Look Up

Look Up!

If you follow my personal Instagram account you’ll notice that I tend to take a lot of pictures of ceilings and the sky. I don’t know why my eyes are drawn to it, but I notice the patterns, shapes, and colors. Like this one below:

 
2018.10.09 - Architecture - Look Up.jpg
 

This was taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Behind me is the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa), but I turned around and saw this building instead. :) This shows you my priorities! Anyways, I love the curves, the trees, the expansive sky, and all the lines. This is definitely what my eyes go towards!

I think one thing to glean from this though is to follow what you like to do and not what everyone else likes to do. Some people might have thought it strange that I was photographing the small building behind the Burj Khalifa, but it’s what my eyes were drawn to. I think it’s important to find your vision and calling and stick to it, even when it seems unconventional. Speaking of which, I have a blog post that I’m working on about this topic. Vision in whatever you create is so important, especially in light of how short our lives are. More to come on that soon!

-Ashley

Perspectives

I've wrote about the idea of "perspectives" on my blog before, but I think it's worth bringing up again.

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/200 sec, ISO-100

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/200 sec, ISO-100

Finding images that are interesting around us is fairly easy to do. Just like this boat I came across in Thailand a couple years back, I saw it and was so excited. I loved the colors and have even posted images of it before. 

However, what happens if I would have stopped just there? The above shot is nice, but it's good to get different perspectives by walking around your subject. 

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/10, 1/160 sec, ISO-500

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/10, 1/160 sec, ISO-500

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/250 sec, ISO-100

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/250 sec, ISO-100

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/200 sec, ISO-100

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.2, 1/200 sec, ISO-100

There are so many details that I would have missed if I would have just taken that first shot and walked on. All that to say, if you have the opportunity to take time on your subject, shoot away! Changing your perspective, whether that's walking to the left or right or getting higher/lower can completely change the image. 

This week I had a micro project that is about the topic of perspectives in my photography class and it's been really challenging. The topic is "Is this really South Asia?". The idea is to take images that one would not normally associate with this area of the world. I'm compiling the images today and will post them here tomorrow! This program keeps me on my toes!

Hope you've had a great week!

-Ashley

Up Close and Personal

Sometimes when people see an interesting subject to photograph, they either don't get close enough or they don't fill the frame (these are kind of one in the same). I know that was the case for me especially in the beginning. I would take photos at eye level (i.e. I wouldn't crouch or lay down to get a shot, etc.). Eye level isn't bad, but the idea is to change your perspective. Even just getting low and looking up can change your subject drastically. Take this tree, for example.

I loved how dreary it looked (as it was quite cold that day), I loved the snow on the limbs and I loved the texture of the bark. So instead of shooting it from afar at my eye level, I decided to snuggle up close to the tree and shoot up.

Filling the frame can make your picture much more interesting--so next time you take your camera out, try to get close to your subject and do something unique. Even if you try it and botch it, it would be better to experiment than to not try at all.

Let me know how it goes!

-Ashley

Bare Trees

Since I was traveling during winter months to Colorado, I really wanted to get a picture of trees that were bare. I have never seen all seasons before, winter being one of them I've never truly experienced. Living in the hot climates I'm from (Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, etc.), you only experience summer and then what many people would call a mild winter. I wouldn't say it's mild, but my friends in Michigan or Colorado would disagree. :)

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.5, 1/2000 sec, ISO-250  | Denver, CO, USA

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/3.5, 1/2000 sec, ISO-250  | Denver, CO, USA

Now that I'm back in Houston, you can't even tell it was winter in other places. It's sunny, 73 degrees Fahrenheit and really pleasant. We're about to take a walk actually! I'd take this weather over what my friends are experiencing in Denver, CO (36 degrees Fahrenheit right now!). 

-Ashley

Busy or Quiet?

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm 1.4  |  f/4, 1/2000 sec., ISO-250

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm 1.4  |  f/4, 1/2000 sec., ISO-250

I just love the way trees look when you look up! This was taken on a very windy and overcast day an island in Thailand (Koh Tao). We were there during monsoon season, so it rained for at least an hour every day and it was about that time. We were almost back to our bungalow and I remember being surrounded by palm trees. It was really quiet except for the wind rushing through the palm branches. The ocean wasn't far away either, so you could hear it roaring in a distance due to the rain that was coming. 

It was pretty awesome. Living in a city filled with many people and lots of sounds, it was refreshing to be in a quiet place at that moment. 

It's interesting because I love big cities. I love all the sights, sounds, smells, etc. I love the liveliness of the streets and the different people who are surrounding me. It's a blast! However, there are times when the stillness of a place can literally stop me in my tracks and make me take in what I'm seeing. I appreciate those times!

Do you like the busyness of a city or quiet scene in nature? Tell me in the comment section below!

Ashley

Perspective

It's interesting that two people can look at the same thing and have two different perspectives. I think this exists in both photography and life.

With photography, the photo below, I got underneath the subject and looked straight up.

The next photo I took looking from the side.

Perspective is everything in photography. It is essential to move around your subject so you can gain a different perspective than what you first saw. Sometimes moving just a little to the right or left changes everything about the photo. I think if we can train ourselves to see things from multiple angles we will become even better in our craft.

I think the same thing exists in life. Sometimes we can get really caught up on something because we refuse (either unwillingly or unknowingly) to change our perspective of the situation. We can have a fixed mindset, that forces us into one thought process or view on something, or we can have a growth mindset that is always looking for the 'growth' in a situation. It's possible that if we just slightly changed our perspective on a problem, we'd have the solution. Or maybe we wouldn't find the solution, but we'd be more content or less angry about something that happened to us. It's amazing what happens when we see with different eyes.

Next time you are photographing or even experiencing a disappointment or conundrum in your life, try to see the other perspectives that exist. They're there, you just have to be open to look for them.

-Ashley

Looking up into the Sky

When we went to Thailand in August, I did a photo walk where I took many pictures of everything around me. It was fun. I am very much an extrovert and would have loved company, but it was nice just walking around alone and taking whatever pictures I wanted to. 

During my time, I sat down under a tree at one point in front of some sand and rocks, overlooking the beautiful, blue ocean and I happened to look up and I loved what I saw.

I loved the sky, the colors of the green and the almost silhouette of the leaves with the sun peeking through. I changed my angle a little and the next picture is from the same area, but not into the sun. I loved it, too!

It's amazing to me how if you just change your angle slightly you can get such different results. I'm not sure which picture I like better. 

So, if you're out with your camera today--whatever camera you have--take the shot when you see one, but change your angle afterwards and you'd be surprised at what you get!

Happy Friday!

-Ashley

Looking Up in a Mosque

On the recent trip I've mentioned (the one with my department at our university) we went to a couple older mosques that were quite stunning. It still amazes me how people had such precision doing this by hand. And they made it so symmetrical at that!

This was me looking up into the dome part of the mosque--isn't it amazing? I can't even begin to imagine how long it took to do this! 

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

-Ashley