By Kaden Stephens

This week, I would like to look back at some of my favorite pictures from the past several weeks. I feel like I have grown so much from this short time that I have started learning about photography. It has been a great time of figuring out settings, balance, composition, creativity, and all the other little things that tie into using a camera. Here are five of the pieces that I am most proud of and that I think show how I have improved.


This first image really stood out to me when I first captured it. The lighting looked great and I love how the shadows worked in the composition. They brought in a certain emotion that I found to be very powerful. I put this image in my top five because it carried a strong emotion with it. I felt that his face created a story that could be open to personal interpretation.


This next image also stood out because of the composition. I like how the light came in from the left, illuminating the actor’s face. I also liked how the candle sat deeper in the shadows behind the actor rather than more in the light. I have learned from all my experiences so far to balance the shadows as much as you do the highlights. This adds a more profound feeling to the images and makes them more noticeable. I chose this image because, just like the first one, there is a strong emotion that leaves more room for thought.


This next image comes from my creative series. To get the effect, I used a slow shutter speed while I slowly zoomed in my lens. This gave the image abstract leading lines going directly into the darkness. I chose this image for my top five because it showed interesting colors and textures while also being open to interpretation. The blurred lines lead the eye directly into the darkness, giving the viewer some sort of emotional response. When I first began using my camera, I was unsuccessful with using this type of effect in my photography. As I learned more, I was proud that I was able to figure it out and create such an interesting image.


This image is one that really surprised me after I edited it. Looking at the original image, it just looked plain and uninteresting. I chose this image because it shows how much I have grown in my photo editing. I was super happy with how I was able to take an image that I originally didn’t like and make it into one of my favorite images. I feel like the simple composition creates an interesting piece that could evoke a strong emotional response.


This fifth and final image really stood out because of the amount of detail I was able to capture. For this image, I used bracketing to capture all of the highlights and shadows that could bring out all of the details of the shot. I chose this image for my top five because it honestly shocked me with how much detail it contained. I had just learned how to use bracketing that day, and I am super happy that I was able to understand it enough to capture an amazing shot like this.

Overall, I am super happy with how much I have grown over the past several weeks. At the beginning of this experience, I didn’t even know how to turn on a camera let alone take a great picture. I am glad that I have reached a point where I have found confidence in my shots and can trust myself in the creative decisions that I make. I find these five images to be a great representation of my growth. I love that my photos can tell a story and evoke emotion in people who see them. The friends and family I share these images with are continually shocked just as much as I am by how they turn out. I am so grateful for my instructor and the many other examples that have helped me improve. I still look at some of these images and can’t believe that I am the one that took them.


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