Senior Art Exhibition: Ann Degenhardt

Ann Degenhardt (a 2006 Topeka West graduate) will be displaying her senior exhibit at the Washburn University Art Building from April 12th - 23rd. A reception will be held on April 17th starting at 6 p.m. Please join me....I'll be there to say congratulations and to admire the work of a student who started her career in the same dark rooms that my students are using today!

Directions to the Art Building can be located ------> here.


Coming Soon to Photoshop...Content-Aware Fill

So we used to know when a photo had been digitally altered...there were always things that just weren't quite right. Now with Adobe Photoshop's impending content-aware fill, we'll never be able to trust a photograph again!

If you have any experience with Photoshop, this video will blow your mind!



A huge congratulations is in order for two of our current advanced photography students...Emily Schaffert and Andrew Martin!!

In February, Emily and Andrew both submitted photographs to the Kansas Scholastic Press Association's regional contest held at Emporia State University. At the conclusion of the contest Andrew placed SECOND in the Sports Photography category and Emily placed FIRST in the Academic Photography category!! See their photos below:

Emily Schaffert, junior: First Place, Academic Photography

Andrew Martin, senior: Second Place, Sports Photography

Emily and Andrew's winning entries will be automatically submitted to the state competition that will be held at Kansas University in May. When you see either one of these students (or if you have them class) be sure to tell them congratulations on their winning photos!

Also, a special thank you to Mrs. Dekat for working with Emily and Andrew and for providing the information about this competition.


New Work: Advanced Photography

The advanced photography students this semester continue to amaze me.....see for yourself!

Emily Park, senior

Andrew Davids, junior

Samantha Wise, sophomore

Holly Higgs, senior

Ryan Scott, junior

Andrew Martin, senior

Jackie Hebron, senior

Grace Phelps-Roper, junior

Cameron Seals Schwanke, senior

Dagan Brichalli, junior

Quentin Chediak, senior

Faye Miller, senior

Erik Boeselager, senior

Kendis Fortney, junior

Please feel free to leave comments for the students to read. Thanks!


March Madness & Buffalo Wild Wings

I've been wanting to post this commercial since last March! The photographer's flash is a cannon...love it!!


See Utah in 360 Degrees: Virtual Reality Panoramas

Recently, Topeka West's very own Linda Harold sent an email containing a link to a very fascinating site. I've been familiar with Quicktime VR (virtual reality) panoramas for several years, but each year they just get better and better!

The night sky and Double Arch, Arches National Park in Utah

The photo above is a still shot taken from a 360 degree VR panorama in Arches National Park in Utah. To experience this breath-taking panorama for yourself ----> click here!

There are many panoramas to see on the site Utah3d.net. Each one is unique and incredibly fun to spin around in! Click on these quick links to see a few more:

Ironically, just a week or so before Linda sent me her email, my wife's Aunt Janie sent me a link (via email) to Quicktime VR tours of the Vatican...

...click here to tour the Basilica of Saint John Lateran (click on a numbered circle to tour that area of the basilica).


A Day in the Life of New York City...in Miniature

  • created by Sam O'Hare...director, photographer, and visual effects artist
  • titled The Sandpit...a day in the life of New York City
  • O'Hare shot over 35,000 (!!) photographic stills to create the video
  • the images were shot over 5 days and two evenings
  • the miniaturization effect created using tilt-shift effect (<--- What is this?)
  • music composed by Human, co-written by Rosi Golan and Alex Wong
  • interview with Sam O'Hare ----> here

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.


Numbl...a new game available on the Apple App Store!

Today's post is not so much about photography as it is about supporting the creativity of a past Topeka West photography student. Andy Wise graduated from Topeka West in 2002. Since that time he has received a degree in graphic design from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri and currently is the Creative Director for a marketing and advertising agency called Obata in St. Louis.

Last semester, Andy's younger sister, Samantha, joined the ranks of the Topeka West photography students when she enrolled in Photography 1. During that time she showed me a numbers game that Andy was in the process of designing for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and the soon-to-be-released iPad.

This is the "main menu" screen, displayed when Numbl is first loaded.

This weekend I received an email from Andy stating that his game is now available on Apple's App Store and the game is called Numbl (a combination of the words number and jumble).

Who knew that addition could be so addictive? Numbl is an entertaining math workout for your brain. It's perfect for a quick game, or an endless two-player battle against a friend!

Numbl tests your simple, speedy addition skills. To play, touch numbered tiles as fast as you can to reach a target sum, which is displayed at the top of the screen. Once each tile is used, it disappears. See how quickly you can clear the screen. You'll be surprised at how soon your skills improve!

See how your time compares to other players around the world in the top-100 high score leaderboard. Then, show off your addition wizardry via Facebook and Twitter.

The grid of numbers in a one-player game of Numbl.

After a correct answer, the Numbl tiles disappear to the top.

There is also the option for two players to play simultaneously...

When a 2-player game begins, the numbers for each player slide into place.

I have yet to download Numbl from the App Store this weekend because every time I try I receive an error message stating that the App Store isn't available (even though I am browsing on the App Store when I am trying to download.) Ahhhhh, technology! I will post an immediate review when I finally get the application on my iPhone.

How cool is this that a past Topeka West student is creating apps for the iPod and iPhone? Go Andy!!

Update: I was finally able to download Numbl from the App Store (and updated my iPhone software while I was at it) and I have to honestly tell you that it is an amazing game! The graphics are gorgeous and the gameplay is quick and addictive. You want to constantly keep improving your time. I'll have to take on my son in a two-player challenge. He's kind of a math-genius so I'll be lucky if I beat him even one time!

Update II: