Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mason Jennings and Zach Gill Show

I went to a Mason Jennings show tonight and took a few photos. The lighting made it difficult to get a quality image, but I was still happier with the photos than I thought I'd be. They came out pretty blurry but I think it almost adds to some of them. If only I had a better camera...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Frame

These two images of the feet are my examples of what I consider an effective use of the frame. I like that the close-up perspective puts a focus on detail.

I felt that this landscape was another effective use of the frame. Compared to the photo below (the ineffective use of the frame) I think the grass is an important element to show the perspective from which the photo was taken.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

insprired by irving penn

I really wanted to try to emulate Penn's technique in is portrait photography. He preferred the neutral background of the studio atmosphere and most of his shots are in black and white. He used natural light for all is shots. Even when traveling to remote locations he brought along a portable studio and used a funnel of sorts to capture the natural light and create the studio atmosphere. For this assignment I wanted to experiment with using a neutral background and natural light to do some black and white portraits.
When editing these photos I converted them to black and white and then adjusted the levels of contrast and brightness. I didn't do any cropping, I wanted to focus on the frame of the shot when I took it. I had the model pose in front of a plain wall near a window. I'm very pleased with how the lighting turned out. I also had her wear the cloth to add texture to the photo. The lighting really brings out the texture of the folds very beautifully.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Portrait of an Artist: Irving Penn

Irving Penn’s Photography

“ A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”
- Irving Penn

Irving Penn was born in New Jersey in 1938. He studied design at the Philadelphia Museum School and soon began his work as the art and advertising director at Saks Fifth Avenue. Eventually he became a photographer and illustrator for Vogue magazine. He is known for his highly stylized form of fashion photography as well as portraits. Penn often used a plain gray or white background for is subjects as well as very structured composition and lighting. This technique gives his subjects a sense of emotion to the eyes of the viewer, or no emotion at all. He preferred the formality of a studio and would use portable studios when traveling. Even when photographing New Guinea tribesmen, Peruvian Indians, and North African Nomads he used the neutral background. For this, he always used natural light. Penn is known as one of the most influential advertising photographers in the world as well as for his post World War II feminine chic fashion photography.

The photo that struck me is this one taken in the 50’s of a woman in bed hugging a pillow close to her with the telephone to her ear. The black and white image shows the lights and shadows in the wrinkles and folds of the sheets. This woman is centered in the frame and the shot appears to have been taken from the vantage point of directly above her. Although this is not shot in a studio environment characteristic of Penn’s photos, the sheets serve as the neutral, all-white background. There are interesting lines in the image created by the woman’s contour and the wrinkles in the sheet. The sheets also convey an interesting appearance of texture. To me, the pillow and the telephone seem to be the central focus of this image. I feel like this woman misses someone who is far away. I sense the emotion of longing as if I subconsciously identify with it. I think that, according to Penn's definition of a good photo, this one is definitely effective.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Assignment 1 Journal

Familiar Space: My room.

(We were asked to spend time in our familiar space then leave and write down everything we could remember about it)

I have plants on my window sill (a sunflower, a cactus, and purple flowers). Next to the plants are my two miniature ceramic pandas. My bed is made, I have five pillows on it. M blue shoes are by the door where I took them off. There is a dead ladybug on my middle window...I can't even write everything down because I remember everything.
After coming back into my room, I realize that I remembered lots of little details about it. I think that is what I like most about it. Details give things (and spaces) character. When I started taking pictures I focused on details that i felt express my personality and to convey the familiar, homey feeling of someone's most personal space. I experimented with different angles, texture, and lighting.

Unfamiliar Space: Used Bookstore

I was on my way to Peace Park to take some photos when I passed a used bookstore on 9th street. I first went in out of curiosity and to look at books and then thought it would be the perfect location for my shoot. 
I really wanted to capture the mood of the space. It was a small and charming place with lots of character. That is probably what was attractive to me about it. I love places with character. 
I walked around for about 30 minutes just examining all the little nooks and looking for neat photo opportunities. After a while, I asked the woman at the register if I may take photos. She said it was alright. She understood because she was a photo journalism student in college. So anyway, I began shooting from different angles, getting close-ups on book ends, and secretly trying to include people in the shop as well.
I was very pleased with how my photos turned out. They really captured the cozy, relaxed, and artistic atmosphere. During the shoot I even came across a book I decided to purchase. The once unfamiliar space turned out to be a place I'd like like to return to soon. 
After paying for my book the woman asked how I thought my pictures would turn out and wished me luck. It was a very friendly place.