Tag Archives: photography school

March 10, 2014 | The End

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School isn’t technically over. There are two internships to complete and a final portfolio, but today was the last day we met for class on campus. I cleaned out my locker and found the soup can assignment, binders full of negatives, film, and a whole slew of other stuff. Like I said, it’s not over yet. Cleaning out your locker, though, has a way of making you feel like it’s over.

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ROBES “Red Turns to Blue”

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February 18, 2014 | The Nine Hot Lights

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My team and I spent the morning shooting a commercial. If we ever start a band, the four of us, we’ll be called The Nine Hot Lights.

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aleece cell

The assignment for Biocommunications Object Lighting was to create a high-technoidish image of a cell phone. It should have colored light and a specular (shiny) background. I tried that on Tuesday but I just wasn’t feeling it. And by “wasn’t feeling it” I mean “having a quiet meltdown alone in the studio then refusing to look at the pictures”. I knew I needed another go, and driving to school on Wednesday my idea hit me. I would need rubber bands and willing models.

abbi cell

There is a graduate of RCC, Wes Naman, who has created some amazing portraits of people with faces distorted by rubber bands. There is also a weird picture of a guy with a rubber band holding a cell phone to his head. Those were my seeds. I mentioned my idea to a handful of people, seeking approval and gauging their reaction. It really sounded like a dumb idea when I said it out loud. But my teacher, whose instructions for the assignment I would be ignoring, said go for it.

bekah cell

I shot these pictures using a Sinar large format camera with a Phase One digital back, tethered using Capture One, and it was my first time using this set up. I wrangled three classmates who didn’t know what they were getting into and asked them to 1) remove the cases from their very expensive iPhones 2) take an extreme close up of themselves using their phone 3) strap the phone to their heads with rubber bands and 4) please be very still while I try to focus.

There was minor retouching of the screens of the cell phones, to make them match as best I could. I won’t tick off a list of about a thousand things I would do differently to improve these images, because I really like how they came out and I’m glad I tried my cray cray idea. Here’s how I presented the final three images for my assignment. 

cell phone triptych PRINT copy

(click this one for bigness)

Thanks to Aleece White, Abbi O’Leary and Bekah McClure, who all participated willingly. I think they would want you to know that rubber bands around your head are, um, uncomfortable to say the least. As much as you try to not let them snap…they snap. Sorry girls.

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A Lumen Book

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I’ve mentioned the lumen book here and there over the past few months. My classmates and I are getting to the final stages of self-publishing our collection, which will be for sale soon. Proceeds from the sale of our book benefit students at Randolph Community College.  We are the third class to create a book of lumens and with just four of us, the smallest class to do so.

It’s easy to create a lumen, if you have the right materials. You can think of it as a photo because that’s what it is. An image created with light on a photographically sensitive material. Plant materials work best.

Here’s a photo I took while making a lumen one afternoon a few weeks ago. Grass + photo paper + UV light rays = LUMEN.

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Once created, the lumen can be scanned and stored in a dark box. Take the digital file into photoshop and play around a little to get a look that I like. Or in my case, play around a lot. Here’s the grass after being quiltified in photoshop:

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Many of my final lumens were created to be quilt-like, and they are completely different from the ones my classmates created. I’ve loved seeing each person’s lumens because we each approach the process in a unique way.  The book is going to be amazing and you’re going to love it. I’ll let you know when and where you can buy it when it’s ready.

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