Oak Ridge, North Carolina

There is something about being in another person’s house. What I noticed about all of the houses I went to in North Carolina last week was that they were homes. Here in Atlanta, and even in my hometown in Florida, a lot of the houses I went to were temporary. They were sitting areas until the next one, or they were longtime homes with little distinction from magazine homes, personality-wise. In North Carolina, instead of stock photo IKEA frames, there are mix-matched decorative frames with school portraits and kids’ drawings; there are wicker baskets, yellow light, overwhelmed storage rooms, well acquainted furniture, trinkets, and candles; there is an aura in each house.

There is something even more touching about being in a house that belongs to someone who has transitioned. Memories left behind, objects with no owners, haunting portraits that somehow make you want to smile and cry. That was my experience being in Oak Ridge, North Carolina; the hometown of my boyfriend’s grandmother. Though her body has retired, her home and spirit will continue on in pictures, trinkets, drawings, furniture, and all else that moves on with the family. _DSC0291 _DSC0292 _DSC0335 _DSC0352 _DSC0364 _DSC0367 _DSC0369 _DSC0377 _DSC0403 _DSC0423 _DSC0487 _DSC0490 _DSC0512

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.

Studio High

I greatly apologize for the lack of content; a family member passed away and took me off to North Carolina for a week (pictures of the beauty of NC will be up shortly after this.) Now I’m back on track, except not really at all. I felt overwhelmed in my studio photography class after missing two days about strobes (one of those being the introduction) so I took it upon myself to practice some speedlight photography at home with my one wimpy off-brand flash. The fact that Atlanta called a snow day (despite the anticlimactic weather) allowed me to stay up photographing objects until 1AM last night and to continue when I woke up at 9AM this morning.

Nonetheless, here are the unedited results of a studio lighting high.

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Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.

Afterthoughts: Beth Lily, Trevor Deese, and Jack Reese

Listening to three artists talks back to back–well, one gallery owner explaining an artists work and two Grad student artist talks–has proven to muddle my mind today.

As a color photography class field trip, we met at Whitespace Gallery to view the work of Beth Lily. Her work up in Whitespace is comprised of voyeuristic photographs involving cars and the people in them. The first room has black and white prints on rice paper of contemplative people in their cars as they pass the car Lily is in. Lily is a practicing Buddhist who finds her meditation fully erected in travelling by car. The second room has three groupings of work. The closest is of color prints of people in their cars, this time with more drama. The people in the cars had more narrative than just looking thoughtful. There was an old woman reaching out of the frame, for what we won’t know. There was a man driving a car with two younger passangers, one with gauze over his eye and resting on a pillow. This part of the series struck me because I could stare at the images as long as I pleased. It wasn’t the fleeting moment of a car passing on the highway. It was the image of that fleeting moment that my brain could never solidy for comprehend extensively. To the right of this group, Lily played with that idea of playing God with fleeting moments. She made hand-turnable flip books of people in their cars. I noticed myself and my classmates controlling the speed of the images as preferred. The last wall interested me the most. It disconnected from what was outside of the car and connected with the passenger within and what that passenger experienced. It was the more abstract and painterly group of the series.

The Grad talks consisted of, I think, five graduate students. We made it to two. The first was a student named Trevor Reese. A sculptor, Reese had an interest in objects and their existence and perception within the world as well as objects’ responses to human interaction. He also mingles in human response to objects outside of their normal display.

The second talk was given by Jack Deese, a photography grad student. His work is an intimate documentary, in my opinion. He approaches his work head on with his experiences. His presentation was intimate in itself in that he created it into a narrative rather than a setlist of his work. Each series presented had personal memory and consequence. However, he prefers to give his work no context or a universal context, so that no matter where the images are seen (he visualized them in book form, so no matter where the images are read) they would have some sense of narrative that may or may not be influenced by context and still hold its own.

“I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists.” -Marcel Duchamp

All Work, All Play

Studio Photography has been rushing us right into lighting and whipping past large format photography. Today, I finished printing five 11×14″ black and white prints in the darkroom. This was our first assignment with the large format camera. I took home the Sinar, which I have fallen in love with. My gift list now consists of:

  • black and white darkroom materials (the whole shebang, enlargers, safe lights, paper, film, chemicals…)
  • a hasselblad
  • a Sinar large format studio camera

Anyway, our assignment was a technical one, in order to display our knowledge of camera movements such as shifts, tilts, and rises/falls. We also had to incorporate the Scheimpflug principle.

Those images will reach you after my professor grades them.

Our second assignment is to mimic the lighting from a baroque painting. I chose Boy with Basket of Fruit by Carvaggio.

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We were to utilize our digital cameras to make sure our exposure was perfect, then we were expected to use the large format camera to bracket the shot with color film. Since our university’s darkroom isn’t equipped with color developing chemicals, we have to send it out. But here’s the digital output:

_DSC0023 In total, I spent 10 hours today at school working on photography; all the while being rewarded for doing something I love.

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. – David Frost

Pinhole Pandemonium; Atlanta’s Detonation of Art and the Point We Are Missing

As many people have probably heard, a Georgia State student’s pinhole camera was detonated earlier this week.

Atlanta skipped the “curiosity killed the cat” phase and decided that the soda can–duct taped with a note of its purpose–was going to kill us, even though it wasn’t investigated thoroughly.

What irks me so much is that Atlanta, the U.S., and even other nations are so concerned about this pinhole camera, that never was, never was going to be, a threat to Atlanta; whereas there are other news stories that are far more important that need to be discussed, but since this has been blown far out of proportion, now it’s been forced into discussion.

It terrifies me that the general sense of paranoia goes so far as to suspect a bomb, and resolve to detonate it without trusting multiple sources that said it was a camera. And then after the fact and after the university confirmed it as being a camera, they still required all of the other pinholes from the assignment to be taken down, and are now within custody of the police with no expectations of return.

Those students were making art and the city has denied them the privilege to use public space to create beautiful images.

The news is wondering who’s to blame. The readers of the news are wondering who’s to blame. That doesn’t matter. What matters is why did we respond to art in such a dramatic way? What will people outside of the art world think of art when it now has a history of being a potential bomb threat? What will become of those artists who suffer from a loss of support from those who are ignorant?

A fear of ignorance is why I read everything. Ignorance blows up pinhole cameras; they didn’t know, they blew it up.

Read. Everything. If we stop to absorb in information, we can save time, money, and art.

“Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.”

-Edward Steichen

May we let this unborn pinhole photograph reveal to us the gamut of the feelings of the art world, the beauty of what could have been a brilliant image, and the wealth wasted, the absurd confusion. Let this photograph show us what man is right now. Let us learn from this; let’s put our fingers down onto lines from a novel, not onto people.

Color Shift in Practice

As a quick update: My lack of posts has been due to a stressful week. This post was originally drafted like a week and a half ago but was delayed because I couldn’t add the pictures. But now I can.

The first assignment for my color photography class involved a part that asked us to create a series of five images keeping mind to using color shifts to suggest a mood. Of course, as part of the life of an art student, we are critiqued on our work by the entire class and professor. I always find it helpful to hear about my work from many mouths to see what works and what doesn’t. The best part is to explore the minds of others. Photography can be very indirect about meaning. I often think “a photo says a thousand words” lends itself to the fact that everyone is going to use their own set of words to describe it; which of course must add up to more than a thousand words.

Enough of babbling, here’s my series:

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