Archive › October, 2005

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

This morning after breakfast, Will led us in an inspiring wisdom search about passion, and how to use to it conquer apathy. It’s so encouraging to see his all-consuming passion for God shining through him as he pursues photography. After that, the portraiture students filed out and to their outdoor portrait shoot. Meanwhile, we learned about layers, channels, and selection tools in Photoshop, from our nifty instructor Peter.

Since I took Prizewinning Photography last year, it had been awhile since I had pictures graded. With a pounding head and lots of tension, Peter and Mandy graded our assignment images from the previous night. But through the tension, we learned a lot, and had a bit of fun too. 😉

Mandy then taught us some amazing awesome spiffy techniques for portrait retouching. That was so awesome! We were all amazed that people could actually get paid for having this much fun. We broke early from class for some relaxation and fellowship downstairs. The coffee, cookies, and Rowan’s spiffy guitar playing is what we were all there for though.

God has really blessed all our instructors with wisdom beyond their years. I thank God for the vision he has given them, and the time they give to teach us the things they have learned. About photography, and more importantly, pursuing Christ. Thank you!

—Pixel This Student Andrew Smith

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The first day of Pixel This, we started looking at several of the different tools Photoshop has to offer for editing images. This program is amazing! We began by looking at the different ways to scan prints onto the hard drive. As a cool little side tip, we learned that there are some unique things to scan for creative ideas such as texture—it doesn’t just have to be a piece of paper.

The next step after scanning prints onto the hard drive is taking care of dust & scratches by using a filter and the Cloning Stamp. After “cleaning the image,” we went into color correcting the prints, which involves three different steps, using Levels with the Histogram, Curves, & Hue & Saturation to give a more natural tone (especially skin tones). We had some time to practice what we learned with certain images the instructors, Peter Pallock and Mandy Novotny, gave us. Even though it was a long day editing with what we had learned, it was worth it all. I’m enjoying learning how to improve my images to use for God’s glory.

—Pixel This Student Jamey Cartrite

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Most of the students this week—including me—attended Prizewinning Photography the week before, so we can skip the introduction stage (we can actually call somebody by name instead of just, “Hey, you!”). There are some new students who didn’t attend last week and we are having great fun getting to know them.

Around 9 A.M. all the students split up into our specific classes—I’m attending Pixel This—and we headed into a full day.

Technical camera and computer stuff can get boring really fast, but the Pixel This instructors, Peter Pallock and Mandy Novotny, did a great job keeping things interesting and helped us when we had problems.

My favorite part of the day was when we went to the local Farmer’s Market to shoot pictures for the class. It was great not to have a photo limit like I had the previous week at Prizewinning Photography. This time I got to shoot all I wanted.

After dinner Mandy gave us Photoshop 101. Boy, computer programs are amazing! What a full day—and tomorrow will be here before I know it!

—Pixel This Student Danielle Gruenwald

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

After a great week of delving into the fundamentals of photography and getting to know new friends and mentors, it’s on to the next adventure… Pixel This. Today was pretty low key. We went to church, went for a walk through Old City Park, and spent the rest of the evening setting up our computers and playing “Photoshop pictionary.” I can sense that we’re in for another full, but incredible week! We have great instructors and are still pumped from last week’s great sessions.

—Pixel This Student Paul Gilmer

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Just to clarify, there is more involved in photography than most people realize. Let me explain: Shutter speed. Aperture. ISO. Exposure. Rim lighting. The Golden Mean. Leading lines. Texture. Depth of field. It’s actually a little bit different than the standard “point and shoot”.

That to say, I believe photography is perhaps the most powerful form of communication. An image has the ability to speak to an individual in ways that no spoken words could. This week the students of Prizewinning Photography Class 18 were given the information necessary to go beyond the “point and shoot” mindset of ordinary photography and become effective visual communicators. Through fourteen hour days packed full of instruction, hands on training, and critique, we students were given the tools to not only capture that “special moment”, but also create an image of impact that deeply influences the viewer for God’s Kingdom.

Interestingly enough, a great deal of the principles of photography also transfer into the spiritual life of a Christian. Measuring how much light we allow into an image is just like evaluating how much of Christ’s life we are allowing to permeate the image of our lives. Understanding the importance of our image’s message illustrates the importance of knowing what we want our own life message to say that we might live it out. Both are brief examples that communicate vivid analogies between the images of photography and the spiritual image of Christ in us.

God has used IPS to speak to my heart in a way no other learning experience has. Without a doubt I was challenged in the technical aspects of shooting; however, I was also challenged to seek out God’s perspective on my character and level of spiritual maturity. Beyond technical phrases such as “aperture”, “shutter speed”, and “exposure compensation”, IPS was without a doubt successful in emphasizing spiritual perspective because of the instructors. We students were able to glimpse into the lives of these people who are “Christian photographers” and have seen Christ as preeminent in their hearts. Their examples and realism have meant more to me than any principles of photography could have. The opportunity to watch them, spend time with them, talk to them, and get to know them has been a blessing far beyond anything I had ever imagined.

Yes, IPS was a week in the technical aspects of photography; but because of the spiritual lessons we learned, the technical aspects have seemed an added bonus. I can say truthfully that we students would have come here this week if only to be so impacted by the image of Christ shining through the lives of our instructors. Because of our instructors, every single one of us students will walk away with an inspiration to be real with others, that we too might communicate God’s awesome power through the image of Christ in our lives, whatever our talents and abilities might be.

So what was IPS like this week? Basically, we learned how to change our world for Christ. One image at a time.

—Prizewinning Photography Student Christina Dickson

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