Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Proudest Assignment

       I went to Quebec over the break with my family so I had an excellent opportunity to photograph there for my Architecture/Landscape biweekly assignment. I might have chosen something else but the photos that I captured of this huge church were too good to pass up. I loved the swooping, majestic architecture of the smooth bricks and brilliant colors of the stained glass windows. The colors made a contrasting pallet of pale stone and vivid, glowing glass and the composition was accentuated the soaring pillars that came together in a magical, mysterious grandeur. At Mont Morencey Falls I also got some good photos of the enormous waterfall that flows down through Canada and into the US. Water photography is a whole category unto its own. The composition and lighting are what I am most proud of.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Most Memorable Experiences

       First I must say that the Dark Room photo project we did was absolutely incredible to me. It was so far out of bounds of typical photography that it was by far the most memorable thing we did. I highly appreciate that we were able to do it because it adds so much to the whole experience for me. Dark Room is the science behind modern photography and allows us to understand how it works and to appreciate it for what it really is rather than letting us be some tourist arbitrarily snapping away. Most people have never had this Dark Room experience, probably some photographers too, so I feel like this elevated my experience from novice photographer to an understanding appreciation for photography. From the little pinhole cameras to the chemical baths, it was unlike any other form of art I have ever attempted, and more challenging too.

       Secondly, although we did this project first, I learned a lot from the Who Am I video.  I learned about myself through photography and cinematography and decided on how I want people to see me as through art to people who I trust. I also learned that I need to take more photos so that, in time, I will have something physical to look back on, which I will have no problem doing, going forward, but I struggled with self consciousness previously. I was also very glad that we got to do some stuff in video format because photography and film really do go hand in hand even though this class is a photo class. Speaking of video editing, photoshop was a fantastic experience as well. I was totally psyched to use it because I love art and I've wanted to use photoshop since forever.

Pinhole Photography

    For me I was very excited to use the dark room. Everyone I talked to said it was very cool. I was not disappointed. The first step was getting a special photo-sized piece of paper that was treated on one side with a shiny"emulsion". The emulsion is a highly light-sensitize varnish that has the capacity to absorb light on it's surface meaning we can't take it out of the dark room or expose it to any natural light or it will be wasted. In the dark room we put the paper in a pinhole camera and closed the lid securely so no light may enter. The pinhole camera is shaped like a small round paint can with a tiny hole in the side to let light in that's covered and it's empty inside except for the paper. When we go outside to take pictures we need a bright sunny day so we can let enough light in. When we are ready, we line up the hole in the camera towards whatever we are taking a picture of then remove the cover. We try and find the perfect amount of time for exposure starting at one minute. If there is too much light the picture will be dark, and if there is not enough it will be very white. The subject must stay completely still or it will blur. If we remove the subject half way through exposure time it becomes transparent like a ghost. The technique we are utilizing is known as Camera Obscura. We can only take one picture at a time so when we are done we go back into the dark room to develop it. There are several trays of liquid that the photo must pass through. The first is developer, and the photo stays in it for 1.5 minutes, when the blank picture is placed in this liquid the image shows up immediately. The second tray contains a "stop" bath or water and stays in for 30 seconds to a minute respectively. The third tray is the fixer that is made of silver nitrate and permanently fixes the image to the paper. The last step is a water-rinse for five minutes and it's done. That is how we make a negative.

    The steps to make it a positive are as follows. We use a blank test strip and a light machine called an enlager to transfer the image to the test strip. We lay the negative over the test strip and wait for four, five second increments to find the perfect amount of light to use on the final piece. It may vary from 30 seconds to 5 seconds. Then we use a final paper (same as the first one and blank) to transfer the image and put it through the trays for slightly different times to fix it to the paper. We now have a finished positive!

    I feel like this process was more fun to do, step by step, than the actual photography aspect. I enjoyed the challenge of finding the perfect exposure times. This project is all about timing. The caustic chemicals definitely added a thrill and a legitimacy to the process. Photography is not just some point-and-shoot, simplistic Instagram trend, it is a complex beautiful process that we don't normally get to see. However the photography aspect was my second favorite part. I liked the choice of making things transparent and playing around with that and seeing what I could accomplish. The round, warped perspective was a really cool aesthetic to work with.

    Sometimes this process works and sometimes you have to try again. My picture is a little blurry and unclear, this is because it was originally Sundae's eyes directly in front of the camera but she moved too soon and didn't show up in the final product.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Forced Perspective


  • To continue to develop creative problem-solving skills by creating forced perspective photographs in a unique original way;
  • To practice altering perspective and looking at subjects in a unique way;

  • To further develop your Photoshop knowledge and skills;

I found this assignment fun because we could choose to either use optical illusions OR photoshop. I wouldn't say it was challenging to find a background, I think the good part about this assignment is that it doesn't really have to make sense therefore the background can e virtually anything. For instance someone holding a tiny person between their fingers, or someone eating the sun. It doesn't need reason. The best way to be successful on this assignment was to get really good poses and hand gestures, match lighting, and being original and creative. Having one central idea to the picture is paramount to success in creating an easily readable, fun to look at photo. For this assignment, simplicity is best.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Who Am I? (Video)

To understand the purposes and differences of selfies, portraits and self-portraits;
To look at the work of of contemporary artists who create portraits and self-portraits and interpret and analyze their purposes;
To create a video that effectively communicates “who you are”;
To use iMovie’s features in a creative and unique way.

Deja vu

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

(Featuring my brother, Galen)

This one uses the looking off camera technique and playing with backgrounds technique. I feel like the resources were a great starting point but I can't help combining techniques to make my photography more complex.

This one was sort of an experiment in lighting because I took it at sunset so I was trying to get the lighting just right. It is also a candid, obviously, because he is "whipping" and there is no way I could stage that but I like it because it captures his playful personality. What I learned from the resources is that candids are my new favorite.

The story behind these is that tonight was my little brother's spring concert, which was rockin' by the way, and I thought it would be a good idea to get him in his fancy clothes. For me this is just a special evening in Maine.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Who Am I
       I am an artist. I've been immersed in the arts all my life, having attended an art oriented school in the past. I love drawing most, usually in graphite, as is obvious in the margins of my note papers. To be precise, not exactly life drawing, my style is more cartoonish if I had to say. And digital art, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was when I found out our school computers have Photoshop. It pairs well with my affinity for animation. I also like writing--no, not research papers-- but fiction and sometimes poetry (probably why this is so long). I like cinematography as well although I have never tried it, but it helps me to understand deeper meanings in well directed films like Spielbergs'. All of these things sort of culminate into my desire to produce a comic or some sort of media project some day which is also why I'm taking photography (instead of drawing and painting) which I was hoping would strengthen my storyboarding and compositional skills as well as just being fun because I've never really pursued photography before. 
       I am also an athlete. I have have done cross country skiing, a couple of seasons of cross country running, and a short lived time on an ultimate team (which I didn't really like tbh). But most of all I'm a sailor. I have done sailing every year during the summer that I have lived in Maine (about 8 years I guess?) and it's something I'm very passionate about, despite the number of knee bruises that one accumulates. This year is my first year doing sailing during the school year which has been interesting but loads more fun because I go to school with my team now. However the weather is a bit rough at times and can make for some sketchy sailing in the snow, albeit photogenic.
      Anyway, judging from the exemplar videos we are supposed to say focus on stuff that we do rather than are (more of What Am I than a Who Am I), so that about covers it in the briefest sense. I could go on about how I'm an younger and older sister to my twin sister and brother respectively, I used to live in Hawa'ii when I was four, then moved to Massachusetts, then Maine, I could I add that I'm considering being a doctor or majoring in a STEM field because I adore science and read every day. 
      Personality wise, I'm very shy and have a small ego, although rarely I can be fierce. My preferred mode of communication is sarcasm and I have a chronic problem of putting others before myself. My favorite genre is fantasy/sci-fi and if you asked me I would say that my favorite show/movie is Sherlock even though I have many favorites.

These are my cross country running spikes with my tracking ID tied on them with twist ties because it's states and everything is very official. I remember that I actually took this picture by accident. I also thought it was funny that my number was 420 (no, not the drug) but it's the type of sailboat I sail in the summer, it has a big 420 on the sail.
I hate it when my sister takes pictures of me which is what she's doing here so thats why I'm squinting slightly angrily. Anyway this is a picture of me when my family went out sailing around the islands in Maine one summer for several days in our Freedom 38 so this picture is pretty unflattering after several nights on a boat but it really represents who I am. I'm in the cabin at night with my drawing tablet in my hand, wearing my sailing yacht club shirt.