All you need is some sunlight entering a tiny hollow circle.
The light that Lucinda Devlin brought to my creative instinct was much needed. The reason we visited the Weatherspoon Art Museum was to learn how to critique a piece of art with the four steps of art critique.
As I strolled around the museum I landed in rooms full of drawings that had so many lines and minutes later after continuing to stare vigorously, the drawings became very stagnant with details and it was missing something, something that I couldn’t name in that moment. So, I kept walking. I saw a few sculptures, some canvas’ with vibrant colors and others with not so much color but then all of a sudden, I make a right turn and what seems to be like the biggest exhibition in the museum, suddenly turns into a tiniest intimate room with warm lighting and photographs that kept you intrigued for several amount of minutes (and I wish I was counting but, I didn’t think of time when staring at these photos.). Time didn’t exist here. Lucinda made me question my art. So, I do as all artist’s do and take pictures of these pictures so I can recreate these pictures. Just borrowing some ideas for later, you know?
Now, I would like to mention that I loved this exhibition, every single picture spoke to me and that feeling that I was missing when I was looking at the stagnant drawings, well I found it. I felt it when I first saw the image on the left: it was warm, I felt warm. Not the kind of warm you feel when you pee on yourself but the kind of warmth that you somehow just can’t describe because it’s just that good.
That image itself is aesthetically pleasing and then you add the pastel coloring and a slight amount of lilies in front of a beige colored wall. There’s also texture, lines and shapes. The way the picture is formatted gives your eyes just the right amount of visualization to allow fluidity and being able to capture all of the image. On the left side of the photo, there’s a sprinkle of a very light rose pink that slowly diminishes into a pure white when arriving to the right of the image. What is most intriguing is the way that this photo is put together: the chairs aren’t centered, actually all the chairs are all arranged very differently creating the illusion of actual movement behind the photographer. This brings in the title of the series that features this image, “Pleasure Grounds,” which I defined when looking at this photo-is a piece of area that stresses artistic elements over natural elements all for aesthetic purposes. The way the scene is set up is to look pleasing and to make your eyes move makes you acknowledge a sense of hierarchy of vision. This image is absolutely brilliant and those lines on the ground, they’re quite something.
I did it, I did it! Well, sort of. I tried to say the least.
See, I love Sally Mann and everything about her. She started out by taking pictures of her kids. Now, she wasn’t the typical mom that went into town to get her Sunday stroll with the kids. Nope. The Mann family is the complete opposite. They spent their time outside and talked until the sun had set. Now, if you think that Sally just sat down and enjoyed every minute, you’re wrong. She saw a moment and she captured it. It was completely perfect, as if the moment was going to last forever and time had froze.
Although, I must admit and so will many reporters, Sally Mann had not so welcoming fans when it came to her kids being nude in photos. Oh no, many called Sally’s images, “child pornography” and even accused her of selling her children’s photo’s in the nude as exploitation of parental roles. But, that’s not how Mann saw any of it. The series is called, “Immediate Family.” Mann, saw this project as something very natural that was through a mother’s eyes. The art work presents innocence and sweetness in the most simple, yet beautiful photographs.
When I first saw, “The Perfect Tomato” I fell completely in love with Sally Mann’s work. She broke the rules of photography and she did it as if there were no such thing as rules! How did she break rules? She didn’t do one minor thing: dodge and burn. The image itself is completely stunning but when I attempted to recreate that, it was trial and error for hours.
There’s so much about this photo that I am still going to fix but for some reason, I love just the way it looks because it reminds me of Sally but also has a hint of me in it. Yes, of course I will fix it but for now, I thank Sally Mann for challenging me to become a better photographer in and outside the darkroom.
I couldn’t find “Through A Lens, Darkly: Black Photographers and The Emergence of a People” so, instead I decided to watch Tales by Light episode five: panorama. It was the most aesthetically pleasing documentary about what it takes to photograph in wild life and what it means to the the photographer. Peter Eastway’s journey throughout this film was him shadowing, Frank Hurley’s journey through Antartica heading to South Georgia.
Before I move on, I want to say that the camera is not the one taking the picture (hypothetically speaking), the photographer is. Personally, Eastway definitely portrayed this character throughout and it was so beautiful to see watch it happen. When he said that, “photography is about composition and communicating,” it definitely emphasized the point of photography being more than just an aesthetic, it’s about lines, light and I agree one hundred percent with him, composition.
I truly enjoyed this episode of the show and the thing that I enjoyed the most is that Peter was so passionate about his work that when the sun hit his face, it illuminated every bit of him. “Photographers have a contract with society, when people see photographs many of them have an expectation that it is real. If you’re a documentary photographer you need to respect that” (Eastway) but for him it’s different because he wasn’t’ photographing for moments, he was photographing to capture the true essence of life that he was surrounded by: wild animals that weren’t afraid to get near you. Every picture he took was all about simplicity, if you have that in your images, then composition and light are easy to come by.
Although, I did not attend the photogram workshop. Photos of my photograms will be coming soon.
Hey, light it up through this tutorial!
It talks about how the different types of keys define the overall tone of the final portrait. There’s three different kind of keys: low, middle, and high. To identify the key of a portrait you can determine the average tone for the scene.
Each key has it’s way of functioning: low key is created by using a dark background and dark clothing and props-it has more dark elements than bright ones. The shoot may be shot with a higher ratio as contrast is acceptable due to the drama of a lower tone.
Middle key is the set tone that is in the middle of high and low. The way you can set this tone is by using skin tone and clothing may be used to accent the tone of the skin with contrast rather than allowing all elements to blend together.
High key is setup completely differently. It requires more lighting, power and equipment! Aside that, it also requires a great deal of light control and has the most risk of overexposure and could possibly lose details around the portrait, which is something we don’t want! So, the background of this portrait is paper because it is slightly overexposed which results in a pure white seamless background. Also, if a model is involved, it is best for them to wear bright clothing.
I love music and I love the way it changes the way you tell a story. One of the Art Professors here at, Guilford College, came up with a topic on how music has changed but yet still stay the same. Everyone in the room received a different objective through a little piece of paper. I got, “paint a picture without using paint.” I created a portrait of Nina Simone.
Years ago, way before I was born, Nina Simone came up with a song by the name of “Mississippi G–dam.” In this time period, for you to be a black woman and to even be in the music business was a huge deal! But, then she came out with this song and people started losing their minds! Speechless even. In the song, Nina was talking about all the problems that were happening from Alabama to Mississippi, to the mistreatment of black people.
Nina Simone used her success to promote the revolution and even marched from Selma to Montgomery with several well-known civil rights leaders including Martin L. King and Malcolm X. (She was also neighbors with X.) At the march she sang “Mississippi G–dam” where more people started to hear about it and caused her career to fall.
No one wanted to book her anymore because they all thought she was going to come out with her ideas on revolutionizing and resisting and that didn’t help because most of her audience were white people.
Her documentary: What happened Nina Simone? explains more in-depth on her life and her music career.
About the portrait:
Nina Simone is surrounded by brown circles with green blotches that represented black women in uniforms wanting black liberation:
and behind them are lyrics to one of Nina’s most controversial songs. Her shirt says “g–dam!” and is shaded in to represent her 1971 album, “Here Comes The Sun.” Above her head are fists in all shades fighting for one thing: Liberation.
Alternatives to paint used for portrait:
Today, I am standing on grass. Today, I am breathing non-toxic air. Today, I realized I have lived two decades and four months. I have lived.
I was sitting in class and we were watching a short PBS documentary, “Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground” and I am so thankful to be alive and to have experienced as much as have because this documentary opened my eyes to what I always tend to forget: I am privileged even during current events.
Unlike Ghana, I’m not walking on dismantled metal from used technology and I’m not mixing a large barrel of toxic chemicals to melt the metal and I’m not devaluating my experiences but instead uplifting the fact that I have a small opportunity to help what is happening around the world. As a millennial, I am what the market is looking at. My demographic is very important right now because, CAPITALISM!
The economy works for me and if I make a small shift and encourage others to do the same, everything will shift. Of course, this has to be a large number of people but if I start somewhere that means so much more than just sitting here on this green grass, typing on my computer that will be disposed somewhere in another country that has metal dumping grounds and kill several people.
Do things for impact not intent. This moment will become a movement.