Thursday, January 22, 2015

Final Thoughts

     Throughout this whole semester in Photo II class, I am most proud of the work I did during our "Abstract" photo assignment. This assignment really expanded my knowledge of photography, and how much it has changed over the years. For this assignment, we used manual cameras in order to prepare ourselves to take similar images with film. Taking photos with a manual camera was very different from just snapping a shot with an iPhone, or point-and-shoot camera. There was a lot to think about when taking these images. We had to adjust the f-stop, ISO, and shutter speed depending on the type of image we were trying to capture. Also, this assignment really made me think about the type of image I was trying to capture. Before this assignment, I didn't put a lot of thought into the images I was creating, and therefore they didn't come out as well. For this assignment, as a class, we really talked in depth about what makes a good abstract photo and used those characteristics to create these images. Some of the things that we came up with were a wide range of color, up-close shots, and interesting shape formations. I really kept these in mind as I gathered materials to take photos of and as I was about to take the shot. There were many steps that went into this assignment, and each step impacted my learning and made me a better photographer. 

     This semester in photography, I encountered many things that affected me as a learner and as a person. First off, pairing up with the Creative Writing class was a very valuable and memorable experience. This was a very unforgettable experience because of all of the people in Mrs. Noack's room talking about the photos we had taken. It was very rewarding to know that the Writing class appreciated and admired our work just like we did theirs. It was so interesting to get to hear them share their thoughts on the photos that we had taken, and they let us know what in the photo gave us inspiration. Ever since that collaboration, I think about the feedback they gave us when I look through my images. For example, one girl focused on color and wrote about that because it was a prominent feature in one of my photos. Another person wrote a full story about one of my images. I have really tried to make my pictures interesting and fun ever since, because it's definitely more appealing to the viewer if there is a message or story that they can get out of the photo. 
     Another valuable experience I gained was the "Manual Camera Settings" Assignment. I remember all six of the students in our class outside, fairly frustrated and confused with the manual cameras because we were so used to automatic cameras. Learning about how to get motion blurred, motion frozen, deep depth of field, and shallow depth of field by just changing the settings on our camera was very valuable to my learning. I created some very beautiful images from this experience because I gained a great knowledge of the camera. This really impacted my learning because even though I probably won't be shooting many photos in the future with a manual camera, I will be taking many photos. Know, I will think about what kind of photo I want, and how I am planning on capturing it. I think that a major component of the assignment was consciously changing a setting on the camera to get the desired image, and I can do just this with an automatic camera as well. 
      My final memorable experience in photography this year was shooting my emulation photos. It was a very long process to choose a photographer, study them, emulate their images, and make a creative movie to demonstrate your work. This process gave me a much better understanding of the photography world, and I learned about what a photographer's goals are. In Francesco Tonelli's case, his main goal was to make viewer want to eat or buy the food he photographed. Other photographer's goals could be to make a viewer buy their clothes or try a certain activity. Emulating Tonelli really made me put some thought into how I was going to create my images, and then how I should present them. This experience was definitely memorable because each day I was at home, and there was good, bright light outside, I would be brainstorming food that I could make that would photograph well. All three of these experiences definitely impacted my learning, and I feel that I am a better photographer for going through them. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fun With Photoshop

  • To become familiar with Adobe Photoshop workspace and basic photo manipulating and editing tools;
  • To look at and think about your own photographs in a different way.

From this project, I learned many things about photoshop. It is a very useful tool for combining photos to make artwork. I learned that you could layer two images, desaturate the top, and then erase parts of it to let color show through. This technique is very useful when you want to emphasize one specific color. I also, learned to fade an image, almost to make it dreamlike and blend with the background. Through researching Maggie Taylor and exploring photoshop, I also learned about the many different layers that can make up a single photograph. Like in the photo above, I blended the 3 layers to create this image. These layers can create many different possibilities depending on how you combine and put them together. I tried my best to make my images look realistic, but Photoshop can definitely be used to create surreal images (like Maggie Taylor does). I also learned about the filters when I was exploring Photoshop. The filters give images a new look and putting different filters on different layers in a creation can make it much more interesting. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Colors of Winter

As I was walking out to my car, I saw an ice covering on the rims of the car's window. I ran my fingers over it and it was very rough. I noticed the sun rising in the distance, and the beautiful reflection on the car window. I first captured a photo of the specks of ice on the window, and then went on to take a photo of the ice on the bottom of the window. I wanted to capture both the snow, and the reflection in this image, and that is how I came about creating this photo. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Art of Maggie Taylor

Surrealism is an art technique in literature and visual arts. It sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind in the 1920s. Maggie Taylor uses this technique by creating images and people in unusual and unnatural ways. Surrealism really tells a story and lets the mind run wild, and that's exactly was Taylor's images do. The scenes that are created using surrealism are illogical and dreamlike, and contain an element of surprise.

Maggie Taylor is an artist that started out photographing still life images. She eventually shifted to digital art, using Adobe Photoshop. She creates dreamlike, surreal images on the computer using actual photographs. In 1996, she began to use her computer to create her images. She began to do this digital art because it was time consuming for her to set up multiple objects to create a scene. Taylor figured it would be more efficient to create on a computer because she would have more control over the shadows, objects, and colors in the scene. The ability to layer so many objects in Photoshop intrigued Taylor. She tends not to necessarily use inspiration for every project. Taylor doesn't have an endpoint in mind when she begins a project, she instead relies on accidental discoveries. In some cases, like her Almost Alice collection, she was inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and that inspiration really shows in the scenes that she created. She also, visits small antique shops to gather small artifacts and photographs to include in her scenes.
I found it interesting that originally the Adobe dropped off a computer for Taylor's husband to create images digitally, and that is how she discovered the possibilities of Photoshop. Also, the amount of work that she puts into her artwork is incredible. She makes up one of her images, called The Burden of Dreams, with 225 layers. Also, Taylor loves to photograph water, and includes bodies of water in many of the scenes she creates.

Small Celebration

      Small Celebration is an image of a women emerging from water. I found this photo very interesting after I read about how Maggie Taylor put multiple photos and scenes together. She first started out with a photo of an early 20th century woman in a striped bathing suit. She decided that the foreground water would be pretty transparent, and the background would sparkle and be moonlit. She added the matching hat to the woman to enhance the overall outfit. Also, her hands are actually hands from a different photo. It really intrigued me how real the water looked, but then how paint-like the woman looked. The way that Taylor edited the light so that it could make the water look so realistic and sparkly amazed me. 

Poet's House

    Poet's House really caught my eye because of the different components of the image. The papers flying out of the window of the house look so realistic and crumpled. The whole scene really reminds me of a dreamworld. The blurring of the landscape and trees in the background make the overall image look very mysterious. It really interested me how the sky was so colorful and resembled a sunset. This photo really tells a story and I can see the different layers in the scene, which makes it very interesting to look at.  

Bibliographies for Information and Images: 
"Insights and Ideas from Maggie Taylor, Adobe® Photoshop® User." N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.

"Maggie Taylor: No Ordinary Days." Maggie Taylor: No Ordinary Days. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.

"Surreal Digital Art by Maggie Taylor." Surreal Digital Art by Maggie Taylor. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2015.

":: Maggie Taylor ::." :: Maggie Taylor ::. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2015.

Emulation Video, Francesco Tonelli

This is a link to my Francesco Tonelli Emulation Movie

A Sample of my Emulation Photos: 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sentimental Value

As I set this photo up, I thought about a place that would make the sea glass really sparkle. I decided to set the bowl on the window sill. I took the knives somewhat out of the bowl so they could be seen, and then got down so I was at eye-level. These knives are really special to my family because my aunt made them and I wanted to capture every detail of them. I snapped the shot as the sun was shinning down, so the background would be very bright and white.