Dream On: More Negative Alterations Depicting Dreams

Even though I’ve been insanely busy with ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, I’m still producing work! I’ve been working on my dream series some more, manipulating negatives, and just kind of trying new things out.

(Shout out to all of my friends who modeled for me, and to my boyfriend for drawing a tiny little ship for me, and holding the scary lighter when burning the negative for the last one.)

So, how did I do these? I’ll tell ya, even though I’m risking losing my reputation as a total genius (or losing my delusions of grandeur.)

The falling one was all about timing and flipping the frame. Have a friend jump, and if you timed it correctly, they may look like they are falling off the earth!

The ship one was simple enough- a little ship was sewn onto the negative. You have to be able to draw really tiny (or know someone who can.) Or, an alternative could be to draw a ship directly onto the print.

That dark blob thing was just a three-second exposure of my friend thrashing around in a big poofy black dress.

Ah, yes. The girl cut in two. This one is really easy, if you have a splitzer. A splitzer is one of those tools Lomographers like to use, and I think you can buy one, but what’s the point in that when you can just make one out of black construction paper? Trace your lens, cut out the circular shape, cut that in half, and ta-da! A splitzer. To make a cool photo like the one above, have the splitzer cover half of your frame, snap the picture, double expose the frame (see google for how to do this with your camera,) and put the splitzer on the other side of your frame, and snap again. Cool, huh?

Nail polish and camera angles for the tree one. I saw someone do something like this somewhere (flickr maybe?) and I kinda wanted to try it. Throw some glitter nail polish on, and it looks like there are little fairy lights bobblin’ around.

The star one is easily one of my favorite because I’m a huge sucker for rainbows. This one took pre-planning, with negative alterations in mind. I took a star shaped hole-punch, a needle to scratch out the other stars, and star nail polish. Boom.

The bunny photo and the whale photo are just double exposures.

The last one was tricky. Again, I planned ahead with alterations in mind. My boyfriend and I took the negative and burned it, to make it look like he is running away from a burning frame. We used one of those long lighters to lower risk of injury, and burned it slowly. I played with the saturation of the burned parts in Photoshop, and that’s how that one was done.

I think we’re done altering negatives now for class, but man, I don’t think I’m done. I’m going to keep this technique in mind for the future. And, for the love of God, try this technique some time.

Happy Shooting!

 

Fictionisms, Completed

My body of work, “Fictionisms,” after four months, is finally complete.

It’s been a ride. I’m pretty committed to my projects, so the commitment for this project wasn’t a stretch. Then again, I started seeing letter shapes whenever I closed my eyes, so I’m glad it’s over. I was originally going to have 25, then 18, but the final number ended up being 16, as I ran out of time. But, as my classmates and professor also said, 16 is a solid number for this type of work. Any more and it would be monotonous.

But, here they are, all presented together.

Pretty colorful, right?

I really did enjoy this project. The professor who taught the class I audited is a professor I’ve had twice: once for Intro to Fiction Writing, and then Advanced. I always looked forward to his class, for several reasons. One of the reasons was the way he put things, which was honestly and unapologetic-ally. I knew that he would make me a better writer. His advice was profound to me; he would say something about writing and I’d hurry to write it down before it faded away, forgotten.

I got to take those phrases and transform them with my passion for photography. It was pretty stellar.

With this project, I had to branch out and use people I don’t normally use for models, since I didn’t want any repeated faces. I’m so glad I did this. I found that not only do I have people who aren’t too daunted at the aspect of being photographed, but I have a lot of people in my life who want to help me. I also discovered that all of these people can model. I’ll never have a problem finding people for a project.

So, thank you, everyone who helped. Thank you to the professor and the students for letting me audit your class. Thank you to my friends and to the people who I don’t know as well as I would like to, for modeling for me, for putting up with the constant flux of schedule changes, for the unexpected flashes of light on your unsuspecting eyes. And to my photography peers, for your suggestions and dealing with my constant, “Do you think x amount of prints will be acceptable for final crit? Do you? Are you sure?” A lot of my work couldn’t be done without the support of the people in my life.

But enough with the sap, y’all know I’m thankful.

Now that I’m down with my photography classes for the semester, I wonder what’s next for me. I did a little bit of stuff on my own these past few months, but now I have a whole summer stretching out before me, full of possibilities. I was looking back on everything I did last summer, and I feel excited. I want to create more, learn more.

I’m so excited for what’s ahead. I can’t wait to share it with you all.

Fictionisms

Project update!

I’m still auditing the Advanced Fiction Writing class, and the students have moved on to writing their own short stories. These images are created based off of constructive criticisms between the students and the professor. Whenever I hear someone say anything that catches my attention and gives me a strong visual, I write it down and plan a photograph.

In February, I passed around slips of paper that said, “In one to two sentences, please describe what you have learned about fiction writing thus far.” Most of the responses were pretty standard, like, “I learned to make my characters interesting,” or, “I learned that I shouldn’t put plot into dialogue.” I’m not sure what I was expecting, since my question was pretty standard, so it’s only fair the answers were as well. I’m going to pass slips around again, but first I need a more creative question to ask. The struggle continues.

I’m excited about my new images. My first five are still cool, but they were the blue print, the ground work to the rest of my project. I decided to implement letters in every photo as a means of connecting each crazy scene to the next. Since it is a series and since the pictures are going to get a little weird, the letters will remind the viewers that these pictures are about writing fiction.

“That’s precisely what reader’s do- they put a little bit of their life into the story.”

“We want our characters to be imagined versions of ourselves.”

“You don’t want to drive your reader out of the story; you want to keep them in.”

“Let it go where it’s gonna go.”

“You’re going to want to follow the branch.”

“Our language becomes a part of us; we become a part of our language.”

“There are times where you will think, ‘why me?'”

Seven down, eighteen more to go. Get pumped. My goal is to have all of these done by the second week in April. Yikes. I hope to have some more colorful images- they’re starting to become monochromatic, but I’m going to push against that.

I’ve been using the studio lights to photograph each person, and that’s working out extraordinarily well. It gives me more control, a lower ISO, and a light source that I can base my image around. I think this is an improvement from my five previous photos. Thank goodness I happened to take my studio lighting class the same semester I’m working on this project!

Well, that’s all for now. This project is far from done, so keep an eye out for more!

A Project Involving Lettuce

Yepp. You read that right.

I’m in a class called photography workshop, and the object of the course is to do research with a professor outside of the art department, and create a body of work based on that research.

I’m researching the English department. I know what you’re thinking… “But lettuce has nothing to do with English! What are you talking about you crazy person!?”

Just hear me out.

I had to have images for class this week, but I didn’t have enough research together to start shooting seriously. This was kind of sprung on me, but I had a funny idea already in the works, after the professor I was auditing told his class a true story about a woman who ate nothing but lettuce. I took notes.

Now, what I’m really doing is auditing an Advanced Fiction Writing class. I’m interested in finding trends in college-aged writing, and I’m exploring the phrase, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” The students aren’t writing yet, they’re just reading short stories and essays to learn how to write. I’ve been taking notes on what they think makes a good story, and I’ve been jotting down some of the things the professor says. Like the story about lettuce.

So, I made a picture about lettuce, because I had to do something. I also made a few other images, based solely on the things the professor says. He creates awesome visuals with his words. While I’m waiting for the students to start writing, I can create images based off of his words of wisdom… and stories about an austere woman and her lettuce.

Here are some images based off of quotes from the professor:

“That’s precisely what reader’s do- they put a little bit of their life into the story.”

“Don’t put your thumb in the pan.”

“Our language becomes a part of us; we become a part of our language.”

AUSTERE: A woman who eats nothing but lettuce and lectures people on how they should do the same.

“Fifty years ago, people never would have thought we would become the robots they talked about.”

The images are Photoshop heavy and they come across as collages. I’m not sure how I feel about this aesthetic, but it’s what I’m working with right now. Since I have to create a final body of work using my research as source material, I think my final results will be something similar to this, but more refined. I’d like to keep the unrealistic elements that Photoshop allows me to implement, but I want to have some realism as well.

I’m not sure what my subjects are going to be. I have a few possibilities… I could continue with this theme, creating outrageous visuals for simple quotes. Another idea is collaborating with the fiction writing students to create an image that compliments their story that they write. I also have the idea of perhaps doing my own writing to supplement a photograph, perhaps a 1000 word story and a picture to go with it. I have a few ideas I’m playing with, and I’m sure I’m going to fail a lot before I come up with something I enjoy.

I’m looking forward to seeing the end result. I’ll be posting more about this project as I work on it, so stay tuned!