Tuesday, March 4, 2014
More class portraits to share here. The first set was from a few weeks ago and they were taken just after my students all had midterms. You can visually see the shared relief in those portraits. We were outside discussing various lighting situations [as you do] when I asked each of them to let me take their portrait by their car. I think that Mary Ellen Mark came to mind when I took these images...
The second set of images comes from my new love of True Detective. That opening sequence! Amazing!! I've seen double exposures floating around the internet for a while and it was fun to make these, I admit. They were easy enough to put together and all the images I had taken already from previous trips and shoots. This week we will be discussing the ever expanding definition of what a portrait can and cannot display. Strong relationships of people to place seem to overtake this subject. Can the environment tell more of a person? Can a person tell more of the environment? When put together, do either hide or reveal a person?
This week, I'm excited to see what my students came up with after our environmental field trip last Wednesday. I really want to display their work in the halls since it seems to excite them a bit more about my 8am class. We shall see!
Monday, February 24, 2014
This past weekend I had the excited opportunity to take a wet plate class at Rayko. The whole workshop was intense, too short, and all too addicting. I can really understand why tintypes have gotten so much buzz as of lately. When you see one in person, they are more than what is viewed online or in print. There's more dimension and textures found in tintypes that I encourage any interested to check them out.
Carlos was a wonderful instructor and I have nothing but the highest regards for him and his teaching practices. We started Saturday off by observing the entire process from coating a plate, capture in camera, and development. Sunday we watched how to mix the collodion and later, varnish the plates.
I focused on self-portraits again. I have been very curious about seeing my ideas in wet plate and working with this new medium. If only I had a working darkroom! I worked with the available student 4x5 view cameras and also played with the Holga as well. Both cameras are dedicated to wet plate and the 4x5 film holders are slightly modified to hold wet plates.
My dreams of owning a working wet plate studio and darkroom will have to wait further along but for now space can be rented at Rayko.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Each week in my portrait class that I'm currently teaching, I try and take a portrait of my students. Try, being the optimal word here. Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't. Sometimes we don't have time or someone is absent. Sometimes they refuse over the idea of an 8am portrait but sometimes they cheese-out in front of the camera. More over than not, I find that they get more involved and interested as each new week emerges. Last time I took simple portraits using my Fuji Instax. We utilized the classroom white board and I asked them to define themselves in one word.
This week the theme was "emulation" and together we all focused on Martin Schoeller's portraits. We broke down his ideas and aesthetics behind the signature style and then recreated it in studio. We discussed the importance behind posing and composition. I had them think about Schoeller's interest in the eyes and why they were so piercing. My students get very involved and I feel lucky that I can share these images here.
This week is midterms and I'm excited to see their projects and own work!
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
New, new, new.
That seems to be the running theme this week.
To begin with, I managed to get my darkroom set-up. I blackened out the windows, screwed in the red lights, cleaned out old chemicals, dusted off my trays and hung my apron. All last week I worked on running my exposure tests and getting a feel for my newly made exposure unit. (All in all, I say quite a success!)
I worked with some images shot from a few weeks ago via my Stern Grove/Petzval excursion. And of course, as such imagery does, they came out beautifully in Cyanotype.
I started a new series, one that I'll now call Fragments. I had the idea nearly six months ago but couldn't seem to find the motivation to shoot it until now. It's funny how the art-making process works. I still remember exactly why I had wanted to create this series too. The main idea came from a random accident that occurred involving a side mirror and glass shattering onto the ground. During that time I also was trying to find relief from the complexity of heavy duty thesis project. This series is kind of my "stripped bare, back to the roots, as close to straight photography as I'm going to get" kind of project...which really doesn't say anything at all about the images. But in terms of my shooting style, these do seem pretty far removed.
I'm excited to announce that this coming April, I'll be teaching a gum bichromate class at Rayko Photo Center. If you've ever been curious or had the desire to know how to take digital images and create historical colored prints, then come join me Monday evenings starting April 21st-May 19th. Reserve your spot soon, space is limited!
Imagined Realities exhibit, curated by Shana and Robert ParkeHarrison. The exhibit shows through the month of February until March 14th at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. This is my second time showing at PhotoPlace and then third time that the Red Bag has exhibited across the country. The ParkeHarrison's have always been a great inspiration to me as conceptual artists and image makers, so I'm thrilled that they would choose my image as a part of their 40 piece curated show. If in Middlebury, please stop by!
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
A while back I had posted a teaser photo on Instagram. Horray! I had started a new project! Typically when I do so, it usually takes me a few weeks to complete.
Not this time around! I suppose I still have the "new year" attitude to just get stuff done.
So I found this lovely post on Design*Sponge and was instantly inspired to create my own wood and leather organizer. In my project, I went a step further than their DIY. I decided to add a few coats of clear glossy Polyurethane to my base board and then hang it on my wall.
Read below for my steps. Click here for the original Design*Sponge post.
To begin with, the whole reason I even began this DIY was because I had most of the materials lying around my studio and house. An extra random Ikea board? Check. Salvaged leather scraps? Check. Finish, miscellaneous tools and a hanging kit? Check, check, and check. I suppose that the only two things that I purchased were based off of wants rather than necessities. ( I really liked the look of the brassy escutcheon pins and again, I wanted a glossy finish to my base board. I have a few cans of semi-gloss in my garage and I knew that regular nails would work just as well. But design aesthetics prevail and together, the pins and stain cost me around $10)
So again, materials you will need:
- Wood plank (Mine measured 7.25"x31")
- Brass nails/Escutcheon pins
- Fine grit sandpaper (I used 220 grit)
- Clear Gloss Polyurethane (I used Clear gloss fast-drying Minwax Polyurethane)
- Cheap 2" brush
- Paper towels
- Heavy duty scissors/Utility Knife
The first thing I did was to prep my materials. I cut out the pockets from the leather and lightly sanded the wood for the finish. I measured out three different sizes for my leather pockets:
This last step was of my own preference. I knew that I wanted to hang this on the wall in my kitchen. You don't have to hand this piece but just leave it at that. The Design*Sponge DIY shows their organizer leaning up again a wall or counter.
So in my case, I ended up pre-drilling some small holes for wiring and added some foam bumpers on the lower portion of the board.