abandoned houses

Life post LSAT

It is finished.

It’s been finished for a while. Nine days to be exact.

(I’m talking about the LSAT, in case you didn’t know.)

I’m just waiting for October 26 when I get my score back. I’m trying not to over-analyze how I did; I know I didn’t bomb it, but I don’t think I knocked it out of the park either. I’m leaving it at that and just trying to not think about it.

My life post LSAT has been just as busy. I spent 13 hours in a darkroom over the course of two days last week trying to stumble my way through developing film and prints for an assignment that was due today. I had no idea what I was doing but my photos still turned out well (praise the Lord) and I even had fun (a little bit).

My assignment was to shoot several rolls of film around my little college town’s historic downtown area. I took my dSLR along with me because it’s like my trusty security blanket compared to this newfangled film camera.

You know you grew up in the digital age when you think a film camera is “newfangled.”

But anyway, I found this old abandoned church and I fell. in. love.

I just love abandoned buildings. Remember the old house I explored in Kansas last Thanksgiving? Check out the photos here in case you missed it.

Well, this church had a tree growing out of its walls. It was so interesting. I took the RAW file and played around with it in Photoshop just for fun. I usually don’t use a lot of actions, but I ran one that I thought might give the photo a fun look. After I tweaked it a little bit, I really liked it.

Here it is. Feel free to tell me what you think.

I just wish I could have gone inside and explored more! What a beautiful building.

Until next time,

kskristy

Why I love Kansas: reason #8

Hello from Kansas one more time!

This will likely be my last post from my home state. I head back to college in Arkansas in just a couple days. That is if I don’t get snowed in. The weatherman is calling for a little bit of a snowstorm in Kansas today and tomorrow. And when it snows in Kansas it’s not the softly falling winter wonderland snow most people picture. Snow in Kansas is more like a winter blizzardland. The snow here comes down sideways (explanation: there is always a lot of wind). Nonetheless, I am excited. I love snow and we haven’t had any yet this year… in Kansas or Arkansas.

It’s about daggum time, I say.

Anyway…

Last month I wrote a post about a photography tip I like to call shooting blind. If you missed it, you can find it by clicking here. In that post I showed y’all a shot of a cracked tv I found in an old abandoned house and promised to show you more in a later post.

Well wait no more my friends because that post is this post!

And all the people said amen.

Let me tell you a little bit about this house and then I’ll show you the photos.

I was driving around in the country during Thanksgiving break (because that is basically all there is to do out in the country) and happened upon this house. I had my camera with me (because I have learned the hard way too many times that a photographer should never ever ever go anywhere without a camera) so I decided to park my car and go exploring.

The acreage the house was on was a photographer’s dream! Or it was this photographer’s dream at least. There were a couple of dilapidated barns in addition to the house, and everywhere I went there were fantastic little details of a life once lived there. From tvs, to fur coats in the closets, to ripped up hymnals.. I was up to my ears in wonderful old relics. I hope you have as much fun looking at these photos as I had taking them!

Please excuse the lack of consistency in editing styles… I got a little carried away in Photoshop.

Enjoy!

I encourage y’all to go out there and explore. (Take your cameras!!) Let me know what you find!

Happy photographing,

kskristy

Shooting blind

Allow me start off this post by saying I am by no means an expert photographer.

I simply love holding a camera in my hands, looking at the world around me through a viewfinder and doing my best to capture little moments and pieces of God’s great creation.

Photography has always been a hobby of mine. I remember going through one disposable camera after another during my junior high years. Pets, clothes, grass, refrigerator magnets… there was nothing out there that didn’t warrant a picture in my eyes. Then my mom got her first digital camera, and oh boy, was I a happy camper. I’m pretty sure I single-handedly kept Duracell batteries in business all through my high school years with my constant self-portrait photo shoots. That Kodak went through batteries like there was no tomorrow.

Then, in April 2009, I purchased my first dSLR, and that’s all she wrote. I was hooked.

I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned how to manually control the settings on my camera. I’ve learned about framing and composition, and even photo ethics.

I still take photos of anything and everything, and I still have a lot to learn. But during my photographic journey, I have developed one theory that has given me some of my favorite shots.

I like to call it shooting blind.

The gist of the theory is that you simply hold your camera in the general direction of your shot and without looking through the viewfinder or framing the shot, you simply snap the photo.

Not everything has to be meticulously composed. Sometimes you just gotta shoot a blind shot.

(Note: I do not recommend putting this into practice with real guns, arrows, darts, or any other potentially harmful projectile. That could be bad news bears for you or others…)

I’ve found that some of the most interesting angles show up when you just point and shoot. I’ve discovered angles and perspectives that I might not have ever thought to shoot from otherwise.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:

I love everything about this shot. The hole in the tv, the window in the background, the cool tones of the foreground compared to the warm tones of the background, the drama and the interest created by the composition… awesome.

I had knelt down on the floor of this great abandoned house (more on that in another post!) and shot a couple of similar shots prior to this one but I had just been focusing on the cracked tv. The photos were very cold and not super interesting. I knew this was too cool a subject to just be content with a mediocre photo so I decided to try something different. I laid down flat on the floor and propped my elbows up in front of me. I set my focal length and focus point to approximate values that I thought might work for the shot I wanted and then I took a couple photos. And I got a great photo!

Here’s another:

Funny story about this photo. I actually got it out the drivers side window of my car as I was flying 70 miles an hour down the highway. (Don’t tell my mother… or the cops.)

Too many times I have been driving down the road and seen something that would make a great photo but didn’t have my camera with me.

After kicking myself and asking myself why a photographer wouldn’t have their camera with them at all times, I vowed to keep my Nikon in the passenger seat of my car forever. Except when I take it other places.

And that’s how I got this photo. I was driving back to college last January and as I drove up a hill close to the Kansas-Oklahoma state line, I saw this little clump of trees in the valley below me. I reached for my camera right away, popped off the lens cap and right as I passed the trees, I took the photo. I basically got lucky on this one, but hey, it works!

Now here are two examples of the same subject I shot blind. One of them turned out well, one of them not so much, but they are still interesting.

This is the photo that didn’t turn out so well. Just in case you were wondering.

A couple months ago, I was doing a photo shoot in the downtown area of my little college town with a group of women. I had a co-photographer along with me and she started setting the group up for another shot. I wasn’t doing anything at that moment so I found this sign and decided to try and get an interesting shot of it.

I gripped my camera in my hand and held it down at my side. Then I tilted the camera up toward the sign and took the photo. This one missed, obviously, but I still find it interesting.

I took a couple more photos and ended up with this one:

I love this. I think the angle is intriguing, the shadows are nice, the composition is somewhat surprising but pleasing and the simplicity of the photo draws me in.

And to think, I got it without even looking.

So I encourage you, the next time you take a photo, to try shooting blind. Don’t look at or through your camera or anything. Just point and shoot and see what you get. You might be surprised!

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