Recently, I came across the work of Denmark photographer Joachim Ladefoged. The first thing I noticed off the bat was his strong understanding of light. Though his subject matter varies from documentary style to portraiture to landscape, all of his projects seam to feature the magic of light. I was particularly struck by his Mega Cities project.
While it's clear Ladefoged is trying to capture "decisive moments," his project more importantly captures an overall mood. The dull roar of the city... the desensitization of it's patrons. Not that that's a bad thing, but we humans have the astounding ability to adapt to any environment. So what does it take to adapt to passing by thousands of people every day? I'm honestly not quite sure. But I think Ladefoged almost found it.
I always loved coloring books as a child, and with Photoshop technology these days every black and white photo is like a coloring book page. You can make the walls yellow or green or red. You can make the couch pink or purple or orange. I could even make someone blue if I wanted to. What I did to the photo above was really no different than what your average five year old does during play time at preschool. Well, not EXACTLY, but you catch my drift.
It was fun rediscovering something that I used to enjoy as a child. Maybe I should try to rediscover more activities that I kind of lost along the way. Like making paper dresses and pretending to be Pocahontas, or swallowing jelly beans whole until I get a stomach ache... or maybe not. Some things should probably stay in the past.
It's happened! I've moved my life and my photo business to Cleveland OH!
Being a Pittsburgher all my life, I'm excited to experience my rival city. For those that are unaware, Pittsburgh and Cleveland have an intense sports rivalry that tends to come up when the two cities have run out of "yo mama" jokes. I'll be hiding my Steeler's shirts from now on.
It's been about a week since I moved in and everything's been unpacked. It helped that my boyfriend was already living in Cleveland and could bring over his furniture and take care of utilities. We do not have an air conditioner so this summer we'll be sweating it out.
Yesterday we decided to go for a walk through Lake View Cemetery. Now, I guess to some people that seems like a creepy idea. I mean, it has dead people and all... but I've always found cemeteries to be quite peaceful. (At least before the sun goes down.) Cemeteries are well kept and very pretty. They're a nice place to visit if you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Lake View Cemetery in particular is quite large with lots of different trails. I'll definitely be taking more walks through there. I love looking for hidden beauty. Though really, cemeteries don't really hide their beauty, it's just that people don't always want to look.
I wanted to official announce on my blog that in the beginning of this July I'll be moving to Cleveland, Ohio!
But Sarah! What does Cleveland have that Pittsburgh does not? Why are you moving?! Doesn't it bother you that you'll live in a city that root's for the Cleveland Browns?
Hey! Keep the sport's rivalries out of this, italicized voice. I don't even watch football anyway.
I'll be moving to Cleveland to live with my boyfriend who currently works at Case Western Reserve University, and has recently been accepted into one of their Ph.D programs. We'll be living near the city, in a space where I can set up a small studio and create work. I've been looking forward to this move for a while now and I'm extremely excited. For the next two months I'll be doing research, packing, and getting my business in order for the move.
Pittsburgh has always been, and will continue to be, my hometown, and I'm forever grateful to have grown up in such a wonderful, friendly area.
To be honest, these past couple of months have left me with very little inspiration. Maybe it's the LONG winter that has just now begun to subside, or maybe it's the uncertainty of leaving my hometown for a new city. (That'll be another post, but be aware that I will be moving away from Pittsburgh soon) Either way, it's not terribly uncommon to get in ruts every now and then. In fact, I'd argue it's a good thing. Without times of stagnation we wouldn't be able to realize how important it is to continue to grow. And growing is one of the most important things you can do.
So yesterday, as I was flipping through an old issue of American Photo, I saw a photo by photographer Jill Greenberg. The photograph was of one of the members of Daft punk in there cool looking helmet-costume-stage-clothes-thingy. It's a pretty great image.
I decided to look up her website to see more work, and it did not disappoint. While there are many photographs of celebrities, musicians, and all-around famous people in her portfolio, I was quite fasciated with the images in her Collages section. The placement of natural elements around the human face/torso's of her subjects is thoughtful, and sometimes unexpected. I like how some images show the subjects eyes while others hide them. I also like how sometimes the human form contains the natural scene while sometimes the natural scene contains the human form. The whole project harmonizes well but also shows a variety of experimentation.
Another section that I have to mention is her Children work. I've photographed a number of kids before and it is always stunning to see great photographs that capture their complexity. Perhaps in the future I'll do my own project on children. Jill Greenberg has certainly inspired me to do so. And I'm very thankful for the inspiration that I have been able to soak in through her work. I can only hope that someone will one day have a similar experience when looking at my images.
I had the pleasure of working on an old wedding photo this week for a lovely woman. This is a photo of her wedding day. At home she has a photo of her mother getting married in front of the same church. I made a separate photo with a sepia/bronze tone that will go on the wall next to her mothers wedding photo.
If I told you that Winky, the photographer, specializes in child photography, you'd probably envision images with clown-like colors, over-the-top facial expressions, and wacky compositions. Well shame on you. That's judging. And you're not supposed to judge because you might be wrong. And in this case, you are. (I apologize to those who didn't judge, you guys keep up the good work!)
What I'm saying is that with a name like Winky, you can't help but envision a little whimsy. What you may not think of are the beautiful, thoughtful, arresting children photographs that Winky Lewis has built her reputation on.
Above are a few photos from her Portland Kid's Series. Not your typical child photographs, huh? She creates a sort of... quiet intensity to her photographs. And she has a knack for getting expressions that make it seem like the kids are looking right into your soul. I wanted to share some of these beautiful photographs because kids are amazing creatures. They go through more changes in a few years than some people go through in 20 years once they get older. If you photograph a child when they are five, by the time they are six you could be photographing a completely different person. I think that's why we are all so fascinated and crave for child-like moments, because you aren't a child for very long. Or at least, the same child.
If you've ever checked out my Contact page you'll know that I also have a tumblr that I like to use for more informal, personal expression. Updating my tumblr blog though, is only half the fun. I follow many interesting, wonderful people that inspire me and make me smile. One such blog is called Sketch of the Day by Graeme Borland.
As you can probably tell by the title, the contents of the blog are pretty self explanatory. Every day Graeme Borland, a game designer/programer/2d and 3d artist, does a digital sketch. Every day. Like, seriously, he doesn't miss a day. He does this to strengthen his overall composition and conceptual skills. He's been doing this since January 1, 2012. Which means that at the time of this post, he has just done his 765th sketch.
If you follow him on tumblr, everyday he'll post an image of a digital painting along with what number it is. More recently, Borland has begun to create youtube videos of him drawing his daily sketches. I find these fascinating because they give you a glimpse into how he creates. I've posted his latest youtube video here, for you to enjoy.
Oh, and what kind of an artist would I be if I didn't mention that his website also has many fun projects that he's done, many of them gaming related.
For the past few months I've been showing spreads form my fall-semester editorial class. We were making a magazine. Yes, a full magazine from start to finish in one semester. Starting from scratch. Nothing but a few professors that had some connections and a theme of positive/negative.
Well I wanted to show you all the finished product. With a classroom of half designers and half photographers we created the seventh addition of Positive/Negative Magazine.
Now one thing you may be asking yourself is... where is the title? Well the title is actually a spot varnish at the top of the front cover. It's rather hard to photograph (how ironic) but looks great in person. Here, maybe if we take a closer look...
Ok, that doesn't help much. But believe me it's there and it looks great! I personally worked on three different projects for the magazine and two of them made it into the final edit. One is a spread created by Nick Tyler and I about the prostitution industry in Nevada.
The other spread is about light pollution and how it negatively effects our health. I worked with the lovely Eva D'Ignazio on that project.
Unfortunately, our magazine is not available to read online yet. I'll let you know when it is! But for now I would just like to express my gratitude to all the wonderful members of my class that created this magazine and the professors that guided us. It was an unforgettable experience!
Ok, let me clear something up. I'm not calling you "average". I'm sure you make wonderful, unique self-portraits. In fact, I'm sure you're a special snowflake that just wants to be loved and appreciated. But right now I'd like to introduce you to a photographer named Michael Lewis that REALLY does take self-portraits most of us could only dream of.
Michael Lewis is a celebrity photographer based in Los Angeles. I enjoy looking at his work because most of his photographs have a distinct environment that add another element of interest, character, and intelligence to the image. Here's a few examples...
Now along with Celebrity Portraits, Michael also does self-portraits as well. They are also very well thought out with an editorial feel and theme.
But while all of these photographs are absolutely wonderful to experience, I have to say neither of these body's of work compelled me to write this blog post. The work I'm thinking of is something he's been working on for as long as his self- portrait projects, but they are not to be found on his website.
I was looking through my backlog of photo magazines when I came across an article in American Photo Magazine about his self-portraits that feature celebrities. Well, more like celebrity portraits that feature him. Apparently, whenever he photographs a subject, he jumps into the photo for a frame or two. The result? A crazy collection of self portraits that non-celebrity photographers could only dream of! Or really, anyone could dream of.
Yup, that's him and Jack Black. And here's Tina Fey.
And who wouldn't want a photo hanging out with the most interesting man in the world?
Maybe it's a bit silly to be so mesmerized by self-portraits that feature celebrities. I mean, they are just people, right? But it's kind of fun seeing two very talented people in the same photograph together. And it's interesting to see the person who created the photographs or "image" along side a person who is working hard to create there own metaphorical "image". I have no idea if I'll see more of these photographs floating around in magazines or on the web. After all, most celebrity managers probably don't want this to become a trend. But I still think it's cool to think about all the celebrity, self-portrait images this man will have at the end of the career. I would definitely be interested in seeing that body of work.