Add a Little Sparkle

I really like looking at interesting layouts of clothing and accessories on places like fashion blogs, Instagram, and Pinterest.  I chose to try some of the tips I learned from Becoming a Better Photographer to create my own layouts and had a blast!  I experimented with contrast, perspective, lighting, balance, foreground and background. 

After many attempts, I found this to be my favorite picture.  To me, it represents the importance of lighting.  Light was streaming in the room from a skylight and a window.  I shot from many different angles to catch the moving light and experiment with shadows.  This particular angle takes advantage of the straight-line shadow, and glimmering spots of glitter to bring the shoes front and center. 

After reading The Story Behind. . . Migrant Mother, Maria Popova, the importance of a single picture became more clear.  Her seemingly candid photos captured the feelings, heart and soul of an entire era. I was inspired to create a picture that told a story.  While my picture is nowhere near as deep as anything Popova published, I hope you can look at it and make your own story. 

Watching What is Visual Literacy showed me that visual literacy is a language that must be taught.  With 90% of the information we receive being visual, it is important that we can read what is being said through what we see.  In my photo, I chose to mix textures and create interesting angles.  I wanted to create the unexpected, much like the red spiky sculpture in front of the traditional stone building in What is Visual Literacy.  What do you see?

Team Pup

Don’t tell my mom, but I miss my pets the most.  Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I do miss them a lot.  One day, I might pack my pup with my clean laundry and sneak him back to UMW with me.  He could sleep in my dorm room, follow me to class, and be the official ball dog for UMW Field Hockey.   Since I can’t really do that, I chose to do the assignment, Bring your Pet to School.  The assignment says to place your pup anywhere on campus using any photo editing software.

On my iPad, I used the app Photoshop Mix  to add Bennie to my team photo.  After opening the app, hit the (+) to add a photo of the team then again to add a picture of my dog.  Next, I clicked on the dog picture and opened the cut out feature.  From there I was able to use the auto feature to remove the background and the smart feature to clean up anything left over or accidentally removed.  I then drug the image of Bennie to where it would make the most sense in the picture.  I just love seeing him on campus!



Growing up, I loved ISpy books.  They were big books filled with page after page of close up photos of random objects laying on a surface.   Each page had a riddle with items to find in the photograph.  It sounds easy but sometimes the close up photos made a simple object look like something unrecognizable. 

That is the point of this exercise, That’s Not What I Expected.  The directions ask that we take a close up picture of an everyday object and post to see how many people correctly guess what it is.    I used my iPhone and tried to get as close as possible to a very familiar object.  It was challenging to get the camera to focus properly at such a close range.  I experimented with holding the camera at different angles.  This is the final result.

Do you know what this is?


One day last Fall, I received a random call from a teammate asking me to come over to see the puppies she was fostering.  Well, of course I ran over because who doesn’t love puppies?  I could not believe my eyes when I saw this one little guy.  He looked EXACTLY like my 14 year old Dachshund/Yorkie mix (aka Dorkie) named Jet, back home.   With much less pleading than anticipated, my dad drove to Fredericksburg from Smithfield to adopt our new pal Bennie.  Yes, Bennie and the Jet.  Sadly, Jet passed away a couple of weeks ago.  That is why I was excited to make a pet collage for one of my assignments.

The assignment only asks to use current or past pictures of a pet to show how cute or funny they can be.  This was a no brainer for me as pet pics are my favorite!  I chose to use pictures of both Bennie, the new dog, and Jet so you can see the similarities.

I have been wanting to try the app Be Funky .  I downloaded the free app onto my iPad.  There is also a free version for your laptop.  Creating the collage was simple.  I opened the app, chose the Collage Maker tab, and got started.  First, I chose a template that I liked, mine has space for 7 pictures.  Then I clicked the (+) inside one of the picture boxes and began selecting photos from the photo app on my iPad.  After all of the photos were uploaded, I was able to position the pictures where I wanted in the template.  I was even able to crop, retouch, add effects, etc.

I did not add effects and chose to use a simple blue border because I want the focus to be on the pups.  Sweet Jet is in the center and Bennie is all around.  My favorite is the picture of the first time Bennie and Jet met.  There is even a guest appearance by our high-strung Chihuahua mix, Moe.  My pets are part of my family.  It was nice to make a family portrait.