Vincent van Gogh’s Ear Goes on Vacation

My hobby of making fun narratives while globe trotting has continued! For my two-week road trip through France, I decided to make a reference to the famous and widely-adored painter, Vincent van Gogh.

Van Gogh, though Dutch by birth, spent a lot of time in France. A strange yet well-known fact about him was that during one of his depressive episodes, he cut off his own ear.

And, because I think I’m hilarious, I decided to take his detached ear, name it Vinny, and took it around France for a much-needed vacation.

Naturally, the ear needed a straw hat, like the real Vincent, and a painting palette and brush because inspiration can hit anywhere.

I am a very goofy person. The biggest challenge was finding the small paint palette and straw hat, and I refused to do without. I eventually found both at the craft store, and the glasses were something I just came across and decided “YES PERFECT” without much thought.

I required the straw hat for a reason, and that reason was this self-portrait of my muse:

Image result for vincent vangogh hat

Traveling with a cardboard-ear-on-a-stick certainly got me some strange looks, but honestly this travel narrative is one of my favorites so far. You can find some of my others below:

The Girl From Bath (Bath, England)

Colors of London

Before the Cliff’s Edge (Cliffs of Dover)

Fell into a Faerie Portal (Ireland)

Memento Mori (Western USA)

Thanks for reading, and safe travels and happy shooting!

Photographer of the Day: Bernard Faucon

Bernard Faucon

b. 1950

Today we’re going to have our minds blown by the photographer/writer Bernard Faucon. Or, rather, you’re going to read about just how in love I am with his work. Because, get this, Faucon’s work is about childhood, presented in a dreamlike manner.

Sound Familiar?

Bernard Faucon was born in Provence, France, and studied philosophy (which explains why he’s a writer, since what else can you do with philosophy? I kid, I kid…) He was initially a painter, but like other painters he switched over to photography. His work has won numerous awards (most notably, the Grand Prix Nationale,) and has been in hundreds of exhibitions. So, what’s the big deal about this guy? I’ll let his work speak for itself.

I only chose images from Les Grand Vacances, but call me bias because these are amazing. What draws me to his work is attention to detail, the obvious planning these shots took, the construction of the scene, and the tension between the real child and the mannequins. What is not to like?

Also he set things on fire. Yasssssss.

There are a few interpretations of this work, mainly centering on the play of childhood and the play of adulthood. An interesting thing I found out was Faucon ended his photography career in 1996, and some speculation is due to his work being centered on childhood, and how all childhoods must come to an end. Another speculation is the increased paranoia over children and safety, either imagined or real. For example, Sally Mann’s nude images of her┬áprepubescent children. People have the tendency to make things into things they are not. (This happens frequently in art.)

So, he took up a much more objective career: writing.

I wish I knew of this guy when I was working on my Domestic series, because I had a couple dummies in a shot. It’s one of those things: when you think you came across something brilliant, someone probably has already done it– but as a professor told me, WHATEVER it hasn’t been done before because it hasn’t been done by YOU. How’s that for uplifting?

Well, I’m feeling inspired to go create some tableau images myself, so that’s all for Bernard Faucon. The next PotD will be Alexander Gardner.

Happy Shooting!

This Photo Shoot was Amazing

I had the most remarkable photo shoot, and it had nothing to do with the photographs.

The shoot was planned twice. The first time, stuff happened and too many people had to cancel at the last minute, which meant the shoot couldn’t happen. This time, the tremendous effort of others made it possible, and I am honestly overwhelmed.

My friends Ian and Kaiden drove about an hour and a half to come do the shoot. Ian works full time, so he’s tired, and Kaiden had an extremely busy (but fun!) weekend at a convention, and was also exhausted. And, Kaiden’s friend, Alec, didn’t know me, never met me, but was cool with coming along to help.

My friend Sarah works five jobs, is in the honors college, and always does her work on time and to perfection. She had work later in the day, but she took what little free time she had to come pose for me.

My friend Lisa is also in the honors college, takes her studies very seriously, has a job, and is going through the tumultuous process of applying to graduate programs. She has papers and lab reports and god-knows-what else due this week, but she woke up early in the morning to get started on those things, so she would have the time for the shoot in the afternoon.

I met another wonderful person today, Sheena, who knows Ian. She had never met me, but was willing to model for me. That’s a big move, especially considering the odd things I put people through on this shoot. And, she wore high heels in the mud. That’s hard core.

So, I had an amazing shoot, because most of these people didn’t know each other, they just knew me. I had friends from home meeting college friends, college friends meeting one another, and friends of friends meeting each other. Everyone got along so well, the shoot went awesomely, and it was fun. I’m so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life.

But enough with the mush. Let’s look at some pics:

Shout out to my mom for painting the boxes black. Shout out to Lisa for finding the location. Shout out to everyone for wearing tulle on their heads.

I honestly love these photos, which means a lot. Yes there are things I could make better next time I go shooting, but for now, these have my heart. I think the people in them have a lot to do with it.

Alec, bless his soul, took some behind-the-scenes shots of the shoot. I love behind-the-scenes shots. I’m in my own little world while I’m shooting, so seeing what’s actually going on around me is a treat. So here are some of those:

Forever squaring up my shoulders to take a shot.

This shoot is one of eight of a dream series I am working on. I’m focusing on that theme a lot this semester, but for this particular series I’m doing something interesting in post-process. But, more on that in a later post.

Hug your friends today. They’re important.

Happy Shooting!

 

 

The Story of the Girl from Bath

When I was in Bath, I did a shoot with my friend, Caroline. It was done on my Minolta Weathermatic A with expired 110 Pocket Film from Fukkatsu. I dressed her up in my classical-looking dress and dragged her around in public all day. Here are the results:

This is the story of a girl who is lost in a different time. When I initially thought of doing this shoot, I was thinking I was going to have a classical shoot, as in I would just stick Caroline in front of old buildings and such. However, when we were driving through the city, I saw a motor bike parked up against a Georgian-style building. Do you see where this is going? Well, you should because you can literally see the photo shoot above.

So, she is a girl in a classical dress that looks eerily similar to the gauze-like fabric that is portrayed on Roman statues, and has a lace collar and cuffs, reminiscent of the 19th century. She is in a city that is just like her- only she doesn’t have the trimmings of the modern-day world. Juxtaposition, my friends. Juxtaposition.

As for the quality of the photos: I love the grain, I love how she seems to glow in some pictures, and I love the faded saturation. These elements fit the narrative I was going for extremely well. Hooray for adding to content!

It is always such a thrill to shoot in different formats. I’m looking forward to trying even more things during my stay here! I really wish that there was a LomoLab near where I live in the States, because it is super convenient to drop off my fancy/weird/rare film and be able to pick it up within a week, instead of mailing it off, praying it gets to NYC, and waiting over a month to get the scans. I’m going to miss this luxury.

Yesterday I went to the White Cliffs of Dover and did another photo shoot with a friend. Now, to wait for the slides. I shot it with tungsten film, so here’s to hoping I get the effect I desire. Even though trying new things is cool, it’s still risky and anxiety inducing. Mais, c’est la vie.

Happy Shooting!

Chasing Balloons

Today I did an impromptu photo shoot with my friend, Alison. We went to the dollar store, got 40 black balloons, and went to the vacant lot near my house (y’know, the only place around here that sort of looks like nature. We take what we can get in the suburbs.) I really had no ideas or concept, but as usual, a narrative fell into place as I worked.

While we were at the field forest lot place thing, we came across this little fort. It’s in one of the pictures above. It was kind of funny, kind of weird, and definitely made for some teenagers up to no good. We explored it a little, I climbed a tree… The usual business.

I shot 35mm film, Fuji Superia ISO800. I remembered how much I liked the 800 speed film in that field the first time I shot film there, and I wasn’t disappointed. I ran out of my roll, and even though I was done, there were two more moments that needed to be documented. So, I pulled out my handy dandy iPhone to save the day for the second time this week.

It’s great to gauge how far I’ve come this past year. Last December I shot my first roll of film on an automatic SLR. Now, a year later, I’m shooting with a fully manual SLR and I can read light on my own to pick out the best possible shutter speed and aperture without the need of a light meter. I make mistakes, but dang, I’ve come so far. Practice makes perfect, and this past year I’ve been practicing almost non stop.