Thursday, January 29, 2009
My friend Kaela posted this lovely video on her blog and I just had to share it here [watch it! it makes you smile]. I'm really fascinated by stop motion expression and production beyond any gimmicky applications. Maybe when I'm not busy trying to get my life together, I'll give it a try.
Some other rad examples of stop motion:
Tim Lytvinenko's Day in Pictures
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Isiah says he hates the town where he lives [Millfield, Ohio] but loves building snow colonies there. As much as I wanted to stay and talk Pokemon with him as him and Uncle Jerry expanded the kingdom, my fingers nearly fell off while shooting this for my lighting class in the wet cold in Athens County today. We got inches of accumulated snow and ice these past few days. I meant to shoot a photo of the steps that have disappeared in front of my house but its way too cold to go outside.
The athlete got good not by reading reviews of headbands, but by waking up early, lacing shoes in the dark, and hitting the track to train hard. While the surgeon got good not by watching reruns of Trapper John, M.D., but by slogging through medical school, residencies, and hundreds of hours of face time with patients, colleagues, and mentors. “Feeling” had nothing to do with it.
But is it fair to compare creative work with physical and mental achievement? Having strong legs and support from a young age helped the athlete, and any aspiring doctor who couldn’t pass 10th grade Biology is likely headed for a career outside the surgical theater. But, what about artistic “gifts?” And “talent?”
Sunday, January 25, 2009
This idea was spoken about in class and piqued my interest, but I don't think I processed it and fully understood how resonating it could be until I looked through Dave Jordano's Web site of personal work today. He shoots portraiture, interiors, exteriors, details, everything you want to say about a place in a poetic kind of way.
I don't think I would have appreciated this kind of vision as much as it should be a couple of years ago when I thought success was to become a fast-shooting telephoto-slinging news photographer. It got to point where I was convinced that producing a quiet photo was a failure in retrospect despite channeling what I felt when I was shooting.
Jordano presents us with silence and allows us to search for the echos. His photos seem to use color and light so deliberately. They engage my interest through a door in my head I rarely access.
I chose this photo to post, from his ongoing work Prairielands, because I couldn't get over how much he is saying in one photo about the subject I'm breaking my head trying to produce a whole essay about.
Take your open mind, some time, a cup of tea and explore his work.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Brenda Ann Keneally (read: kind of a bad ass) came and spoke at OU last week (thanks to Johnny Simon who interned with her over the summer and helped bring her). Her presentation did all kinds of good things to my brain that has helped me a lot in keeping up my motivation and realizing that there is more than just editorial importance in these pursuits I'm undertaking. Look through her web site if you haven't already.
I wish I could truly articulate something profound beyond that, but a mix of hunger and realization that I'm losing daylight here is driving me to peel my butt off the couch and go back down OH-13 to Glousterville.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
It's challenging for you to admit it when something isn't working, yet pride will only get in the way of your success now. Other people have come into your life and are eager to help you along your path. But if you appear too self-sufficient, then there's no place to make a meaningful connection. Although you may be uncomfortable, sharing your vulnerabilities may be the best thing you can do.
Monday, January 19, 2009
My project in developing well in the ole' head, but not so much with the clicky click machine. I'm wishing I was in DC letting my trigger finger feed off all that wonderful energy. I really liking David Walter Banks's multimedia piece on a Georgia marching band traveling to the inauguration for the NYTimes. I'll be witnessing all of tomorrow's excitement from my digital imaging class.
Today, I continue chasing this story in Glouster. I had a wonderful evening last night with some nice folks and am meeting today with a homie there to continue this coming of age discussion. Wish me luck.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
In our photographic essay class with Prof. Stan Alost, we'll be covering the theme of community. Everyone is pretty excited about it. All of us have had to apply a butt ton of critical thinking to make sure we're undertaking a topic that we can address thoroughly and eloquently.
We're also learning how to express what we like about photos using words beyond the conventions of the technical elements of an image. It is understood that it is much more than composition, color and light, but I feel like we tend to turn to those ideas when discuss for one reason or another. Maybe its like its a traditional kind of language between photographers. But there's that need to communicate thoughts to the masses, not just other visual people. It's learning to talk about those things that we respond to inherently in an image. It's something I never realized I had trouble doing.
We had this assignment last week to go out and try to just touch on community visually somehow and I wound up in good ole' Glouster, Ohio again. I've been going back there a lot, but with no real game plan. This trip, I went to Moore's Diner and to a Trimble/Nelsonville York JV basketball game. This image is the first I've made in 2009 that I liked.
So for my essay, I was considering trying to focus on the younger part of the community in order to say something about the future of a community that has changed so quickly in the last couple of years. In my poking around, I found that Sonya Hebert sort of did a piece about this already for Soul of Athens a few years back.
Immediate reaction was to be discouraged. I was already sort of feeling silly because of all the great work that has been done on Glouster by Matt Eich (many of his Carry Me Ohio images are from the town) and stuff that class homie Josh Birnbaum worked hard on producing last quarter in the hollows of the town. But I don't know. It has been done?
I had a meeting with Terry, the program director, about my master's project yesterday and we talked about getting over the idea of the "it has been done before" excuse. That there's no problem in continuing and expanding a visual dialogue by 'piggybacking' on other's work. It makes sense what he says. I'm still not 100 percent committed to the idea of this as my expression of community and have yet to really develop a strong mission behind it.
This should be a good weekend of photographing if I stay disciplined and don't spend too much time holding hands with guapo or making grilled soy cheese sandwiches. Here's some more stuff to look at --