Monday, April 22, 2013

Photo Essay: "My People"

My photo essay titled “My People” is a reflection of the people I care most about in their natural state. I did not tell any of them how to pose, or to pose at all. I wanted to convey their true essence and their true feeling, so I told them that I wanted to photograph them doing something they care about. I also wanted my people to tell their own stories, and to just let me photograph them with whatever their emotions might be at the moment, whether it be happy, silly, annoyed, bored or tired. These photos weren’t completely candid, but I told them that they had to be in a natural pose doing something they would be doing anyway, regardless if I had a camera photographing them. Interestingly enough, I got two very distinct different vibes coming from each of my locations. The first six photos were taken in my hometown, Romeo, MI, when I was visiting to try to take good photos. The overall emotion (besides my studying sister) is silliness and fun- which is exactly how it actually was. None of us had seen each other in a while, so we were excited to reunite and giggle like 12 year olds again. The following four photos were taken in Ann Arbor, which seems to have a more serious feeling. It likely has something to do with the fact that it is finals season. However, I think this photo essay does a good job at showing the distinction of my two worlds, while at the same time, bringing them together.

I tried really hard to incorporate the rule of thirds in any photo with a horizon, which I think I have successfully done, except in the photo of the girl eating cereal. I loved her expression and emotion too much to throw out the photo only because the horizon wasn’t necessarily in the perfect spot. At the same time, I like how this splits in the image equally in half similar to the last image. I think it gives two perspectives on their lives.

The following are individual explanations of each photo, and how they represent the natural emotions of my people:

In the first photo, they (my brother, his friend, and my bet friend) did a silly pose, which I think is a good reflection of their goofiness. The second photo of Randi was, clearly, unwanted. I decided to keep it though because she always attempts to hide her face, so I felt that this was such a typical Randi pose. In the third photo, my brothers’ friend, Shawn, stole my sunglasses and asked me to photograph him. The fourth photo is of Kevin during a trip to the Arb. The fifth is my grandma and brother hanging out in the living room, as they always do on the weekend. The sixth is my sister studying, which as a medical student, is what she always does when she visits home. These previous six photos were taken in my home town, Romeo, Michigan, when I visited home for a weekend. The seventh through tenth photo were taken in Ann Arbor. The seventh is of my friends, Benj and Sarah, doing Karaoke at Circus bar. They love singing karaoke, and this photo captured it in an interesting way. The eighth photo of my friend Nick Walker-Craig is of him sitting in front of a blanket over the “UGli” sign with “Express your Debt” written on it. Nick helped put on this event because he is a part of UM student union. The ninth photo captures my housemate, Carisa, in her morning crankiness as I captured her eating breakfast. Finally, the last photo of my roommate, Zyz, shows her reading before going to bed, with the door to my housemate’s bedroom open.

Overall, the key to understanding my photo essay is knowing that I wanted to capture the raw emotion of all the great people in my life. While these emotions were not all necessarily happy and silly, the photos still share a real story that is uniquely, and emotionally theirs. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Gonna be ME!

High Five Dog

New Obsession: MAKING GIFS!

Another Gif I Made!

Potential Photography Project Photo (PPPP)

Brian, would you be able to post the photo essay assignment to your blog please? Pretty please?

Three Conflict Photographs

In class on Monday, we had discussed the homework assignment after analyzing the photo with the model and elephant, particularly the contrasts between the delicate, smooth-skinned model, and the rough, wild elephants.

I was under the impression that our homework assignment was to take three different photos of strong contrasts/conflict, much like the photo with the lady and the elephants.

Anyway, I hope that is correct! Here are the three photos I took!

Contrast: Ugly UGli with beautiful East Hall (?) in the background.

Two contrasts here: hard concrete on soft grass, and
 "U OF M OUTSIDE LIGHTING" photographed under natural light.

Contrast: Stop sign above a sign that indicates it's okay to walk.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Weekly Summary Post

Considered this as a self-portrait for .1 seconds

This week's completed assignments:
Taking the photos for this week's assignments was a lot of fun! The only trouble I encountered was when I was trying to take a picture of an extreme close-up. I took various photos of different things and kept changing the settings to try to make the close-up more clear, but all of them ended up slightly fuzzy. I had to just accept that my camera just isn't great with extreme close-ups. 

I am glad that we are doing the photography section at the end of the semester, because it feels like special treat since it is so familiar.

Response to "Masters of Photography: Diane Arbus"

Photograph of Diane Arbus, CC Allan Arbus/The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC

Although I was overall not very impressed with this video about Diane Arbus, I think there are a few interesting points worth talking about:
  • According to the video, technique comes from choices deep down inside, and a lot of it is luck or ill luck. As a non-professional photographer, this statement comforts me. Probably because I can say that my bad picture taking is really not completely my fault. Also, if technique comes from choices deep down inside, then great photographers are naturals at it. Of course you can teach technique, but I think the best photographers already have a special talent.
  • Diane Arbus said that she never took a picture that she intended. I find this intriguing because I would be disappointed in myself if I never was able to do what I intended. However, Arbus thinks not achieving her intentions is positive. Perhaps photography is different because it is that element of not knowing exactly how the photograph will look after snapping the shot. Even that seems strange to me though, because the view finder allows us to see the image before photographing it. Or, maybe Arbus is happy that she was able to surprise herself with every photo, because they've exceeded her expectations. It's somewhat unclear. 

Daily Shoot: Universal Theme


Daily Shoot: Ugly Turned Beautiful

Daily Shoot: Something's Shadow

Daily Shoot: Self-Portrait

Daily Shoot: Extreme Close-Up

Old pizza. Delicious! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Daily Shoot: Portrait

My grandma

Daily Shoot: Contrast

Taken a few weekends ago when we still had snow, but this is Bella!

Creating a Compelling Narrative in Photographs

I read the article "6 Easy Ways to Give your Photographs a Compelling Narrative" by Robert Bradley, and discovered the six secrets:

  1. Ask yourself questions when photographing, and bring along a notebook to record your ideas.
  2. Capture an image with conflicting emotion from at least two different subjects.
  3. Build relationships between the subjects, whether they are both human or not.
  4. Isolate your subject. You should follow the rule of thirds and keep it at one or two subjects if you're a beginner.
  5. Incorporate the basics of color theory to determine which colors blend well.
  6. Capture a candid image at just the right second.

This is a photo I took of my two sisters, Missi and Jenny, with Missi's pug. I think this photo tells a compelling narrative because it builds a relationship with the subjects (Missi eyeing Jenny eyeing pug), as well as conflicting emotion (Missi annoyed with Jenny because she is having fun mocking the pug). 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekly Summary

This weeks completed assignments:

I felt much more comfortable after leaving the design section for the all to familiar world of photography. I really struggled with design and still feel like I didn't really grasp much from that section, but I think that is in large part do to the fact that I am Photoshop illiterate, and it would take more than a few weeks to become a pro at it. For future courses, I would recommend that instead of splitting up one section between design and photography, it would be best to focus on one of those two. I think both topics are important to this class, so maybe one semester the class focuses on design for the section, and the following semester could be photography. That means students could pick which semester to take this class, knowing the difference. Yet this is assuming that this course will be offered year-round, which isn't necessarily true...yet?

"Cameras vs. The Human Eye" Reading Response

The article I read was an analysis of why eyes and cameras process the same image differently. The three main reasons for this are:
  1. Angle of View
    • Cameras have a wide angle of view, compared to our eyes' narrow angle of view
  2. Resolution and Detail
    • Unlike the camera, only our central vision is 20/20, and we only catch 1/10th of the detail anywhere off-center from our eyes.
    • A single glance is only able to perceive the detail of a 5-15 megapixel camera.
  3. Sensitivity & Dynamic Range
    • Our eyes are able to adjust to an image after looking at it. Rather than quickly glancing at something, in the case of letting our eyes adjust, scientists estimate that our eyes can see 10-14 f-stops of dynamic range. I'm still not sure exactly what this means, but according to the article, it is similar to an SLR camera.
MAIN POINT: We should not try to determine whether or not a camera can process an image like our eyes can because photographs have different standards.

Is the goal of future cameras to capture images like human minds can? It would be an incredibly complex and terrifying machine to do so, because it requires a mind to interpret information. New cameras with high megapixels are great and all, but I hope they don't undermine poloraoids and other cool retro photograph quality our parents used.

Since this article, though technically a tutorial according to the website, didn't actually teach me how to do anything (it taught me why things are the way they are), I am posting an image of a scanned polaroid picture that I took a few years back. Poor quality, yes. Undervalued style, yes.

Daily Shoot: Rule of Thirds

Not the most interesting photo, but I think it does a good job at exemplifying the rule of thirds

Daily Shoot: Low Horizon

Daily Shoot: Black and White

My sister with Pigiodo, the family bird

Daily Shoot: Repeating Pattern

Porch furniture

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cat Gif

I will update this with a how-to later tonight because I am unexpectedly crunched for time at the moment, but here is my very first gif! I am so happy that I know how to make gifs now!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Response to "Jon" by George Saunders

CC Flickr User Ars Electronica

I'll admit that the story was somewhat hard to read (and by that, I mean it was somewhat hard to skim, such as what a college student does for most of their readings). The way of writing, which includes the run-on sentences paired with references to anything in society, slowed me down. It almost started losing its main point because there was so much stream of consciousness fluff.

At the same time, Saunders' style of writing is really intriguing! The story was so dark, about babies dying, yet the extra fluff of pop culture products lightened the subject. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. It made me feel weird how light heartened the story felt despite the heavy themes going on. Nonetheless, the story still remains me of this in some ways:

Monday, April 1, 2013

New Minimalist Image


For these minimalist posters, I was getting so frustrated with photoshop that I just switched over to paint. I think the top image is cooler looking, but I am happy with both. I think it has something to do with the fact that Otis looks like a monkey when he is in fact a pug.