Photography: Exploring Principles of Composition

Wow.  It has been an insane past couple of weeks… crazy, hectic, not getting much sleep, running everywhere constantly, but having so, so much fun.

Last week in my Dark Room Photography class, we had an in-class assignment in which we were to explore the 12 main principles of good composition in Photography with our digital cameras.

So I wanted to share these 10 photographs with you.  I left out two of the photographs, and you will see why as you keep reading.  Naturally, a few of these aren’t that great.. we were really just dealing with a small area of campus in only 40 minutes of time.  But it was a fun assignment, anyway! :)

Rule of Thirds:

1. Rule of Thirds

Balance: Asymmetrical

2. Balance - Asymmetry

Balance: Symmetrical

2. Balance - Symmetry

Leading Lines

3. Leading Lines

Pattern (Interrupted)

4. Pattern - Interrupted

Point of View:

5. Viewpoint

Background: Isolated

6. Background - Isolation

I left out my Layered Background shot, since it was a photograph of several people on campus.


7. Depth


8. Framing


9. Cropping

I also left out the Experiment shot, since it was a portrait of a class-mate’s face.

But this is what I have been working on lately.  I am so STOKED about this class!  Just today, we did camera-less photography, in which we exposed objects on to paper and developed the paper.  Really exciting stuff happening over here.  :)

As far as my other classes go, we are just beginning to explore Adobe Illustrator in my Graphic design class, and I feel my artistic talents already being refined in my drawing class.  It’s really exciting to experience all of this new study in the arts!

Til Next Time

– Emily

A Summer Recap


It is once again back to school time for me.  I’m a bit bummed that summer is over, but looking at these pictures, it’s obvious to me that I had a pretty darn fantastic one.  Creating this collage brought back a ton of happy memories of these summer moments!  So I wanted to give a recap of my summer fun for those of you that were following along with my “summer plans” postings. :)

I spent a lot of time outside – okay, not as much as I’d like, but definitely more than most summers, and as much as I could squeeze out of my non-summer loving sibling. ;)  We went to the park twice, one outing in which we enjoyed a lovely picnic, and another in which we rode bikes as a family.  We had two bonfires and ate lots of smores, and I did a lot of “sunbathing” as you can probably tell by all the feet pictures. :)  We had a blast at the the Fourth of July festivities, enjoying the smell of fireworks, bug spray, and sunscreen.  We spent a couple nights outside just enjoying the cool summer evening breezes, watching stars, meteors, and the oh-so-rare-this-year fireflies.

We went to the movies.

And the pool.

We had an awesome family game night, with guacamole, pickle dip, Scrabble, and Life.

I made (and ate) lots of ice cream cones, cookies, and four different kinds of popsicles: Cookies and Cream, Coke Float, Cantaloupe, and Patriotic Popsicles.  Oh, and we made monkey bread, too.

I sewed a dress.

I made art: a watercolor painting, a miniature portrait, and a charcoal sketch.

I did a couple photoshoots… one fashion and one artsy photoshoot, which you will see eventually. ;)

I also made a quilt.

And I read a book… well, I almost two others, too.

Other than that, I just basically enjoyed the warm summer weather and the wonderful days with cool breezes, clouds, and sunshine.  :)  happy sigh.

I didn’t get to do quite all that I planned.  I never made it to the beach, and I happened to miss all three Christian music festivals in the area.  But all in all, I think this summer was full of win.  :)

If you can’t tell, summer means a lot to me.  It’s not just the warm temperatures, or the fun outings, but what it stands for.  And I hope I never grow out of loving summer.


Tomorrow, we travel to my new school.  My sister moves in tomorrow, and they gave me permission to move in then, as well (as opposed to Friday).  I would appreciate your prayers through this new adventure!   :)

You may not see much from me over the next few days/weeks, so Until Next Time,

– Emily  :)

A New Dress


Today marks the accomplishment of my last summer goal: learn how to sew a dress.


I am beyond excited about this.  I’ve never sewn a garment in my life, much less a dress.  So the first step was to learn how to work with a pattern.  Of course, I had to have much help in the process… no doubt, a dress is not quite as easy as sewing straight lines on a quilt!  But I learned quite a lot through the whole thing, and I’m quite happy with the result.


I don’t think I’m quite ready to sew a dress all on my own, yet.  But I am definitely looking forward to doing more in the future!  With the cost of clothing these days, knowing how to sew my own will be essential.  I’m hoping that eventually I will be able to sew my own clothing without a pattern.  How wonderful would that be?


By the way, this dress was sewn with 100% quilting cotton.  Yes, quilting cotton.  If you’ve ever wondered whether you could do that or not, now you know!


So with that, my summer goal of sewing a dress is finally complete.  Whew. :)

Til Next Time

– Emily

Summer Popsicles Part Three: Cookies and Cream


Here it is, the last popsicle recipe of the summer.  Wow, that sounds so sad.

I made these a few weeks ago, but I haven’t yet managed to talk about them.  I found the recipe here at Just Baked by Me, so I’m not going to recap the recipe other than just to say these were really, really good.  These aren’t like the ice pops that I have been posting about, but more of a creamy, ice cream bar.  Yes.  :)

Definitely go by the recipe though.  When I made these, I split the recipe in half, but managed to forget the vanilla at the end, making it taste like cookies and sour cream.. not a good mix.  So I added extra sugar, still unaware that I needed vanilla…. so, by the time I got done with it, I had all the ratios out of whack, and basically just added extra of everything else to make it the full recipe.  We just made regular ice cream out of the rest of it.

All in all, after I figured the recipe out, these were quite satisfying! :)

So my summer goal of making three different kinds of popsicles is complete! :)

Til Next Time

– Emily

A Charcoal Sketch


I don’t know if any of you remember a while back in my ‘Summer Plans‘ blog post, but I told myself that I would do a charcoal drawing this summer.  Well, I don’t necessarily consider this a full blown drawing, per se, but hey, it’s a sketch, and it’s done in charcoal, so that counts, right?

Anyway, I found a picture of a beautiful African American woman on Pinterest, so I decided to try my hand at sketching it.

I haven’t decided if it’s done yet or not…. I feel like it needs a few darker charcoal lines, and maybe some watercolor.  I think a nice splash of color on her cheeks and lips would be nice, as well as a light wet-on-wet background with some drips and splatters.  You know, keep the sketch-like quality, but with a more finished color.

But I haven’t been brave enough to do that yet.  I know great art comes from great risk, but I also really like this sketch the way it is.  Perhaps I’ll be brave enough one of these days to finish it. :)

So, I’m calling my goal of a charcoal drawing done!  Sorta.  :)

Til Next Time (You may see another post from me today!)

– Emily

(Day After) Friday Feature: Lupen Grainne



It occurred to me some time last week that I failed to do a Friday Feature last week; I think I must’ve gotten caught up in another weekend yard sale, so I figured it was best to wait until this week to do another Friday Feature.

This week’s Friday Feature is Lupen Grainne, a fine art photographer who sells her prints on Etsy.  She defines her work as “beaches, landscapes, botanical prints, and rustic modern”.  Her work definitely contains hints of all of that, but her shop is quite varied!  She has not only all of those mentioned, but architecture shots and photos of her travels to Paris and Italy.

These featured here are a few of my favorites, which I personally like to define as rustic simplicity.   Please check out her shop here to see all of her lovely photography! :)  And, as always, the pictures themselves link to where you can find them!

lupengrainne-3 lupengrainne-4 lupengrainne-5 LupenGrainne-etsy

Til Next Time

– Emily

A Watercolor Painting

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the blog, but today, I’m going to share with you a watercolor painting I did a few weeks ago.  This was a birthday gift for a friend of mine who is studying ballet at my former college.  I wanted to wait and get her permission to share with you her painting! :)


You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find a tasteful ballet gift for someone… everything I found was beyond tacky, except for an abstract painting of a ballet dancer on Etsy.  That got me thinking, and since I AM an art major, I figured it would be pointless to buy someone art that wasn’t actually done by me.  So I set to work on it.

Originally it was going to go along the lines of the abstract painting I had seen earlier, but I went perusing through my friend’s ballet pictures, and found the one that inspired this painting.  It was just a close up of the shoes, rather than the basic form of the dancer herself.   And here it is!


As you can imagine, I’m incredibly proud of myself for this painting, mostly because I just never paint.  In my opinion, it turned out quite well!  It did take three tries, however… The first two were beyond terrible and could not, in good conscience, be given to anyone.  Third time really is the charm!

Anyway, for this painting, I mostly did light color washes, and for the background, I did a gradient wet on wet technique… Thanks, YouTube, for teaching me this at this pivotal moment! :)


Thanks for letting me share!  :)

Til Next Time

– Emily