First Friday (February 2012)

On Roosevelt St. in downtown Phoenix, artists showcase their work every first Friday of the month. The interesting people and events made for a good scene to try my new Coolpix L24. However, I struggled with my camera’s unfamiliar night settings; the shutter was extremely slow and I think there was a problem with the flash. As a result, the majority of the pictures came out blurry with giant, distracting dots. As the night progressed, I messed around with more of the flash settings and learned how to use the blur to my advantage (the ringmaster with the megaphone, for example). I ended up coming out with a few glasses of lemonade from the lemons I had to work with.

One picture in particular is my favorite: the man sitting by the telephone booth. It was actually an unintentional picture in a few different ways. I’d wanted to take a picture of just the phone booth in one of the museums, and the man came into the frame before I snapped the photo. Since he was there already, I asked if he would mind if I took his picture. He consented to it, and said he wanted to look good. So he sat in the chair, straightened up, put on a somber face, and looked right at the lens. It was perfect. My shutter was still slow though (it takes about 4 seconds to finish taking a picture), and in that moment, he turned to a friend of his who had said something. It made him laugh while the shutter was still going, and that was the picture I ended up with. The picture turned out to be a happy accident though. It’s the best one, in my opinion.

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First Friday 3, posted with vodpod

Sedona, AZ (December 2011)

I went up north with a friend of mine about a week after I’d gotten my new Coolpix for Christmas. Sedona is one of my favorite towns to stop by when I take trips north. The red rocks and forests are respectfully preserved, and the people are upbeat and energetic. I ended up taking roughly fifty pictures during that time. I have no idea how my friend had the patience to deal with me.

I took these pictures in the morning, not long after sunrise. The camera adapted to the bright conditions better than I had expected, especially the pictures of the road and the sunrise over the mountain. I’m  not a fan of touching up pictures with too much contrast or adjusting the hue because I feel it takes away the natural look of the photo. I was glad that I didn’t have to do much with these pictures; I only enhanced the hue of the road, the bridge, and the line of shops in front of the red rocks to make the photos look more professional.

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Sedona, posted with vodpod

Jerome, AZ (December 2011)

The same day, my friend and I went from Sedona to Jerome. Going there feels like stepping back a couple hundred years to the Wild West. Most of the buildings still have a 19th century look to them, the locals who own the stores are in no rush, and the mountain the town stands on is timeless.

It was afternoon by the time we trekked up the mountain in my friend’s little Pontiac. The view from thousands of feet above sea-level was breathtaking. I was able to see the San Francisco Peaks much better than the photo of it lets on. It was a bit dusty outside, so the pictures I tried to take of them didn’t look as good as in person. The shops were much better subjects. They were already vibrant with colors and contrasted nicely with nature as my backdrop. For testing out the new camera, I’m happy with the way my pictures came out that day.

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Jerome, posted with vodpod