Portraits – 10 Techniques

The photo, 2342, was taken from a birds-eye-view perspective which helps to add interest to the subject and to alter the perspective.

The photo, 2202, plays with eye contact so that there is a sense of connection between the subject and viewer.

The photo, 2228, breaks the rules of composition, specifically, the rule of odds. There are two people and two hands creating a binocular-shaped form. There is nothing between each of the two sets of two, but it still attracts your eye to the main subject nonetheless.

The photo, 2159, plays with the lighting by having one side of the subject’s face illuminated and the other in the shadows. This creates a vivid image for the viewer to look at.

The photo, 2338, was a result of the subject moving out of their comfort zone. The position he got into and the expression he had was extremely uncomfortable for him, but it produced good results.

The photo, 2353, was a candid shot of my subject’s hand when they were watching a tense moment in a movie. After they discovered they were being photographed they reacted negatively, but at that moment, they were in their own state of mind.

The photo, 2293, focused on the subject’s hand in particular. By focusing on the hand you can see wrinkles and other signs of aging. Without seeing the face, you can paint a picture of the person.

The photo, 2318, shows the subject obscuring their own face with their hands. Whatever it means is up to the viewer’s interpretation of the image, but it does help to focus the image’s subject.

The photo, 2211, is a photo with a wide angle, but it is so empty and that helps to reflect upon the subject themselves.

The photo, 2197, shows the subject in a tense mood, or perhaps talkitive, depending on your interpretation. This expression is what makes the image.

Cyanotype Reflection

Before this class, I had never heard of the term cyanotype, but I had encountered it occasionally in school. I had never really wondered how they were created, thinking that a fully colored photo would always be better, but after learning about the process and going through the said process, I can definitely admit that my interest was piqued.

My first cyanotype was a photo of my father’s hand. It had turned out surprisingly well with the image being extremely clear and the colors turning out very sharp. The colors of blue and white really did have their own type of charm.

My second cyanotype was a photo of my family when I was extremely small. We were visiting New York during the winter that year. With the many lessons learned by the entire class from our first cyanotype, we prepared to do better this time. And indeed the results turned out better, more people ended up with good results from their second cyanotype. Mine was definitely better as the people in my cyanotype were extremely clear and sharp.

Cyanotype is a process of copying photos dating all the way back to 1842. “The English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered the procedure in 1842. Though the process was developed by Herschel, he considered it as mainly a means of reproducing notes and diagrams, as in blueprints.” (Wikipedia) The process was developed as a photographic printing process that was commonly used until the 20th century.

There are many steps to take in order to complete a cyanotype. The first step is to mix ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide together in equal amounts in order to create the mixture that will be spread onto a thick sheet of paper that can withstand water. Before moving on, make sure that the chemicals on the paper dry in a dark environment for about 2 minutes, or until it’s dry. The second step would be to place a transparency with an inverted black-and-white image printed upon it on top of the side of the paper that had chemicals spread over it. It should be made sure that the transparency is touching the paper in that the two have little to no space between. The third step would be to place the transparency and paper outside in bright sunlight for 1 hour. After that, the fourth step would be to rinse the paper, after the transparency is taken off, for about 2 minutes; make sure that all the chemicals are rinsed off. After this process is completed pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto the paper and then repeat the rinsing process for 1 minute. The fifth step is to take that rinsed paper and dry it with a wire making sure that the paper stays relatively flat.

HuTong Field Trip Reflection

The field trip to the HuTongs in Beijing was extremely fun. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but most importantly, I took many amazing photos. During my time there, I tried to follow as many compositional rules as I could, and I believe I succeeded with that. Prime examples of this are the two photos showcased above.

The first one is panning shot that blurred out everything except for my subject. This photo was completely accidental as I didn’t have much time to get ready when I saw the photo. However, despite that, there are still a few guidelines that I believe have appeared in the photo, particularly the rule of odds. This is quite an uncommon guideline to see, but my subject is indeed surrounded by two other people (or cars). This photo also breaks the rules of composition with the subject on the left (imaginary) vertical line instead of on the right one, like how the rule of thirds operates.

The second photo is a shot that was made with the guidelines in mind. The stone fence on the right and the stone floor (in the middle, to the left to the stone fence) all are leading lines which are leading to the image in the middle where a man is fishing. The tree on the top of the photo is hanging over the lake which creates a beautiful reflection that also naturally helps to frame the fisherman. In addition, I also believe that the balance of the shot helps make the photo more aesthetically appealing since the juxtaposition of the lake and the land completes the image.

Aperture Collage


The hole in which light comes through into a camera is the aperture. The aperture can be adjusted on the camera lens or in the camera settings, and as the aperture decreases, a less amount of light will come into the camera. In the Exposure Triangle, it changes the depth of field, or just the depth, of the photo.

You would use a lower aperture when you want a photo to focus on a deep depth of field, and you would use a larger aperture when you want a photo with a shallow depth of field.

When the aperture is too high, the lighting may be too bright, and when the aperture is too low, the lighting may be too dark. One way to solve this problem is to change the ISO accordingly, and another way to solve this problem would be to adjust the shutter speed accordingly.

By understanding aperture and its role, it is possible to better adjust the settings on Manual Mode to create better photos.

ISO Collage

What is ISO? Well, ISO is what affects how sensitive the sensor in a camera is which in turn affects the exposure of photos so that they will not have to be exposed for so long. When the lighting is brighter you would typically use a lower ISO where-as when the lighting is darker, you would typically use a higher ISO. A negative side effect of using ISO is the grainy pictures that will appear if the ISO is too high because of the absence of strong lighting. Understanding ISO can help you to take many marvelous photos under conditions where the lighting is not satisfactory.

1 Object/ 30 Photos

In this assignment, we were to take 30 photos showcasing the compositional guidelines with one repeating object in them. The purpose of this assignment was to familiarize us with the the compositional guidelines. It is important to remember the compositional guidelines because they help to define the photos that we take in the future. The most challenging part about this assignment was trying not to repeat any photos photos because I took most of my photos in my house and it was pretty small. The big takeaway from this assignment was to pay attention to my surroundings because you never know what could be there.

Principles of Design

There are many principles of design which all help to make a photo look better. Principles are helpful because they make a photo ‘pop’. I learned that the many elements help make a photo more pleasing and more attractive. This was my favorite photo because it really captured the stillness of the environment and the contrast between the spoon and the forks, knifes, and chopsticks in the background.

Elements of Art

This element of art is shape.

While this element is quite simple and basic, it helps viewers to see objects and visualize them in a different way with layers on top or next to each other instead of 3D objects that are side by side.

When taking this photo, I learned that the ambiguity of the mountains makes it more intriguing as it only shows the outline and not any irrelevant details.

This photo exemplifies the element of shape. In the background, the mountains’ silhouettes represent shape. It displays the shape of the mountains and the relief of said mountains. If you look at the photo, you can clearly see all the mountain peaks and the rough slopes on the mountain.

Burning House Project

Leighton D.

14 Years Old



iPhone 6s: This is my first phone and the phone I am currently using, so it is useful and also has sentimental value.

Passport: My only way of identifying myself since I don’ t know my SSID or have any other IDs.

Contacts + Contact Fluids: They are worn at night and they help me see without the need of glasses. My eyesight at its natural state is terrible.

English 9 – Setting Writing

Leighton DuYang 

Sunday 10th September 2017 

               The air was silent, yet it spoke so much about the