Salzburg Lion, 2009
Before I had ever gone on a bike tour, or even knew how to change a flat, I did a series of bike photos. They were details, cropped into squares, trying almost unwittingly to maintain a primary color scheme. This one has always been my favorite. The afternoon light, color scheme, and composition works well in this image. I’d love to come back to this project with 5,000 miles under my belt. I wonder how I’d approach the details of a bike now that I know which parts are likely to break and how to fix them?
It’s Fresh Photo Friday, where I dig into several years of photography files and dredge something up that I’m still excited about. I took this picture in Rome during a study abroad program focusing on digital photography and new media. I found this scene on the banks of the Tiber, not too far from Vatican City. There is a long stone canal, with walkways and many bridges that cradles the river on its winding route through the city. Walking there felt a little scary to me, as these were some of my first solo footsteps on the European continent. Add this to the fact that my goal was to get lost, and make desolate photos that reflected the foreignness I felt.
My favorite qualities in this image include the pops of bright color, the abandoned feel to the refrigerator and blue plastic, and the grit and grime that’s been washed up from the river. The strong lines move your eyes around the picture, if in a disorienting way. Did I get lost? It’s hard to separate my memories from what I hope this picture conveys, but 3 years later, I still like this photo. Here’s hoping you do too.
The Classroom of the Universe, 2008
Oh man. This is a throwback. This was part of a photo essay I did in my first CAMS class ever. Almost exactly 4 years ago. The photo essay was about how awesome Astronomy is and this project was low-quality, confusing, way harder than I anticipated, and ultimately the beginning of my realization that I really, really like still photography.
Some info on the photo: Shot with my old Sony point-and-shoot. My metadata actually says the file was created on January 1, 1970. This was taken in the biggest lecture hall on campus, before they replaced these funky orange chairs with boring new ones. I’m still in love with the way the light is painting these beautiful, old, squeaky seats. I wish I had a wider lens to shoot the sides of the room, but this was way before I boasted even a vague awareness of composing the edges of my photos. Unfortunately the quality isn’t great and the file is really small (only 650 by 409!). There are parts of this image that are blown out beyond my skill/camera’s capabilities/what I knew how to fix in 2008. I could list things that are ‘wrong’ or different from what I’d do today for ages.
Maybe its nostalgia, but I really like this picture. Both because of what it represents to me personally, but also because it’s still beautiful. Photographs aren’t wrong and right, and the broken rules here are much more than just broken rules.
This photograph was the finished product for an assignment in a class on Site-Specific Media at Carleton College. The prompt was to make a photograph of “Bodies in Space.” I chose this playful, architecturally engaging space as my canvas, and with the help of a few friends, created a human inchworm that responded to the shape of the playground equipment. I used a black and white, grainy finish in post-processing to allude to the aesthetic tradition of photography in 1970s performance art. It was my hope that the physical experience of making the inchworm and the resulting photograph suggest a different way of engaging with space, and a meditative harmony with one’s surroundings.