Truncated octahedron

Truncated octahedron

The assignment was to create a custom 3in diameter sides truncated octahedron using either bristol paper or on Maya. The picture above is my prototype of the paper octahedron.

What I learned from this assignment was that Maya is easier and has more options since it can create shapes that cannot be cut on paper but doing it on paper gives you the satisfaction of completing it the hard way and you get to keep something out of it.

The octahedron I created is a prototype and it is far from being perfect when you look at it up close and in person but from a photographer point of view, it looks great with proper lighting.

Shadow Box

moon 2
moon 2

For this assignment, we were to create a 11x6x8 box with a foreground, middleground, and a background, then light it to create depth, as well as to play with the shadows to manipulate contrast and composition.

First thing’s first, the original picture is not my work and I do not own the copyright of that image. It belongs to Diggie Vitt, a photographer I follow on Flickr. Here’s a link to his work,

I chose this picture to do the shadowbox on because it was simple, it has one of my favorite kind of lighting in it, and it works very well with the fore/mid/back ground. It’s a simple design and it didn’t take me long to construct at all. This assignment was all about lighting, so I didn’t really need to make a overly intricate design with the cuts, proper lighting was what made this complete.

For the lighting, I used 1 light (hot light) bouncing off the white acrylic in the back through a tracing paper which is taped to the back of the shadow box to give off a nice diffused light.

What I could’ve done was to put a small hard light beneath the moon in the back to create that highlight as in the original picture. Rim lighting on the foreground is also missing and I suppose I could experiment with razing the edges on the foreground to catch some light from the back. But nonetheless, overall I think this assignment was a success.

Photoshop | Instagram Effects

Photoshop | Instagram Effects

Did a quick photoshop session on an old cat picture from my “Stray Cat Series” on

What I used for this was mostly color fill layers and few minor adjustments to curves and saturation.

1. Color Fill
This can be done with either making a new layer, filling it with a color you like or sample a color from the image, which is what I did. What I usually do is sample a darker and lighter color in the image and set one of them as a darken layer and the other a lighten layer. Turn down the opacity and layer mask to your liking.

2. Curves
You can create a similar effect as the color fill method by adjusting the RGB in curves. Adjust for color, lower opacity, layer mask, and so on.

3. Vignette
Vignette can be done easily in lightroom but I didn’t feel like exporting it to lightroom then importing it back into photoshop. There are so many ways to do it, but what I did was create a new layer, center elliptical marquee tool, invert selection, feather it by whatever you want in refine edge, and adjust opacity.

4. Effects
Another optional thing you can do is add a texture layer over the image and change the layer to either overlay and screen. Like Instagram’s toaster filter has kind of a crosshatching effect in the middle layer, you can easily mimic that with anything, say a macro shot of cloth or a piece of scratched glass/metal.

Everything is subjective, there are countless things you can do to enhance your images, but the key thing to keep in mind is to not overdo it to a point that looks over-processed.

Light Patterns

Loop or Short Split

Light Pattern assignment, shot on the 12nd of February.

The assignment was to shoot 6 light patterns on a model: Rembrandt, loop, split, paramount, short, and broad lighting.

The photo shoot was a success, but as always there’s always room for improvement and that’s what I’m here to talk about. Hopefully other aspiring photographers can get something out of this when they do their next assignment.

1. Stray hairs
Make sure you check your model for stray hairs and fix it before taking each shots. Stray hairs took, by far, the longest time to retouch in photoshop and even after you try to fix it, it just doesn’t look quite right when you zoom in.

2. Modeling Lights
Make sure to turn them on lol.

3. Backlight
I used two lights for this photoshoot session, a beauty dish and a light for the back background to separate the subject from fading into the background and to have a soft vignette. The problem I ran into at the beginning of the shoot was that the backlight was too bright on the backdrop and it made the background lighter than I wanted. Keep in mind that the backlight is only there to separate the subject from the background, nothing more; so keep the power low and close enough to just barely light the background up.

4. Tethering & Focus
The last problem I had was the focus since I can’t autofocus when I’m tethered to the overhead. I was shooting at around f5.6-f11, the f11 shots were better, but the lower aperture shots were not quite as sharp since the model will move from time to time. What to take from this is use a higher aperture and make sure to check your focus from time to time to make sure you get the best focus possible when autofocus is not an option.

Every photoshoot is an experience and it only keeps getting better with time is what I’m trying to get at. Keep shooting and keep these 4 tips as a reminder before and during your next photoshoot!



Shot was taken at Roosevelt Park on Jan 25 during the mini snow storm we had.

Surprisingly, there were quite a few people walking around there during the snow storm and it’s always a little awkward to do self portraits when you’re being watched.

This was one of my more successful composite shots, the editing took about a little over “way too long” and I’m still not 100% satisfied with it, it’s missing something… like a texture layer and I think I could have chosen a better color fill. So I’ll probably go back to touch this up in the future.

It’s good to know I didn’t waste $12 on a Rubik’s Cube at Barne’s and Noble’s.

3D Design | Platonic Solids

3D Design | Platonic Solids

First assignment in 3D Design class. To create 5 shapes: tetrahedron, cube, Octahedron, dodecahedron, and Icosahedron.

Only 4 of them are displayed in the picture since I ran out of bristol at the time of the mini photoshoot. The last figure, dodecahedron, was finished shortly after after 30mins of searching through google and youtube trying to figure out how to draw a pentagon.

The cube was the first figure I made and it turned out I was short a few tabs, so it was not air tight as it should be. Another problem I encountered was that glue stick sucks… I quickly moved on to rubber cement, which was the only option I had unless I use tape. Rubber cement worked well in terms of cleanliness and adhesiveness, but the problem was that It took forever to dry and I had to hold down each tab for at least a full minute each after applying a thin layer of rubber cement with a toothpick to the tabs.