Saturday, March 27, 2010

Road Trip to Arcata

I went on a road trip with Jessica and Eric to Arcata. Along the way, we stayed in Santa Rosa for some reason, then Arcata, then Chico. Santa Rosa and Chico were not the best decisions we made, but they were along the way so we stayed there. This was the first time I used something other than normal Fuji 400 film. It was Kodak 100UC (ultra color), which explains the extreme dark color of shadows and intense colors. Experimentation is always good.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Morgan Hill / San Martin Pond

The pond... now quite a lake, was a small body of water hidden behind bushes on the side of the highway and next to a gated community. It wasn't a very beautiful pond, and there was a dead fish almost every time I went there, but it became a place that my friends and I would go to during summer and swim. It was the place to go when boredom hit. We also went there during winter, which was not the best idea, but Devin and Jordan were very excited about a raft they had began building during summer. College interrupted, and they finished over winter break. It worked well, but it was a very cold trial.
Documentation is interesting because you don't want your subject to look unnatural. What I mean by that is, I don't want them posing awkwardly or feeling nervous. I want more of a candid but sincere and unforced feeling. It is hard to be an invisible photographer to make this happen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mt. Madonna

Sometime during winter, 2006/7, I hiked off-trail with John, Paul, and Eric. It is one of the best hikes I have ever been on, next to another hike in Mt. Madonna that involved trespassing and a stagnant lake. Adventuring with a camera is difficult because I put myself second to the camera. If I fall, I hold the camera up in the air from damage. If Eric accidentally pushes a falling tree towards me, I shield the camera. Needless to say, after this hike I was very bruised and scratched. Photographing in the forest is another challenge. Besides the safety of the camera, the lighting is usually fairly dark from shadows, which is why many of these photos are so soft and pale looking. I used slow exposures and was probably not balanced well where ever I was standing which gives softer rather than sharper images. The colors are mixed with purples and blues of shadows, which gives most of the photos an unreal color palate.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chesbro Lake 2006

This is what the bottom of a lake looks like when it is empty, cracked, and drying. Chesbro Lake hides in the Santa Teresa foot hills and next to a route I would often take to avoid the freeway. I went to this lake often to explore or take pictures because I was so fascinated with being able to walk on the bottom of a lake. It was empty for two or more years or so and is full now. At least, it was full the last time I checked, but I imagine it would be because of all the rain.

Next to the lake there was a burned down biker bar that added to the bleak and haunted emptiness of Chesbro. John was my adventuring buddy during this roll of film. I made him pose a few times for me in the bar and attempted to make him look like a ghost by blurring his figure but leaving the background sharp. It didn't work too well, but I still find the pictures to give off an effect of a gray, cold, and eerie presence.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

December 2006

It is already becoming difficult for me to place my photography on a linear time line because my life in junior college was very static during the school year. Fortunately there was major movement and adventure during holidays and summer. I can remember what happened during those days, where I was, who was there, what we did, but I can't give an exact time. Anyways, I'm pretty sure I went on this adventure during a winter break in December of 2006.To be honest, I have to say that I have been withholding pictures. This began with the creation of the blog because I did not want to have posts which felt cramped with photos. However, I just used that to rationalize my lack of confidence in sharing photos. I revealed less because I only wanted to show what I thought to be good pictures. As my blogging continues, I have begun adding more. I'm not entirely sure if this is because I feel I made some improvement in photography over a course of time or if I am becoming more confident with showing more to strangers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

October 2006

In October, I went to San Francisco with the Bablinskai brothers. I spent the time following them around with a camera and making them pose for me in antique stores. Framing became of an even greater importance, and I began to pay more attention not only to the subject or portrait, but of the back ground and depth of field. The picture below of the brothers walking down the street is one of my favorites. There is a visible connection between the brothers, so they are not random people walking down the street. The buildings and telephone poles give the effect of convergence that draws the eyes to the socialist book store sign as well as the action of the Bablinskai.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

September 2006

September was the last month of summer, but many of my friends had already left for college. I met many new people that month, mainly in Berkeley, and I reconnected with friends who were still in high school or beginning their first year of college. September was a surprisingly good month despite my fear of returning to community college and losing my best friends.
September was also a month in which I had ample time to myself. At the time I had less people around me, which changed the subject of my photography and led to experimentation with light. Sunset and dusk were my favorite times of the day to shoot because the lighting best fit the mood I wanted to capture on film.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

August 2006

The documentary stage does not end but it does change. Rather than constantly taking pictures and choosing the best photo, I began to think more about framing, lighting, color, and my friends actions in the frame while taking the photo. My documentation became more organized and more experimental.
In the piano picture, I experimented with the bulb for the first time. The bulb is a setting that allows an open shutter for as long as I wish, allowing pictures to be taken in settings with little to no light. When taking pictures inside houses with low light, I would contort my body into awkward positions or build tripods out of books and found objects to just to hold the camera steady enough during very slow shutter speeds. I still don't own a tripod, but I am saving up for one. I think it's time, though the awkward positions are fun.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Documentary Stage

This is the stage of my photographic life occurs in the summer after taking photography classes during the school year (2006). These pictures are from June, and the next five or so posts after this will be dedicated to the first few months or so that I bothered to give a time stamp to. After that, I will be relying on my memory.
These labeled months, summer into winter, are what I would call the documentary stage because I took my camera with me where ever I went. I did not stay in one area for too long because my friend base had been dispersed by college life and new communities. I was desperate to be around my close friends and visited them as much as I could because the separation that college created was very painful. These pictures are then not following a project or a focused attempt of creativity, but more of a frenzied attempt to keep memories and people together.The three different backgrounds are a few of the places I called home during June. They are El Tulare, John's kitchen, Devin's house, and Elizabeth's house. These homes/backgrounds appear too many times to count in my collection of negatives.

Monday, March 1, 2010

E Squared

Elizabeth and Eric are the first two people I photographed. I took them into the hills, made them wear certain clothes, asked them to do strange things, made them uncomfortable and comfortable with the camera, and hung around a few of their already few band practices for E Squared (in case you're wondering, this is what they sound like: and Eric, at that moment in time, were the people I saw more than anyone else. I did not realize it then, but see now how I began photography with what I knew and with what made me feel comfortable. For me, comfort meant Eric, Elizabeth, and the town we grew up in.
I began with what I knew. As I have progressed, I found a pattern in older negatives: I begin a roll with something I find comfortable, as a sort of warm-up. The rest of the frames are dedicated to experiments with filters, tilt-shift, developing, fish-eye, Polaroids, and lighting.
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