Week 50: Perfection

So, I’m skipping a couple weeks.  I’ve got a few ideas for the other two themes, but it’s been raining non stop, and since I don’t have the great lighting that my apartment had, I have to wait until the doom and gloom weather is gone.  Either way, with the new year tick-tocking its way closer, I’m running out of time!  So here’s what I’ve got.

Cookies!

Yes, cookies.  I mean, with the Christmas spirit still in the air, and the leftover cookies still around to munch on, what else could be more perfect for this week’s theme?  So while decorating my favorite cookies, swizzle sticks, with my aunt, I decided to snap a few pics of the process.  They’re cute, fun little pictures, but I like them.  She was a little annoyed, but oh well, she knows all about my photography, and put up with it even when I should have been helping.  I also love these cookies, and she only makes them once a year, so this truly is my confection perfection.

When people ask how to make these, or why we don’t make them more often, all I can do is explain that this is not your normal cookie.  Making these begins a whole cookie making process which is not for the baking beginner.  So they’re special, and take forever to make, but they’re worth it!  Enjoy the pics, and I might just help myself to another swizzle stick 🙂

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Week 47: Black/White

Oh yippee!  I’m always so fond of black and white images.  I was just going through my portfolio of prints from my film classes.  Am I the only one who loves the slight lingering scent of fixer on those pages?  Hopefully not 🙂  I know it’s a silly thing, but I miss the darkroom so much!

With that, even though I’m working mainly digitally now, I like to try and work in series where I edit the images to be black and white.  Though not the same at all, it’s nice to pretend, and I love the look and drama it gives to certain images.  So for my studio lighting final, I decided to go this route!

I didn’t have that grand of a concept, per sey, while working through this final project.  I wanted to have fun working with the lights, and using them to mold the face, hair, and details of my models.  I mean, after all, it is a studio lighting class, so why not have the focus be on lighting techniques?  So that’s just what I did, and I’m very happy with the end result.  I had two lights set up, both with snoots, and sitting higher than my models, with the lights pointing at a downward angle.  They were slightly behind the subjects, which caused some interesting back lighting, while also giving a little bit of a silhouette on portions of their faces.  And since I wanted the focus to be the lighting, I took the saturation all the way down and presented these as black and white images, which, I think, gave it that final little extra touch.  It was good to hear my professor say that I “nailed it”, and my project was well received by the class. 🙂  He knew what my idea was going in, so I was glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one who thought things turned out well.

The only critique was that there wasn’t more of them.  I originally wanted at least twice as many, and apparently, everyone thought that would have been good as well.  Models are still hard to come by, unfortunately, but I’m so thankful for the help I got with this project!  Hopefully I’ll have a chance to expand on this later.  I’ve been told that bribing people with food bodes well for the photography department.  Good to know for next time. 🙂  Enjoy!

Week 46: Memories

Often times I like to work from my own memories.  Comparing past places to what they look like in the present, bitter-sweetness which comes with the passing of time, and loss.  I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of my work conveys messages such as these.  Sometimes, however, I like to work at examining other’s memories, and a little exploring will do just the trick for that.

So, you know, finals went ok, but not super great.  My digital photography class was one of my problem classes, sadly.  I had a great idea of working at the beach, with a model, and capturing some really whimsical and charming images….but my model canceled on me.  Sad, but I understand — she was busy with finals as well.  It still sucked having to start from square one with only about a week before my project was due.  So back to the drawing board.

I started thinking about things that I liked, or that I’ve always wanted to do.  A good suggestion from my professor, particularly for someone like me who has been getting pretty stumped lately.  So going with that, “something I’ve always wanted to do”, at least for a while now, were those beach pictures.  Scratch that.  So what do I like to do?  Well, one thing that I’ve been missing were my little excursions to some abandoned buildings.  So, with my friend in tow, I set out to find an interesting place that we could sneak in to.

Going in to these places, I’m always trying to do more than take some interesting, yet arbitrary, pictures.  I’ve always found it interesting when one of two things happens to these buildings.  If the building is taken over by nature, with vines, and trees, and flowers completely engulfing it, I find it so interesting, and a bit ironic, that we’ve taken from nature to build this structure, only for it to be discarded, materials wasted, and for nature to reclaim it.  The other interesting scenario is when I can find little “artifacts”, as I like to call them, of who may have been in this space before.  I’m sure just about everyone passes by a building or space which has just been left to decay on a regular basis.  Do you ever stop to wonder what that place was, what it could have meant to someone, or what they may have used it for?  Or do you ever wonder who the person or persons were that used to inhabit this space, and what happened to them?  Did they just give up?  Move on, or even pass on?  It’s so mysterious when you stop to think about it.  I’m sure with some research, answers may be found in some cases, but what’s the true story?  That’s what I like to look for.

So while driving around, we headed towards the southern part of Maryland.  We passed by an old favorite of mine, but it had been blocked off, and you could see that the area was starting to change a bit.  So further off the grid we went, and we started to get to some pretty interesting farm land areas.  Farm land?  Yeah, we’ve got a lot of that around here once you get to a certain area.  With that comes some of those dilapidated barns filled with interesting things.  We had to pass a few by, because you can’t just park on the side of a busy road and mosey on in these places, but finally found the perfect spot; a place a little off the road, and a long driveway which wound around the barn.

So here are the images from that trip.  It seems like it was a little storage barn for a farm, but also for a farmer’s market.  Quite cute in it’s heyday, I’m sure, but very sad and decaying now.   The light was beautiful on what was another unseasonably warm day for the area.  I’m happy to have used that to my advantage in a lot of these shots.  Though I feel I know a little more about this space, I’m still wondering just what happened to this farmer.  What do you think?  Enjoy!

 

 

A “Spooky” Biggest Fear

So as promised, I’m going to try to finish this year and 52 week challenge up with a bang!  So when thinking of what could fit in to these categories, a “spooky” week 44 and “biggest fear” of a week 45, which most likely were supposed to line up with Halloween, I can only think of one thing….

Artist’s Block

You would think that with the millions of ideas I always talk about on here that I should have no problem thinking of things to do for finals.  Sorry to report, but in this case, you’re dead wrong.  So as I got hit with a barrage of 4 creative finals for my studio classes, I also got hit with a nice serving of artist’s block.  Just incase you don’t get it, it’s like writer’s block for artists 🙂  No matter what I did, or looked at, or researched, or read, nothing was coming to mind for the first two weeks of my final project work time.  I didn’t think this would happen, especially since I have so many people here to help, but it did.

It was pretty nightmarish, in fact.  I’ve worked incredibly hard over this entire semester, and have done pretty well, and now this.  Am I going to ruin my good street over this stupid little bit of creative backup?  Well, it’s over now, so I hope I didn’t.  And for the one, solid, I’m-excited-for-this idea that I had….my model canceled.  That’s a cancellation after I bough props, started making a dress, and made plans to go to the location.  Blower.  Oh well, I think things worked out in the end, though I’m confident that for at least two of my projects (one of which was photography, unfortunately) this was not my strongest work.  Hopefully my hard work throughout the semester will keep me afloat (and by afloat I mean with an “a” in the class).

So to represent the sentiment of this artist’s block which has been tormenting me for the last nearly month now, here’s a fun little photos hoped image.  With some old frames that were up in my apartment, and the handy ability to copy and paste nearly anything from online, here are my blank canvases.  If you could have seen inside my mind over the last couple weeks, this is all the turning wheels were putting out.  Not the best photoshopping, but that’s somewhat intentional.  Since I haven’t done my best work due to this, and I’m so done with this semester, this is what it’s come down to.

But wouldn’t you know it….the ideas are flowing now :/  Enjoy!

blank canvas.jpg

Time Slipped Away

Well, it seems as if finals and everything that this semester has brought has gotten the best of me.  When starting this blog at the beginning of the year, I thought to myself, “I’m never going to miss a week!”  Well, can’t say that it turned out that way, but at least it’s for a good reason.  I also didn’t think that I would be in school for something that I love, so I’m happy for these little “personal project” delays.  Ok…maybe not happy, but still, you know what I mean.

I am happy, however, to report that this is the last week of class for this semester!  A bittersweet feeling, because I have truly enjoyed (almost) all of my classes, and I’m sad to see them end, but I need a freakin’ break!  I’ve been going nuts with projects, and research, and papers, and begging people to model for me!  It will be strange to not have that nagging little feeling in the back of my head that I’m forgetting something, or that I have a million and a half things to do.  I can’t wait for it though!

So as things are coming to an end, I’m starting to refocus on this little project, and end this year with a bang.  In the meanwhile, here’s a little GIF I created as a little extra for one of my final projects.  It’s not the best quality, but hey, I’m still learning, and Premiere is giving me a really hard time for something that should be easy!  I promise, it looks great on the screen.  Guess I’ll just have one more little thing to figure out!

Sun-setting, semester ending, it all works.  Enjoy!

sunset movie_2