Instagram Art

One day, I was looking back over the Instagram posts that I’ve made over the past year. I noticed a bit of a trend in some of the more artistic shots I’ve done. So, I decided to add an “Instagram Art” page along side my portfolios because I think it shows my aesthetic. I don’t walk around with my DSLR (as I should); so I can’t catch everything that strikes me, but with Instagram I can at least get my vision captured. I think these images show an insight to my perspective. :)

I know a lot of photographers don’t like Instagram because the filters are a creativity cheat, but I think that concept overshadows the whole spontaneity and sharing aspect. It’s a great way to keep the creative juices flowing. When in a random place, you get inspired by something, you can shoot and share it right there. So, I’m all for it. lol :)

Anywho, please check out my Instagram Art page. I hope you like it. :)

- Christina

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BIRTHDAY!!!

So, this past month, I was taking a bit of a break from photography to recharge my batteries. Sorry for the lack of posts. I wanted to put away my camera so that when I brought it out again, it’d have special meaning.

Last Saturday was my niece’s 2nd birthday! YAY! Of course, I jumped at the chance to shoot the event. :) Here’s my favorite images from the evening. You can see all of the photos on my facebook page.

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I shot Riley’s first birthday as well. You can see a few photos from that at my flickr.

While I don’t know if event photography is something I want to do as a profession, I really enjoy doing it for things like this. :) I love to snatch the fleeting moment. I don’t even like for people to look at me upon request. I want the emotions I capture to be real and natural. :)

- Christina

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Personification

Sometimes in life, the words that you’re looking for escape you. You feel SO strongly that you can’t find any word good enough to begin to describe it. Well, I was walking along and as always, I was looking at the ground. (I dunno why I do that but I do.) I saw this flower. I think it’s a daisy. It was dying– it was still trying so hard to lift its head to the sun, but it was too late; it was already dying. When I saw this struggling flower I felt like I saw myself.

ChristinaAmparano_Sad

Poor Sad Flower

I took the shot using my iPhone and posted it on Instagram. It was a bright day so I was able to get a bit of bokeh! This one came out exactly as I had envisioned it when I saw the flower from above as I walked by. I don’t carry around my DSLR as much as I’d like but I always have my iPhone on me so I was able to get the shot.  I don’t think using a DSLR would have made the image any better. A filter was used to increase the contrast and saturation a tiny bit, but I forget which one I used.

Some think that everyone having the ability to use a digital camera/camera phone cheapens the quality of photography as a whole. I disagree. Of course some people have hidden talent or just get lucky, but good photography still has to have vision. That is something that makes a good photographer great!

-Christina

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Melon Balls

The image I’m going to tell you about today had the longest prep time of all my shots. Now, don’t get me wrong, I try to put a lot of thought and effort into my work but this one had me making these tiny balls for 2 hours. It was a lot of work. lol I am so glad that I took the time to do it! :) I wanted to be able to pick the BEST ones for the shoot.

The assignment here was to work with shiny metal. Let me tell you, it is not easy!!! Of course, I pick the hardest metal object– this little bugger reflected EVERYTHING in the studio because of its concave shape.  So basically, I had to make a white board fort around the set! lol So that the baller would reflect only the boards and not the entire room. I had to take a shot once I had everything set up, another shot that was taken specifically for the metal, then use Photoshop to merge the two.

ChristinaAmparano_MelonBalls

Vivid colors, shallow depth of field and shiny equal a yummy image!

This image had the most prep and the most postproduction that I’ve done in one of my images. It’s not perfect yet– the metal still needs a bit more work but I’m impatient and I wanted to share it with you now. :)

-Christina

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Dragging the Shutter

About a month ago, Ryan got a super awesome hardbound copy of Dracula from Barns & Nobles. We’ve been looking for a way to use it in a shoot for class and I thought of one first!

This is one of those shoots that didn’t turn out at all like I had pictured in my head. It was tricky; I must have done at least a dozen different set ups. This just wasn’t working. I knew I needed to go back to the drawing board, so I took everything off the table and just place the book on it. As I rotated the light around the table, I watched as the how it illuminated the book. When I had the light where I liked it, I pulled out my trusty iPhone, put it on camera mode and moved around the set. This helped me figure out where I wanted to put the camera with out dragging it around on the tripod(I hate tripods. I feel so restricted.)

Once I had this set up with the book and the light, adding the other elements came easy. Ryan helped me with spilling the wine just right. He’s a great stylist! The radiance that you see coming from the candle is from using a technique called “Dragging the Shutter” The camera’s shutter was open for 2 seconds allowing the light from the candle to pour in after the strobe had been fired. I am very happy with how this image came out. :)

Dragging the Light

Dragging the Light

- Christina

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Updates and Changes

I made a few changes to the blog that you might notice as you look around. The first thing is I’m changing my name(twitter username as well). Christina Amparano is the name I will be changing to soon. :) The short story is that Amparano is my father in-law’s birth name (Diaz is his step dad). It is a rare name that will die out soon, so we took it upon ourselves (hubby and myself) to try to keep it alive! :)

Another thing that I hope you’ll notice is that I added two portfolio pages. One for my commercial work (like the things I do in studio lighting class) and the other is for my fine art work. I felt like I needed a place for new readers/visitors to look at and at glance what my work is about and what I’m capable of.

I hope you enjoy these changes and my new header. :) It was designed by Ryan and I think he did an amazing job! I love it! He made a few changes to his blog as well. You should check it out! :)

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Muffins!

I finally did a foodie shot. I’ve been putting off food shots because they seem so… I don’t know… not so exciting? But I was SO wrong! I had such a great time working on this one! :)

I had this vision in my head of a window lit kitchen counter with muffins cooling and an ingredient off to the side. Shallow depth of field was a must! Everyone loves nice blurry bokeh!

So, we went to my favorite grocery store- Sprouts (yes I have a favorite grocery store, I know you have one too, so don’t judge!). I knew that they have freshly baked muffins there. You can’t go wrong with muffins! They had more to chose from than I remembered. It was glorious! :D So I picked four nice blueberry muffins with raw sugar on top. YUM! I grabbed some blueberries and I was good to go!!!

Good to go!

Good to go!

This shot was done outside of class time. That means that I had to go into the studio and work on it solo- no teacher and no assistant. :O I was on my own! Below you’ll find an Instagram pic of my set up. Going counter clockwise, you can see the soft box to the top-left; the black thing to the left of the camera is a flag (used it to block flare[light] from the soft box); and the white thing to the right of the camera is a white card that I used as a reflector (to reflect light into shadowy areas). The perspective is kinda weird in the photo below cuz everything looks really close together, but it wasn’t that close in reality.

Muffin Set Up

Muffin Set Up

As scary as it may sound, it went pretty well. I tried to look at it critically, think of what my instructor, Ann Mitchell, would say and compare it to other food photography shots that I seen in the past. Maybe it’s not super great, but I think it’s pretty good for my first one. :)

ChristinaAmparano_Muffin

-Christina

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