A Photo Project for College Credit

Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I'm looking to wrap up a two-year degree after a lot of time away from college in the work world (like, a lot of time, a decade). Partly because of the way the world has been the last couple years, feeling cooped up and without much of a plan until we can ride out the remainder of the pandemic, this seemed like a nice way to have something measurable to do with my time. Part of this means challenging as many classes as I can for credit (AKA "testing out" or "credit for prior learning"), utilizing, you know, all the life skills and knowledge I've gained since being a "college-aged" person. I saw that the community college where I'm enrolled has Digital Photography classes, and messaged the instructor to see about challenging them. He was amenable, and gave me a list of photographs to create over a three-week period (the timeframe I set for myself). I turned them in yesterday, so, fingers crossed that they meet with the instructor's approval. Anyway, I wanted to share them here.

Project 1 (for the first class) is a Still Life. Required were: natural light, a white background, and three objects: a manmade item, a natural item, and an item of personal significance. Here's what I came up with:

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Next up, A Food photo. Requirements were natural light and A mode. All of the things I came up with were a bit meh, but I went with this one.

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Next, a set of three landscape photos, one at native aspect ratio, one at 1:1 and one at 16:9. Aperture priority.

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Next up was a B&W portrait, shot using natural light and A mode, with shallow depth of field.

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The next was an action photo, showing someone in motion using shutter priority. I took a few different opportunities to go down to the waterfront, where people spend a lot of time crabbing:

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The sixth and last for this first class was an abstract photo. This one proved a little hard, not least of the reason being that the three week period I shot these was very rainy and stormy, and with shortening daylight hours I didn't have much time after work. Eventually I found this texture, which I've shot before. Cross-process mode since I was allowed a bit more leeway with editing style on this one, I think the colors are a large part of why this one "works" for me:

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Next up will be the second class. This first one was all JPEGs, the second was all RAW, edited in LR. The Olympus EM5II and Ricoh GRIIIx served me well for all of these.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
Here's the second class, of which all were submitted as DNGs but are here exported as JPEGs. First up is a "bug's-eye view" where I needed to play with perspective. I could have gone more extreme with this one, but none of my attempts spoke to me. I preferred this one, which is a lot more subdued. We'll see if the instructor feels that way, I could see this one being considered not as effective. But I like it.

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I like this next one, "shallow depth-of-field" without too many more restraints. Aperture mode required. Taken at evening when the light was dimming, but the sky overhead was just enough for the water droplets to catch and reflect the light.

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Next, "street photography." I actually got some better images than these, but shot them in manual and shutter priority, having forgotten that aperture mode was required for this one. Not my first choice for shooting street, but there you are. Supposed to reflect the community in some way. Set of three images.

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Fourth project was another portrait, again requiring natural light. I happened to go to a wedding and this young fellow was dressed up in a way that made for a perfect portrait, I was able to snag him for a quick shot. His dad is a photographer and I think he's no stranger to being an impromptu model. Thanks again to David! I am anything but a portrait photographer so both of the portraits were a bit of a struggle to come up with.

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Fifth was an HDR photo, for which I needed three bracketed images at 2 stops apart. Merged in Lightroom (I actually broke down and got a month's subscription to Lightroom CC in order to have the HDR merge feature, despite my dislike of their subscription feature). I submitted the final and three source files, but we're only interested in the final result:

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The last project was a photo essay. It has nine photos so I think it'll get its own post.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
Last up, the photo essay. Supposed to reflect something in the community, including local industry. Of course, three weeks is a short time to really find and arrange a series like this, but my friend owns his own carpet cleaning business (I actually worked with him for a year in the past - back around the time I was last in college - under the previous owner), and I set out to make that seem interesting (it actually is fairly interesting). The EM5II served me well with the little 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 for this one, shot in M with manual ISO, I was impressed by the handling and speed, it is a tiny workhorse!

I'm including the captions I had to write for this series as well.

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Coos Carpet Care is a family-owned business in North Bend. It has been in operation since 1997, offering onsite carpet cleaning with a truck-mounted cleaning unit, and specialized rug treatment in their shop.

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Owner Nathan Clark has been a licensed carpet technician for many years, servings as lead technician at Coos Carpet Care before purchasing the business when its former owner retired several years ago. The mobile cleaning unit is a faithful workhorse. This Prochem Everest HP650 weighs 1150 pounds with empty water tanks, and is powered by a 1.6-liter Hyundai engine producing 68hp, producing powerful suction up to 3000 PSI.

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The carpet is treated with a pre-spray before cleaning. This mild detergent emulsifies particles trapped in the carpet, loosening them in preparation for the cleaning wand. A carpet acts like a filter for a home, capturing dust and debris particles near its surface. Regular cleaning keeps the carpet from reintroducing this messy and potentially unhealthy dust and debris, as well as extending the life of the fibers themselves by reducing abrasion from dust and dirt.

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When it’s time for the cleaning wand, vacuum and water hoses are laid and connected. This hot water hose provides the wand with its fine, steamy spray which has lent the process the term “steam cleaning.” This steamy action further emulsifies the materials inside the carpet and loosens the fibers, where the strong suction picks them up – along with nearly all of the moisture.

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Dust loosened by the pre-spray darkens the carpet along with moisture, making the cleaning strokes easy to see. Both dust and moisture have been lifted right out of the fibers. When cleaning a home interior, it’s always “first in, last out” as a cleaning pattern, so hoses and footprints aren’t covering already-clean carpet.

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An important final step of the home carpet cleaning process is to educate the resident on how to treat the drying carpet. Nathan gives them plastic shoe covers and instructs them to keep the area warm and ventilated so the carpet will finish drying quickly. This helps avoid soiling the damp fibers and keeps microbial activity at bay, leaving the area smelling fresh and clean.

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Back at the shop, a client’s area rug is laid out and treated with pre-spray in preparation for cleaning. While this specialized rug cleaning tool will be part of the cleaning process, the hot water and strong suction provided by the truck mount are still key parts of the process.

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Magic carpet! When cleaning is finished, high-power fans are placed both above and below the rug’s surface to speed the drying process. Multiple rugs may be cleaned and dried per day in the shop.

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For Nathan, high-quality work is key to maintaining Coos Carpet Care’s reputation. In an area like Oregon’s South Coast, word-of-mouth is an important driver in close-knit communities. In response to this, Coos Carpet Care has revamped their advertising presence to be more interactive, offering discounts for customer reviews and referral credits. All part of a healthy business model in the place we call home.
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Last up, the photo essay. Supposed to reflect something in the community, including local industry. Of course, three weeks is a short time to really find and arrange a series like this, but my friend owns his own carpet cleaning business (I actually worked with him for a year in the past - back around the time I was last in college - under the previous owner), and I set out to make that seem interesting (it actually is fairly interesting). The EM5II served me well with the little 12-32mm f3.5-5.6 for this one, shot in M with manual ISO, I was impressed by the handling and speed, it is a tiny workhorse!

I'm including the captions I had to write for this series as well.

View attachment 278248
Coos Carpet Care is a family-owned business in North Bend. It has been in operation since 1997, offering onsite carpet cleaning with a truck-mounted cleaning unit, and specialized rug treatment in their shop.

View attachment 278249
Owner Nathan Clark has been a licensed carpet technician for many years, servings as lead technician at Coos Carpet Care before purchasing the business when its former owner retired several years ago. The mobile cleaning unit is a faithful workhorse. This Prochem Everest HP650 weighs 1150 pounds with empty water tanks, and is powered by a 1.6-liter Hyundai engine producing 68hp, producing powerful suction up to 3000 PSI.

View attachment 278251
The carpet is treated with a pre-spray before cleaning. This mild detergent emulsifies particles trapped in the carpet, loosening them in preparation for the cleaning wand. A carpet acts like a filter for a home, capturing dust and debris particles near its surface. Regular cleaning keeps the carpet from reintroducing this messy and potentially unhealthy dust and debris, as well as extending the life of the fibers themselves by reducing abrasion from dust and dirt.

View attachment 278252
When it’s time for the cleaning wand, vacuum and water hoses are laid and connected. This hot water hose provides the wand with its fine, steamy spray which has lent the process the term “steam cleaning.” This steamy action further emulsifies the materials inside the carpet and loosens the fibers, where the strong suction picks them up – along with nearly all of the moisture.

View attachment 278253
Dust loosened by the pre-spray darkens the carpet along with moisture, making the cleaning strokes easy to see. Both dust and moisture have been lifted right out of the fibers. When cleaning a home interior, it’s always “first in, last out” as a cleaning pattern, so hoses and footprints aren’t covering already-clean carpet.

View attachment 278254
An important final step of the home carpet cleaning process is to educate the resident on how to treat the drying carpet. Nathan gives them plastic shoe covers and instructs them to keep the area warm and ventilated so the carpet will finish drying quickly. This helps avoid soiling the damp fibers and keeps microbial activity at bay, leaving the area smelling fresh and clean.

View attachment 278255
Back at the shop, a client’s area rug is laid out and treated with pre-spray in preparation for cleaning. While this specialized rug cleaning tool will be part of the cleaning process, the hot water and strong suction provided by the truck mount are still key parts of the process.

View attachment 278256
Magic carpet! When cleaning is finished, high-power fans are placed both above and below the rug’s surface to speed the drying process. Multiple rugs may be cleaned and dried per day in the shop.

View attachment 278257
For Nathan, high-quality work is key to maintaining Coos Carpet Care’s reputation. In an area like Oregon’s South Coast, word-of-mouth is an important driver in close-knit communities. In response to this, Coos Carpet Care has revamped their advertising presence to be more interactive, offering discounts for customer reviews and referral credits. All part of a healthy business model in the place we call home.
I can see where this one could have been the most difficult of the assignments. Well done.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
I can see where this one could have been the most difficult of the assignments. Well done.
Thanks! It was the hardest to plan around, I didn't really know what it was going to look like until I was in the middle of shooting for it. Fortunately a trade like that one is a very physical one, with a good assortment of tools and such, so visually it worked out well. About halfway through shooting I knew it would come together fairly well.
 

MiguelATF

Hall of Famer
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Real Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Damn! An impressive and rather mind-boggling amount of work - and of very, very good photographs, too, Andrew. Congrats on getting it done in what seems to me a rather limited amount of time. My personal favorite is the first of your landscape photographs, the one in 'native aspect ratio', of the coast. Based on that photo, alone, if I were your teacher, I would simply give you an A+.
Thank you for sharing these, too. It is illuminating not merely to see them, but to be able to view them in the context of what the assignment was, and how you interpreted it.
 
Location
S. Oregon Coast
Real Name
Andrew L
Damn! An impressive and rather mind-boggling amount of work - and of very, very good photographs, too, Andrew. Congrats on getting it done in what seems to me a rather limited amount of time. My personal favorite is the first of your landscape photographs, the one in 'native aspect ratio', of the coast. Based on that photo, alone, if I were your teacher, I would simply give you an A+.
Thank you for sharing these, too. It is illuminating not merely to see them, but to be able to view them in the context of what the assignment was, and how you interpreted it.
Thank you, it was a rather limited time but I set that timeframe for myself (in retrospect, that might have worked in summer with lots of light and longer daytime hours, but it barely worked in November!). That coast landscape shot is one I've done before from the same vantage point, but the lighting was particularly good this time.

You will, of course, keep us informed as to the results?
A's for both classes! :) Granted the expectations from AA-degree level college students aren't skyhigh, but it feels nice to get a little vindication for my hobby. Plus, it saved me almost $1,000 over tuition and associated costs for these 6 credits! That might be the best part, saving approximately "one GRIIIx-worth" of money ;)
 

Brownie

Regular
Thank you, it was a rather limited time but I set that timeframe for myself (in retrospect, that might have worked in summer with lots of light and longer daytime hours, but it barely worked in November!). That coast landscape shot is one I've done before from the same vantage point, but the lighting was particularly good this time.


A's for both classes! :) Granted the expectations from AA-degree level college students aren't skyhigh, but it feels nice to get a little vindication for my hobby. Plus, it saved me almost $1,000 over tuition and associated costs for these 6 credits! That might be the best part, saving approximately "one GRIIIx-worth" of money ;)
$1,000? Quick, buy a new lens!

Congrats, nice work and well-deserved.
 
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