Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CUT Breaks Seed

Photo credit to photographers of www.usaultimate.org. These pictures are straight from their front page.

Seeded 9th, CUT takes home another National Championship. I don't really care to summarize the tournament, but you can read more about it here. I'd say this quote summarizes it pretty well: "The next point had over 40 turnovers. You read that right: 40. Midway through the point, scorekeepers said that there were 30 between both teams. It was hard to keep track after that, but Wisconsin eventually scored to make it 2-1." Games will be aired again sometime on CBS ("CBS Sports Network will air extensive USA Ultimate programming, beginning with the Women’s Final on Saturday, June 25 and the Open Championship Final on Sunday, June 26.").

Although my PCL injury kept me on the sideline, it was a great time. I got to see some of my teammates who don't always shine in practice, shine brighter than ever in this tournament. I also got to see the Rockies for my first time! Drove to some outlooks (because we weren't allowed to hike). The sun and clouds weren't as nice as my one experience with the Appalachian Mountains though, but I can only imagine how breathtaking those sights would be at sunrise/sunset.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


This portrait isn't as great as the others. It was the first one and I couldn't get the lights to cooperate cause the wind kept blowing the lights over. But those are just excuses. I probably should have had more fill light and shutout the ambient lighting a little more -- add a little more detail to the sky. Maybe add some more depth of field (i.e. more sharpness throughout the shot)?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

CUT Wins the Pool

First, here's Portrait #3: Losif.
Second, CUT goes 4-0 in pool play :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Should I get a Holga?

Sameena ('12)

This portrait session with Sameena was quite different from the other portraits. It was a completely overcast day and so I couldn't really hide my artificial lighting. Instead, I just decided not to even try and make it look more dramatic.

So I've been trying to get my hands on an affordable medium format camera. Unfortunately I haven't found one. So I'm considering getting a Holga (or any other toy camera that takes medium format film.) I'm just not sure if it's worth it though.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


And so the journey begins. Spending the night in the cities, flying out tomorrow morning for Boulder, Colorado, and then Nationals.

The pictures above are of Sam Keller ('12), a handler on CUT. Recently I was assigned to take portraits of 6 scholarship recipients. Here's recipient number one. You might not have noticed, but there are two off-camera flashes involved in this portrait. There's a fill light camera left with a shoot-through umbrella, and a sock-diffused kicker light camera light behind and camera left of the talent.

Where am I?

It all from the same spot. The last picture gives it away. (And anyone that doesn't know Carleton probably won't think this is a good post at all.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dear CK,

In response to Faces of Pompidou. Revisited, CK asked, "tell us about this project, it seems rad, were they pressing the button, were you, ???? details."

Well, half the fun of that series is figuring out what exactly is going on. In the original series, I had actually explained in text what was happening in the opening diptic: Oh yeah, My Social Portraits. (Namely, the opening picture of me -- a self-portrait with the tripod-camera-wireless remote set-up.)

Here's the full story: I went to the Pompidou after classes with 2 cameras, 1 wide angle lens, and my 70-300mm zoom. I found a framing I liked, put up the camera and tripod, figured out roughly where I wanted people standing in the picture and then taped three sheets of paper to the ground. The first sheet said "Modern Art Project: Please stand on the "X" and use the remote to take a portrait of yourself." I also included the Pompidou logo on it to make it seem more legit. The second sheet said the same thing except in French. The third sheet was just the X and the remote lying on top. I missed the first 5 or so people who tried it because I didn't realize I had to turn off the auto-sleep function on the camera (and it took me a while to figure out).

For those of you who have never had the privileged of going to Paris, the Pompidou (and pretty much everywhere) is full of tourist with fancy DSLRs set to full-automatic (tsk! what a waste...) That means I could sit about 20 or 30 yards away and take pictures of them taking pictures of themselves with my zoom lens while looking like a typical tourist taking pictures of the Pompidou. Everyone around us knew what was going on after a while, and they laughed as much as we (Kristian Kasi and I) did. People who were taking portraits of themselves were usually people who were just leaving the Pompidou, so they were clueless. The people in the last diptic, the one with the little boy, was probably the most entertaining group to watch. The poor boy was too short for the camera frame. The man in that diptic is presumably his father. After about 3 or 4 hours, Kristian and I packed everything up as everyone looked as us suspiciously, perhaps thinking we were stealing the camera or perhaps feeling a little cheated.

Self-Poster by Kristian Kasi
(Can find ME in his shirt?)

This was probably the most fun project I did in Paris. I hope to be able to do it again at other touristy locations around the world. The problem is finding that environment where I can sit down with my 300mm zoom and blend right in. That, or I need to get like a 600mm lens (which isn't happening).

Let me know if that answers all your questions CK :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last Night's Storm

A severe weather warning rolled through Northfield last night. I took this shot sometime between 1am and 2am. This is my first successful lightning photograph. There's a lot of different light temperatures going on in this photograph and I think that's the subtlety that makes it so intriguing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Faces of Pompidou. Revisited

I finally put all of these images into diptic form! You'll probably want to click on all of them and open them in a new tab to view them bigger. The last one is my favorite :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tent Caterpillars

Click to enlarge.
YUCK!! ...Actually I think they are pretty cool, but thinking about them crawling all over me kinda freaks me out a little. I unfortunately forgot my 50mm at home, so I couldn't take any macro shots here (by reversing the 50mm). Interesting fact, although they are called tent caterpillars, they are actually moths. Here's the wiki link.

And for those who care about this type of jargon, I also tried to use the Nikon SB-600 as an on-camera flash. Now I understand what people mean when they say that it can't be used as a master flash... The result are these low-lit caterpillars.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Went out for some sunset arb pictures today. I barrowed the school's camera for the project. Loaded 8 more sheets of large format film. Unfortunately the sky just wasn't cooperating today. Then I come back to find black spots all over my pictures. I guess someone had let a bunch of dust into the camera... (Hopefully this someone wasn't me!) I only shot two frames of the large format film. Anyways, these two pictures are from a while back. Notice there's still snow on the ground in the first picture.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

$500 Knee Brace

Just got a phone call yesterday saying I need to figure out some paper work with my insurance for a $500 knee brace. It looks pretty intense. Apparently, its one of the cheaper knee braces. The trainer here at Carleton was expecting something from $700 to a custom made one for around $1500.

The last shot are the B&W 4x5 (large format) negatives. They ended up not being great shots, but I mostly wanted to make sure everything works. And it does!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Hooded Scarf

As I promised on April 21st, 2011, pictures of my hooded scarf. I designed it to the last detail and Marianna ('13) knitted it for me. Adrian ('10) came up for CUT's alumni weekend and asked for a crash course in off-camera flash portrait lighting. These are some of the pictures he took during that crash course -- his first time using lighting his shots! He's now planning on investing in one off-camera flash.

Edit: Woops. Meant to save this to post tomorrow... Consider this Tuesday's daily posting :)


Hmm. The warm light from the lamp and the cold light from the television screen made color balancing really difficult.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Winter jackets came out today. I guess it's not quite spring yet. I did however get to participate in the hard-hat tour of the Weitz Center for Creativity followed by lunch with the board of trustees. Needless to say, it was a lot better than the LDC (For those who don't know, the LDC is one of Carleton's dining hall).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alumni Weekend Begins

CUT alumni are back on campus. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rebekah Frumkin

Rebekah Frumkin, Carleton College '12. She's been published a few times (and a couple times in major journals!) I forgot which ones though... (Maybe she'll comment on this post to remind me.) Anyways, I was asked to take portraits of her for Publications and, well, I now have A LOT of pictures of her. Here's a couple, just happens to be the first two I've processed.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I woke up one morning to find this guy on my leg. I shook my leg violently, then curled up on my bed holding my torn-PCL knee groaning in pain. The bee (?) didn't sting me or anything, I just agitated my knee from trying to get it off. Anyways, I eventually caught it and brought it outside. I figured I had earned a quick photoshoot with it. For those who saw my blog at its very beginning, you might remember one of my first shots was  of a caterpillar:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bird Feeder

Within the last month, after finding some portrait projects of my own, Carleton has just been giving me one project after another. The assignments have been from a variety of different secular bodies on campus and each project demanding very different types of photography. I wouldn't call most of it art, but I'm happy :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Quick Break from Sunrise

KKasi emailed me this morning asking about some "atmosphere pictures" I took for a project in France. It was actually for my CLEAROBSCURE series, but I never used them. I'm glad he asked cause I had completely forgotten about them. (1) The first shot is the original with some contrast adjustments. (2) I added some light streaks and car lights in the second shot. I think I actually like this one the most of the three. (3) But I had to see what it would look like with a full light streak going across. This one turned out a little too balanced/symmetrical for me.

Here are some other pictures taken that night (I think I'm foreseeing a new profile picture coming up):

You also might remember this one from a while back. Same night, same location, 180 degree turn to change the background.