Blue Hour

For this project I decided to take a look at some of the structures in Pocatello, Idaho. As a life-long resident I focused on things that stand out to me, some much older than me and some not even completed yet.

The technical aspects of this shoot were a little trickier than I anticipated. Making sure that I was within the blue hour window was a challenge. Another challenge was getting crisp long exposure shots in the freezing, howling wind that prevailed every time I went out to shoot. (These photos don’t accurately communicate how cold it was out there.) Luckily I was able to attach my gear bag to the bottom of my tripod to stabilize my camera.

Self Portraits

This assignment called for five self portraits that say something about me. I was surprised by how difficult this proved to be. A couple particular challenges were framing myself. It was tough to take a photo, go check and see if the shot was composed how I wanted it to be, and then try to reposition myself to fix the composition. It definitely took more time to compose myself rather than someone else.

I’m pleased with the images I made in this little series. I had a hard time thinking of different lighting situations and locations that visually describe me. The photos that were easiest to create are the two shots captured in the studio. I like the studio because I have control over lighting and access to as many lights as I need.

The most difficult image to capture was the motion blur drum shot. It took a lot of fine tuning and tries to capture an image that shows the passion I have for music. I like the motion and raw emotion that the image portrays.

Runners Up

These a couple other self portraits that I took outside of this assignment that I really enjoy.

Sweet Days of Summer

This project was more challenging than I thought it would be. I went with the sweet days of summer prompt, but threw a fresh spin on it. I used fresh fruit rather than a prepared dessert because summer is the perfect time for fresh fruit.

When conceptualizing this shoot I had two ideas: watermelon and lemonade. I did a less successful shoot with watermelon, but I wasn’t really pleased with the results. For the lemonade, I chose to keep things simple and tried to approach it like a product shoot for Simply Lemonade.

I’m pretty pleased with the results. If I went back and reshot this, I would light the right side of the image from farther behind to highlight the edge of the glass.

Documentary

The Empty Art Department

Our story starts with a girl about to graduate from Idaho State University. My wife, Clarissa Jackman, is a talented artist and graduating senior. As part of an independent study assignment she was tasked to visit potential grad schools. This is a quick photo documentary of our time at the University of Utah.

We made some assumptions when planning our visit: 1. The doors would be unlocked. 2. Someone would be available to show us around and tell us about the grad program. Turns out we were wrong on both accords. We found a door in the attached architecture building that was cracked open. When we got in it became clear that the campus was a ghost town on weekends.

After sneaking in, we found our way to the art department. Clarissa was particularly curious about the print making studio. She spent about ten minutes admiring and critiquing undergraduate student work.

We finally found the pinnacle of our trip– The Graduate Studio. Unfortunately, it was one of the few rooms locked away. Clarissa inspected what she could of the studio through the large crack in between the doors.

Echoing hallways rattled with only our footsteps as we explored the sprawling department. The brown tiles and 1970s wood paneling brought a warmth to the otherwise cold and empty building. I knew the next day the hallways would see the heavy traffic of artistic hipsters that it normally does, but that day it felt empty. The tell tale signs of life on the walls made it feel eerie. It felt forgotten.

Project #3 Landscape

This assignment focused on landscapes. I knew this would be difficult for me because I have virtually no experience doing landscape photography. I’m pretty pleased with the results of my efforts with these shots. Ultimately I selected the image of Scout Mountain looking south from the slopes of Chinese Peak in Pocatello.

The biggest struggle for me was my desire to work on a really big scale. I wanted to capture the grandeur of the landscape that surround Pocatello, this was tough with my crop sensor Canon 60D with a 24-105 STM lens. Getting the amount of detail I wanted in the shots was a struggle.

Nature also kicked my butt when making these shots. The shots of Scout Mountain, Mink Creek, and Bug Butte were taken right after sunrise near the top of Chinese Peak in Pocatello. The images turned out beautiful, but they don’t convey the howling wind that beat my fingers to a pulp while capturing them.

All in all I think I learned quite a bit from this assignment. It took a few tries to achieve a finished product that I’m proud of. I plan on making more panoramic photos in the future.

Project #2

The goal of this project was to make a photograph of someone in their favorite room. My interpretation of this may seem a little strange because my subject is sitting in a 1947 Willy’s C2a. The subject is my father, Rusty Jackman. His most recent obsession is his vintage jeep. When I asked him what his favorite room was he simply said it was the cab of his jeep.

To make this project legit, I decided to photograph him in his jeep inside of his garage. It’s a fitting location because he is preparing to take his Willy’s on a 600 mile off road adventure called War Hero/ Trail Hero.

From the beginning thinking about this project I knew I wanted to incorporate the Jeep. I decided to light my subject through the windshield of the vehicle. To do this I position a portable strobe just outside of the vehicle pointing in towards his face from the passenger side of the jeep. I like to showcase my dad’s wrinkled face so I chose to use harsh specular light with no diffusion.

To show some texture from the room in the background I originally planned to use the sun spilling in from the open garage door. On the day of the shoot, however, it was too overcast to light the background up. I set up a second strobe just outside of the garage to light up the toolbox and shelving in the background.

I liked this project. It was a good opportunity to make an image of someone I look up to. It was also cool to maneuver the slightly difficult lighting situation. It took a bit of trial and error to get things right lighting wise. I’m pleased with the final result.

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