Friday, January 24, 2014

Final Thoughts

   Of all the assignments this semester, three specific ones stand out. The first is the Photos of the Week water assignment. My sister was oh so kind and modeled for me. We were lucky to have a beautiful day in the fall and took advantage of the warmth. Using the natural light, I was able to focus my attention on the shutter speed. The assignment allowed me to experiment with freezing the water in place and letting it flow to the point of it being a blob of white and blurred color.

   Another assignment was our first film experience. We used our new knowledge of manual controls to shoot with SLRs instead of DSLRs. For part of this, we were able to go to the Cumberland Fair and shoot in an environment with many possibilities for interesting perspectives. We then learned how to develop black and white film. I never realized how much of a science photography is until we learned about the timing and which chemicals do what to the film. In the darkroom, we learned about filters, time tests, and more about f-stops. It was really enjoyable and I hope to do more with it in the future.

   The last assignment was the abstract photography unit. I enjoyed these assignments because it allowed more experimentation with geometric shapes, fractured repetition, and hard lines. When we shot with DSLRs, we were also able to capture the way color was fractured and affected by light and shadows. The unit was open ended in a way that seemed to allow more space than usual for innovation in composition and artistic elements like movement. It forced us to learn more about perspective and how it changes objects to make them abstract.

Proudest Work

   The work I'm most proud of is the "Hands" film assignment. It was the first time I've ever been in a darkroom. It took me a while to capture the right values. Getting the clouds in the background to show up took some thought. We decided on just the right amount of exposure time so I didn't have to do any burning. This assignment introduced me to the world of traditional photography and increased my knowledge of how to properly operate manual settings. Without the unit on manual settings, I'd probably be trying to teach myself and getting extremely frustrated with it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Emulation Video || Sally Mann

Early Work (1971)
Image 10 of 20
Sally Mann

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Photos of the Week (No. 2) - Free Choice

   For this free choice, I decided to use my supply of fake flowers to create strong and soft photos. I wanted to portray an elegance that vast gardens and spring itself emit. I believe I was successful in conveying a softness that was confident. I'm not completely sure that I captured the timeless aspect that I wanted but I may have gotten close.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Custom Layouts | Monochrome

From this assignment, I learned more about juxtaposition of different images and how to use features in Photoshop. The most difficult challenge I had was what unifying theme to choose and after that, which photos to choose. I overcame this challenge by thinking about the types of photos I like to take. Since I love photographing in black and white and how it looks, I initially choose that. As I got more into the cutting and positioning the pieces, I decided to broaden my theme a bit to just monochromatic. This gave me the ability to change color schemes while staying with some black and white photos. In each piece, I decided to make the background a variation of black and white gradient. I think that doing this helped to add more variation to each piece.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Photoshop Exercises

Color Emphasis

Filter Experimentation

 Combining Images


     I really enjoyed this exercise. I was able to learn more about the program and how to use it to my advantage. The newest skills I gained was the introduction to filters and the steps to make someone look like they're floating. These exercises were really fun to do, especially photographing for the levitation photos. I'm very interested in pushing my knowledge and increasing my skills.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sally Mann

Sally Mann was born in Lexington, VA, in 1951. She was given a Bachelor of Arts in ‘74 and in ‘75, a Master of the Arts in writing from Hollins College. Her first solo exhibit was in 1977 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. In many interviews, she has named her reason for taking up photography in high school was to spend more time with her then-boyfriend in the darkroom. She then spent two years at Bennington College, a liberal arts school in Bennington, VT. 
Her influences range from her  photography teacher at Bennington, Norman Sieff, to 19th century processes and portrait photographers, such as Michael Miley. Another important influence is the American South. Architecture photos she had taken from ‘75 to ‘77 of the law school at Washington and Lee were included in Second Sight, published in 1982. In these photos, she portrayed the building in an abstract, mysterious, blur. However, the most important and prevalent of all her influences is her family. She began using her family as her muse when her daughter came home with a swollen face from gnat bites. In all of her portraits, she implies many touchy and underlying themes like abuse, incest, and suicide.
I really love how striking and simple her portraits are. They also offer nostalgia with dark and dangerous undertones which I would love to explore on my own. I enjoy shooting in black and white. The opportunity to explore my abilities and mirror her portraits intrigues me. I hope to capture the nostalgia and undertones with similar lighting and subject positions.

1983-1985 | Sally Mann

1983-1985 | Sally Mann

"Art21. Sally Mann. Biography." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.

Sally Mann, Extended Biography. Lexington, VA: Sally Mann, n.d. PDF.

Woodward, Richard B. "The Disturbing Photography of Sally Mann." The New York Times. The New York Times, 27 Sept. 1992. Web. 04 Dec. 2013.