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I’ve been “FRAMED”!

January 5, 2015

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” ~ Ansel Adams


This is my first ever, start-to-finish personal work of art, which is now proudly hanging in my home.  I call this self-portrait  “Sunset from Mackinac Island”.

At the end of June 2014, I found myself desperate to escape to my favorite place on earth, Mackinac Island!  It had been a rough couple of months with both parents in and out of the hospital, and I needed a break.  Once they were both comfortably settled at home and were stable, I decided it was time to pack a bag and hit the road.  It was a solo trip as my hubby had other commitments!  It was an exhilarating and memorable trip.

The best part was being able to take in the often majestic sunset from Mackinac Island.  I rented a bicycle, strapped my trusty Manfrotto tripod with pistol grip onto the bicycle’s basket, carried my camera gear including two Canon DSLRs (60D and XTi) and a variety of lenses in my Think Tank Streetwalker Pro backpack and rode west.  The sun was setting quickly, so I didn’t quite make it to my original destination, The British Landing.  So I settled for a roadside picnic spot and proceeded to capture the magical sunset, using both cameras and various lenses.

When I realized the scene needed something more, I decided to insert myself into the photo.  My Canon 60D was on the tripod with my newest lens, the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II.  Focal length for the shot was 11mm and in order to get the f/11 exposure I wanted with darkness quickly approaching, I bumped the ISO to 1600 and prepared to shoot at 1/5 sec.  I manually focused on the spot where I planned to stand, set camera’s timed release for 10 seconds and ran over to the rock.  I had to do this several times before I got the shot I wanted and before it got too dark.  The fact that I am wearing a red rain jacket is a fluke, but it worked well for this image.

Once home, I did a little Lightroom editing — tweaked the exposure and cropped it a bit.   The image remained on the computer until November 2014.  As I prepared to take a much anticipated “Framing for Photographers” class through Midwest Photography Workshops, I decided to print the image and use it for the class.  I made the 13×19 print at home on my Canon Pixma Pro-100.

During the six-week class, I learned about the aesthetics of matting and framing including color theory and how to select appropriate framing materials — type, quantity and color of mat board, type of glass, and type of frame.  Then I learned about the “nuts and bolts” of framing including what equipment is required, how the calculate mat measurements both manually and with software, how to mount prints, cut mat board, cut glass, and assemble metal frames.  I felt a bit overwhelmed at times, but managed to complete each task and put it all together for the final product which is now hanging on a wall in my home.

Now I have my own mat cutter and tools.  Let the framing continue!

One Comment
  1. Susanne Bundgaard permalink

    those of us who live at the coast whether it’s a lake or a sea has a special relationship to sunset and sunrise. Nothing is more beautiful and at peace than the sun rising from the sea or sinking into the sea. Regards from the west coast of Denmark

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