prouder of the final print.

Until next week, Enjoy! Maybe I will have more time to create a far better image… Or at least I will be able to manage my time better….

A Cold Milwaukee Morning.

Well this last weekend I went home to Milwaukee. Taking these photos was kind of an after thought, the real reason to go home was to see family, and get a chipped tooth fixed. Feeling adventurous I got up at 6:00 am Saturday morning and drove downtown. The Milwaukee Art Museum is one of my favorite buildings to shoot. Sure it is Cliche but I really don’t care. These are a few photos from that morning, notice how the light changed throughout the morning.

Like usual, underneath each photo, I have included my Aperture, Shutter, and ISO settings so that you can see how I shot each photo. Feel free to click on individual photos to see them in their original sizes. Enjoy!

NOTE: As always, I ask that you do not save images to your local computer with out permission. Information about permission can be found on the About page. Thank You.

f/22.0 1/8 ISO 100

f/22.0 1/30 ISO 100

f/22.0 16.0 ISO 100

*It was SO windy that in the 16 seconds of this exposure
the clouds moved enough to blur the exposure, producing
an interesting effect.

f/22.0 2.0 ISO 100

f/22.0 1/6 ISO 100

*Normally Sky photos are pretty boring, but I could
not pass up taking a photo of sky only on Saturday.
It was just Awesome.

f/22.0 1/25 ISO 100

f/22.0 1/80 ISO 100

f/6.3 1/100 ISO 100

f/9.0 1/60 ISO 100

f/8.0 1/125 ISO 200

*The Above 2 photos. Very similar compositions.
The sun rose so quickly, that in the 3 minutes between
these photos, the coloring is so dramatically different.

f/22.0 1/1250 ISO 100

Hope you enjoyed this weeks photos, more to come next week. Until then, stay classy.