Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorable Experiences

The most obvious highlight from this semester was our trip to New York City. This trip was unique in a few ways for me. First, it was the longest time I'd ever spent in the city and we were able to do many of the things that I've always wanted to do in New York. And, of course, the entire purpose was to photograph everything. It was great to go everywhere that we did -- the Highline, Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Memorial, Times Square, etc. -- but the really cool part of the experience was to be there for the sole purpose of photography. We were able to spend a ton of time exploring each place, which allowed me to experiment with various techniques and perspectives and to work with both digital and film. Most importantly, it forced me to take a deeper look at each location, to find the details and unusual perspectives, to push myself creatively, and to shoot as much as possible. The results go far beyond the typical touristy snapshots of New York.

A second highlight was the whole experience of the Clayton's show. I was excited at the opportunity to be able to show a few pieces of work and learned a lot about the whole process of an art show. From choosing which work to show, to matting and framing, to hanging the show, I had never considered all of the work that goes into a show like this one. It was great to be able to learn about this process by being directly involved. The final payoff of having two photographs shown was really exciting. Most of our work never goes beyond the walls of YHS, so it was great to be able to share this with a part of our larger community. 

Finally, I also want to add that I loved the way this class was structured with so much freedom. It was incredible to spend so much time in the darkroom, printing as much as possible and becoming more proficient in the techniques. It was also great to have the freedom to photograph whatever theme we chose for our weekly assignments. This forced me to think more creatively and to push the boundaries of my focus. This class has been one of my favorite at YHS and I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn so much about photography, something that I know I'll be doing for the rest of my life. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Capturing Maine

Maine will always be home to me although I won't always live here. It's the place I've lived for nearly all of my life, the state I've grown up exploring. There are a lot of things that define Maine for me: the ocean, woods, rocky cliffs, mountains, coastline, forests, small towns... I tried to capture a few of these things. The unique character of this beautiful state will always pull at me; nowhere else could I find this incredible mix of scenery and outdoor spaces, all within a few minutes of home. Maine has an intense, yet comforting kind of beauty because it is so classic.
"These are the places I will always go..."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Clayton's Exhibit

It was a great experience to be in the exhibit at Clayton's and to be able to show a few pieces of my work. It was also interesting to learn about the process of behind a show like this. I didn't realize all of the pieces that were involved leading up to the exhibit, from choosing the photographs I wanted to show, matting and framing them, and finally hanging the exhibit. For me, it was difficult to choose which photographs I wanted to show out of the huge variety of work I've done this year. I think, in the end, the two photos I chose are some of my best and favorite work. I also didn't realize the many steps involved in framing the photos and the difficulty in doing it correctly. The framing classes were definitely an ordeal, but it was worthwhile when I saw the finished product. Knowing the work that goes into a show like this one, I think I am able to appreciate it a lot more. I am also glad to have had an opportunity to share some of my work with the community.

"In the Window"

"Seeing Double"

Thursday, May 1, 2014

POW: Patterns

For this assignment, I focused on observing repetition and patterns throughout my daily life, mostly around the house. It was an interesting exercise in observation and forced me to be more aware of my surroundings. I began the assignment trying to photograph patterns that appeared or were created naturally and not for the purpose of the photo. Eventually, I began to arrange things myself to create interesting patterns. My inner neat-freak came out a bit as I meticulously arranged various objects to create the effect I was looking for. My idea behind this assignment choice was to communicate the simple beauty in repetition which is often overlooked.

Monday, April 7, 2014

POW: Creative Self Portraits

Self-portrait photography was weird and challenging because I was the subject while I also had to be behind the camera. It was especially difficult to determine the desired exposure, focus, and placement of myself because I had to be in front of the camera to test all of this and behind the camera to check it. Most of my work was trial and error. I set the self timer with 10-shot bursts to have the best chance of getting a well-composed shot. In the first few photos, I was working with mirrors and reflections which allowed me to get some interesting shots. Safe to say I felt pretty ridiculous waving my arms and flipping my hair around repeatedly, hoping that one of the shots would be timed well. In the fourth shot, I was trying for blurred motion and good running form. Again, it was strange to run pointlessly across the street and back but I think the photos paid off. In the final photo, I wanted a closer up image of my face, but I wasn't really sure what to do with myself, so I grabbed the flower and played around with that to take some of the focus away from my face. 

Darkroom Update

 Contact Sheets

 Sampling of Test Strips
Final Print!

I've been doing a lot of work in the dark room which has so far only yielded two final prints. Since most of my film from New York did not come out, I opted to shoot more film for a photo of the week which meant I had to develop it and print more contact sheets. I now have a ton of photos to choose from with lots of different subject matter. I love being in the dark room and working with film. It can definitely be frustrating at times since there are SO many ways to mess up, but its really worth it when I finally get the exposure, time, and filter right and come out with a beautiful print. I'm beginning to develop more of an instinct for knowing which exposure or filter will be right for a particular photograph. Before, I knew what to do mechanically and was able to go through the motions correctly, but now I am starting to really understand the process and all of its intricacies. Since I have so many photos to print, I want to continue working in the darkroom for as long as possible. This is especially true because its my senior year and I'm not sure if I'll have another chance to work in a darkroom in the future. I want to be able to print as many photographs as I can and to be able to understand the process on my own and become more independent as I work.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

POW: Film Photography (Farms; Still Lives)

I chose to shoot more film for my photo of the week assignment so I could have more photos to develop, especially since most of my film from New York did not come out :(. I took one set of photos at Coopers Farm in Windham during Maple Sugar Sunday. Many of the photos are of animals: everything from ponies (there were 28 at the farm!) and cows, to chickens and peacocks. I'm also excited to see how the photos turn out from inside the sugar shack where the sap was being boiled. The air was filled with a sweet maple steam illuminated by the light coming from the windows which will hopefully make for some interesting photos. A also have a few photos of the many children that came to the farm to enjoy the maple syrup and seeing the animals. My second set of photos is a continuation of the still lives which we worked on when we started working with film. These still lives consist of an varying combinations of oranges, eggs, and a few plants and china pieces. I am hoping the light in these photos turned out well because I was trying to photograph quickly, between the passing clouds which blocked the morning sunlight.