Blog Post 13 - Stickers!

Sticker in action on my MacBook

This week I was given the opportunity with a friend of mine to used an AB Dick 350 printing press to make stickers for Evan Davidson Photography. This printer was used in the industry around the 1950s and 60s, but in some cases was even operated in the later years. The printer uses the process of lithography, which is a method of printing based on the immiscibility of oil and water. For the project, the first thing I did was format a document in Adobe Illustrator that would fit 12 1.5"x3.5" stickers on a standard 8.5”x11” sheet of sticker stock paper. After that I printed it out on a plate printer. In lithography printing, a plate must be made. A plate is a flat piece of plastic with the image on it. Once the plate was made, it was rolled onto whats called the blanket cylinder, which repeatedly gets fed paper and rolls over each sheet, printing the same design over and over at about a 100 sheet per minute pace. Once the image is applied to the blanket cylinder, the prints are ready to be made. Obviously, like most of the things I try to do in my blogs, I encountered some problems. When you apply the plate to the blanket cylinder, you’re supposed to open a valve that lets fountain solution (a water-based mixture specially formulated to dampen lithographic printing plates before they are contacted by the inking rollers) through the machine. This valve of course was not opened and the whole cylinder got covered in ink, which is a pretty messy thing to have to clean up. After about five minutes of scrubbing, it was finally clean and ready to go again. Before we ran the print on the sticker stock paper, we did some tests with regular copier paper. The prints turned out well, but once the prints were finished, they began folding in the receiving tray of the machine, causing a back up and jam of the printer. This happened a few different times and we could never deduce the problem. We just decided to go through with the print on the sticker stock and hope that since the stock was thicker, it would be better received and not fold. Once it was all said and done, we had about 200 sheets of paper, which meant we had about 2,400 stickers. I've put stickers on a lot of things I use as well as given them out to people I know. The Stickers turned out pretty well and seem to stay on very well. Since I have a bunch of them, if you ever bump into me, ask for a sticker!

Until next week! - Evan

Blog Post 12 - An Attempt At Food Photography

This week I decided to attempt food photography. The inspiration came to me when I saw a yogurt parfait photography on a business mailer and thought that I would be able to do it better. I started by drawing out the composition of the photo. For me, this process entails drawing out an arial view of my whole set up which includes the subject, the setting, and lighting. The reason I like to include the lighting in a drawing is because it allows me visualize where light beams are going and therefore map out where the shadows are going to be cast. Once the diagram was finished, I set up the photoshoot. I used rounded glasses for the photo because I felt it made the yogurt look very visually appealing since I was using a layering system. The recipe was as follows

layer | Ingredient | amount
1  | Vanila Yogurt | 3 Tbsp
2 | Thom's Granola | 1/4 cup
3 | Stawberries | 1/3 cup
4 | Blue Berries | 1/3 cup
5 | Vanila Yogurt | 3 Tbsp
6 | Thom's Granola | 1/4 cup
7 | Stawberries | 1/3 cup
8 | Blue Berries | 1/3 cup

I set up the photoshoot on a barn wood table with old pallet wood screwed together in the background creating a blurry wooden backing for the whole photo. I used a table as a setting because the brown contrasted well with the red, white, and blue of the yogurt cup. For lighting I only used two flashes. In order to create soft light on the subject of any flash photo you take, you need to diffuse it. Diffusion is eventually spreading out light to create a soft and evenly lit subject. The first flash was to the right of the table pointing toward a reflector disk I had set up on the front left corner of the table. When that flash is fired, the light travels over the top of the glass (creating a soft glow on the top strawberries), then onto the reflector where they hit and disperse, reflecting back evenly to light the front and left half of the photograph. The second flash was located to the left of the table, firing light over the back of the scene (lighting the background and the rear left of the glass) before bouncing off of a reflector placed on the right side of the table and evenly distributing to the back right of the glass. This set up created a very even light across the photo. One of the best things about photography is when you are able to get the settings as close as you can in the camera because you don’t have to do much work in post to finish it up. Food photography is really fun to do (aside from having to keep yourself from eating the subject of the photoshoot) and I plan on doing it more in the future so look out for that!

Until next week! - Evan

Blog Post 11 - Minor Problem Solving

This week, my friend Tia and I decided to try a different approach to a portrait. When you take a portrait in photography, there is typicallya set of guidelines you as a photographer should follow. These guidelines include framing, location, lighting, and making sure your subjects eyes are the focus point etc. We both knew the guidelines, but Tia and I wanted to try something a little bit different. Our idea would require her to stand in front of a curtain in a sort of mid-dance pose with a flower would be draped and in focus over her skirt. We thought this would be easy but quickly learned otherwise. The first issue that we encounter was the flower being too short. The flower would be clamped and draped to a light stand, so we already were working with little stem to begin with. During the process of cutting the leaves off, I accidentally cut the stem in half making the stem even shorter. The final result was us having to tape the stem together and edit out the tape later. The next issue we encountered was problems with the focus point. I wanted the flower to be sharply in focus and then have Tia in the background slightly out of focus. The focus point was so close to the lens that everything beyond it got completely blurred out, making it hard to tell tia was even there. My solution for this was to have move my aperture from f/4 to f/11, bringing foreground and background objects more into focus. However, by my aperture smaller, I was now allowing less light in through the lens which made the image too dark. I was already pushing my ISO at about 2000 and didn’t want to go higher, so I used an external flash. I wanted to set up a diffuser, but our time was very limited, so I knew I had to use what I had. Diffusion surfaces are typically white, just like ceilings. I pointed the flash up towards the ceiling and fired a shot. The shadows were too hard so I changed the angle of the flash backward and away from the subject so that less concentrated beams of light would illuminate the scene. We ran into a few issues during this shoot and though we weren’t too happy with the end result, it was still fun to work thought the kinks and challenges that we faced, and we both had a really fun time doing it.  

Until next week! - Evan

Blog Post 10 - Overhead Camera Rig

Believe it or not, the idea for this weeks blog was actually came up with due to the need of an item for a shoot I’m planing this Saturday, March 19th. I want to build an overhead shooting rig for my vlogs. The shoot I’m planning on Saturday is going to require a lot of materials and since I’m vlogging it, I want to make it as easy as possible for the viewer to follow whats going on. The way I find most effective is to list the items and show them from the aerial perspective, this is where the shooting rig comes in. The basic aerial rig is about three or four feet off of a table, with a frame built around the top to adjust the camera position. Another frame is then build to elevate it off whatever surface it would be placed on. I took these basics and began to draw up sketches of how I wanted to build my rig. I like the typical top frame system that most rigs have, but felt limited if I built side frames to hold it up. I decided the best way around this would be to hang the top frame from the ceiling of my basement. Since the roof is exposed wood, I would be able to clamp the rig anywhere and have it be above whatever I wanted. If I needed wide shots, the rig could be hung over a large portion of floor, if I wanted tight shots I could hang it over a table and zoom the lens in. With the plans finalized, I went to work. My list included…

• 2 2x4 cut in 2' lengths

• 4 Clamps

• 3" screws

• Rope

• Thin sheet of metal

I made a square out of the planks of wood with pieces along the sides so that the main mounting piece wouldn’t fall out during adjustments. The mounting piece was another 2x4 that had a small incision with a camera screw in it, then metal on top to hold it into place. I made holes in all 4 corners and fed rope through them which attached to clamps. Once I was finished, I clamped the frame to the ceiling and tested it out. To my surprise it worked first try. Though not perfectly level, with a few modifications it should work out pretty well. I’m pleased with the results and look forward to seeing how much it comes in handy this Saturday.

Until Next Week! - Evan

Blog Post 9 - Creative Design Process

I was at a loss for what to blog about this week. I was going to write about a photo taken last summer, but a friend of mine told me he refused to read such boring content and advised me to try harder and come up with a better idea. Challenge accepted, but not without a lot of planning. I was told to completely rewrite this weeks blog post at 12:15 PM on Wednesday March 9, 2016. Since my blog posts are posted on Wednesdays, this meant I had 11 hours and 45 minutes to find a photoshoot idea, complete the shoot, edit the photo and the vlog that went along with it, and write the blog post. I thought it would be a smart idea to go along this whole shoot following a Creative Design Process I found online by Tyler Brown. His process consists of eight working phases; define the problem, initial ideation, research, informed ideation, roughs, production, refinement, and solution. First off was defining the problem which was needing a photo idea. Second in the process is initial ideation. I knew I wanted to try and re-create a photo I saw online taken by Alex Kapustin. The third phase is research. I went onto Alex's website to look at the full res photo then began to think through how I would execute making the photo work. The fourth Phase is informed ideation. I had all the research needed and was ready to start the next phases of the process. Next on the list is roughs. I started by drawing out the way I wanted the final photo to look like on a sheet of paper. After that, I numbered all the gear and made a list of everything I would need in the photo. Then I made a list of the things I would need outside of the photo, such as wire and a ruler to hold the floating objects up. I came up with the idea to place all the objects out on a table in the arrangement i wanted, then traced it onto a large sheet of paper to reference later. Next was part six of the creative design process, Production. I gathered everything I needed an headed outside with my friend Carly who wanted to help with the shoot. The reason this photo was taken outside is because I have access to a solid red brick wall, which contrasts almost as well as blue would (But I didn’t have a blue wall). I got my framing then I lined the white board with the camera bag. I had Carly hold up the objects in line with their outline on the board, then removed the board and got the photo. We got a different photo for each object in the photo, with the plan to stitch the photos together later in photoshop. After the shoot is was time for step 7 of the design process, Refinement. I threw all the pictures into photoshop and got to work. I got half an hour in, then Carly and I decided to go shoot the sunset. This wasn’t the smartest use of my time, but I didn’t care because sunsets are fun to shoot. Afterwards I dropped Carly off at her house and then went to the Manheim Township High School National Honors Society Induction Ceremony to take photos. I returned home around 9:30 and went right back to editing the photo because I had set myself a goal of finishing everything by 11:59 That night. Finally I came up with the solution. I got a version of the photograph , wrote a blog post about it, and made a vlog all within 12 hours.

Until next week! - Evan 

Blog Post 8 - Chickies Rock

On Sunday, January 28th, temperatures in Lancaster reached a high of 60 degrees. There was no way I could let this day go by without enjoying the warm weather, so I decided to Chickies Rock for a hike with my girlfriend Maddie. My camera was brought with me but I didn’t want the primary focus of the day to be taking photos. Instead the focus was on a fun adventure for the two of us. Maddie and I headed over to the ridge at about 1:00. After finding a primo parking spot, we took a mile hike to the top of the trail which ends on at a rock face overlooking the Susquehanna River as well as both York and Lancaster County. I was blown away for two reasons. First, a rock of this size in Lancaster county is really cool in my opinion. Second, there isn’t anything stopping you from standing on the top of the two hundred foot tall rock wall itself. We took in the sights for a while then Maddie made her way down below the lookout area and sat with her feet over the edge of a protruding rock. I pulled out my camera and began to take some pictures. Eventually, I got some good shots and joined her on the edge of the rock to enjoy the view. We would have stayed longer but a group of angsty teenagers sat themselves down about 10 feet behind us and began to talk about drugs and how much they didn’t like their parents (weird place to do this in my opinion but whatever). A little bit annoyed, we decided to go check out what else there was around the area.  After about an hour of venturing around the top of the rock and finding new and increasingly more dangerous places to sit off of, we went back to my car and headed home. Overall, I really enjoyed the day. It was fun, relaxing, and a great way to spend a Sunday. I had a great time and a great person to share it with

Until next week - Evan

Blog Post 7 - Steel Wool

It all started with an idea. The idea was to put lots of things that don't go together into one portrait, then light it on fire. My friend Chris arrived at my house at around 9:00PM on Saturday the 20th of February. We wanted to go to a near by field and try to take a photo of the stars, but overlooked the fact that it was a full moon, so there were barely any stars in the sky to photograph. Disappointed, we headed back for my house. The night was still young and we knew that some sort of photoshoot would need to happen in order for us to feel satisfied. Chris and I scavenged the internet for any sort of photo idea we could try to recreate or use as inspiration for another photo. While looking, I found an entire genre of photos dedicated to people holding umbrellas while steel wool sparks are raining down onto them. When lit on fire, steel wool will fall apart in little sparks which are very bright and hot. If you take a long exposure photograph (a long duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements), the sparks will leave an orange light trail which can turn into a pretty cool effect. Chris saw this and had the idea to do a photo of him sitting at a desk with a bunch of random things on it. This is when the night really began. In my driveway at 10:00pm we started setting up for the shoot. I had an old table in my garage that we used as the desk. On the desk was a Mac Classic 1984 (Which still works 32 years later, Apple makes quality products), A stack of books with a globe on it, a mason jar of water (Incase Chris’s hair caught on fire), a lamp, and a log with an axe in it. After adding all these elements together, we felt that our desk set up was complete, but the location was not great because there was potential for lighting near by trees on fire. Chris and I ended up moving the desk 4 times (Including taking all the stuff and putting it back on) before we made the decision of its placement. Once location was resolved, it was time to take the photo. The hardest part about this shoot for me is that I had to completely guess the exposure since the steel wool would light the scene differently every time, but eventually I figured it out. For the photo, Chris’s ensemble consisted of a plaid shirt with a tie that didn’t match, a sports coat, Khakis, and brown clarks. The outfit didn’t go together and that was exactly what we were going for. One challenge we faced is that there was no one to actually take the photo because Chris was sitting at the desk, and I was on a latter spinning the steel wool. The only solution to this issue was to put the camera on a 10 second time delay. I would hit the shutter button and then have ten seconds to run out to the ladder and light the steel wool. With a few practice runs, I got the system down and ended up with a few shots that both Chris and I liked. The shoot wrapped up around 1:30AM. Clean up was half an hour and editing was two, so Chris and I went to bed at 4:00 and then woke up at 7:00 because of plans in the morning we had. After a long set up time, lots of planning, fear of accidental arson, and three hours of sleep, I think Chris and I can say we are very pleased with the results. To check out the vlog of this event, visit https://youtu.be/JTxqZtzs1b4

Until next week - Evan

Blog Post 6 - Vermont

This week, I'm writing from Vermont. I arrived on Thursday night and began skiing Friday morning at Jay Peak. I decided to try not to take photos on the first day and focus more of my time on snowboarding. This plan was immediately changed after my group rode up the first lift and saw the amazing view from the top of the mountain. Except for my friend Carly, none of our group wanted to ski back to the lodge with me to grab my camera, so Carly and I decided to split up for a little bit and try get some photos. For the trip I brought my Canon 5D Mark II camera body and 24-105 f/4 lens. These two components were put into separate bags which were then thrown in my back pack. The plan was when I wanted to take a photo, I would set my backpack down and unzip it, open the smaller bags and assemble the camera, take the photos, then pack everything up and go on my way. I thought this would be a good idea because my camera could be safely transported throughout the mountain and I wouldn’t have to worry about it getting damaged.  The first photo we tried was a shot of Carly looking off of the mountain. We set our skis on the side of the slope and I went to set up my camera. I took off my gloves and realized that my genius plan to leave my camera disassembled was a horrible idea because it was so cold. After about 2 minutes of freezing my hands off, I got camera together and managed to get the shot. As I was packing up my camera, I noticed my hands turned blue. I decided after that to leave the camera back inside the lodge and focus on riding for the rest of the day. Conditions on the mountains were great because there was real snow on the ground as opposed to the fake snow that they blow on mountains in Pennsylvania. That night while my friends were eating pizza, I decided to sneak off and go outside to get some pictures. I wanted to get a shot of the gondola base with stars above it. I didn’t have my regular tripod, just a small 6" travel one. I attached my camera and set it very conspicuously on a ski rack. I shot a few 30 second exposures and managed to get one that I really like. I walked around and tried to get other shots of things like the ski lifts and the mountains, but none of them really worked out too well. After about 40 minutes of taking photos, my phone completely shut off due to the freezing temperatures, so I went inside. The next day we found ourselves at Stowe Mountain. The forecast predicted for the next two days was completely cloudy, and since we were at 4000' above sea level, the mountain was in and partially above these clouds, so there was no view and therefore I would not be able to take pictures. Day two, Saturday, was fun as far as riding was concerned, it was just really cold. Our last day was Sunday, and I had my bags all packed and ready to go home (Except for my snowboard bag, which was stolen at the resort. If you’re reading this "guy who stole my snowboard bag", I would like it back, please contact me via email). Because the weather app on my phone said it would be cloudy, my camera was left in my suitcase. When we got to the resort, I looked to the top of the mountain to see not a cloud in the sky. I didn’t want to grab my camera however because It was -27 degrees with a -45 degree windchill at the summit. We skied for a little while and though I knew it was a bad idea, after riding the main lift to the top, I saw a perfect place to get a photo and went all the way back to the bottom of the mountain, opened my suitcase, and got my camera. Thinking I was being smart, I assembled my camera and threw it in my backpack because my hands would spend less time in the cold, this turned out to be a pretty horrible idea. I headed to the top with my friend Renata to attempt to get this photo. To get to the location for the photo, Renata and I had to ski down a double black diamond, which in ski terms is the hardest classification of slope there is. These trails tend to be very steep and are covered in bumpy patches of snow and ice. If you aren’t careful, you can slide out and fall pretty hard. Whilst I was trying to safely make my way down, I slid out on a patch of ice that was covered in a thin layer of snow blown over by the wind. I fell down onto my butt and smacked my bag right on the ice with full force. When I got to the bottom of the run, I took my camera out of my bag to check it and see if it was okay. I turned on my camera and discovered that I had done damage to the inside of the rear LCD. I was pretty bummed, but knew that I wasn’t going to get this opportunity again, so I figured I would at least try to get the shot. I had Renata stand on the side of the mountain looking off into the distance and get photos from behind that would showcase the view. After the shoot, I packed my bag started for the bottom of the mountain. I have never ridden down a mountain so slowly in my entire life. That ended up being our last run of the day and we headed home. As I was editing the photos from the weekend, I realized that the picture from the top of the mountain with Renata didn’t even turn out that great, which is disappointing considering I broke part of my camera trying to get it. Overall the trip was a pretty fun experience and I got a few shots that I really like.

Until next week! -Evan

Blog Post 5 - Trial And Error

I have learned after many years of photography that sometimes ideas for photos don't always work out. Accepting this can be difficult sometimes, but on occasion some photos just don’t work out. This was the case for me a few days ago when I went out into the snow in hopes to get a self portrait for my website. I found a really cool arch that was protruding from the bushes that lay beside it. To block from the snow, I had to put my camera in a plastic bag with a hole in the front for my lens to poke through. From the moment my camera was set up, I realized this was going to be a difficult shoot. First of all, it was hard to use the camera when it was in the bag. I couldn't move the focus ring without bumping and moving the bag. If I moved the bag, the lens would become exposed and potentially water damaged. Getting the bag back on was a pain because my hands were freezing cold, and once I would get the bag back on I would have to clean the front element of my lens because it was covered in snow and water. It became apparent right then and there that getting this photo was going to be a battle, but I stuck with it and was determined to get the shot. I tried a few different angles but wasn’t really happy with any of them. I was out for about half an hour and got around 15 pictures. during one of the photos, I started to hear a sizzling noise coming for my camera. This was terrifying because I thought the camera was done for. Luckily I found out that was not the case when it was in the safety of my warm house, but it still ended the photo session. I loaded the images onto my computer and went through them. I was pretty bummed to see that almost all of them didn’t look that great except for one. What stood out to me about the picture was the composition and framing. The reason I didn’t like it was because my facial expression was pretty weird. Because of this, I wont really be putting it anywhere other than this blog post. Accepting that you failed to get a photo as a photographer isn’t the best feeling, especially when you know that you could have gotten the shot if you would have done some things differently. When asked about all the times he had failed to make a lightbulb, Thomas Edison said "I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to compare my picture taking to the creation of the lightbulb, but he does make a great point which almost all of us could apply in our own lives; With every failure, you learn something. I learned 14 ways not to take a photo, and next time it snows, I’ll be able to go back and get the shot. 

Until next week! - Evan

Blog Post 4 - How I Got Into Photography

This week, I thought it might be an interesting topic to talk about how I got into photography. From a young age, I was always interested in the arts. Anything from drawing and painting to even singing and performing. The only thing that stood in the way of me pursuing these art forms was that reality that I am not good at any of those things. There is an insurmountable amount of patience I would have to learn to become a good artist. For me, I just wanted to pick something up and be good at it immediately, but that was not the case for the early part of my childhood. After accepting the fact that I may not be that talented in art, I decided to try sports. There were all different kinds of sports I played throughout my youth, but the only one that ever really stuck with me was skateboarding. Skateboarding was cool because there were no coaches or practices, I was able to just do it on my own time and there were no rules which I loved. When I was 13, I decided to start saving money in hopes to buy a camera to film my friends and myself. Considering most 13 year-olds don’t have jobs, saving up for an expensive DSLR is quite impressive at that age. It took about a year and a half, but I finally raised the money and bought my first camera, the Canon t3i. It was this a little plastic crop frame camera with a plastic lens and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I filmed with the camera almost every day, it was my favorite thing to do. For the first 6 months never changed the camera settings out of video mode, It was just a filming camera to me. I had fun making skateboard movies for a while, but never really did anything with them. One day, my friend Carly called me and asked if I could help her with a graphic design class project. The main idea of the project was to take pictures and write down the experience you had taking them (settings, location, etc). I agreed to help, but neither of us had really taken photos before with this camera, so we would figure it out as we went along. After about an hour of horrible photo taking, Carly had this idea to take a photo of the splash a rock would make when you threw it into water. How it worked was she would stand at the edge of a nearby pond with a few rocks and throw them to a specific location I would point to in the water. It was hard to do at first because neither of us were good at our jobs. For her it was hard to aim a rock at the "general location" I had given her. For me it was hard to capture the moment the rock hit the water, but we got it down after about ten minutes and managed to snap a picture. I remember thinking the photo was so good. Looking at it now, I think the framing is weird, there is a house in the background, the colors could be better, and the splash is blurry because I didn’t know what auto focus was. Whatever though, from that day on I was hooked. There were days in the summer where I would do nothing but ride my bike around and take photos of Lancaster. During that summer I learned so much about photography and how to make my camera take the kind of photos I wanted to be taking. I felt that I had finally found an art form that I was good at so I ran with it. I tried all different types of photography but found that portraits were my strong suit. About a year after I bought my t3i, I moved to the Canon 5D Mark II, which is the camera I use today. It’s not the newest one on the market, but it produces beautiful images and I know how to use it. As of right now, photography is my favorite thing to do. I'm not sure if it will always be that way, I may find that photography leads me to something else, just like how skateboarding did. But for now I love what I do and thats what is most important in my opinion.

-Until next week! - Evan Davidson

Blog Post 3 - The Adirondacks

If you have been keeping up with the news recently, you'll know that parts of the east coast have been experiencing record breaking snowfall. In Lancaster, we received just over 28 inches. Because of this, over the weekend I was trapped inside my house with little to do. I thought it might be fun to look over some old Lightroom catalogs of photos I had taken during 2015. The catalog that really stood out to me contained the photos from trip to the Adirondacks with my friends Chris and Ted. The catalog was full of breathtaking scenery and home to my favorite photo I’ve ever taken. Lets start from the beginning. The primary goal of this trip (at least from my perspective) was to get photos of the Milky Way. Milky Way shots are my absolute favorite photos, but since I live in a heavily light polluted area, neither the human eye, nor my camera are able to see it. What is great about the Adirondacks National Park is that there is little to no light pollution at all. This means at night you can see almost every star in the sky, as well as the Milky Way galaxy. We packed up the car and headed up for our three-day adventure on July 23rd. When we got to New York, the three of us went to Chris's grandmothers house, which was right outside of Utica. That night I attempted to get some photos of the Milky Way, but Utica is light pollution heavy so we only managed to get a few photos of the sky. This wasn’t that big of a deal though because the next night was going to be spent at a cabin, which was pretty deep into the woods and far away from any stray city lights. The next day, we headed up for a hike on Hadley Mountain. The hike was pretty fun and only took about a few hours, which was nice because I was carrying my heavy photo gear. When we got to the top, the three of us were displeased with the view, which was obstructed by trees and a large watchtower. Chris wanted to go off the path and see if he could find a better place to get photos. Although I didn't think there would be, I decided to go with Chris just incase he was right. After about a 5-minute walk, we came across a huge rock, which overlooked a 200-foot drop. Chris decided to take a seat near the edge and really embrace the beautiful scenery. It’s an interesting experience being removed from technology in the way that we were on that trip. I know personally I only had cell phone reception once, and it was on the top of that mountain. When I saw that my phone had bars, I was immediately on it doing things like checking Instagram and replying to text messages I had missed. Chris on the other hand wasn’t on his phone at all. He was able to completely remove himself from technology and fully embrace the experience. For whatever reason, this really stood out to me. With my phone finally away, I started to take some test shots of him sitting on the edge to get my exposure correct, which basically means making sure the photos aren’t too bight or too dark. I took a few photos and looked at them through the back of my LCD screen. I was looking at the photos purely for the histogram (a graph that tells if your photo is too over or under exposed) and didn't really pay attention to the photo I had taken, but more on that later. Once I got my exposure I took a few landscapes of the lakes and then we decided to head back to where Ted was waiting for us.  We drove back to the cabin, ate dinner, and got ready for the night. Chris passed out almost immediately, so it was just Ted and I waiting for the clock to hit 1 AM. The best time to see the Milky Way from the northern hemisphere is the night of the new moon in July at 1 AM, which was going to take place on that night. Ted and I went outside to a location we had scoped out before it had gotten dark. We looked up to see a completely dark sky. Neither of us could believe it, cloudy on the best night of the year to see the Milky Way. I'm not really one to get upset over things like that but it was kind of a bummer for us to have traveled all that way for it to be cloudy. The next day we left to head home for Lancaster. I slept most of the way home and didn't take out my laptop to start editing the photos like I had planned. As soon as I got home, I dumped all of the photos I took onto my computer to edit later because I had to head over to and event I was shooting. After the event I went straight to my computer and started editing the photos from the trip. They were okay, but none really stood out to me. That is, until I was going through the photos of the very top of the Mountain. The Photo I took of Chris that was meant as just a test shot really stood out to me. For some reason, I couldn't click away from it. It not only showed the shear beauty of the lakes and mountains, but it also captured the peace of mind that Chris had while overlooking the lakes. I went to the Adirondacks with the intention of getting photos of the Milky Way and inadvertently took what is my favorite photo I’ve ever taken.

Until next week! - Evan

Blog Post 2 - Creating A Business

This week, my website officially launched. I thought it might be an interesting blog topic to go through the process of a few aspects of starting my own business. This week, I'm going to focus on the more visual parts, leaving out the more technical and boring information like becoming an LLC with an EIN and such. The idea started in July of 2015. At that point, I had already been taking portraits for a while and decided that it was time to make a business of it. The first thing I did was make a list of all the things necessary for a business. Number one, come up with a name. At first, it seemed too generic to just go with the standard "[insert name] photography". A few different names were made up, but none of them really stuck with me. After much consideration, I decided that the best idea for me would actually be to name the business after myself, since after all it is my business, so why not put my name on it. Okay cool, I have a name, now what's next? Logo. I am by far the worst artist ever when it comes to drawing, so I had to turn to the talents of my friend Tia. We sat down one afternoon and started working with my name in an Adobe Illustrator Document. After about three hours of procrastination and off task internet videos, we only had a few designs, but none of them really spoke to us. Just as we were starting to pack up for the day, Tia drew a quick sketch based off of a font she had seen. I loved it! It was a clean and simple logo that want too trendy. The logo had a nice ease to it with components that made a great use of negative space. It only took about half an hour for Tia to sketch up in Illustrator. We loved the design and so did all the people we showed it to. With a name and a logo made, it was time to build a website. After researching a few different site building options, I made the decision to go with a Squarespace. I chose squarespace because the templates are simplistic and easy to use. It took about two months to completely set up my entire website and get it published. When all was said and done, the entire process to start my own business took about six months to do and was a great experience to do and learn from.

Until next week! - Evan

Blog Post 1 - My Shoot With Nathaniel

In the fall of 2015, I had a senior portrait shoot with Nathaniel. I was really exited, but a little nervous because I was shooting in a location that I was not really familiar with and had only been to once before. On the day of the shoot, I packed my 5D mk ii and a few lenses in my bag, then headed off to meet Nathaniel at the park. We started our session down a path into the woods. I tried a couple of basic medium shots, using my 70-200 F2.8 lens, which means I could really have nice bokeh and separate him from the background. For anyone who might not know, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Following our quick stop, we continued down the path. As we were walking, we came across an area which was littered with chopped up stumps from trees. Nate and I both agreed that we could get some pretty cool pictures with them. After posing him, I took a couple of steps back and took a couple of photos. I showed Nate a few and he really liked them. Nate and I continued walking around the woods and would stop wherever we thought we might get some good picturs. We did a few serious ones, but we also did a few goofy ones as well. Nate had a great sense of humor and our session was a lot of fun. After about an hour, we  wrapped up the shoot. About a week later, I gave Nathaniel a flashdrive with 40 edited photos on it. He loved them. He says, "The photo shoot was a very fun experience. It was relaxed, encouraging, and it made me feel good about myself. When I saw the photos, I was blown away. They went above my expectations!"

Until next week! - Evan