Archive for the 'photography' Category

03
Mar
09

@PRSarahEvans and…T-Pain? Springfield, IL Tweetup for #ElginDay

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009, Springfield, Illinois held it’s first official Tweetup!  The folks from #ElginDay came down to Springfield to lobby for improvements to their city in the Capitol Building.  Posted below is a video and some photos from the event.  It was great to meet everyone and get to connect with some fellow Springfieldians.  Thanks to everyone who came and I hope you guys had as enjoyable a time as I did.  I’m definitely looking forward to the next tweetup/photowalk…stay tuned for more on that!

Attendees: @howardkang, @gotshoo, @adamstrong, @mochamomma, @Scott217, @PRSarahEvans, @RuthMunson, @jeremywilburn, and others who didn’t have twitter handles.

Video
Photos

*Sorry for the light quality, it was night after all.

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27
Jan
09

State Farm Donates to UIS Computer Science Program

Sometimes as photographers we get put into situations in which we have to deal with tricky lighting situations.  Unfortunately for me, tricky lighting situations occur in every building on my campus.  It’s a good thing though because it pushes me to play with my white balance and other camera settings to try to get the photo to look right.  It’s important to get to an event early enough to be able to take some test shots and refer to your histogram.  Knowing how to read a histogram can save you a lot of time in post processing.

Histogram

Histogram

photo courtesy http://www.digitalreview.ca/cams/NikonD200_intro.shtml

For these shots I use a combination (exact data can be found on my flickr page for all the photos) of an 18-50 f2.8 with a flash usually set at f5.6 and ISO 400 and a 70-200 f2.8 without a flash set at f2.8 and ISO 1600.  I think f5.6 to f11 is a good range for shooting events like this with a flash.  f2.8 is a must especially when it was as dark in that room as it was.  I wish my D70s had less high ISO noise, but you’ve got to work with what you’ve got.  Here are some photos, let me know what you think.

12
Nov
08

Men’s Basketball at the University of Illinois at Springfield

UIS Men’s Basketball vs. St. Ambrose on November 10, 2008.  First home game of the season for the men’s basketball team.  Here are a couple of shots from that game.  And by a couple I mean like 50-ish.

UIS Men’s Basketball vs. St. Ambrose on November 11, 2008.  UIS plays one NCAA Division I team per year.  Unfortunately for the guys, it falls the day after another game in which actually counted (vs. this game which was an exhibition).  The guys were tired, but they did a good job keeping the ISU team at bay, especially in the first half.

17
Jun
08

What makes a good photographer? What makes a good photo? What makes them great?

This should be a very discussion based post. Although the answer might seem simple at first, I really want you to think hard about what it takes to make a good photographer or to make a good photo. Then, I want you to tell me what makes them great.

I’m very curious to see what higher ed (and non-higher ed) people think about this. Please share this with people or start a conversation amongst the people in your office.

Here are some samples to get you thinking.

Is this a good photo?

Students on the Quad

What about this one?

Frisbee

How about this one?

Millie with her dad

Finally, this one? One person calls this one a “favorite” on Flickr.

Kitty

Are the photos themselves good, or are there only aspects of each one that are good? Do the technical elements (composition, bokeh, focus, exposure, color, etc.) make them good or great (or bad)? Or are these photos just snapshots?
Final question which will take some stretching of your imagination; would you use photos like these (some with different subject matter of course – obviously the father/daughter photo wouldn’t be that appealing, but what about two soccer players embracing each other after a goal) when marketing to high school students? How do you think they would rate these photos?

24
Apr
08

The benefits of high-quality photography in recruiting efforts – Part One.

First off, let me start by saying my apologies for not having blogged in such a long time. Finding that balance between full-time employee, student, and friend has been difficult this semester. The last three weeks have been particularly crazy and have seen me virtually disappear from the social media world (aside from Twitter). But I’m back now and ready for the final semester push that includes final projects and commencement.

Anyway, this is a post that I have been working on for quite some time, and I’m not quite sure that I am done with it yet, but I’m throwing this initial piece out there to start some discussion. I’ll give you some background as well since this is really where this post started.

I’ve been trying to think of what to do for my final in graduate studies. I have three choices: comprehensive exam, thesis paper, or a project. I am not a paper person, so I immediately ruled that out, and I really don’t like taking tests. Not only that, I love working on projects, so that was really the only choice in my mind. The more difficult choice was choosing what to do for it. I wanted to do something that would not only benefit me, but something that I could use in my job. My first idea, however, did not go over so well. So, I talked to one of my professors about doing a tutorial with me this summer that would be the prelude/beginning of the project and he has agreed.

I will be working with my photography professor on a very intensive research and building project. The research will involve studying good photography and really breaking down why the photographs are good. I want to pay particular attention to higher education photography and portraits since that is what I will be shooting most often. I think I have a good eye for getting good shots, but sometimes I feel like my technical knowledge is not put to use. I can explain photography to people all day, but then I don’t always illustrate it in my photos.

Building may or may not be the right word to use here, but it’s all I can think of. I will be building a new collection of photos for the campus for use in admissions recruitment purposes and for marketing. I will be primarily photographing students because we already have plenty of campus scenery shots that are good. And the students are what a university is all about right?

The reason I am doing this is because students nowadays don’t want to see those setup shots. And believe me, they can tell. I’ve co-hosted some focus groups recently which we asked the students a variety of questions, one of which was whether they felt we portrayed the university accurately. Most said yes, but the no’s all referenced our brochures. And that my friends is why I decided this would be the perfect project.

Alright, I think that is it for this post. Over time I have realized that this is something that is really going to take multiple posts, so I’m going to split it up. I’ll bring you along in my progress and hope that you enjoy the ride. I have some other drafts started that will give some examples, etc. of the old verses the new. I will also go into more detail about HOW it will help.

18
Feb
08

Housing Virtual Tours

So for the past two months, I have been working off and on on complete 360 degree virtual tours for housing. It’s been a slow process because I have been working on a lot of other projects, but also because it hasn’t been a huge priority. After meeting with our Web Services people, we discussed having them done in time for unveiling with the newly redesigned Housing website. I will be using the ones I created along with some/all of the ones Brad created when he was here.  So of late, I have been trying to get them all put together. I have been using a program called Cubic Converter which has been working great! I’ve been using Photoshop CS3’s photomerge feature along with some of my own editing. To shoot the panos, I have a Panosaurus head mounted to my tripod (which is weak and has caused me to have to do A LOT of post-processing). I am shooting with a Nikon D200 with an 18-70 mm f3.5 at 24mm and manual exposure controls. I will be writing a how-to later about this detailing the process in full. It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s also been a lot of work. The results have definitely paid off though! Now, I need to figure out how to convert from outdated QTVR to a Flash file for the website…if you have any suggestions let me know. Here’s a little sample:  *Wordpress does not allow embedding of videos into posts due to security reasons.  So for now, I’ll link to it.  It is in it’s full screen version here, but it is undecided how large the final will be.  Use your mouse to control the scrolling and shift and control zoom in and out.

Let me know of any changes you would make or do before the final cut.  I think they look pretty good, but then again, I may be biased…

14
Feb
08

Using Pixish for Higher Ed

This has been a crazy busy week with like a million of projects, all back to back…finally I get to blog…my apologies.

So I ran across a website the other day called Pixish. That same day, Brad Ward from SquaredPeg blogged about it’s uses in higher ed. I met with some creative students yesterday and talked to them about how they would feel about submitting photos in exchange for photo credits for use on some of our webpages (Student Life, Student Page?, Media Quad, etc.). It was unanimous, and everyone said they would be happy to submit photos. We currently do not have a campus photographer (he retired 6 months ago) other than myself, and I am do not consider myself a professional photographer; I can just take pretty good photos. So I thought, why not open this up and see what kind of response we get. I will be monitoring the site for quality of shots and to ensure they will help add to our goals. I will not just take any shot of students, certainly not something point and shoot, but actual really excellent shots of students having fun. FJ Gaylor blogged about how to capture life after 5 p.m. This is definitely something we have always struggled with, and really do now since I have moved from the Student photographer position I held here last year to full time marketing. No one has filled that void yet, I’ve got my eyes on a young woman I met at a preview day, so hopefully she comes to UIS next year! Anywho…chime in on how you feel about this and whether or not you think students will really take advantage of this.




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