Thursday, April 30, 2009


Some might call me a cat lady... I would prefer feline enthusiast.
Had some quality bonding time with my little Juno.
She's halfway to being able to fetch! Now I just have to get her to bring the ball back!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wynn Bullock (1902-1975)
Child in the Forest, 1956
Gelatin Silver Print
While walking around the gallery, looking at all the wonderful prints of amazing images, very few jumped out at me right off the bat, none of them seemed to have that little special something I was looking for, until this one. I was originally drawn to this image because of the very strong and shocking contrast of subject matter versus surrounding as well as light versus dark. The image is that of a very young girl who is maybe seven or eight years old, sound asleep, completely nude in a forest. She is surrounded and almost protected by a large field of clovers that are then enclosed by standing and fallen trees. You could not begin to explain the look of this picture without using the word contrast; this small child seems to almost glow when she is placed in this dark and lush forest. Despite its almost unsettling contrast, the image itself is quite peaceful and it has a calming feel to it. It is difficult to look at this sleeping child and not feel so calm and relaxed that you yourself could fall asleep.
The sleeping child, the focal point of this picture is not in the center but down towards the bottom and to the right. She lies among a bed of clovers surrounded by trees and other greenery. The focus of this image is so perfectly crystal clear; it is possible to see details in almost everything throughout the picture, from the child all the way to the bark on the trees. The effect of this is to show an almost eerie clarity and to put an emphasis on the background and nature along with figure in the foreground. Putting and emphasis on both simultaneously creates this visual relationship between the girl and the forest, more over, humanity and nature. How the subject exists along with the confines of the frame is an important aspect Bullock had to consider, were to put this little girl in relation to the edges of the picture.
The framing of the image is very crucial to the pattern to which your eye will travel throughout the picture. This photographer uses the repetition of texture and patterns of the vegetation in the forest as well as the repetition of strong, dark shadows. The darkest of the shadows occurs on the standing and fallen trees that circle around the focal point. The framing of the picture was most important because if a majority of the darker shadows were left out of the picture, it would seem off balance and awkward. The Bullock’s obvious decision to include a large portion of the forest in the background is all to balance out the extreme light of the sleeping child’s skin. “Distractions” such as the trees and vegetation takes enough attention away form the light areas to give the appearance of a perfectly balance picture. Where he stands in relation to his subject, and how he is able to manipulate that can change the balance and the mood of the entire photograph.
In this picture, in order to frame it in such a manner, the photographer had to stand at a good distance away from his subject, so that he could also include the forest surroundings. Standing at this distance, the Bullock created a much more natural, and untouched appearance to the entire shot. The small sleeping child looks as if she has been there for quite sometime, and you get the feeling that she could remain there untouched for so much longer. The draw back to this approach is that you lose some details that the photographer may have been able to capture had he been closer to his subject. By choosing to step back and allow much more of the background to occupy the picture, he gave it much more of an organic feel. The picture becomes much more about the subject’s relationship with her surroundings. The distance can set a picture up to portray a certain idea or mood, the angle is another aspect to the image that the photographer is able to manipulate in order to obtain the desired effect.
The angle and distance of the photographer to his subject is a very important aspect to the picture that cannot be over-looked. His choice to almost hover above the scene adds a very unreal feel to it; it presents a very plausible scene at a somewhat different angle than it may have appeared if you just came across it. Having situated himself in such a way allowed him to include all the forest surroundings and frame the picture in such a way that adds to its aesthetic appeal. Angle, distance, frame and point of view are all combined together to describe how the photographer chooses to position himself in relation to the photograph; this is his own way of manipulating and changing a scene that he sees right in front of him.
The overall composition to the picture is something that must never be overlooked when doing a critical analysis of a photograph. How the design elements of the picture help to develop the picture as a whole. One brilliant aspect to this picture that I absolutely loved was the fact that the subject of the picture, the little girl was not located in the center of the frame, nor was she in a prominent place. She was located down towards the bottom and to the right; the photographer relied on her radiant white skin to draw attention to her instead of her location. With her being so light in comparison to her forest surroundings, Bullock incorporated patterns such as the repetition of certain plant life to draw your attention away from the figure and onto to many details of the picture. There are various trees and logs that are scattered sporadically throughout the scene that also give a sense of texture and repetition, their thick and organic texture leads to a variety of dark shadows that help to balance out the light and dark in this image.
Looking at this picture you can’t help but feel as if you were there, standing in this forest, looking at this little girl. The spatial dept of the picture is very realistically depicted, the forest seems to travel back forever keeping a great deal of detail as it recedes back towards the horizon. This gives the image a greater three-dimensional feel; it makes it seem more like a window, than an image. Without the detail and almost eerie clarity, the image would feel much more flat and it would no longer have a realistic feel to it. The detail of the image and the depth that is portrayed is directly dependent on the way the light plays off the different surfaces and how the photographer is able to capture it.
In this image, Bullock is able to use natural lighting to its fullest extent, waiting for the image to be just right as the sun casts it’s rays upon his subject and her surroundings. His use of natural lighting was very affective; you are able to see the variations in the light as it shines through the trees in sporadic patterns. These places where the sun is shining directly on a surface helps to balance out the extreme light tone of the child’s skin. There is also an emphasis on the rich texture of the forest floor as well as the surrounding vegetation that is caused by these direct patches of natural light. This is a black and white photograph; it has very strong and wide range of tones that helps to emphasis all the delicate details. The tones are not at all muddy; the variety of tones causes this image to look more beautiful and clear. There is very clear and strong contrast between the darkest dark and the lightest light. The lighting of an image helps to emphasize the difference in patterns and textures, giving the picture a deeper and richer feel to it.
The field of clovers that surrounds the little girl and then continues throughout a majority of the image is a reoccurring texture that helps to unify and balance this image. It helps to draw your attention from the subject to the other details in the picture. These clovers stand out especially well, they are shot with such clarity that I imagine if there was a four leaf in the lot, you could find it. This clarity makes it so very easy to identify exactly what you are looking at and recognize its abundance in the picture. The texture of the clovers as well as other plant life takes up a majority of the picture and gives it variation while at the same time providing a sense of unity among these organic objects. The subject as well as the texture can also aide the picture in other ways, it can suggest a mood or even help to convey a desired effect such as imply a time period or the lack there of.
To try to date this image would be wrong, and irrelevant, this image is not about a time period or even about a particular moment, but rather about an eternal time, a moment that lasts forever. There is no clothing or technology to hint at a certain time, you must instead focus your attention on the other aspects of the picture. I think that Bullock purposely set the image up that way so that it might not be judged by a time period. He may want to take the focus off aspects such as time and place and put the emphasis on a message that he would like to convey.
It is not always clear what an artists would like his or her public to think or how they should react, a majority of the time it is the job of the viewer to speculate and image what information could lie right beyond this image and what is left unseen. This image has an initially starting appearance; this stark motionless form lying in a forest may first convey a creepy or eerie feeling. My first thought upon seeing this image was to wonder if this child was really alive, it seemed completely possible that she was not with the living anymore. However, with a closer inspection I decided that she was in fact not dead, but peacefully asleep in a cushy, comfy bed of clovers that lay on the forest floor. As I thought about it further and stood looking much longer I could no longer see what I originally thought was so creepy, this was not scary at all, it was beautiful. This young child seems to have shed her clothes to maybe catch the warm of the sun as it passed through the trees, she now lays sound asleep with nothing but the quiet forest wrapping around her. To me this image suggests her relationship to nature, or maybe in the grander scheme of things, man’s relationship with nature. While we may do horrible things to nature, it is always there for us, giving us a bed to sleep in a food to eat. Without nature there would be no man.
To be able to take the time, and forget about everything else and to simply focus on one piece of art that I find beautiful and interesting has been a welcome break from the everyday hustle and bustle, to take a breath and just look at art. This particular image jumped out at me from clear across the room, even before I had looked at all the others, I knew this would be the picture that I would write about. The rich tonal range and eerie presence seemed to make up the perfect image for me. It never ceases to amaze me, the lasting impression a single piece of art can have on a person. The power and the beauty that comes along with this art form is what has grabbed my attention.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Review: Zaza Stretched Canvas

The good people over at zaza gallery sent out a tweet calling for photo bloggers to review an 8”x10” Canvas Gallery Wrap of a personal work at no cost to the photographer. I was lucky enough to respond quickly and within a about a week and a half this arrived at my door step.

I was quite nervous that this was too good to be true, but after emailing back and forth with Hugh Parker I felt more confident about the deal. It seems that sending out these canvas is a great way to promote the product and to get the word out in the blogging and photography community.

I have had this print sitting on my shelf waiting to be photographed and written about for a few days not and the more I look at it, the more I love it! The coloring is amazing! After sending my image in I had a horrible thought, what if the neon colors just don't look good, what will i say about it! But I was pleasantly surprise upon its arrival, it looks even better than it does on my computer!

I would highly recommend that you check out this site if you have any need to print on canvas, it would be a very nice gift for someone!
Thank you zaza gallery for this wonderful piece of art that I will now proudly hang on my wall!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Above Eugene- Conceptual Photo Project

“In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” ‘Paragraphs on Conceptual Art’ Sol Lewitt 1967
In my series of work as well as in the readings, the fundamentals of conceptual art have been studied and practiced in order to gain a better understanding of the art form and it’s history in photography. With conceptual art, the idea behind the project is the most important aspect it’s sole reason is to accurately display the idea. The artist will decide what their concept is and from there they will decide what the best way to document and display that concept. For many projects including my own, photography is a perfect way to capture and convey the idea and performance. Many conceptual art collections are performance based and the most accurate way to display it is through photography or video.
Conceptual art as a practiced art form is approachable and attainable, a viewer can look at the piece of art and recognize the process that was taken by the artist and they recognize that they can easily do it themselves. The images are used as a form of documentation, proof or evidence of the performance and taken in a straightforward way that does nothing more than capture the event. Another role of photography in conceptual art was to act as a question, it asks you to think about it. It takes the role of the viewer to a whole new level where they are asked to take in the information they see and interpret it in their own way and to read a narrative into the series based off of their own experiences and personal information. This is unique to conceptual art because with most other art forms you are given an image, a title and an emotion that you are to feel.
“Greatest effect of conceptual art on the use of photography has been to make the photograph function like a question and not like a self-evident statement.”
The most important aspect of the medium is to make the viewer participate in the work and to make connections based off of the artist’s choices in the way that they shot, displayed and talked about their work. This forces the viewer to think about the things that they perceive to be important and to think about experiences in their life and relate them to the artwork itself. Since I feel that the interaction the viewer has with the work is the strongest aspect of conceptual art, it is very important to me that I take that into consideration when creating my own artwork. I would like the viewer to think back in their life and relate those experiences to the look and feel of my series. The idea I decided to pursue is a very objective study of the happenings of Eugene from a distance. I chose to position myself atop a parking garage in a location where I could easily see an intersection and many directions of sidewalk, this way I could see traffic and people traveling in either direction. From this distance I could not recognize faces or pick out many actions the people on the street were doing, this physical distance makes the viewer make assumptions and try to figure out what is really going on and makes them wonder what its really happening on this street corner. What makes this particular street corner so special? It also makes the viewer think about traffic and travel, looking at it from a distance the complexity and organization of roads and sidewalks almost seem ridiculous.
The distance between my targets and myself as the photographer was a way to create an objective view of what was actually happening, the viewer is able to take in a great deal of information just from a rather small image of a very large area. The reason I did this was to make the viewer feel that I was not trying to skew the scene or only portray a certain part of it. I shot everything so they can focus in on an area and take notice of various different things. The size and quantity of the images is another way that I was able to show a more objective ‘study’ of Eugene. I took many images through out the shoot; in an hour period I took a picture every five minutes and selected these eight from the very middle of the collection. These images were picked at random and are to be displayed in a grid where the viewer can easily look at all the images at once and compare the scenes. I also chose to print the images somewhat smaller so it is even easier to compare and study the scenes and it also makes the people and cars seem so much smaller and less human. That is the reason I chose the title, “Ants under a magnifying glass”
From the project I would like the viewer to find their own meanings and to think about what this certain street corner or just the regular hustle and bustle of a town means to them. What have they seen in their life that they can make connections to? I feel that with this series that glorifies the everyday and captures the ordinary, it will be easy for the viewer to relate and to let their mind wander until they find a memory or feeling that they can closely associate with my project.

The rest of the series of images is up on my flickr site.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Logo design and amazing website!

For a few months now I have been working with my wonderful boyfriend on some of the design aspects of his new AMAZING website swifteconomics one of the things that he wanted was a logo to go at the top of his page that would make the site look fun and professional. I had taken a class last term where I learned how to create a logo from a picture using Adobe Illustrator. This was a big project that I was very happy to take on!
This is the orginial that I chose to work with. The reason I picked this image was because I could pretty clearly see his features and I knew that I would be able to trace shapes such as his hair and facial features pretty easily.

This was the first attempt as the tracing, If you look at the final version there are a few changes that I made over time such as many shifts and changes to the mouth of lines around it. I also adjusted his jaw line and eyes until it looked as realistic as possible.After those little changes were made I also added the circle design and matched the colors to that of his website.
Ryan found this font and decided on the text and I matched the colors once again to the website.
This was all created using Adobe Illustrator and then color corrected in Photoshop and the site and arrangement of logo and text were adjusted in Photoshop.
Check out his website
! Do it! Not only for the amazing logo and pretty colors but also for the brilliant writing and creative witty articles about the economy today!


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Friday, April 17, 2009

Portfolio Design

I'm currently working on my physical portfolio that I will get printed and bring with me to interviews and meetings with places such as galleries. I am currently taking a class at the University of Oregon where I learn how to put these together and what the proper steps are to finding a job in the big scary art world. I am happy with what i have so far, these are some quick samples of my ideas. I will have an index as well and the pages will be split between categories such as portraits, landscapes, series' and objects. I am excited to see how it will look when I get it all together.
What do you think so far?
Should I include my contact information on the front page, that is normally not included but I thought that a busy employer might appreciate the info right in an easy to find place. Should I stay more conventional or go for convenient?


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Clouds and Larry Sultan

I am getting closer to being done with this project, I'm gonna print these pretty small, not sure how small yet, but I want the viewer to be able to hold them in their hands. I want them to go from expansive, huge images to small precious objects that a person can carry with them. I'm going to mount them on mat board and trim the edges so you see no mat board at all. I hope they turn out as cool as they are in my head!
These are going to be for my class 'The Document' where we are currently discussing readings from Roland Barthes, Sarah Kember and Marjorie Perloff we are talking about the experience of photography as a viewer, subject and a photographer. We have discussed the way a person relates to images and what makes him or her like or dislike them. So far I'm not concrete on how to relate my images to the text, but I'm working on it.

OK now to Larry Sultan, Ryan and I attended his lecture at the U of O last night and it was amazing! I found him not only brilliant but also very personable and charismatic. He was quite funny and talked about his many successes, awards and books but also talked about his insecurities and problems as an artist. These were very comforting to hear because it makes me feel better about the questions I have of my art and myself.
He showed us images from all his books and talked about some of the process and his intentions with the images. It was amazing to go into this having already seen a great deal of his work and knowing about his many accomplishments. It made him seem like such a celebrity in the photo world! Along with images from his books he also showed some editorial work he had done on heiresses and wealthy individuals for magazines. Having him talk about his mental process and his own personality that he was determined to show even in images that they was commissioned to do. He offered up great words of advice through out the lecture;
"Engage in doing stupid things, build on those stupid ideas."

He said this while talking about his early work such as repainting billboards and creating street art. He felt that even his mistakes and stupid ideas lead him to some of his most brilliant work. While talking about the idea of advertisement his discussed his billboard work where he would remove all text from an advertisement and leave the image, he went on to say,
"Photography is a trace, a fact. We wanted to take their fact, our poetry and create our story. To dismantle assumptions of photography."
The lecture was amazing and well worth the time! I hope I get the chance to meet him one day!

Back to editing!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Perfect cloudy day!
More pictures in the works...
Stay tuned!

P.S. going to see Larry Sultan tonight!!

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Selections from 'Camera Lucida' by Roland Barthes

"Studium... a kind of general, enthusiastic commitment, of course, but without special acuity. It is by studium that I am interested in so many photographs, for it is culturally that I participate in the figures, the faces, the gestures, the settings, the actions" "The second element will break (or punctuate) the studium... this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me. A Latin word exists to designate this wound, this prick, this mark made by a pointed instrument: the word suits me all the better in that it also refers to the notion of punctuation, and because the photographs I am speaking of are in effect punctuated, sometimes event speckled with this sensitive points... I shall therefore call punctum; for punctum is also: sting, speck, cut, little hole - and also a cast of the dice. A photograph's punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me)."

The punctum is what interested me the most about this reading because it is a feeling that as a photographer you aspire to have in some images, a strong emotional feel to an image that makes the viewer stop and take notice. This is something that is very hard to attain because it is entirely dependent on the viewers past experiences and every person is effected by different images in very different ways.
I think that the punctum is that connection a person can have with an image for whatever reason and they are drawn in and seduced by the picture itself. And now the studium i talked about is a general feeling many people can have towards an image, a feeling of liking something but not loving it.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Camera Lucida and Larry Sultan

Photo classes are starting to pick up speed and I am preparing for critiques in both 'The Document' as well as 'Conceptual Strategies' on Monday. As I get images edited, I will post them!
I am currently reading sections from the book 'Camera Lucida' by Roland Barthes. It is an amazing book that brings up some interesting points about the truthfulness of photography and how we as subjects, observers and photographers look at images and what goes through a person's mind when they look at images. Quotes to come soon from the reading.
I highly suggest picking up a copy and taking the time to consider how this art form has changed and how it effects many aspects of our lives in amazing ways.
tmro i will be going to an artist lecture where the visiting artist is Larry Sultan a photographer I like very much and whom I have been learning a great deal about this term. His artwork ranges from The Valley (2004) a collection of images that study the porn industry in California all the way to images of his family in Pictures From Home (1992).
I am very excited! I will post afterwards about it!

Good Night

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Friday, April 10, 2009


Do owners and their pets really look alike?
I'm gonna say no.
They are both pretty good looking though...


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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Photograph as Record of Performance

Thinking of ideas for my first project for Conceptual Strategies
titled "Photograph as Record of Performance"

It is to be based off of some of the readings we did in the book 'Conceptual Art' by Tony Godfrey where he talks about photography being a major form within the conceptual art movement because of its abilities to somewhat objectively record/document and event. We are to consider the actual truth behind and photograph and interpret that how we wish, I feel that the truth of the image is up to the photographer and I intend to play with that a bit in my project. I think letting the viewer feel that they almost know and understand what is going on in the image is important but to also tease them a little and make them question what they are looking at.

The project itself is very open to interpretation and we can use whatever methods and mediums we feel would fit with the project. We are to use photography as a device through which we can document an activity, performance, action, or phenomenon that would not exist outside this photographic record.

My first idea for this project was just me making and eating a sandwich and putting everything away afterwards... without seeing that picture you have no way of knowing or proving that I had a sandwich.
This idea is most likely not gonna be my project, but that's my start.
Any ideas or suggestions? Does this make you think of any work i could look at for inspiration?


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Monday, April 6, 2009

More RAW editing

Thanks to the help of Mitch Elder, I am having better luck working with RAW images and putting them into AdobeBridge and then Photoshop. So far I am very pleased with the results thus far.
These are just a few pictures that I took today, it was far too beautiful to stay inside any more than I had to.
More from today to come!

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

RAW files vs. JPEGs

Trying to figure out RAW files, the first one is a file shot in raw and edited in raw using photoshop CS2
and the other is a
photoshop converted jpeg.

Any advice to give on editing RAW files?


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Friday, April 3, 2009

"In Plato's Cave" by Susan Sontag

I have started taking a class the University of Oregon called The Document, we are looking in-depth at photography and it's role in media and society today. It is a tool that has many uses and we are discussing the truthfulness and validity of these uses and reading many articles about the topic. I have decided to put a few quotes I find interesting from the readings here in hopes of getting others' opinions and sharing my thoughts.

"Photographs furnish evidence. Something we hear about, but doubt,
seems proven when we're shown a photograph of it." ("In Plato's Cave" by Susan Sontag)
The first thing that popped into my head upon reading this is the truthfulness of photography as a tool and a form of documentation. How true the image is to the actual even or scene is entirely up to the photographer. There is a certain amount of cropping, editing, changes in lighting and other alterations that can greatly effect the way the image appears when seen in its final form. For example, zooming in on a scene can cut out important things around the subject that help to bring context to the image. Take this image for example, you can read many things into this that may or may not be there. For some of you this is a picture of silly boys on Halloween, but for others, their mind can go completely else where.

"To photograph people is to violate them by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them, they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed."
("In Plato's Cave" by Susan Sontag)

I put this quote in here because I find it interesting, I have never before heard of photography put in such a way. They speak about the photographer and about the camera as if they were a marksman with a gun.. I am not sure I entirely agree, I feel that as a photographer or an outsider at all you can capture a person in a way that shows them in a vulnerable place and show emotions they may not show often, but I do not feel that the camera and taking pictures objectifies the person. This thought parallels the idea of the camera taking a part of a person's soul with every image it captures. As a photographer i would like to believe that I am not stealing a person's soul or objectifying them, but I do believe that you play a certain role in that person's life by capturing their vulnerability and mortality.
How do these quotes make you feel?

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy Day

As of today, Ryan and I have been dating for 8 months
I can't wait to see what the future holds for us

I feel so lucky to have found someone who genuinely understands me and likes who I am
I am amazed every day at how wonderful our relationship is

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"Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home...
It's your responsibility to love it, or change it."
-Chuck Palahniuk

Things I love today:
scandalous tv shows

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