December’s Photos

My project has finally come full circle. I successfully carried a camera around with me everywhere for the past year and filled up one roll of film a month since January, excluding when I was abroad (and was filling up many cameras with many rolls.)

The prognosis?

I’m doing this for another year.

December felt very long and very short all at the same time.

Shoot, 2014 felt very long and very short all at the same time.

So these are my December adventures. And yes, those are Pizza Rolls and pierogies, and that was my New Year’s feast, while watching the Ball drop in Time Square from my warm living room.

Happy Shooting!

November’s Photos (or, honestly, NYC Photos)

There’s only one month left of my carrying a camera everywhere/ one roll a month project, and the month of November was pretty rad. See for yourself:

I apologize for the dust marks and weird blue lines. I had to use my Kodak Easy Scan, since I am away from my flatbed. C’EST LA VIE, AS PER USUAL. Also, the scanner auto-cropped some of my images. Jerk.

I spent a weekend in Chicago and then half a week in NYC, and a majority of the roll was shot there. My friend, Patrick, lives and goes to school there, so he showed me around. We went to Central Park, some place where there was a good pizza place nearby, the new World Trade Center, some place where there the most delicious cheesecake ever was nearby, and yeah. I’m super specific, I know. Oh and we went shopping at Forever 21 at 1AM sorry not sorry.

There’s only a month left of my project, but not really. I’m going to keep doing this, as it keeps me looking for good opportunities and those moments when I think, “Oh! This would be a great photo!” I will actually have a camera to take said photo. What a concept.

My Fuji Natura Classica, I feel, was made for night time city photography, because those photos turned out so nicely and are my favorites. I’m already itching to go back to take some more (and maybe go to grad school I mean is that too much to ask?)

So, yeah. If you’re ever in NYC, I recommend Magnolia Bakery’s Red Velvet Cheesecake. I would move there for that alone.

Happy Shooting!

Because Sometimes You Just Can’t Flip a Table

So lemmie tell you a thing.

It’s called creative problem solving when your final project is due in less than 24 hours and someone was a little sh– snowflake,and unwittingly sabotaged your project because they were a irresponsible little sh– angel.

That sounds bitter. Let me start again:

My final project was originally going to be a piece exploring the relationship between our persona and our shadow (two of Jung’s dream archetypes.) I used a view camera to capture scenes of an anonymous person (basically myself with my face partly cut out of the frame,) doing things that seem ordinary, like applying makeup or kissing a loved one and even sleeping. I was going to develop these, alter the negative to include the shadow, and tada.

The shadow was to alert the viewer to how we have these “shadow” selves that represent aspects of ourselves we loathe and repress, and how these aspects are hidden beneath the things we do as our persona. So, if someone is applying makeup, it may be the result of a dislike for something ugly or unappealing. Kissing a loved one, showing that you care for them, may be a manifestation of the fear of hurting said loved one, or a hatred for people who do– which is actually a projection of the deep seated, unconscious part of you that wants to hurt loved ones. Pretty messed up, right?

Too bad I didn’t get to execute it.

Well the camera I borrowed this weekend was broken and no one bothered to tell my professor, so I took it home unknowingly and dealt with its broken shutter and hated everything. But I’m not bitter about it, nope. Not one bit.

I developed my film, which didn’t come out because, y’know, broken shutter, and I was in a panic. What was I supposed to do? Well, I threw this together: meet my persona, my anima, my animus, and my shadow.

I returned to my negative-altering ways for my last-minute final. The top photo is my persona, or my public mask; the waking version of myself that I and others perceive me to be. I’m known as the photographer in my circle of friends. I also love rainbows. BAM PERSONA. There were no alterations to this negative, because it is me in reality. All natural, baby.

Next, is my anima. The anima is the feminine aspect of myself. Notice the stereotypical girly clothing (a.k.a. just another piece of my wardrobe, because I identify as a feminine girl.) I altered this negative using heart-shaped glitter nail polish. How cute is that?

Up next is my animus. If you guessed that is was the masculine aspect of myself, congratulations you got it right and you win absolutely nothing. Now, I have a lot of men’s clothing. Typical I had none of it at school with me. So think of my animus as a 2008 throw-back tribute to colored skinny jeans (because let’s be real, I’m still stuck in 2008.) For this negative I put on three of these crystal sticker things. The placement on the negative was purposeful. You gotta watch out for us artist types, because we can make anything phallic.

Last is my shadow. I scratched the negative and inverted it in Photoshop to create an off-putting effect. The shadow, in dreams or nightmares, is manifested in different ways; sometimes it is the thing you are being chased by, or a killer, or basically anything that is out to hurt you. I inverted the image because the shadow can be seen as the “opposite” of the persona, and the opposite of a positive is a negative and– I don’t think I need to spell it out more.

So, yeah. Even though I threw this together last minute, and even though the execution isn’t as nice as I’d like, I made a concept that worked. Thank goodness I’ve been obsessing over Jung’s dream psychology, otherwise I would have been even more bitter stressed out.

Lesson: Always have a Plan B and do your best to work with what resources you have at hand. Oh, and be kind to yourself if whatever you create isn’t perfect. It won’t be the end of the world.

Happy Shooting!

 

Paris Throwback

I kept forgetting about a roll of film from my trip abroad that hadn’t been developed. I’ve been procrastinating on getting it done because I’d have to mail it to Lomography in NYC, which is a bit expensive, and I’d have to wait about a month. But, when I was getting things together for NYC, I noticed it, and packed it, figuring I could deliver it to the store myself and get it developed over the weekend. My plan succeeded, so, here’s a throwback to Paris, Lomochrome Purple XR panoramic style:

I used my Horizon Perfekt and determined the exposures without a light meter. It’s good I can do this regularly now, considering I’ve kinda been doing this photography thing for a while… even so, I’m thrilled they came out so nicely.

I think my favorite is the Eiffel Tower one, but they each look so nice it’s hard to commit to that comment.

There are two things I want to do with my life: travel and take photographs.

Happy Shooting!

October’s Photos

October is the best month ever. It feels like Fall, the weather is perfect, the colors, the smell of fallen leaves, Halloween… Naturally, I was hoping my October roll of film would yield nice results.

And here we are:

My busy month started out in Chicago, which is where I went on a trip with the Art Department. Really, I was just coming to my friends that live there. I was by myself all morning, so I walked down to Lake Michigan and enjoyed the view.

Yes, that is paper hanging from my shower curtain rod. It needed to be shrunk.

I went to my first MSU Football game as a normal person and not as a person in the marching band. It was so surreal, and I felt like a proud parent.

I don’t know what that chair is all about.

And that’s John, the Vulture, Keeper of the White Pumpkin.

That was my month of October! I can’t believe there are only two more months left of 2014… I feel like I started this project yesterday, not ten months ago. Let’s see what November brings.

Happy Shooting!

Nightmares and Mistakes

The series of nightmares continue. This time around, I made some mistakes when I went out to shoot. Two of my films ended up fogged, and one of the images I was really looking forward to sharing. Mais, c’est la vie. I’ll most likely re-shoot it. But the fogging worked decently on the one image, so not all was lost. Remember kids, if you screw up, pretend you meant for it to happened! One of my favorite excuses: “It was an artistic decision.”

I also forgot to load film into one of the film holders and “took” two pictures. I would say you should have seen my face when I made this discovery, but you wouldn’t be able to anyway because I was in the dark room getting ready to develop the non-existent pictures.

I’m going to pretend they were going to be the best photos the world has ever seen, and because of that they were not allowed to exist. Pity.

So, I have this sort of habit with film where I want every shot to be perfect. It’s a noble pursuit, but let’s be real, even Ansel Adams didn’t get a perfect shot every time. As an artist, odds are you will never be satisfied with a shot, or a painting, or a story, or whatever. Because if you were satisfied, you would stop creating. With some of my pictures, I feel that I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish with the tools and skills that I had at the time I took the photo. That doesn’t stop me from critiquing it and possibly exhibiting it, but it just goes to show that you can be proud of your work and at the same time be critical of it.

I’m going to share the photos now, but as a disclaimer the last image of this batch of four makes reference to sexual violence. If you are sensitive about the subject, I don’t recommend taking a look.

That’s all for now. Keep checking back for more, as the series is only half-way finished at this point.

And no, I am not worshiping that grave stone.

Happy Shooting!

 

Allow Me to Share My Nightmares with You

I’m not a lucid dreamer. But, I am a writer turned photographer, and when I wake up from a dream that I remember, I rush to write it all down. However, I’ve discovered a trend to this method- I don’t write down my good dreams. I only record my nightmares.

Nightmares were and still are a huge deal to me. I had terrible night terrors when I was kid. I was hysterical frequently, either because I saw something “scary” and didn’t want to see it again in my dreams, or from waking up from a particularly bad dream. They barely made sense, they seem silly when talked about, but for me, they were horrific. Nowadays when I have a nightmare, I usually wake up, realize I had a nightmare, and then fall back asleep. Because I’m overtired awesome like that.

When we recall dreams, they are like snapshots. Bits and pieces. So, with B&W film, I decided to recreate some of the snippets I saw when nightmare-ing. Don’t judge.

They probably don’t make sense to you. Because they’re from my head. Just statin’ the obvious, unless I have a mind-twin somewhere and we share the same dreams… but other than that, these are mine. It’s a personal series that I alone know the story for each image. I’ve been thinking a lot about narrative lately, wondering if there is something beyond being able to look at an image and get a story. My nightmare snapshots could be narrative images, but the narrative will never match mine, unless I reveal the terror behind each and every image.

But where’s the fun in that?

I had a blast with the view camera, tilting it and moving it in certain ways to get a blur or a distorted effect… It was so so so great, and I can’t wait to shoot more. And, the images are gorgeous in tonality. I’m in love. There will be 20 images total in my nightmare series, so keep an eye out.

Also, that black space beneath the “black white black…” photo is the result of not taking your dark slide completely out of the camera before exposed. Whoopsies.

Oh, and I developed film for the first time today. About time.

Happy Shooting!