Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's a Beautiful World


So I may be drowning in yearbook proofs, staring cross-eyed at photo edits,  and serving cereal for dinner - but today.  Today.  Today, I remembered why I do what I do.  Why I love to look at the world through a 50 mm, f8.  Or an 85 mm, f 2.8.  Why a mirror, and directional lighting, and a focus ring can make the ordinary appear extraordinary; the the mundane, magical.

Today I picked up my camera for myself.  And I remembered why I want to pass on this excitement, and power,  and wonder to another generation.   As our class spent the day photographing architecture and landscape on Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston, I took on the challenge myself.  Inspired by a beautiful HDR image one of my students created this fall, I shot the entire day with 5 frame brackets and ran everything through Photomatix.  With each bold,vibrant image, the stress of deadlines and work-loads felt a little further away.

Because, I remembered where it all started.  When photography was not a job, but a work - of he(art).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Catching Up

Whew!  What a crazy start to the school year.  And by "start", I mean the past 13 weeks!

Changing districts is tough.  Starting a new program is challenging.  And moving from middle school to high school is, well, totally amazing!

For the first two months of school, we were running at break-neck pace trying to get ready for the ATPI Fall Photo contest and our first YMCA Gallery opening.  The past two weeks have afforded us a little time to slow down and experiment with Photoshop.

The Transformations project introduced the concept of layers, duplicating images, transformation tools, color adjustments and filters.  Using one of their images, students created a grid of duplications and adjusted each image using hue, saturation, and filters.

Jordyn Oilar

Sequoia Mabry

Nette Barnes

Patrick Yurek

Melanie Owens

Tina Owens
The Descriptive Portrait project introduced the typography palette in Photoshop CS6, and students experimented with adding fonts and adjusting kerning, leading, character size, and more.

And finally, everyone stepped in front of the green-screen to create a Big-Little image while learning about the quick selection and magic wand tools and reviewing how to transform images.

Bria Johnson

Carlos Mercer

Sequoia Mabry

Tina Owens

Tyler Mercer

Sadie Vonnahme

Friday, November 8, 2013


Service.  We casually toss this word around.
Customer service.  Service Hours.  Public service.  

But this weekend, I hope you'll take a minute to think about service in a different light.  Because service to one's country is in a whole different league than politely smiling while asking "Is everything okay with your order?".

On Veteran's Day, we honor those who SERVED.  Who sacrificed.  Who gave of their time, their talent, and in many cases their own lives.

A few weeks ago, some of my students had the honor of photographing a funeral service for a homeless veteran.  It was humbling.  Sobering.  And made me very proud to be an educator on a military installation.

Hunter Duplessis returned with this photo entitled "The Debt That All Men Pay".

It's a beautiful, but haunting, reminder of the tens of thousands of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we so often take for granted.

Hunter, Jenna Linan, and Antoinnette Barnes all brought back amazing images capturing the pride, honor, and sacrifice of our military service members.  As you look through them today, take a minute to remember those who bring the true meaning of service to our nation.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Picture Perfect: My "Kids" working with My Kids

As a part of our environmental portrait work, I brought my kids, Chase and Rylie, to model for  my photography and yearbook "kids" down at the Pearl.

While Chase and Ry are used to be being thrown in front of the camera, this was a new experience for my students -- but you would never have guessed!  They did a fabulous job, and my kids loved posing for them a whole lot more than they like posing for me.

I am beyond blessed.  I really am.

by Anthony Fuentes

By Bria Johnson

By Bria Johnson

By Jacquline Steward

By Courtney Coleman
By Hyeisha Kirkland
By Hunter Duplessis

By Sequoia Mabry

By Jacquline Steward

By Mercedes Vonnahme