Week 10

1. Stephen Marc covered many things in his lecture including the techniques he uses in his photography. This includes lighting techniques, advice on photography disclosure, and to always leave a photographic situation easy if not easier for others to follow in your footsteps. Some advice Marc gave us includes don’t promise to give away photographs and don’t give your camera to a stranger because you won’t get it back. Also, try and carry a booklet of your work to show people when they get angry or anxious about you photographing them or something you may not be allowed to photograph. Marc has traveled to many interesting places including Ghana, Africa, Jamaica, England, and many more places. He has also created a project he named after the Underground Railroad. Marc uses his photography mixed with archives and found images to create collages with meaning and depth-he also referred to himself as a digital montage photographer. He’s done work for the Avalon Library and train station-his public art leads to bigger projects. Some of the places/monuments he’s wanted to photograph have taken him two years to get permission and six to eight months to actually visit. Marc also teaches a class dedicated to Digital Compositing and Printing. I found Stephen Marc’s digital montages to be quite fascinating as he creates his own artwork with different pieces. He even uses historical drawings and places them in the actual location they happened at through photography. I really like these collages and I have done some similar work back in high school as far as digital montages through Photoshop. I think it’s neat that Marc travels so much to photograph different places where historical events took place-it’s almost as if he is re-enacting it through his own artwork.

2. My family tradition of photography has always been pretty much the same as other families-we photograph mostly important events like birthdays, graduations, parties, and holidays. Back before Facebook and faster internet connection we would use disposable cameras and print the pictures for photo albums. That’s the thing I find kind of disappointing about the internet is that more and more people are posting family pictures online rather than printing them for photo albums. I feel like photo albums are great keepsakes, and aren’t as much relevant with the advancing “internet albums.”

3. I feel like as my sister and I grew up both my parents were really into photographing us as we aged and grew older. Now that I am older I feel like I know more about cameras and technology so I take the pictures at the special events instead of my mom or dad. Photography is valued in my family to capture moments but I feel like I enjoy photography more than my family does.

4. I like looking through old family photographs because it’s fun to look back on memories that I don’t really remember. It’s also fun to see how all of my family looked at different points in our life. Photographs are a fun way of talking about stories that happened long ago and I enjoy looking through them.

5. My family still takes photographs, but rather than printing them and putting them in a photo album, they are now uploading them to Facebook. I guess this makes photos more accessible rather than trying to find old family photo albums-but I feel there’s something more valuable in actually holding the photograph rather than looking it up on the internet.

6. The function of my family photos is to capture memories to look back on as we grow older and forget. Photos remain after we have gone.

Week 9

1. Mike McLeod introduced three different projects he had going on still in progress including Cam 2 Cam, Casual Encounters, and Arcadia. Cam 2 Cam featured screen shots of various web camera scenes including shirtless men, empty chairs, windows/windblown curtains, different colored walls, and off cameras filled with different pixelated noisy screens. I think the point of this project was to capture the essence of connecting over the internet and maybe loneliness comforted by people to talk to over the internet. Casual Encounters was about Mike’s photographic encounters with men he met over the internet. Interestingly, most of the men were older, mid forties, and refused to admit to their homosexuality. One man refused to let Mike take a picture of his face. I found it interesting that Mike chose to shoot only homosexual men and no women. His work is pretty open and sexual-one man posed with his sex swing and butt plug, another man wore only different variations of a spandex suit. I feel like the point of this project was to present the connections and the relationships first formed through the internet and then displayed in real life. Arcadia, the third project, was about taking pictures in adult video stores in the back where you can pay to watch your own personal pornography. This project was also very sexualized and interesting because it was mostly portraying different chairs and rooms more than humans or technology. Although, I believe the idea behind this project is maybe to connect the two previous projects by incorporating real life people sitting in a room while watching people interact on a screen. All three concepts represent our culture’s “depraved sexuality” as Mike puts it. We tend to feel uncomfortable when it comes to homosexuality, sex, and the naked human body-when really all of these things are apart of who we are and serve as a means to reproduce and survive. His work was very thought provoking, but also conflicting. Mike mentioned he wants to shy away from the internet and do more printed work, although the internet serves most of his projects (screenshots of web cam, meeting people through the internet, and pornography viewed through television).

2. For my family photography image search I decided to go to awkwardfamilyphotos.com because I remember browsing this website in high school, thinking it was funny and strange. Here are five images I came up with that are definitely awkward:

3. I enjoy looking at silly baby photos of friends and relatives. I also like looking back on photos of my family when I was a baby or toddler because it is interesting to imagine I used to be so young. I find it unappealing to look through photos of people who I don’t know very well and pictures that aren’t very interesting. I like looking at family photos on Facebook. I once made a slideshow for my Uncle Mark who passed away and all of his photos told the story of his life from his birth to his family and friends to how happy he was as a person. Pictures serve a purpose to hold onto someone’s memory after they’ve gone and somehow keep them alive. My mom posts a lot of family pictures to Facebook and I think she does this to remind herself of the important things like family support. It’s fun to remember past events like parties and events and to take silly snapshots to look back on.

5. I think the function of family photography serves to hold onto still images of past important events like birth, birthdays, ceremonies, weddings, graduations, etc. Family photography serves as a means to capture the most important stages of life, photography can last further than a human life. It can capture a person’s image and keep it for as long as that picture is not destroyed.

6. I feel like the digital dissemination of family photographs could pose certain problems because you never know whose hands your pictures may fall into. This could hold true for pictures of babies and toddlers in the disturbing instances of child pornography. While there are negatives to the dissemination of family photography, there are also positives such as communicating and sending images to family across the country to let them know how you are doing or to show them an important event they may have missed. People like the ability to view each other- how we looked at a particular time, the faces we make, the impressions… it all appeals to the human’s crave for human interaction and communication.

Assignment 8 – Photobooks

1. After about 20-30 minutes of looking at online photo book order websites (tons of wedding photography…), I decided to look through the Blurb website and was pleasantly surprised. I found a book called Trust in Passing Hours by Amanda Penecale, and was very excited by her photography. Her editing and photography is very urban with dark and light contrasts and different perspectives. I like how Amanda sequences her photos- she orders them by similar colors, textures, lighting, etc. I like the picture of what appears to be a bird’s wing, and how the next photo is a picture of a girl’s tattoo, which is of birds. She makes obvious connections and then not so obvious connections. For example, the image of a woman sitting alone compared to children riding a swing in a group. I believe she does this to add a contrast- the loneliness compared to a group of people. There is also a black and white photo of a woman playing the violin next to a black and white photo of a couple walking. The obvious comparison is the coloring, but there is also an atmospheric mood set with the woman playing the violin-you can almost imagine a song playing as the couple walk along the sidewalk. I very much appreciate this woman’s artwork and am considering buying this book. Here are some pictures I found in the preview:

1 (continued. extra credit). I also decided to look up my favorite photographer Rosie Hardy (sorry, I keep bringing her up on this blog!) Just because I was curious and didn’t know if she had any photo books, and was surprised again to find that she does! She has one called Unhappily Ever After, which features a story of photos relating disturbing fairy tales to the harsh statistics of drug use, spousal abuse, depression, terrorism, car accidents, etc. Nobody likes to hear about these startling statistics, but Rosie’s photography portrays and educates people in an artistic way. She also has a book called Photography and Photomanipulation, which describes her personal tips and tricks in editing photography. I definitely will add this to my Christmas list! Here are some of the photos from her book Unhappily Ever After.

2. The picture I found through Flickr is titled Self by Manuela Di Pisa. I found this photo to be quite interesting because I don’t usually look for self portraits or close up face portraits. The image is black and white and there is also a texture overlaying the face- it almost looks like a facial netting you would wear at a funeral, in fact the picture almost looks like a widow mourning her lost husband. This is what I like about certain photography is that you can imagine your own story and find new interesting things in a picture if you just take the time to look at it. Once again, I couldn’t really find anything of interest through Google, so I resorted back to Flickr. Here is the photo:

3. For a still image photographer, I just typed in still photo into the Flickr search engine. I found a lot of still photos of food, but I found one photographer’s images to be interesting (an hjhipster, they did not display their name). I’m not sure if it fits the still imagery depiction, but I was excited by how sharp their work was. They had a lot of macro shots, emphasizing the object and blurring the background. Here is a link to their flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertovo5/.

4. My search was fairly easy, although it was hard not to get distracted by side websites (I came across a website with an article on 10 ways to be a bad photographer ha ha). But I just decided to take the easy way and use Blurb book and Flickr. I feel I can always find good quality photography on these sites. I found a lot of photo book websites to be centered around wedding photography, which kind of irritated me. It is hard to find good quality artistic, unique photo books. All of the work I found helped me to gain insight on what kind of final project I want to create. I liked Amanda Penecale’s photo book especially because of her sequencing and ordering of photos; how she tells a story through the related images, color, textures, and concepts.

Week 8

1. I think everything is working out well with this class right now, in general. I really liked the mid term meeting and being able to have one on one time with my professor because it helped me to understand what I am doing well in and what I need to work on. It also helped me to pull out of my shell and finally get to working on photography with my new camera!

2. I think I’d like to create a story or experience for my final project, although I’m not sure what kind of story yet. I think I want it to be dark and complex, with a lot of nature shots and varying perspectives (close up macros, far away, obscure shots). I’m not sure yet what I will do, but this is what I have in mind so far.

3. I chose these three images below in order by photographer: Sarah Schloo, Rosie Hardy, and Steve Skafte. I looked up my favorite photographer Rosie Hardy on Flickr and found a new photo she had just taken called “Head Caught in a Waking Dream” and then decided to look up some of her favorite photos and found these two photographers whose work I greatly appreciated. I’d like to be able to take photos as skillfully crafted as these and create a story with them. The first photo by Sarah Schloo is beautiful in composition with the perspective of the clouds and lavender field, and the way the scarf looks like windblown smoke. I also love the depth Rosie Hardy uses with the leaves in her photo. The third photo with the hand has an interesting perspective as well and the darkness at the bottom of the photo leads your eyes up to the top with the light softly playing on the fingertips kind of making the hand seem powerful or magical in a way. I’d like to incorporate some kind of story like one of these images below into my final project.

 

Week 7 – McLuhan and Benjamin

1. One of the advantages to digital creation and dissemination of images would include the limit to which people can expand their work. People are able to communicate their images through the internet and advancing technologies only further the information we perceive. A second advantage to media is that it can “clobber” other media. I feel this is an advantage because it creates and stirs up debate, causing human awareness of certain issues and new ideas. A third advantage (according to Benjamin) would be that digital creation “satisfies human interest of the masses.” This could include anything from taking pictures for personal enjoyment and sending them to family across the country to writing an online news article online available for anyone to view and read. This is also an economic advantage in that people are willing to pay for technologies that they enjoy/want to use. However, one of the main disadvantages I see resulting from advancing digital creations include advancing technologies that do not require humans, which in turn eliminates many jobs. According to McLuhan, this would be referred to as automation. Another disadvantage to the dissemination of images includes the alteration of pattern perception. Only the trained artists can sense changes in perception. An example could be the debate of subliminal messages in advertisements influencing the way we live our lives, what products we buy, etc. A third disadvantage could be that society is dependent on media (like natural resources) and this is how we shape our cultural perspectives, which could be damaging if media were to disappear immediately.

2. I personally believe the ability to create digital images and reproduce them so quickly has provided vast opportunities in technology as a whole. People are able to take a picture, post it online, and send it wherever they want in less than five minutes. This is a mass achievement compared to photography and technology before it was reproducible. Advancing technologies have allowed us to communicate in an efficient, speedy manner and provide a quicker way to learn. People can now share their artwork digitally versus print. Disadvantages to the dissemination of images would include the fact that once we post our artwork online, there is no telling which hands it may reach or what may be done with it. Our original piece could now belong to someone else, creating false authenticity. Once we post, even when we delete our image could still be out in unknown places. Another disadvantage could be the loss of control over technology. Humankind needs a steady organization of programmers and people who understand computer science in order to control the technological world we live in.

3. I personally disseminate my images and artwork through Facebook. I find this is a great way to show friends and family photos or artwork in order to gain feedback and advice, especially on certain projects. You can create different albums for different projects and I like the ability to view my pictures through a social network.

4. Benjamin describes aura as being a “unique phenomenon of a distance however close it may be.” I take this to mean the invisible energy or emotion provoked from the presence of a being or thing. Benjamin goes on to explain that each time a piece of work is mechanically reproduced or copied, it loses some of its aura. I find this an interesting aspect to the definition of aura, for I’ve never though of it in that way. This could be correct because the original piece of artwork would contain all of the aura and each copy is only a representation of the first. However, each copy still holds the work of the first, so I slightly disagree with Benjamin on that point. This connects back to the dissemination of images-people can print any image off of the internet of their choosing and copy it as many times as they want, but they did not produce the original image, which holds all of the aura and meaning behind it. Value can be placed in certain objects over time, it is really just how the person perceives the object and what meaning it holds that really defines their own personal “aura” for it.

5. Chromasia (http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/galleries/) is a blog posted by photographer David J. Nightingale and has won PhotoBlog of the year and best European PhotoBlog in the 2009 PhotoBlog awards. His website was pretty easy to navigate and he has a number of galleries all organized with specific names. I chose a few to share from his gallery “Abstract.” All of his photos are big, clear, and fascinating to look through.

Another PhotoBlog I quite enjoyed was that was Francesco Gallarotti (http://www.gallarotti.net/). His page was very clean and straightforward and from the albums he appears to be a landscape photographer. Everything was clean and professional in his blog.

The last PhotoBlog I found was by Mahbubur Rahman (http://www.mrahmanphoto.com/blog/?p=164) and had a lot of content to look through. I think this is a good and bad thing just because there is so much to look through that it requires a lot of time and is kind of distracting. However, this website it easy to navigate and I found an interesting blog on his “tattoo project” as I am a big fan of tattoos myself.

6. I found Penelope Umbrico’s work to be interesting in how she constructed pictures to form one piece, however; I didn’t exactly like her artwork. I feel like anybody could collaborate and use the images like she’s done without much effort. Her depictions are interesting and out of the ordinary, which she deserves credit for being creative in that way, but I just don’t like the work behind it. It reminds me of Benjamin’s argue of stealing the aura from pieces by copying. I know that she’s only taking ordinary pictures and turning them into something unique, but it still bothers me for this reason.

I found Elijah Gowin’s work to be interesting as well. He takes ordinary pictures and turns them into something unique, just as Umbrico does. By adding a texture to a photo, he is adding an emotion or different feel to it. As with Umbrico’s work, I still disagree with the fact that they use other’s pictures. I wish they would use their own to provide their own personal art and well as their talent in arranging the artwork in unique forms.

 

 

 

Assignment 6 – In Class Google Search

These were the images I resized and received from one of my group members-Sahil.

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Week 6 – Google Hunt

For my Google image search, I looked up the following words and found these images.

Love

Beauty

Extraordinary

Nature

Happiness

I could predict the kinds of images that came up for the words: love, beauty, extraordinary, nature, and happiness. I expected a man and woman for love; a beautiful woman for beauty, and a forest/trees/or some kind of flower for nature. I liked the pictures that came up for extraordinary and happiness though because for happiness I saw a lot of smiling faces but decided to pick a picture that was more abstract. I found it kind of irritating that so many attractive females came up for all of the words in general. I found the picture of the island to be creative (and Photoshopped). I liked how it portrayed life above the ocean and below the ocean in a very unique way. When I google searched an image I used a picture of my boyfriend and this is what came up:

I think the Google image search is programmed to match up colors mainly and background color. All of the pictures have the same common colors as the shirt Vince is wearing and most of the pictures have a tan brownish background. What is different is how many people or the gender of the person in the pictures because it all varies.

My group (group 7) is working very well together. We have all been meeting consistently every week usually on Mondays or Wednesdays at 5:00 pm in Charlie’s cafe. We’ve had a few issues about confusion with due dates, but they have all been cleared up.