Restart. Sunday, Feb 21 2010 

I think I’m at one of those points in life where there are going to be big changes. The kind of changes that will make me who I will become. And I’m all different degrees of scared and excited. This is normal. But since I’m not there yet, here’s an update of where I currently stand…

Last week was Valentine’s Day. My first real Valentine’s Day. I slept in a bit that morning while Josh got up early to finish making my gift. It was his idea to do homemade gifts. I gave him a recipe scrapbook of everything I’ve cooked for him. With little memories written in next to each recipe. Josh had made me a canister that said “I love…” on the outside. Inside were countless little pieces of paper, each one stating something he loved about me. It was the best gift I’ve ever received, and I couldn’t help but cry a little. Definitely a happy cry though! Then we got ready and went to Cafe Strudel for brunch. I had the Charles’ bagel and he had the Hangover hashbrowns. We split a cherry strudel. We went home for a bit after that and just relaxed together. Had dinner reservations at M Vista. We got a pot of blooming white tea and curry beef and chicken potstickers for an appetizer. Then I ordered pineapple cashew fried rice and Josh got Bird’s Nest — a fried noodle basket filled with vegetables, chicken, and beef. We were pretty satisfied after that but still went to Nonnah’s for dessert. We got seated at the same table that we were at for my birthday. But they weren’t carrying the tiramisu for Valentine’s. So we got coffees, I got the espresso chocolate torte with ice cream, and Josh got a cake called Chocolate Temptation. We sat there and just talked for a bit. We both felt happy and everything felt just right…the perfect Valentine’s Day. Once we got home we finished watching Unfaithful, a movie we had started the night before. Talk about a mood killer. And with the exception of that and and my getting hit with a migraine right before bed, it truly was a great Valentine’s Day. And I’m so happy that I got to spend it with Josh.

Since then, it’s been back to our usual…trivia at the pub on Monday nights, poker with our friends on Thursday nights. Although I should note last night’s party. One of our friends had a cd release party and did a live set from his living room for all of us. It was really special. He performed very well and was so thankful we all came out. There were even free cds for everyone. Awesome night.

But those were all people I know through Josh. Friends on my end are hard to come by. One of my favorite friends moved back to New York before Christmas. Another stays really busy in Cola. Some friends are back home. My sister always seems preoccupied. My roommates are off doing crazy stuff or I’m hanging out with Josh. And I only have a couple guy friends on my side that have completely different schedules. I’d like to make some new friends of my own. I miss hanging out with Steph and Elle the most. But I do have one friend that’s in the apartment building right next to mine. Only thing is that she just moved here and is out on her own for the first time. She’s never lived on her own and doesn’t really have friends here. I helped her get settled and took her out with me several times just to introduce her to some new people and places. But she still only seems to stick to me. She’s becoming a bit clingy and I’m not sure what to do about it. I just want to push her out of the nest, out of her comfort zone, so she can start making a life of her own and have fun with it.

I’m still trying to do the same but I know I’m getting to where I’m going to be having less fun. Working more. Money issues. Moving. And I feel like less and less of this stuff will be involving my family. They aren’t paying for anything anymore. It will all be on me. I don’t get to see them as often because I’m so busy in a city that’s an hour away. And who knows where I’m moving. I’ll move to the first place I find a job.  And as much as I don’t like this distance that seems to be building between me and my family, I realize that I’m at a place where it’s normal to grow apart.

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Final Project. Thursday, Apr 23 2009 

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20090408_final2_0090

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This is just a sample of what I’ve been shooting at Blue Cactus Cafe. I’ve photgraphed the family that owns and runs the place, the food, atmosphere, and a few of their “regulars” such as the two pictured in the last photo. They are friends from high school that have been coming to Blue Cactus every week for about 10 years. But I have had some pretty big lighting and focus issues during my shoots so I’m going back yet again to re-shoot some things and even some things I missed. What I feel I have the most trouble with is getting more photos of the customers. They are there to eat and relax with friends or family and I just hate to waltz up with a huge camera and ask to take pictures. But you gotta do whatcha gotta do! Does anyone have any pointers how to make this go more smoothly? I also commented on Mallory’s and Danica’s blogs.

Ralph Gibson. Thursday, Apr 16 2009 

In doing research for my presentation on Annie Leibovitz, I discovered that she studied under Ralph Gibson. I had never heard of this photographer but looked up his photos to see where Annie got her inspiration from in the early years of her career. His work shows the same simplicity and form  than Annie’s photos do, but Gibson’s have a much more surreal look to them. Its high contrasts and makes dramatic understatements with his photos by focusing on some small detail, like the curve of a leg or the corner of a shelf. What I like is that his portraits aren’t what you’d expect. Where you would normally expect a face, Gibson may only give you a shadow. Take a look.

face

hand

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faces

official

Interesting stuff. Thursday, Apr 9 2009 

Now this is something I’ve never seen before. This guy, Peter Callesen, makes paper cut artwork that he describes as both “magical” and “tragic.” I think it’s a very fitting description. His work is magical in the sense that 2D is transformed into 3D. But it’s tragic, he says, because the 3D figures remain attached to the 2-dimensional paper. They are not free-standing but trapped. Most of Callesen’s work consists simply of paper and glue yet they are extremely intricate. Below are favorites as well as links to comments on some of my classmates’ blogs.

Bound to Be Free

Bound to Be Free

Mirage II

Mirage II

White Hand

White Hand

Comments on Class Blogs: Heather, Katie, and Tyler.

Keith Major. Thursday, Apr 2 2009 

Wednesday nights = America’s Next Top Model. This week’s photographer was Keith Major and I just loved how his pictures turned out. He did an amazing shoot where the models had their faces sprayed with a color which they had to evoke through emotion in their photos. I tried to find some of these to post with my blog but those photos haven’t appeared available online yet. Instead, I googled Keith Major and found his portfolio. His work consists mainly of beauty, fashion, music, and celebrity photography. He uses a lot of artificial light in his portraits which also are frequently shot close up. I’ve included some of my Major favorites below.

Tyra Banks.

Tyra Banks.

Eva Pigford - Top Model Winner

Eva Pigford - Top Model Winner

shadow

Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall

Ludacris

Ludacris

Jill Scott

Jill Scott

Near-Infrared Photography. Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

I was recently shown some infrared photography and I can honestly say it’s caught my eye and made me more interested in photography than I have been in a while. The color effects you can get with the infrared technique are quite unique. Green becomes white and skin tones look alien. I think this lends a dreamlike quality to these photos. Most cameras have filters that block infrared light but you can use a CCD filter to capture infrared light. The near-infrared images below were taken using both filters together and this technique often involves heavy post-processing to enhance the photos.

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wint

Gustav Klimt Thursday, Mar 19 2009 

The Kiss

The Kiss

I decided to deviate from photography and chose to focus this week’s blog on a painter. Gustav Klimt is a personal favorite of mine. He was an Austrian painter whose sought out the female body as a primary subject of his paintings and sketches. His portraits were often erotic in nature and his work was occasionally critiqued  as “pornographic.” What I love about his paintings, however, is how he managed to combine very natural and organic-looking subjects with extremely detailed geometric designs. I think his prominent use of gold leaf in his paintings also makes them unique. I’ve included a few paintings from Klimt’s “Golden Period.” The last painting though marks a shift in Klimt’s style…it originally had a gold background that was later painted over.

Beeches

Beeches

Emilie Floge

Emilie Floge

Death and Life

Death and Life

Family Photos Thursday, Mar 5 2009 

While going through photos on my computer in search of a potential blog post, I came across a folder of old family photos that I had scanned. I guess forgotten file folders are today’s version of stumbling across an old box in an attic. But I’ve pulled a couple to share (see below). The first is a picture of my father at 16…I think. I love this photo. It’s just your classic school portrait but it was taken in the mid-60s and I think my dad’s style is pretty awesome. That’s the spittin’ image of a Georgia boy, right there!

My dad at 16.

My dad at 16.

My second photo is of my mom and dad. I have no idea what year this was taken in, but maybe the late 70s? I don’t have many pictures of my mom and dad so this is definitely something to hold on to. I think the photos that hold the most importance for people probably tend to be old family photos or candid shots of friends. A capture of a nice memory. While professional and more journalistic photography is spectacular and award-winning, these generally aren’t the photos that we put up in our homes. So I just thought I’d make my blog a little more personal by sharing these.

Mom and Dad...the early years.

Mom and Dad...the early years.

Diane Arbus Thursday, Feb 26 2009 

Diane Arbus was an American photographer known for her controversial portraits of people who live on the edge of society. Her subjects were often dwarves, transvestites, twins and multiples, giants, prostitutes, circus acts, and others. Even though a good majority of her portraits are looking dead-on at their subject, they are something extraordinary because of the subject matter. Many of her photos were also taken in a square format. I think by maintaining these constants, Arbus was able to draw even more attention to her subjects.

So how did I come across Arbus’s work? Well, I heard about a quirky film starring Robert Downey, Jr. (who I love in just about everything) and Nicole Kidman called Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. I thought the film was intriguing as hell and looked up Arbus to find out more and see some of her actual photos. Her work may not be everyone’s cup of tea (not even mine) but like I said above, I think her photography is significant due to the subject matter. These are the faces of people you don’t see everyday…those who are social outcasts beause people viewed them as “freaks” and “oddities.” I’ve included some of Arbus’s most famous portraits below. What do you think?

Child with Toy Grenade, 1962

Child with Toy Grenade, 1962

Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ, 1967

Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ, 1967

Tattooed Man at Carnival, MD, 1970

Tattooed Man at Carnival, MD, 1970

Masked Woman in Wheelchair, 1970

Masked Woman in Wheelchair, 1970

“Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” – Diane Arbus

“I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.” – Diane Arbus

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” – Diane Arbus

Coraline: A 3D Visual Experience Thursday, Feb 19 2009 

I went to see Coraline in 3D with my sister the other week. I actually didn’t know I was going to see a movie in 3D until they handed me a pair of glasses with my ticket. This was my first 3D movie and it was quite an experience. The film is about a young girl named Coraline who finds a secret door in her house that takes her into an alternate version of her life. While it is rated PG (for thematic elements, scary images, some language, and suggestive humor), there has been much debate about whether this film actually is appropriate for children. Personally, I can see where parents would be concerned and can definitely see how young children could be scared by some of the images. However, I completely enjoyed this film. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before and I highly recommend seeing it. Coraline is directed by Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas). And Tim Burton, who obviously had a hand in it, designed the characters and sets.

Coraline entering a parallel life.

Coraline entering a parallel life.

Shooting Coraline in 3D

Shooting Coraline in 3D

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