Week 1: Self Portrait

Well what better way to start out the new year and the new challenge than by looking at myself. ¬†Oh, my favorite ūüėź ¬†Yes, I know you know, I kind of hate self portraits, but lucky for me I’m at the beach and with a good idea in hand! ¬†Well, I’m not at the beach, per se, but I am in Florida (woo hoo!), and went to the beach yesterday with the intentions of taking a “self portrait”.

So, like many of my other self portraits, this on is a little abstracted, if you will, and doesn’t show my face. ¬†When my friend was watching me shoot these, she was completely confused on how this constituted as a self portrait, but no where does it say that I have to take a picture of my face, does it? ¬†I suppose that’s what people typically think of, but when consulting my good ole friend, dictionary.com, it states that a portrait depicts “a likeness of a person, especially of the face, as a painting, drawing, or¬†photograph”…..but not specifically the face!

So with that, I happily took a few photos of myself, well, more specifically, my feet! ¬†You know I love the beach, and my toes in the sand, so I though, instead of torturing myself on vacation and trying to get a glamorous, gorgeous “selfie”, why not do something fun. ¬†So I snapped a couple pictures and ended up combining a few together. ¬†Photoshop is something that I really need to practice in, and not forget the little I have learned before the next semester starts in a couple weeks. ¬†So while I liked the bubbles and water of one image, I also liked all the little shells (coquina clams, or as I like to call them, baby clams) in another, and decided to join the two together to get the perfect little beach image. ¬†So enjoy! ¬†I had fun practicing, and hope that my composite isn’t too obvious. ¬†I’m happy with it, but I’ll keep practicing anyways ūüôā

bubbles and shells-2

Wrapping Up 2015

Can you believe how fast that year went by?! ¬†I can’t. ¬†It zoomed faster than any of my other years. ¬†Lots of good things, some bad things, tons of new things, but all in all, I think I had a pretty fair year. ¬†I did some things I didn’t want to, and did some things I never thought I would. ¬†So with all of the craziness which has been my life this year, I thought I would take the time to look back on some photos that I haven’t had a chance to work on and include them in my final 2015 post….even though I’m a little late…it’s 2016 now, but shhh, and let’s go! ¬†Here’s the last few weeks that I missed.

Week 48 – 1000 Words

Really, I should have just taken a picture of a picture, because, ya know, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and that would have counted, right? ¬†But I thought about some of the things that I’ve seen/thought about this year, and decided¬†this would be better.

DSC_8042

I met a girl in my sculpture class this year who was pretty awesome. ¬†She had cool hair and tattoos, which of course I liked, and was bubbly, outgoing, friendly, and fun. ¬†Once I got to know her, however, it was astonishing to learn of all the things she had been through. ¬†Coming from similar experiences, and handling it quite differently in some respects, it was pretty amazing to meet her and learn about her life. ¬†While working on our “wearable sculpture” projects, which happen to coincide with my “pictures of people” project for digital photography, she brought in her ballet slippers, and I knew I had to catch some pictures of it! ¬†Little did I know I would be learning another thing about her.

I think when a lot of people look at images like this they think it’s just another simple photo of a classic art, and maybe don’t think too much in to it. ¬†I know when I was editing in my digital photo class, some comments were along those lines. ¬†As they started looking in to them, and seeing the wear and tear of her shoes, they became more intrigued, which made me happy to know that I captured the essence of her story, if even slightly, in these photos. ¬†Though she is in art school with me now, she has had a passion for dance ever since she was a child. ¬†While practically prancing around the classroom on the day she brought these shoes in, you would never know, but she’s been through an incredible struggle with her dancing. ¬†During a performance, she was dropped, injuring her spine, resulting in doctors telling her that she would never dance again. ¬†She explained it as feeling heartbroken in knowing that her dance career was over, and my heart broke a little for her. ¬†Though she still has the passion to dance, has completed her recovery and is practicing, she says that things are not the same as they used to be. ¬†Her shoes were tattered but she moved with grace and skill. ¬†It was clear even in those brief moments that she had a love for something that she had lost. ¬†Her wearable sculpture which revolved around this idea conveyed it perfectly. ¬†If she’s reading this now, I hope she knows that I admire her work and think she’s stronger than I could ever be. ¬†I suppose the lesson is this is that you should not judge a book by it’s cover. ¬†When looking at something like this, you have no idea what people have been through, what they’re living with, or what they’re longing for. ¬†So with that, I would say this picture is worth more than 1000 words.

Week 49 – Collection of Sorts

Looking back again, I stumbled across this photo which I thought would be fitting for a collection. ¬†Working in the style of Andy Goldsworthy, or well, at least trying to, I tried to make a leaf organization, which did not turn out any where near as successful as his. ¬†Really, it’s laughable in comparison, but to be fair, I have a million excuses. ¬†I was running out of light, and it was windy, and there weren’t many leaves, and I really needed an assistant for this type of thing and about another hour or two of time, and……yeah, lots of excuses ūüôā ¬†A fun image, and experience, none the less. ¬†I’ve gained such a greater appreciation for his work, knowing that just this little, silly, circle was a hassle. ¬†I want to try it again, with help, and on a much larger scale, but I suppose I’ll just have to wait until next fall.

DSC_7362

Week 51 – Cozy

Wha? Where’s week 50? ¬†Silly rabbit, I did that. ¬†Cookies, remember? ¬†So for this week’s theme, I thought I would use a picture of my coziest place, and I’ll give you just one guess as to what that is. ¬†You’re right, it’s the beach! ¬†Surprisingly, I had some beach photos from this year that I haven’t shown you, but that’s because I didn’t even know that I had them! ¬†When looking through photos to test on transparencies for my EMAC final, I stumbled across this photo, and a few others, from a sunrise shoot that I did when vacationing with my cousin. ¬†We drove out to this little spot between Bethany Beach and Ocean City where my Dad’s favorite beach landmark lives. ¬†An old, abandoned, WWII watch tower. ¬†He always swore that it would make the best beach house, and that he would buy it if he could. ¬†I always swore that I would get some amazing pictures of it. ¬†So off I went one morning, and then forgot all about it! ¬†So I was surprised to find this image, and it brought back wonderful memories of summer, sunny and warm, on a coldish December night. ¬†So while it may be cold outside, I’m nice and cozy sunny warm with feelings of nostalgia on the inside.

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Week 52 – Before/After

So I’m working more with the after in this one, but again, happily working with some photos that I didn’t have time for earlier in this year. ¬†While working on that same “pictures of people” project, I met up with a friend and her sister to do a shoot. ¬†She’s always great at finding interesting places to take pictures, and didn’t disappoint this time either. ¬†So while we went all over the place, we stopped at her father’s house, where he had this incredible collection of old cars. ¬†They were truly great, and she and her sister were a lot of fun to work with. ¬†You know I love old things, so being around these old, rusty and falling apart cars was amazing. ¬†Though I didn’t end up using these photos for the project, I’m still glad we had the chance to do them, and I’m really happy with how they turned out.

So with that, I’m done! ¬†2015 and this project is a wrap, and it’s time to start thinking about the next great photo thing to keep me busy! ¬†I’m happy with all of the experiences this project has brought about. ¬†I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and have thought of even more things I want to try out in the (hopefully) near future. ¬†Wish me luck while I start my 2016 project search ūüôā

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 ūüôā ¬†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. ūüôā ¬†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. ūüôā ¬†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 ūüôā ¬†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

 

Week 43: Negative Space

I have to say, I’ve been pretty stumped when thinking of photos for this theme.  Negative Space.  It’s something that I thought I had a good understanding on, but the more I thought of it, the more I think I understood it well from a design perspective, and not necessarily a photography perspective.  Not that I’m sure it matters, or that there are even necessarily multiple perspectives, but I’ve just been having a hard time.

When I think of “negative space” I think of the interesting element of the image being the black space or shadow in the image, not an actual object or person.  But go ahead, google this term, and you’ll see a plethora of examples, particularly when you search more specifically for photography.  There are colors, and textures, and interesting objects, and all of these things that I thought you couldn’t have when working with an image focused on negative space.  There are maybe two examples I have stumbled across where I’m thinking to myself “ok, now that’s definitely negative space!”  I’ve also stumbled across a whole section that was labeled as “bad”, so I guess I was a little relieved when all of the images which I thought were confusingly labeled as negative space were in that section, but still, confused.

So I did a little more searching, and a little more looking, and a lot more doubting, and in the end, I’ve simply decided to share these images with you.

I just finished up editing some photos that I recently took as a collaborative project between my “studio lighting” class, and a class in the Fibers Department at MICA.  Each of us in the class were given a “fibers partner”with whom we had to work, and create images featuring a garment which they created.  We had to discuss visions, ideas, set-ups, everything, and create interesting images while keeping the “client’s” intentions in mind.  An interesting exercise, but nerve-racking at the thought of being paired with someone who is vastly different in style.  I truly had the luck of the draw with this group project — things haven’t always worked out that way this semester.  Happily, I was able to work with someone I already knew, and whose work I knew I liked.

As she told me a little more about her work, I became more interested.  I also became even more at ease with this whole process because she was very open to letting me have control over the entire photographic process.  That has its pros and cons, because when doing things like this I really do like to try to achieve a certain look based of off what the person I’m photographing is looking for.  Either way, we were essentially along the same lines — nothing looking like magazine fashion photography, simple black background, and she was open to my idea of playing with some dramatic lighting.

It’s because of that lighting that I’m talking to you about these images!  Well, I most likely would have shared them in one way or another because I’m really happy about how they turned out.  But because of my plight in thinking of something for this negative space theme, I started looking for more examples, and stumbled across some portrait “negative space” work.  Honestly, it reminded me a lot of the Low-Key theme I did a couple of weeks ago, which makes me wonder if I’m misinterpreting something else.  Either way, I’m happy to use these images for this week, because I could see how they would fit in.

So, dramatic lighting.  We did one set up with a low intensity softbox, and then another with a spotlight style snoot.  The softbox (with a gold reflector, which is my new favorite photo tool) really made her glow against the black background.  I think it gave for some interesting tensions between her and a ground/background which is really indistinguishable.  The snoot gave a whole other look.  It darkened some of her features so much in some images that it really gave the portraits a more abstracted feel, which I was happy to see.  So after a fun experience with a cross-departmental group project, and a good critique, here are my dark and dreamy images.  Enjoy!

 

“Well, Welcome to This One.”

I love it when people have just the right things to say. ¬†I also like it when something gets me right in the feels, for lack of a better word, and catches me off guard when they do. ¬†I got that from one of my professors the other day, so I’d thought I’d share a little more about it with you.

It’s been a crazy few weeks since starting school, as I’m sure you’re well aware by my constant reminders. ¬†But even with all the craziness, it’s been filled with some pretty great moments. ¬†First off, everyone thinks that I’m 21…max! ¬†I’m even being mistaken for a teenager, which makes me question some things, but I’ll still take it as a great compliment. ¬†I’m finally starting to feel a little more comfortable, and that I may be someone who is on-par with this “art world” that I’ve flung myself in to. ¬†Yes, I know I made it in to MICA, and that should be reassurance enough, but it isn’t. ¬†“They”, the powers that be at MICA, even send out emails, or did at least, to new students telling them just that — “don’t be scarred/intimidated/depressed/stressed/etc…you made it here, and that means a lot!”¬† When coming from the world of strict business attire,where the only creativity being expressed was that of craftily¬†written procedure or performance review, it’s hard to see yourself amounting to anything creative. ¬†No matter how bad I want to succeed at this, I’m essentially terrified.

When I think about where I came from, the life of banking, management, stress, abuse, and all things wrong in a corporate environment, I have two feelings that have stuck around: abandonment, and escape. ¬†Pretty conflicting thoughts, don’t you think? ¬†As if my feelings towards them weren’t complicated enough, they still continue to be, even almost a year and a half leaving. ¬†I suppose some of the emotions you could equate to this would be depression, anxiety, PTSD, failure,….freedom and relief? ¬†Like I said, it’s complicated. ¬†I whole heartedly gave over 10 years of my life to this company, only to be targeted, bullied, and attacked. ¬†And when I fell ill as a result of this, they didn’t care at all, and wanted nothing more to do with me. ¬†Don’t get it twisted though, no matter how it may sound, I played the hand I was dealt the best I could, and ended up resigning. ¬†Some what reluctantly, but still, it was my choice to leave — at least they didn’t get that satisfaction. ¬†Either way, it was a heartbreaking change, even though at the same time I wanted to do something different with my ¬†life. ¬†I wanted to make it better, but I was terrified of failing.

But like I said, you have to play the cards you’re dealt, and my game had just changed. ¬†So I decided, why not, apply for this school that I’ve been wanting to go to forever. ¬†I was just about to finish up my associates degree, because I could only handle baby steps, and didn’t see myself making it this far. ¬†Going to school, an art school, to get a Bachelor’s degree seemed unobtainable for me. ¬†After getting in, it was then the financial aspects that had me burdened, because let’s face it, you can’t pay for the “ivy league of art schools” on a non-existent salary. ¬†No one was excited about the news except a few, literally few, friends, so in trying to be realistic about it, I didn’t let myself get excited about it, or celebrate. ¬†I’m 30, and just got my first college acceptance letter in the mail, I should be excited. ¬†Oh, wait, except for the fact that I’ll be 30….in college…with teenagers — another issue of concern. ¬†I convinced myself I was too old, and just needed to buckle down and get a “real job”. ¬†Oh, and back to the no job thing, I had to move out of my apartment, my safe haven, my home….my life was falling apart when it should have been on the up and up.

So I decided not to go, and things got dark, really dark, and fast. ¬†I started looking for banking jobs, admin jobs, anything office job like, and to no avail. ¬†What was the end of an already incredibly depressed year, I was even worse for the wear. ¬†Then a friend hired me to bake a cake and photograph her wedding, and another friend asked me to photograph her baby, and it felt great doing things that were artistic, and that I got paid for! ¬†Imagine that. ¬†I figured, as the deadline for the deposit was fast approaching, I’ll just take this money to pay for the deposit. ¬†As irresponsible as it may be, and even though it’s most likely only delaying the inevitable, I’ll have a little more time to pretend that this is still an option.

In the mean while, I still looked for “normal” jobs, but also worked on art, this blog (yay), craft fairs, and school stuff — scheduling, talking to advisors, financial aid, and so on. ¬†I had it all figured out, except how to pay for just a little bit of it. ¬†So annoying. ¬†With all the work I did, this little percentage of tuition that I couldn’t come up with was going to hold me back. ¬†I begged family to help, co-sign, anything, but they resisted, insisting that I needed to get off this vacation mode and get my life back together. ¬†I have to say, my family has an interesting perspective of what vacation is if my life was the model for it. ¬†Then, out of the blue, my parents, though they were very clear that they disapproved of my idea/plan/decisions/everything, that they wanted me to be happy. ¬†What? ¬†Seriously? ¬†I was dumbfounded, but took their help as quickly as possible. ¬†Though I have to hear about it all¬†the time now, I’m thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to give this a go, even if the future of it seems uncertain.

So then I’m finally there! ¬†Orientation. ¬†Oh my God….can I say that it was exponentially worse than I expected? ¬†The school and facilities seemed nice, but the people — some of the other students are down right…..just, immature, and not good people, and incredibly filled with entitlement, and unappreciative. ¬†It’s a little astounding, and overwhelming. ¬†I felt like crying, and leaving, and never coming back, but I knew I couldn’t let these people, who really didn’t do anything to me except make my age difference become even more apparent, control what was going to be my outcome of going here. ¬†So I did what I knew I would do, what I always do. ¬†I worked.

It felt great to finally have something consume my life again. ¬†While it was nice being away from work, it was pretty boring at times, even with all my little projects that I tried to fill my time with. ¬†Not only that, but I actually started working again, and not at some terrible place that was irrelevant to what my goals were. ¬†I’m busy again, and it’s a great feeling. ¬†I’m successful in this busyness, which is even a better feeling.

Even though the feedback from some of these professors has been minimal, I have enough information to come to the conclusion that I have an A in each of my six, count ’em, six classes. ¬†I would say yay, but I worked my ass off, and there is no yay for me when it comes to grades. ¬†I either get all A’s and am contempt with it because it’s the only acceptable outcome, or I flirt with the line between A and B, and I’m really mad about it. ¬†It’s about half way through the semester now, and I’ve received a couple of mid-term reviews, and hope to have a couple more. ¬†They’ve been informal, and though email, so it’s nice to have the feed back, because not having it drives me crazy, but it’s also a little impersonal. ¬†Lucky for me, I have one professor, my sculpture professor, who is very profession, and a great communicator. ¬†He set up mid-term review meetings with each of us, and actually sat us down to talk about our progress, grades, and future expectations. ¬†Now that gets a yay ūüôā

So in that meeting, I heard some great things — I have an A+, something that he only gives out like once or twice a year. ¬†How unexpected. ¬†What else was unexpected was that he told me that I took to sculpture like “a fish to water”. ¬†I have to say, out of all the classes I signed up for this semester, this was the one I was most apprehensive¬†about. ¬†I never work three-dimensionally, so this was all new for me, and in having such high expectations for my self and my grades, this was going to be a challenge. ¬†We chatted a little more, and he got the point of saying that he could tell that I was very dedicated. ¬†Of course — do you have any idea of what I had to go through to get here?! Of course not, I’m being irrational, and joking. ¬†I did say, however, that yes, I’m incredibly dedicated to being here. ¬†I went through hell with the life that I had before, and I’m never going back to that world. ¬†And then he said it…”Well, welcome to this one”. ¬†He went on to say, many more positive things, what expectations he had for me, and that he saw me doing great things, but that little sentence stuck out to me even more than that. ¬†I know that with the grades I’m getting in the school that I’m now attending that I should have more confidence in my work. ¬†It’s amazing to hear that he views me as an A+ student, a natural at this art, and that he, and incredibly successful artist in his own right, sees me being successful as well. ¬†But that welcome, as silly as it may seem, hit me hard. ¬†I’m here, I’m still in one piece, and I’m doing the thing that I’ve always wanted to do. ¬†I’m doing the thing that I pushed out of my mind for the last 15 years of my life. ¬†I’m doing something that will change my life. ¬†It’s hard to believe, but I am. ¬†I’m doing it. ¬†It’s crazy. ¬†Crazy good. ¬†I don’t ever have to go back to that life now, not if I don’t want to.

At¬†the end of all my rambling, I’ve included some photos of things that I’ve been working on for various classes – sculpture, digital photo, studio lighting, and EMAC, which is like a sampling of all this electronic and digital in the art making world. I didn’t include anything from my art history classes, cause I figured you probably wouldn’t appreciate having papers shoved in your face to read. ¬†And it’s ok if you think some of these are a little wacky, cause to be honest, I do too, but I like them ūüôā ¬† And what I like even more, is that this is just the beginning of a change so grand that I can’t even imaging how great things will be when I finish. ¬†I imagine a very tear-filled graduation on my part, but only happy tears. ¬†So thanks for the welcome, and just so you know, there will never be a goodbye.

Week 39: Muted Tones

I’m so thankful for days off. ¬†Before I started classes, my advisor told me that working while taking six classes would be an overwhelming work load. ¬†I, in my naivety, laughed it off, thinking to myself, “if I can deal with (enter hellish former employer name here) and go to school full-time, I can totally handle this!” ¬†Well, while I am handling it, and doing well might I add, I’m up to my neck in work, and gasping for free time.

So to my surprise as I was looking through the academic calendar a little while ago, we get a fall break. ¬†Rather, we had a fall break — it was two weekends ago, but it was amazing. ¬†Apparently this is a pretty normal thing, though I’ve never heard of a school doing it before. ¬†Either way, I’m grateful, and even more grateful for the fact that I got to spend part of it at the beach. ¬†So watch out! ¬†Here come the beach pictures again ūüôā Don’t worry, they’re not all the same!

Even with all my busyness, I’m trying to keep up this blog! ¬†I’m really happy that I started this little project, and I hope you enjoy it too. ¬†It’s hard to believe I’m working on week 39, and that’s a few weeks behind!

Getting down to business now, week 39, yikes. ¬†The theme for this week is “muted tones”, which I really had fun doing during my little post production process. ¬†Kind of like the cyanotype and black and white beach photos I’ve mentioned before, there’s something incredibly charming when I take photographs of the beach and make them a little different than one may expect. ¬†You all know I love the ocean — sunsets, sunrises, and all the pretty views you can imagine. ¬†What I’m starting to like more and more is when they’re muted or monochromatic, either with another process, or just shot in black and white.

While fishing with my family that weekend, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take some pictures to use for this theme. ¬†Fishing, though we’ve always enjoyed doing this on occasion ever since I was little, is something I’m a little on the fence about. ¬†It’s fun hanging out and having a “competition” to see who catches the most or the biggest, but I always feel a little guilty about it. ¬†I know, I might be a little bit of a sissy, but I never liked hurting the fish! ¬†I try not to think about it too much, and I suppose the fact that my dad and brother constantly tease me about not baiting my own hook makes it a little easier. ¬†It brings out my competitive side, but there is logic to my apparent sissyness. ¬†I mean, I can’t touch a dead fish while I’m going to be multitasking fishing with photography, right? ¬†We’ll just say that was my excuse for nearly my entire life… ūüôā

So with that being said, here are a few pictures from the most recent family fishing excursion. ¬†As you can see, my brother caught a monster stargazer fish, which we had to reasearch, since none of us had ever caught one before. ¬†And yes, I caught some fish too — ¬†1 1/2 to ¬†be exact! ¬†The 1/2 fish is because just as the fish was coming out of the water at the surf, it got away. I say I caught two, since everyone saw it, but I’ll take the credit of a “1/2 fish”, as the debate on what constitutes as a caught fish was quite extensive. ¬†Oh well, I had to try. ¬†Enjoy!

Earth, Wind, Fire, Water

With your powers combined…..!!!

I can’t be the only one who thinks of Captain Planet when you start naming off the elements, can I? ¬†Every time. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I’m only missing heart, but that’s besides the point.

I had such a nice break in this crazy schedule a few days ago. ¬†I cut my hours at my second job — let’s just be real, I was going crazy. ¬†Although with my previous¬†job I was used to long work weeks followed by evening and online classes, the workload here is something else. ¬†Getting up at 6:00 to drive for about an hour, then being on campus for about 12-14 hours a day in a combination of work and school, only to be followed by “days off” which consist of me working at my, what I’ll call, primary job. ¬†There was zero time for me, and what was the only actually stressor was that there was no time for my school work. ¬†I noticed that I was giving classes such as sculpture and art history precedence over my photography classes. ¬†Those are the reasons that I’m here! ¬†Something had to be changed to remedy this, and with that, I am now able to be a free and normal person on Wednesday afternoons. ¬†It was glorious — I parked in the no parking zone in font of work, ran in there, talked it out, and I was on my way home, sun shining and wind blowing in my hair and all.

Though the point of that is not to be “free”, per sey, rather, to have some daylight so I can focus more on my photography work, and not feel like I have to cram everything in at night/inside (I hate the dark inside part) or all on Sundays, rain or shine. ¬†So I picked up a coffee, enjoyed the end of my ride, picked up my camera and got to work. ¬†Luckily for me, my friend and now model because of projects was working from home, so she was also free, and able to help me not only with the school projects I had, but with this 52 week challenge! ¬†It’s very exciting. ¬†As I’m sure you’ve notice, and I’ve mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot of twofers in regards to this challenge by combining these themes with the work that I’m doing for class. ¬†There have been some successful images, I’m not salty about it, but I also have all these other ideas scrambling around in my head that I just haven’t had the chance to create.

Remember what seems like a million weeks ago when there was a Natural Elements theme? ¬†I do! ¬†I began thinking that I would do a somewhat similar interpretation to what I showed you previously, which is basically my normal flower/nature pictures. ¬†Then I started thinking of how tired I’ve become of seeing those — not that I don’t like them, but it was becoming a little redundant. ¬†So I started hashing out ideas about how I could handle these differently. ¬†After some searches, I realized that “natural elements” was talking about the more simplified, earth elements, and not nature itself. ¬†So the idea of doing the elements as a still life set up came to mind. ¬†I still like the idea, but it posed some challenges, like how to display wind on a typical black-background still life set up, and I couldn’t work it out. ¬†Back to the drawing board. ¬†Then this idea came to me –why not use someone and have them embody the elements? ¬†Enter unwilling-model-friend/friend-who-secretly-loves-helping-in-these projects. ¬†Off to her house I went, on the literal first free second I have had in weeks!

She’s a great sport, really. ¬†I’ve had a lot of weird ideas that I’ve incorporated her in, and though a little off put at first, she started striking poses, and getting ideas — it’s great. ¬†So with a crazy minimal backdrop and some home-made lighting, we got to work, putting the “elements” all over her face. ¬†I’m happy with the way they turned out, though she was opposed to the water one most of all, and I would have liked to have seen even more droplets that what appears in the images. ¬†I would have to say the wind is my favorite though — loving it! ¬†Enjoy!