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11/26/2011 / Janette

Natural Light Outdoor Portraits — A Series

It is interesting how different a person can appear in different light and from various angles.  Most of these photographs were taken around 4:00 in the afternoon.  The light was very bright, but later was slightly golden.

The photo below has a kind of drama to it that I didn’t expect when I took the picture.  I retook this picture, but I thought this particular shot really captures something about the subject that I couldn’t seem to capture twice.

I liked this photograph, although one side is too bright.  I like the shine through the eye, revealing the red-brown color of his eyes.

When I first began photographing this model, he seemed uncomfortable around the camera.  After awhile, he seemed relaxed and comfortable.  This photo was taken as the sun began to go down.  I like this one because he seems relaxed.  His skin is exposed correctly for the light, and the light coming in from behind the figure emphasizes the details in the hair and the line of the neck and shoulders.

11/13/2011 / Janette

Band Practice

Some of these students are in my English class.  We have an award-winning band at our school.  It is pretty impressive to see how many hours these students practice every day.

The sky was a bit overcast at that point and the sun was going down.  There was a slight pinkness to the sky and the glow helped to really make the instruments shine without glaring into the camera.

Several of these students have been in my class at some point in the last three years or so, and it was gratifying to see them performing with such a professional attitude.

“Band is Family

Band is long hours in the hot sun
Band is the cool air on your face coming in for lunch
Band is laughter at jokes no one else would get
Band is joy, and that means family.

Band is the feeling of bliss coming off the field
Band is the pounding of Dr. Beat in your eardrums
Band is music, and music is love
Band is love, and that means family.

Band is pushups on the scorching asphalt
Band is going on when you think you can’t
Band is shouting out, “Number one, sir!”
Band is never stopping believing, and that means family.

Band is take a deep breath and go
Band is reset just one more time
Band is waking up with your friends to see the perfect sunrise
Band is life, because Band is Family.” – Astrognash from MML

Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

(Lyrics by James Seals; music by James Seals & Dash Crofts)
Tonight while the lights are shinin’ and the microphone is on, I’ll play for you.
So many will be the blessings and so short will the time, I’ll stay with you.
But I’ll play for you, I love you yes I do. You can say that I’m your friend,
You can see my life begin and end. I’ll always play for you.

Hear the band, hear the band. Won’t you let the music take you, hear the band.
And let this night go on forever, and don’t you ever stop the music. Let your spirit set you free.
Hear the band, hear the band. You can sing and stomp you feet and clap your hands.
And these few moments we’ll share together, and I’ll play for you.
I’ve practiced many years and I have come a long, long way just to play for you.
My life is but a song that I have written in many ways, just to say to you.
To say, I love you yes I do. And I’d like for you to be
Whatever you would like to be. You’ll always be special to me.
11/13/2011 / Janette

Full Sun Portraits

Here is a portrait I took of one of my students.  She often pushes her hair back with one hand, and I thought the shadows were interesting. 

11/13/2011 / Janette

Grouping People for Photos — Practice in Class

In our Wedding and Event Photography class, we were asked to practice photographing groups.  Pretending to group people and to give them directions, rather like a wedding when the friends and relatives are grouped by the wedding photographer.  I was included in one of the groups and then I took some pictures myself.

Obviously, with many students taking pictures of the same group, there was some competition to get to the best place to take pictures.

I think the camera in the photo tells a story about what what happening in the classroom.

A few of the people in the picture look good, but I think groups can be difficult.  If even one person looks terrible, it can draw the eye and ruin the photograph.

11/12/2011 / Janette

Collage in Photoshop

This is a project I completed for my ACG 100 course at Cypress College.

Our teacher, Greg Bumatay,  took my photograph during class with my camera on a whim and I used that portrait in my collage using Photoshop to cut, copy, color, and paste the various images.  The background is a photograph of an oil painting painted by Robyn Glasse, my mother.  The painted is named Toreador’s Dream.  I thought the rather surreal content would add to my collage.  I took the photographs of the fish.  The small oval in the upper left corner of the picture is a small version of a self portrait I painted of myself, and then I erased the background of my painting.  I thought it made a kind of echo of the photograph.

The expression and color is similar.  Also, the diamond shape made by the body of each fish is repeated by the diamond shape in red of the cape.  I copied various patches of color in different parts of the collage and placed the colors into the other parts of the picture.  I copied a little of the color from my hair and put it into the sky.  I also copied some of the silver color of the fish and put it into the shadows of the portrait.  I couldn’t resist placing a small dot of light into each eye.  I think it made the picture appear to be a little more alert and perhaps either in a studio setting or more outdoors. 
The second picture I created using the Photoshop tools was a “veggie girl” on the foreground of another of my mom’s seascapes.  I took the photograph of the painting a long time ago and the photo itself was slightly discolored.
A composite of a seascape by Robyn Glasse and a series of fruit and veggies

Veggie World


  When I enlarged it to fill the screen, it became a little out of focus, but I think it adds to the whole effect.  The figure is made entirely out of fruits and veggies.  The torso and arms are a repeated image of a mushroom.  The legs are made from the duplication of an orange slice.  I did airbrush a small set of clothing for her, to place her in an environment.  She has kiwi earrings and hair made of swiss chard.  I airbrushed the mushroom image and duplicated it into the sky like little hot air balloons.  I also put pears and berries into the sky, like they are alien visitors.  It was a fun image to create, and I think it is ambiquous. 

11/12/2011 / Janette


Today was Veterans day.  The clouds in the sky were amazing.  They were sweeping and flowing across the horizon. As the sun went down, the values changed and shifted.  As I waited, a little of the gold entered into the clouds, but by the time the sun reached the horizon line, the clouds had shifted. 
Veteran's Day Clouds

Veteran's Day 2011 Sky

When I think of Veteran’s Day, I think of the careful folding of the American flag which was placed on my grandfather’s coffin and then given to my grandmother for a keepsake.  My grandmother always remembered the soldiers on this day each year and would talk about Grandpa Tony and other members of the family who had served this country by going into the service.

The dramatic California skyscape was so beautiful and so transient I wanted to capture its lights and shadows to study and to experience again and again.  Maybe it is because I enjoy painting, but it seems like a miracle that a photograph can capture the nuances of a sweeping skyscape.

SkyscapeBefore we had airplanes and astronauts, we really thought that there was an actual place beyond the clouds, somewhere over the rainbow. There was an actual place, and we could go above the clouds and find it.there.         Barbara Walters

The clouds seemed to spread across the sky from a large center axis, rather like that of a wheel. 

I love to watch the clouds.  California must have some of the most stunning skyscapes in the US.

I had hoped to capture the clouds as they changed from white to gold, but the new clouds swept it all away, like a big wave of ocean foam.

                                    The tide flows across the sands, and it is the end of another day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~ Janette

11/09/2011 / Janette

I’ve taken a series of various types of portraits of this person.  He is a good model, very patient and willing to retake shots several times if necessary.  These are a few I took with natural light from one window.  I had just bought a new lens and I was trying it out.  I think a few of these turned out. 

It was an impromptu formal portrait and we had to move the furniture around a little to create a better background for the portrait.

It is interesting that a little change in lighting or a small change in expression can really change the way in which a person appears in a picture.  I like the way the light from the window reflects and makes the skin of the younger person  more luminous.

The last photo offers poise and aloofness, which, I think, shows a preview of him as an older person.  A more dignified version of my student.

11/09/2011 / Janette

Full Outdoor Sun Portraits

Here are a few photos I took when it was pretty sunny outside.

I brought my camera out onto the football field when we had a drill. I like this as an environmental portrait.

I like the way the blue of the sky reflects onto his head and glasses.

I think that the high school in the background sets the scene of the portrait.  I also like the way the camera captured his skin tones.

It was a beautiful California day.

Not a great photo, but I really like her expression and the light on her left cheek.  I would also like to try a few more copies of this photo, but I couldn’t resist including her.  She is a great kid.

11/09/2011 / Janette

Natural Light Portrait

One of my teaching colleagues who was kind enough to allow me to take a series of photos of him.  He teaches history at our high school, and I think that you can see by his attitude and expression that he is an eloquent speaker and kind to the students. 
This photograph was taken on a rainy morning. He has a large window which receives north light.  I think I should have had a reflector for at least one side of his face, and maybe a fill for some of the photographs.  I really liked how some of these turned out.

I really like the expression on the next picture.  I think it shows a little of his personality.

It was fun to take these pictures, but I would like to try this again with a few reflectors and maybe a different color in the background.

11/09/2011 / Janette

Specific Auto Focus Practice In Class

As a class, my fellow Wedding and Event Photography students and I practiced using an special focusing setting on our cameras.  Here are a few of the results.

Class Exercise Focus

It was fun to try to get a few shots with the rest of the class shooting like crazy.  I can’t imagine how the people being photographed felt about the whole process.

Focus Feature center person in focus

I think this has an overall feeling of a kind of art film.  You almost expect to see a cherry orchard out of the window.