Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Final project -- final images

1. Composition
A. Amount of subject: For these photographs, I wanted to emphasize the alcohol bottles in the places that they were hidden.  I wanted to include the bottle in all of the photographs, but I did not have a certain idea of how much had to be in each one. I just wanted enough visible and present so that the narrative and idea would come across.  I wanted the viewer to be able to see the bottle and its surroundings together. 
B. Background elements: The subject is very important, but I also really relied on the background to provide context and part of the narrative. Therefore, it was important for me to capture the background effectively. 
C. Perspective and point of view: I worked from many different angles and perspectives to reflect the different hiding spots that the bottles were in. I thought that the different angles and perspectives would help to highlight the areas that the bottles were in and would help the viewer to understand the narrative and show the authenticity of the locations and the situation.

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
In creating these images, I am conveying a narrative about alcoholism and how it penetrates all aspects of the alcoholic's life and others -- it is part of a daily routine.  I also am working through my own emotions and feelings in this project, so it is very revealing and personal. These images are actual places that the bottles were hidden in an attempt to hide the fact that the person was drinking. After much debate, I decided to keep these photographs in color because I think it helps to keep the authenticity, and helps my concept in that I am revealing my emotions to an audience and shining light on alcoholism, and how it effects others.
3. Context
This image deals with alcoholism and my own personal struggle and feelings dealing with the knowledge that someone very close to me is an alcoholic. I really want to document this because, I do not know why, but it helps me -- maybe it is a way for me to feel in control over the situation -- to find the bottles and see where they are hidden. Even though they are always empty when they are found, it confirms my belief that the person is drinking. And this is not because I want them to be drinking, but because the constant lying about it can at least be confronted. One of the things I have noticed the most, is that dealing with an alcoholic sometimes makes you feel like you are the crazy one -- should I believe that he says he is not drinking, should I look for bottles, etc. So finding proof that you are not crazy sometimes helps.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Final project -- works in progress

My concept is alcoholism and how it is part of a daily routine.  I wanted to capture/document these bottles in their authentic places.  I originally thought about making some of the images blurry to convey the state of mind of the alcoholic, but as I was doing the project, I realized that it was not really about the alcoholic, but really myself and working through my emotions.  I included 8 images in the series, but I was not sure which ones to include or not, so if you have any suggestions that would be great.  I am also not sure whether I should do them in color or in black and white.  I posted the black and white because I like them better, but I am still not sure.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Assignment 5 -- final images

1. Composition
A. Amount of subject: For both of these photographs, I wanted to show the dogs and enough context so you could know what was going on. But the background was not the focus, the focus is on the subjects and a constructed identity for them. 
B. Sharpness and blur: I wanted to keep the subject in focus, and  there was not as much of an emphasis on the background, so it is not as sharp as the subjects. I did this to emphasize the subject and the activity going on with them. 
C. Contrast: I decided to make these photographs in black in white because I wanted more of a contrast. I think it turned out well with the top picture, but it worked really well with the black and white of the bottom dogs fur and the computer.

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
In creating this image, I wanted to explore and construct an identity for dogs. I love dogs so much and I am so interested in them, I started to wonder what parts of my life or things that I use I could incorporate into their daily activity. If they had a choice, would they wear sunglasses? Would they go on the computer? Not only is it interesting, but it is kind of funny to see them engaging in "human" activities.

3. Context
This image deals with animal and human interaction -- the things that we as humans project onto dogs -- like feelings, behaviors, and even apparel. I was inspired by all of the dogs I always see wearing clothes. I always wonder if they had a choice, would they put that on?

4. Interpretation
Students in the class interpreted it as a constructed identity for a dog, and that the dog was participated in "human" activities.

5. Evaluation
I like them both, but I think the second one in the series may have been more successful. I think this is true because maybe the dog is doing something funny or unexpected. Students did not have as much of a reaction to the top one, maybe because seeing a dog in sunglasses is not as unexpected as a dog on a computer.

6. Extension
I would love to do an extension on this project with different dogs and play off of their personalities. People in the class suggested an extension off of the dog and the computer -- maybe dogs interacting with different technologies. I think not only is it interesting to see dogs in human clothes or doing human activities, but it also playful and makes them seem even more unique and cute for what they are -- so loving and trusting -- doing whatever to please!

1. Composition
A. Amount of subject: For this photograph, the emphasis is on the face of the dog. But I also thought that the body language was important, and I wanted to show as much of the dog as I could. I wanted to include the location, because that tells part of the story.
B. Lighting: The lighting turned out really well and I like the way that dog is well lighted against a darker background. It makes him stand out and emphasizes his facial expression and his innocence.
C. Contrast: The same as the dog on the computer, I really love the contrast in this one in the dog himself -- between the black and white parts of his fur. Also I wanted to keep this in color because of the color of his eyes kind of stood out against the white and black.

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
For this photograph, I wanted to tell a story and convey the dogs emotions after a traumatizing event -- being neutered. I wanted to capture what he was thinking and the authenticity of the moment.

3. Context
This image deals with dogs and psychology, again. But I think more so then any other project, this deals with the trust that dogs put into people. This dog is a rescue dog -- he was abused and abandoned -- but he is the most loving dog ever.  He trusts his owner and loves him, and did not really have a choice about getting neutered. So I wanted to capture his emotions, and I think it really shows his innocence and maybe how miserable he was feeling after the operation.

4. Interpretation
Students in the class liked this one because of the dogs expression -- the could recognize emotion -- and thought it was a good photograph to capture personality/emotion.

5. Evaluation
Based on critique, I think emotion was conveyed. I really like the way that this one turned out, I think it is one of the best dog pictures I have taken so far, even though I take so many because I am really interested in it!

6. Extension
It might be interesting to do a series on shelter dogs or dogs after they are adopted to see a different perspective.

1. Composition
A. Proximity to subject: For this photograph, I wanted to get really close to the subject, becuase it is a small toy. But I also did want to get too close and only include the figure -- so I left enough space so that the viewer could easily see the figure and his creation. 
B. Background elements: Because the focus was on the figure and what he was drawing, I did not really want to include a lot of background information. There is enough context to see that he is drawing on cement with chalk -- I did not think that the exact location was important. 
C. Contrast: I decided to keep this photograph in color because color was such a key aspect of the photograph and the concept. The bright colors contrast against the figure and the cement and provide visual interest and context.

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
In creating this image, I wanted to set up a narrative scene with toys and play around with different possibilities. I thought it would be interesting to explore a toy creating something and I went along with the Star Wars theme. It is playful and kind of inspiring to see the toy creating something new!

3. Context
This image deals kind of with popular culture and maybe childhood. Star Wars is a very popular movie and has a lot of marketing that goes along with it. I remember when I was a kid, children were interested in Star Wars, and they still are today. So it kind of reminded me of a child playing around outside and drawing and creating something out of their mind. It is also kind of humorous in terms of scale -- the figure creating a drawing much bigger then himself, depicting another character from the movie.

4. Interpretation
Students in the class liked this image a lot. I think what was successful was the playfulness and the creativity, and maybe the energy that is given to the toy.

5. Evaluation
I like the way that this one turned out a lot. I think if I went back, I would do more of these because this one was so successful.

6. Extension
It would be interesting to do a series of Star Wars toys and to see what they would create if given the chance, or even to just explore the idea of a toy creating something -- sometimes larger then themselves.

1. Composition
A. Framing: For this photograph, I wanted to find a unique way of photographing the collage made out of chalk. I took a lot of pictures from above and the side, and wanted to try something different. So I put the camera directly on the ground and took the picture.
B. Background elements: A large part of the focus is on the chalk and the colors/washes that it creates, so I did not want the background to be in focus, because it creates one more color/layer to the photograph. Also the texture is emphasized in the small strip that is in focus, so that the viewer can tell what the material is.
C. Contrast: I really think that the colors contrast each other in a good way. I increased the vibrance in this photograph so that the colors would really pop and it would be more interesting.

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
For this photograph, I wanted to capture my sister creating something. She decided to draw a collage on the sidewalk with chalk. I loved the colors that she used, so I really wanted to emphasize color and the individual image that she created. I think it portrays a sense of playfulness, creation, and summer.

3. Context
This image deals with a compilation of ideas and thoughts that were turned into a work of art. It deals with color, texture, and composition. I also think it is psychological, because it was one more way for me to bond/spend more time with my sister before she has to leave for California.

4. Interpretation
Students in the class really liked the color and the washes that were created because of the focus, but also the fact that they could tell it was chalk because of the one strip that was in focus. They also thought it was an interesting angle.

5. Evaluation
I like this photograph a lot. If I had to redo it, I might try to have more sections that were in focus, for more texture and detail. But at the same time, I really like how it is almost abstracted and you can only tell what it is because of the one little hint/spot in focus.

6. Extension
It would be neat to explore and go around and find chalk art or works of art and try to photograph them from angles that abstract them, and include only hints of texture of detail of what they really are.

Assignment 5 -- works in progress #2

in camera collage

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog prompt 6

  1. Ideas sometimes grow out of irritation. What is a negative thought you are having about your project? What is the opposite of this negative thought? How could you implement a change in your project so that this negative thought will subside? 
  2.      One negative thought that I am having is that I hope I am not glamorizing alcoholism in anyway, because that is not my intention. The opposite of this negative thought is that I am working through some of my emotions through this project and that is definitely not viewing alcoholism in a positive way. I think that when people see the pictures all together they will understand the theme. I think maybe if some of them were alone, then the idea may not be clear. But as a series I think they convey my message.    
  3. What is a consistent theme/visual element in your project? What would be the opposite of this? How can you implement that into your project? 
  4.      A consistent theme in my project is the empty vodka bottle in its various hiding places and locations. The opposite of this might be the vodka bottle in inauthentic locations or different types of alcohol, maybe reflecting a drunken state of mind. I was originally considering it, but as I started taking pictures, I realized that I did not want the project to be about the alcoholics feelings/state of mind, but rather the people looking in or finding the bottles.
  5. Type twenty words or phrases that relate to your project.
  6.      Alcoholism, emotional, liquor, environment, location, home, abuse, addiction, stress, anger, sadness, reflection, authentic, life changes, unbelievable, caught off guard, denial, refusal, excuses, rehab, ROUTINE.
  7. At the deepest core, describe why you like this project. Dig deep! 
  8.      At the deepest core, my project is about human feelings and experiences that bring them on. I like this project because it forces me to confront and work through some of my emotions that are very hard to talk about, think about, or deal with. 
  9. Contract your project. What would it boil down to if squeezed and contracted to its simplest form?
  10.      If it was boiled down to its simplest element, it would be about alcoholism and the pain caused by it.
  11. Divide your project into three components. Rearrange and reassemble them in your mind. 
  12.      1. Alcholism    2. feelings/emotions    3. authenticity
  13. List your assumptions about your project. Reverse these. 
  14.      My assumption about this project is that maybe it will not be taken seriously by the audience. I really hope that it comes across as serious and authentic and shows just how much alcoholism is a part of daily life and changes so much.
  15. What would your project look like 100 years ago? What would your project look like 100 years in the future?
  16.      I think 100 years ago, my project would be different because of the technology.  But alcoholism is not a new experience.  People have been dealing with and struggling with this issue for a long time. 100 years in the future it may look similar, but also probably a lot different because of the new technology and maybe new inventions in alcohol or ways to control addiction.
  17. Remove something from your project. How does it change?
  18.      The only thing I could imagine removing from my project is maybe color. I think it would change the project a great deal, as I think it takes away some of the context (the environment as it is) and may make the focus less prominent. 
  19. How would you convert your project into a narrative? How would you remove any narrative from your project? 
  20.      My project already is a narrative and I am hoping, and think that viewers will definitely pick up a narrative from the series of images. If I had to remove narrative from the project, I probably would not give any context about the concept and idea of the project, but I think it would be very hard to not have any in this project. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Assignment 5 -- works in progress

constructed identity

constructed performance

narrative series

constructed still life

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

in class -- photoshop 3D object

Recreation #5

Original Photograph by Thomas Eakins


Composition: For this photograph, I focused on the subject running. I did not want to keep him in the middle of the frame if I could help it, so I tried to keep him off center so you could see him running and where he was going. I chose to make it in black and white to model the original, but I also found that in black and white it was easier to focus on the subject.

Concept, Aboutness, Idea: For this image, the idea was to capture human movement. I focused on his body in motion to capture and view how the body looks in different positions. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Historical constructed reality photographer -- Thomas Eakins


Biography: Thomas Eakin was born in Philadelphia in 1844. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He was an American realist painter, photographer, sculptor, and fine arts educator.

Significance: Thomas Eakins was a realist, dedicated to depicting the human figure. Eakins was in the vanguard of young painters who would shift the focus of American art from landscape to the figural subjects favored by European academies. He was also an important figure in photography, as he encouraged his students to learn the new technology and engage in photography. For a large part of his later career, he focused on portraiture, and then athletics -- boxing, wrestling, rowing.    

Technique: He worked with a wooden view camera, glass plate negatives, and the platinum print process.   

Motivations: He was dedicated to depicting the human body -- in portraits, and in motion. He saw the camera as a tool, one that could help artists in anatomical drawing, to see what was actually before them. He was interested in motion photography.

Semi-contemporary constructed reality photographer -- Jeff Wall

Biography: Jeff Wall was born in 1946 in Canada. He attended the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the Courtald Institute of Art, London. 

Significance: He helped define the Vancouver School movement, reacting to older conceptual art practices and mass media. He is also well known for his backlit photo-transparencies, many which are staged and reference art history.   

Concept, Aboutness, Idea: In the first picture above, Wall was referencing commercial window displays of clothing and furniture. He said they are very violent because of the punk influence that was filtering into culture/economy. He was also influenced by Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalus.

Method: He referenced window displays and constructed a narrative scene that depicts violence, aggression. 

Motivations:Wall said that the picture also had to do with aggression, violence, and revenge in domestic life. He was influenced by Delacroix and wanted to "pass my ideas and feelings through the historical prism of another work." He was trying to establish a space for himself by exploring history and what problems he wanted to address.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Blog prompt 5

#22 Watch the video in the link below. Write a few sentences in response to this video.

I think the ways that he is using and combining technology is really interesting and smart on his end, to explore and investigate new media. He constructs this reality in very careful and intricate ways. It seems like quite the elaborate process and it takes a lot of time and dedication. I think it is worth it because it makes anything you can imagine a reality. But at the same time, because these things are so unbelievable, it is easy to tell that they are CGI.  

Also, see these links.

1. In what ways do you “construct” your identity? In what ways do you “perform” in your daily life?
           I think that whenever I have to explain my interests or a part of who I am, I am kind of constructing my identity. Because I have to try and put my thoughts and feelings into words, and sometimes they are not directly compatible. I do not try and construct aspects of my identity that are not true, because I think that is just bad karma. I do not know what ways I perform in my daily life -- maybe because I am shy, and everyone does not get to see my identity and personality.
2. Describe some ways in which your personal culture and social environments are “constructed”.
           I think that personal culture and social environment are very constructed, especially in college, around what is "cool" and "popular." For that reason, I often find myself going to the bar, or listening to music that I do not really like, but do not say anything about.
3. Describe some ways in which your physical environment/space is “constructed”.
          My physical environment is constructed in some ways because of what I value to be important and what I pick to do instead of other things. For example, I have been told it is important to shower and brush my teeth -- so I do it. I like to take my dog for a walk, but I have to pick up his business. I started to read a book someone else recommended and liked, but I do not. A lot of things are constructed because on my own, maybe I would not pursue them. 
4. In your daily life, what would you consider to be “real” and what would you consider to be “constructed/fabricated”?
          In my daily life, most of my emotions are real and authentic. I do some things that I do not want to do, but I do not move too far out of my comfort zone. Sometimes when I meet someone new or a stranger, I might not be authentic in my emotions or opinions because I do not want to cause trouble. A lot of times I actually put my feelings aside and do what is necessary to make others happy, so sometimes I regret that.
5. Describe a narrative tableaux that you might create to be captured by a photograph. A narrative tableaux can be defined as “Several human actors play out scenes from everyday life, history, myth or the fantasy of the direction artist” ( Constructed Realities: The Art of Staged Photography Edited by Michael Kohler , 34).
          A narrative tableaux that might be interesting to play out is scenes from a favorite book, like Harry Potter, or a historical event. I would like to do a historical event, but I think the nature of narrative is that it tells someones vies -- so therefore it is inherently biased because it is from the point of view of one person or culture.
6. Describe an idea for a photograph that includes a miniature stage or still life. A description of such an image is “The tableaux reconstructs events as in the narrative tableaux, but in miniaturized format, using dolls and other toy objects” (Kohler, 34).
          I think it would be interesting to construct a still life out of children's toys, in the way that the child left them when they were finished with them. That way you can kind of see what the child was thinking and interested in.

#24 Describe your plans for your self-proposed final project (if the plan is the same as before, paste it here again and give a bit more detail). During the final critique for Assignment #5, you will discuss/present these ideas to the class.
          My plan for my final project is to capture a narrative through the photographs of empty liquor bottles. These bottles are in authentic "hiding" spots and reflect the desperation and maybe misunderstanding or almost ignorance of an alcoholic. I say this because, the person is hiding these, but everyone else around knows exactly where they are hidden (most of the time), but the person is alone most of the time so when they are discovered, they are almost always empty. Also, if you were to try and move/dispose of one, the alcoholic would become violent.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Assignment 4 -- final images

1. Composition
A. Framing: In the frame, I decided to include only one of the video game players, to emphasize and capture the amount of focus on the video game. You can see his concentration and attention focused on the TV screen from where he is looking. I wanted to include his hand and the controller for context and because the movement of his thumb speaks a lot about his actions. 
B. Background elements: I did not include much in the background, except you can tell he is sitting on the couch and you can see the windows. I thought the windows and the light coming from them was important, because it is almost as if the brightness is beckoning him outside because it is a nice day, but he is so focused on the video games that he does not notice.
C. Contrast: The contrast between the light coming in from outside and the darkness of the subject's shirt and controller are important. I wanted to highlight this contrast because it shows the concept of the photograph in the nature vs. technology aspect.

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
In creating this image, I wanted to comment on video games. I am not totally against video games, but like I captured in the photograph, I think it is amazing how quickly video games can become an obsession or main focus. When my boyfriend is playing with his friends, he is so focused and gets mad at the video games. I always wonder if that stress/attention would be better placed in other areas. Plus, when they are playing video games, I always wish we could be doing something together outside. But at the same time, it is something that he likes to do and maybe is an escape from everyday preoccupations. I think we all can relate to video games -- most people have either played them or know someone who does. His stare and focus at the TV shows how much our culture values video games and TV as entertainment. For this photograph, I took a picture of boyfriend playing Halo with his friend.

3. Context
This image deals with popular culture and what is popular/valued. Video games are very popular and mainstream because of their entertainment value, even though they are very violent and do not promote physical activity (at least what they were playing -- Halo). In this photograph, I was hoping to convey the focus and energy that is devoted to video games.

4. Interpretation
Students in the class interpreted this image as a comment on popular culture/video games. Someone mentioned the shirt that the subject is wearing, which I did not mention above, but adds to the photograph/concept.

5. Evaluation
I think the concept of this photograph was conveyed well. However, the image turned out darker then I expected it to, so I would change the contrast or darkness of the photograph. 

6. Extension
It would be interesting to do a series of photographs of people of all ages playing video games and their different reactions and behaviors. 

1. Composition
A. Proximity to subject: In both of these photographs, I wanted to capture the subjects very close up to emphasize their texture and details. 
B. Background elements: For these photographs, I wanted the main focus to be the aspects of cooking and baking. So in the red velvet picture, I did not include any background elements, only the cupcake pan and its contents. In the mixer/frosting picture, I really wanted to emphasize the texture and detail of the frosting on the mixer, but thought that the whole machine in the background maybe helped to create context. 
C. Perspective and point of view: For both of these, I wanted the perspective and point of view to be that of someone who is involved in the process, there baking, so that they are more inviting and detailed. It is as if someone has just finished putting the batter in these cupcakes and is about to put them in the oven, or just pulled the mixer out of the bowl and is about to lick them!

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
In creating this image, I wanted to try food photography. I think these are kind of generic images, so that they could be used for stock photography maybe for a cooking book. But they also could be advertisements because of the way that they capture the texture and color of the red velvet mix and cream cheese frosting. I watch a lot of the food network on TV, and it is amazing to me how much work goes into photographing food and getting every detail right. At the same time, I think it is crazy how as Americans, we are able to be so picky about our food. We get to choose what we have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then a lot of extra food goes to waste. In some places, people are lucky to get a small amount of food in one day. Also, in our own country we have so many people in need. I do not think this is captured in my photographs -- it is just something I thought about. To take this photograph, I took pictures while making a mix of red velvet cupcakes and then the frosting.

3. Context
This image deals with popular culture and food photography -- stock images and advertising. I am hoping to make these desserts look appetizing from their texture, detail, and color. I was also thinking about how food is such a large part of our culture and how much our ability to choose food and make whatever we want to is valued.

4. Interpretation
Students in the class saw these as advertisements and really liked the texture and detail that was captured in the images. Someone one wanted said they felt like they wanted to lick the mixer! Also, the composition of these two were strong -- the repetition of the cupcakes, and the way that the mixer extends out toward the viewer in the frosting photograph.

5. Evaluation
I like these images a lot. They were very fun to photograph, and I feel that they are successful as advertisements or stock images. The colors turned out way better then I expected them to. 

6. Extension
It would be a lot of fun and interesting to photograph different kinds of food. I know there is food photography, and it sounds like it can be hard in the ways they keep the food looking good for texture. I would like to photograph food for advertisements or cook books. 

1. Composition
A. Framing: In this photograph, I wanted to emphasize the newborn baby, Easton. I did not include a lot of background elements, beside his mother holding him, because I wanted to focus on him.
B. Sharpeness and blur: I wanted to keep the subject in focus to highlight him and capture the details of a newborn baby. I wanted to keep him in focus, because he was the focus -- he had a lot of visitors and was getting a lot of attention!
C. Lighting: I had to use the flash in this photograph, because the hospital room did not have a lot of light. So there is some contrast between Easton and the darker background. I thought this was fitting, because it is almost as if there is a spotlight shining on him. 

 2. Concept, Motivations, Method
In creating this image, I wanted to capture a special family moment as well as a snapshot. It was hard for me to get close to him or spend a lot of time around him, because there were a lot of family members and friends there to visit him after he was born, and not a lot of time. So I did not have an opportunity to set up a perfect shot, I had one chance to get a good picture of the baby. I was able to get a lot of pictures of my friend and the baby, but only one of just him! I wanted to convey the emotion of a newborn baby -- the happiness, the excitement -- and the feeling of meeting a new person. I was so nervous because she is my first friend to have a baby, and I have not had much experience with this process, and hospitals make me very nervous. So we were all on edge and waiting, and so when we finally had the chance to see him, it was amazing! I do not know if I can describe it, but it feels so weird and awesome at the same time. He is perfect!

3. Context
This image deals with popular culture -- in that it is a snapshot of a special family moment that records this moment forever, but is also a snapshot that could be uploaded on facebook to share that moment. I is a valued thing in our culture, as so birth is a large part of our culture. There are so many social and cultural traditions surrounding it. It also deals with friendship and experiences, and intimacy. I was glad I was able to be there with/for my friend at this very exciting time! It is something I will never forget.

4. Interpretation
I think students in the class interpreted this image as capturing a family moment, but not the snapshot aspect of it.
5. Evaluation
I think that in order to capture the snapshot angle, I would need to include others in the photograph to convey the energy and attention that was given to Easton. I was not the only one in the room and it was hard to photograph him up close, so I think that should have been included. 

6. Extension
It would be interesting to do a series where I would photograph Easton as he was growing up, and to try and use the feel of a snapshot to capture his childhood.