Week 3: Red

Well, I sure am missing the weather I was around during my week 1 self portrait.  With all this snow, I’ve been wanting to get out and shoot, but things have been pretty messy, to say the least!  It’s freezing (ok, so it actually wasn’t that bad today, but it’s been freezing), there’s snow and slush everywhere, and my car has a tire that keeps deflating, so I’m not gonna push it.  Today, I thought I would just run with this theme, and give it a go with the resources I had.

With all the weather related problems in the area, I didn’t want to have the same issues I had last year and miss a chance to do another “red” theme.  I still have my original idea for that one, but also still have my original problem, lack of model, with a new problem, lack of location.  I’ll get it eventually, but for now, I’ll just tuck that one back in the memory/idea bank.

So, red.  I woke up early-ish this morning, and started mixing some red paint with a little bit of water.  With the massive amounts of snow around the yard, and some of them making some interesting wall-like shapes, I thought it would be fun to use those to my advantage, and make something creative.  So with my gooey red paint, and all bundled up, I started splashing paint around, which really didn’t work as well as I thought it would.  With as much snow as we had, and the fact that it’s been sitting there for a few days, I figured it would be kind of frozen and give me a good surface.  On the contrary, the snow was really light and fluffy on the top, so the paint pretty much disappeared.  Good thing I’m cautious, because I didn’t just go and dump all my paint in one spot, so I had a couple more chances to try it again.  Eventually, I started getting the shapes and brightness that I wanted, and though it didn’t look like the paint was sitting on top of the snow, you could see it much better at this point.

I worked in two areas with this.  Once was completely flat, pristine, untouched snow, which, with all it’s fluffiness, didn’t work out as well as I thought it would.  As I was investigating the yard, I found a few dried plants sticking out of the wall-like areas, so I decided to drown them in red paint.  This worked much better in my opinion.  You can really see the gooey texture on the plants while still getting some interesting textures and designs in the snow as well.  And since this is in the “artistic” category of the challenge, I’m happy with how slightly creepy these turned out as well 🙂  I showed them to a friend of mine who doesn’t always like the “weird and dark” things I do, and she said she felt inspired to write a murder mystery.  Thanks?  Thanks; I’ll take it as a compliment, because I know what it looks like!  So enjoy my fun, messy, paint experiment!






Week 3: Candy Cigarette

So selecting a photo for this week’s assignment was a bit of a challenge.  I asked friends and family for suggestions tons of times, and in the process came up with some pretty funny ideas.  My mother suggested that my very athletic aunt pose as Brandi Chastain the moment she scored the winning goal of the world cup.  I thought it would be funny to create a little model of the Loch Ness Monster and put it in my bathtub to recreate that infamous photo.  But in the end, I ended up selecting one that may not be “famous” according to many, but that I have stumbled upon several times, making it famous enough for me in regards to this tasks, as well as one that has stuck with me as a really interesting image.

Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989, toned sivler gelatin print.

Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette, 1989, toned silver gelatin print.

The above image, as captioned, was taken by Sally Mann, and is from her series Immediate Family.  The image of her daughters captures the line between the innocence of childhood, and their development into adulthood.  It encompasses everything that you would go through at that age; youth, purity, playfulness, defiance, attitude, confusion.  As titled, she is holding a candy cigarette, but her pose suggests a much more mature demeanor than that of a child with a piece of candy.  You can see more about this series and image here, and check out Sally Mann’s work at her website here.


My recreation

So while I don’t have children, or an abundance of models to recreate the scene exactly, I have again enlisted my good friend to help me with yet another photo project.  She has a fairly youthful look, and has even been mistaken for my little sister, or child (I don’t look that old!!), which greatly helps in recreating the original image.  I attempted to keep a relatively shallow depth of field to blur the background, also mimicking the original.  To stray from the innocence of the original image, I decided to replace the candy cigarette with an actual one, and have her light up, to take some more edgy images, if you will.  I kept the original pose, but instructed her to just allow the smoke to bellow out of her mouth, leaving some pretty lovely trails of smoke fading away in the wind.  I wanted to keep the look of innocence in her pose and facial expression, but contradict that with the action of having a lit cigarette.  Check them out!  Hope you enjoy!

Recreating a Famous Photo

Sigh….This week, I was so looking forward to, until I started researching.  As I search for ideas, my computer floods my screen with images of terrible things that have happened throughout history, and I’m at a loss for ideas.  I would love for my recreation to be something meaningful, something beautiful, but I’m not fond of the idea of recreating something which is a depiction of someone’s heartache or struggles.  So many times through my searching I’ve come across images of war, the holocaust, bombings, terrorist attacks, just terrible things.  And along side with that, and almost equally as terrible, are the completely overdone and all to frequently replicated images; The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album cover, the image of the woman with the striking eyes from the cover of National Geographic, a woman and her two children during the great depression.  All of which are wonderful images, greatly captured and holding a story from days past, but I can’t bring myself to do something that so many other people have done.

So I keep searching…

Maybe I’ll do a play on something a little more light-hearted — something from a movie, or from pop culture.  Maybe I’ll go with something that has a nostalgic feel, which is what I often lean towards.  Maybe I’ll take something that is overdone, and give it a creative twist, recreating it in my own way.  Who knows!  Guess we’ll all have to wait and see!

frustrated…but thinking