In my journey to hone my skills in training and teaching, I have taken up a class in instructional media. My first assignment was to take two photographs that described me choosing two of the following adjectives:
Kind, Helpful, Friendly, Organized, Neat, Relaxed
Happy, Sympathetic, Bored, Enthusiastic, Creative,
Ambitious, Shy, Energetic, Athletic, Outgoing, Sociable,
Manly, Girlie, Industrious, Intelligent, Old, Courageous,
Cooperative, Confident, Distracted, Messy, Quirky, Grouchy, Comical
I will first describe my planning and process. If you cannot guess the words I chose by the photos, you will see them at the end of the post!
At first I chose two words and thought about how to express them. I was having trouble with this process. I then decided to start taking pictures during my day that I thought were interesting and let my life inspire the words I chose. I used my Iphone 7 plus as my camera.
Being a mother of four children, I decided to use my children and their lives as my subjects because being a mother is the strongest part of my identity and has shaped me far more than any other experience.
I took a picture at a varsity basketball game and considered this jump shot ‘shot.’
Things I liked:
- It was a good jump shot and I got the player while he was in the air.
- I could crop the picture to ensure I had my subject in the focal points.
- The opponent’s arm made a line to the basketball.
Things I didn’t like:
- It was too grainy.
- The two players created a frame that focused on the referee in the background.
I took pictures of my son during the annual Coed Dance Team halftime performance, but I didn’t have any ‘good’ shots. (In case you’re interested, they danced to songs from the movie ‘High School Musical’)
Taking shots inspired me and I finally decided on my photos. I asked my least camera shy son to help me. I knew that the sun was hitting my house in the late afternoon and I thought it would be fun to see him jump off our porch and catch him flying in the air. I also decided to use a photo of my oldest son shooting baskets around at the local YMCA.
Here are the original shots:
My original plan was to use Adobe Photoshop on my work computer to edit the photos. I was unable to do so because I did not have enough free time at the end of the day to stay in the office and work on homework. I also have NEVER used it. I wanted to use YouTube videos to learn some simple tricks. It wasn’t as simple as I imagined and I ran out of time. I used Picmonkey, a cloud-based photo editor, and it was very intuitive. It only took me an hour to learn how to use it AND edit the photos.
I made a mistake in the planning and got outside too late for the sun hitting my porch. The light in the picture was now in the background which is a photo ‘no=no!’ I decided to use the editing process to help negate this effect.
I didn’t like the dead space on the left-side of the photo. I knew I needed space on the left because it was an action shot and my son was jumping in that direction. Once I rotated it, I thought it looked more visually appealing.
In order to ‘erase’ the lighting effect in the background, I decided to use the Focal Zoom feature in Picmonkey so the only focused object in the picture was my son so your eyes would automatically be drawn to him. I also used Fancy Focus because I thought it brightened that area in the photo a bit.
Photo 1 Tools:
- Focal Zoom Effect
- Fancy Focus Effect
I didn’t think I needed to do much to this photo but there were a few things that needed improvements that only took a few simple editing tools. I chose this photo because there was a clear defined background and foreground without a lot of distractions. I also used it because of the leading line made by my son’s face to the ball bouncing on the ground.
I cropped the photo so my son’s left eye was on one of the focal points using the rule of thirds.
I also used the exposure tool to increase the highlight, contract and clarity. I did this because it made a stark contrast between the white background and made my subject stand out more in the photo with his darker clothing and skin tone.
Photo 2 tools:
- Exposure: highlight, contract, clarity
I chose ‘outgoing’ for photo 1 because I think that is one of the first words someone else would use to describe me.
I chose ‘athletic’ for photo 2 because ‘athletics’ is a huge part of my kid’s life, and in turn, mine.