Assignment 6: Environmental Portrait

Finding a friend with such a distinctive environment was a challenge. I called up my friend Hillary and asked if I could use her as my model for my environmental portrait assignment. She has a huge photo wall with photos from her beachy home of Corpus Christi, Texas. Hillary loves surfing and the beach and her photo wall shows that.

Hillary Dupriest, a junior strategic communication major at Texas Christian University, stands in front of her Fort Worth apartment's photo wall inspired by her love of surfing the beaches in her home town of Corpus Christi, Texas on February 25, 2013. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

Hillary Dupriest, a junior strategic communication major at Texas Christian University, stands in front of her Fort Worth, Texas apartment’s photo wall inspired by her love of surfing the beaches in her home town of Corpus Christi, Texas on February 25, 2013. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

The lighting situation was difficult because I wanted dramatic lighting but I didn’t want there to be any underexposure or overexposure. I removed the lampshade from her bedside table lamp and turned off the overhead light. The above photo is what I ended up with for this assignment!

For my photo assignment for TCU 360 this week, I took photos of the TCU BYX Date Auction. The event was held in the BLUU Ballroom and was a fundraiser for Texas Refugee Services. The members of the fraternity dressed up in silly costumes or swanky suits and strutted their stuff on the stage while the MCs auctioned their dates off. Dates from a Rangers game to the NEEDTOBREATHE and Ben Rector concerts helped raise over $4,000. The following are some of the photos I took:

(TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

(TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

 

(TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

(TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

 

(TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

(TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

 

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Photo Assignment 5: Rule of Thirds

An elephant at the Cameron Brown Zoo in Waco, Texas greets visitors on a sunny Sunday afternoon on Feb. 17, 2013. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

An elephant at the Cameron Brown Zoo in Waco, Texas greets visitors on a sunny Sunday afternoon on Feb. 17, 2013. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

On Sunday I went to visit my boyfriend in Waco, Texas. After lunch we went to the zoo and I took photos of various animals. I liked this photo of the elephant because of the movement. This photo applies to the rule of thirds because the elephant is toward the right and the focus of the photo is not in the center. An issue I had taking photos at the zoo was the direct light. There were extreme shadows so I did bring up the brightness a bit in this photo.

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On Saturday I took photos at the TCU tennis match, and got shots of the action.

Pepperdine tennis players reach for the ball in a match against TCU on Saturday Feb. 16, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

Pepperdine tennis players reach for the ball in a match against TCU on Saturday Feb. 16, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

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Photo Assignment 4: Action

Chloe Burgoon, a senior strategic communications major at Texas Christian University, jumps on her backyard trampoline on Feb. 10, 2013. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

Chloe Burgoon, a senior strategic communications major at Texas Christian University, jumps on her backyard trampoline on Feb. 10, 2013. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

 

After the major storm Saturday night, I was worried that it would be difficult to get an action shot on Sunday. However, it was sunny–a  little too sunny– and I went to my friend Chloe’s house to take photos of her jumping on her trampoline. I probably took 100 photos; most of them were of Chloe with her hair crazy and in her face, but since it’s seriously encouraged to show faces in photojournalism, I chose the photo above for this assignment.

I had my ISO at 80 and a neutral exposure on my Olympus point-and-shoot. Figuring out lighting in her backyard was definitely an issue because it was shade when Chloe was just standing on the trampoline, but when she jumped, her face would be lit up with the light coming over the roof of the house. So I moved all over the yard, and decided that having Chloe backlit would probably be my best option for the light available.

After getting back to my house to upload the photos, I did straighten the photo so that the background porch railing would be straight. I definitely do understand now how difficult it is to get a good action shot because of all the things you have to keep in mind.

Photo Assignment 3: Night Photography

The Ferris Wheel at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas on February 4, 2013.

The Ferris Wheel at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas on February 4, 2013. (TCU Photo/Alex Tyler)

For this photo, I had trouble trying to figure out how to capture the light at night. The good thing about the Stock Show and Rodeo is that with all of the rides in the carnival section, the lighting is very abundant. I had trouble getting people in the photos I took because a lot of them would not let me take photos of them. I liked this photo of the ferris wheel because I liked the angle and the colors.

I took this photo at ISO 100 and at a lower exposure to get the lighting just right. The ferris wheel epitomizes any carnival so I chose this ride because of its brightness and because of its grandeur.

Admired Photographer Assignment: Michael Didonna

Michael DiDonna's "Battle of the Elan" depicts a Kenyan man pulling the horns off an Elan for a ritual dance.

Michael DiDonna’s “Battle of the Elan” depicts a Kenyan man pulling the horns off an Elan for a ritual dance.

Michael Didonna is a photographer who dabbles in all realms of photography, but is most recognized for his portraits. However, I personally love all of his travel photography. The image “Battle of the Elan” is a remarkably powerful image because of the use of direct light, the depth of background and the perfect moment being captured. It raises a lot of questions about why this man is removing a dead animal’s head. Even though this image would normally be thought of as gruesome, the image is striking and beautiful with the composition and the lighting.

Michael Didonna is a native of New York and went to Hampshire College where he studied music and fine-art photography. Since then, he has worked as a photojournalist, a fashion photographer and travel photographer. He has photographed for clients like Atlantic Records and Warner Brothers, as well as Guess, Victoria’s Secret and Verizon Wireless. His photos have been published in Rolling StoneJazzTimes, and other publications. 

I really admire his photography for the distinct style it possesses as well as the power in each image. His portraits are really unique for the lighting, the capturing of a subject and use of drama in each photo.

A portrait by Michael Didonna

A portrait by Michael Didonna