Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Perfecting.

While creating my final book and viewing the layout, I continued to edit. This was something I did not expect but was open to, and I think that is a good thing. I am letting the project speak for itself and letting go of my preconceived notions. I bring part of this up in my essay, I comment on how I go out with an idea and try to find these moments and document them and how my presence of my camera alters the people and places in front of me. Also how my preconceived notions alter how I chose my compositions. I find this interesting.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Putting the book together!

I have started to layout the design for my book and started writing my essay. It is one thing to go out and execute a big project and another to condense and mesh it into one story. Putting the photographs together and choosing where to place them and the order in which to view them is exciting and a challenge. I have found aesthetic gestalt grouping with some and am finding connections I never saw before with them all out in front of me. I am very happy with my project and am thrilled to soon share it and have it in my hands! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Night In NOLA

It's the last night here and I have really learned a lot, enjoyed myself,  and found an admiration for the city, but will be happy to be going home, it is my home. I have immensely enjoyed working independently on my own project and had great experiences going along with others to observe theirs as well. I have grown in approaching people and photographing them and waiting for "the moment" I am not ancy any longer while I wait but excited and comfortably patient. I captured what I was intending while here for my project.  I wanted to show the importance and large amount of photography in our lives. This idea was inspired by people close to me who didn't respect what I chose to do with my life which is be a photographer as a means to live and do what I love to do. I was not trying to inject or push upon a personal passion of mine to others but to emulate and pay a homage to a medium whose specific characteristics enhance all of our lives everyday in many ways, demanding acknowledgement of respect for that.

These are two photos I took of myself on the fly and two I shot for my project. The one of the young boy and his mother perfectly framing the photograph of Lil Wayne printed onto a T-Shirt in a store window I love. The attitude of body language, the perfect moment of lineal framing and the towns pride in having the dubbed "Best Rapper Alive" being from New Orleans speaks articulately visually. The other was in front of a strip club, the worker flashing my camera and reflecting the doors surrounding images and the other holding the sign over his face because of my camera's presence. Not only does it show the environment of these photographs but I enjoy how the people are reacting to my action of photographing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Been Busy!

My project has been going good, there are photographs everywhere! And people interacting with them as well. I have been trying to capture moments that are enticing environmental portraits, not just where one is but its affect on its surroundings, its purpose, and importance. I have been finding these moments and couldn't be happier. You have to be patient and wait for it to occur. It was very cool going to the Ogden and seeing some exhibitions of books we saw in class, it was nice to be surrounded by the shots and be able to scrutinize them closer. It was amazing to see some original prints as well, thanks to Richard for showing them to us and talking about them. Time to dump my loads of memory and edit! And this Minnesota girl loves the warm September sunshine.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


First night in New Orleans and I had the 50D concealed in my purse and already took it out and started photographing. New Orleans downtown is very lively and the thick humidity coincides with the heavy culture and activities, it seems like it never stops. Enjoyed a burlesque show, some jazz, and meeting locals. I photographed some shots on Bourbon Street of photographs along it in the night life. I'll post some up later!  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Contacts and 10 Photographs of Mine

I chose to change my story idea because of lack of connections. I have changed perspective to something that I do not need to completely rely on others to execute, so that I can have freedom while shooting and only be responsible for my own performance. I am going to make my book about photographs. Where we choose to place them, our relationships to them, how we use them in multiple ways, what they mean to different individuals. It will be an observance of the purpose, meaning, and importance of the art of photography in life, our appreciation for this mediums existence. It will be in a way a homage to the thing I am passionate about. I am going to photograph environmental portraits of photographs where they already are being used in public and in private spaces. An advertisement in a store window, a framed picture of a child in a family's living room, a poster on a teenagers wall. In these environmental portraits I will include humans to further express our interaction with them. Because of the many spaces in which photographs are placed I looked up and found three public places I will be able to locate and shoot at, surely, and maybe interview people. Many places though I will find, a bus stop, a store window, a random poster in an alley. So these three places are all art galleries.

New Orleans Museum of Art
One Collins Diboll Circle, City Park, New Orleans, LA 70124
It is open 5 days a week Wed. 12-8, and Thurs. through Sun. 10-5

A Gallery (Fine Art Photography Gallery)
241 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Open 10-530 daily and 12-5 On Tues.

Arthur Roger Gallery
432 and 434 Julia Street New Orleans, LA 70130
504-522-1999, I will have to call for the store hours because they were not listed.

These are 10 photographs of mine, with no theme, just 10 photos of mine I like.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zeitoun Essay Response Question

The plight of the neighborhoods abandoned dogs comes to Zeitoun's attention as "a bewilderment, an anger in their cries that cut the night into shards" (93). The next day, he sets out in the canoe and tries to do what he can for animals and people trapped by the flood. How does Zeitoun feel about what he is doing? How does he think about these days after he has been imprisoned? 

Zeitoun a New Orleanian for over a decade stays behind in the after math of Hurricane Katrina. He stays at home while his wife and four children leave and flee for safety. Underestimating the hurricanes greatness he assumes he will be fine and help prevent severe damage to his many properties. After the hurricane hits Zeitoun is fine, and he does help the city but he realizes that the city is now out of control and what he is trying to nurture is far beyond his control and a threat to his individual safety.

Zeitoun ventures out into the atlantis like environment and takes in what has became of his home and what he can do to help.His property was mostly lost but he did make a difference about saving many precious objects, including photographs. :)   He asks for help from military personal and barely receives any, it is he and his neighbors, some new acquaintances, that help save peoples lives. It is the quitness of his canoe and the slim sleek craft that allows him to go where he went and help who he did. It is the irony of the random purchase of the canoe and the internal appreciation of his well being that makes Zeitoun a man close to God feel he had purpose and work to do there. 

He helped answer calls that others couldn't hear or ignored. He helped the abandoned dogs whose cries he could hear in the night, he allowed the crisis to seep into his heart and inspire his actions. He fed them his food, his meat of all things. He offered his time and life to aid in the destruction. He saved peoples lives who could not swim. He brought his friends to evacuation landings and to see what had became of their material lives that meant so much to them and that they had spent so much time gaining. Zeitoun felt good about what he was doing, he was enjoying it, he never dismissed the obvious threat to his safety but he did admit to himself it was fun canoeing around an abandoned city but never was he immature in his decisions I feel.  He worried his family but he felt they need not be worried and that he was helping others, he felt he was not losing anything or risking anything that was not in his preferable chances at winning, to give. Technically he never gained from it at the time, but to him giving meant gaining.

After he was incarcerated Zeitoun second guessed his decision to stay behind and to continue to do so even after he could have been evacuated numerous times. But he felt he could choose when he could leave, that it wasn't a big deal to stay nor was it to get out when he chose to. After he saw the robbers at the gas station, and the helicopter that had failed, and the water turning a health-hazardous black, he had started to think it best to leave. In his cell he could not contact his wife, this of all things was the hardest on him. He felt selfish for staying and not leaving afterwards. This though was out of his hands, he should not have got arrested, he should of got a phone call after he was arrested. Zeitoun started putting his priorities into perspective his family was the most important, not his properties, or helping save others. He realized he had people to take care of mentally, physically, and financially. That if he was lost he would end up stranding five other people, his family people he loved more than life. 

He realized he should have not stayed and regretted not going. Though he knew he could not change what he already chose to do, could not change the predicament he got himself into he accepted that. Therefore still felt he had done some good.

What I think...   

Zeitoun staying I think was a bit of an arrogant choice, the city had a mandatory evacuation, he chose to ignore professionals and city personnels credible and knowledgable opinions. It was not worth the risks that were involved but I feel he truly felt it was going to not be a big deal so I think he made the decision in pure and understandable ignorance. After the storm not leaving that is a bit understandable as well , he was not hurt and there were others who needed help. But I think he should have went to his family, there were people there to help, that was their jobs, despite if they were executing it well, it was not Zeitoun's responsibility. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My First Call...

I called a program called Healthy Start which is a nation wide program started to help teen moms finish school and offer them services. I found the group by reading an article from The Louisiana Weekly, it was originally published in April of 2009, I got to this article by searching on google, teen pregnancy programs new orleans. I got a number from the article which I believe was a fax machine! So I typed in the programs name and got a map of where it is, right by the metrodome! And I found different numbers to contact them, I called one and got a secretary whose southern accent I loved! :) She transfered me to the director who did not answer so I left a message explaining who I was, why I called, and my number. So hopefully I hear back! If not I will try to contact them again, or try to find another contact.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The True Meaning of Pictures

Shelby Lee Adams

­­­­­Photography is a tool that can be used to manipulate people’s views of the world. When faced with a photograph we do not get to choose what we view or how we view it we are forced to see what another shares. In this way photographers have the power to represent an idea or misrepresent one, and weigh the balance in their preferable favor.

            Shelby Lee Adams studied Appalachia, a very rural area whose inhabitants live very primitively and as we might describe it today as old school, or hicks. He has a great interest and admiration for his subjects and it is apparent in his approach and final prints. He spent much time hanging out there, enjoying his subjects company and learning more about them. Adams always made sure they approved of and liked the photographs that they had modeled in, sharing them after completion and asking for acceptance of them. One can shoot a subject how they wish but if that subject does not like the manner in which they were approached it doesn’t matter what you thought you captured because ultimately you have failed for what you shot in reality you completely missed and misrepresented. You have to understand your subjects and misunderstanding leads to misrepresenting. He had a genuine pride in them and photographed them very environmentally and expressive at times.

            In the photograph of the young girl being framed through the screen door I feel is beautifully composed. Not only is this her living space but also the raggedy old door further exaggerates her beautiful youth. The old man in the back seems to express that one day she to will grow old here and that ultimately youth comes from others who hold age. The run down environment is where these people have their home and I think Adams composed them with aesthetic within that special place. I found it ignorant of the older woman who had moved away from the area to be so upset by the photograph, ashamed of her roots. I think that is a personal problem and has nothing to do with the photograph at all. One doesn’t gain pride from the economic value of their upbringing but because of them being happy with who they are and appreciating what nurtured them to become the person that they are. I think that woman as a viewer has very irrelevant biased untrained eyes and is not seeing the picture for what it really is, or is offering. For many people see many things in one image.

            The photograph of the family around the hog I love! The controversy of it makes it that much more interesting. A lot of hogwash, ha, hogwash, was brought up about it because they don’t necessarily practice that anymore and the specific animal that had been butchered was specially butchered for the shoot. But that I feel is the point. They are getting together as a group of people to express something about who they are and by purposefully modeling it shows community within the participation, and pride in the expression of cultural practices whether they are continued to be done or not.

            Overall I think Shelby Lee Adams project was very successful. Photographers need to be conscious of what they see but also about trying to place our eyes on other people’s lives and anticipating about what audiences will think what about what we have photographed. And how much information is necessary to be given aside form the photographs, none, a lot?
Shelby Lee Adams
I like that he named the documentary The True Meaning of Pictures because it raises that constant question of what does a picture mean? And is it acceptable to have a definition be flexible, changeable, and if so is it allowed to be a definition. Or maybe we should just accept that pictures cannot be defined but shown and then an attempt at explaining them is what we do. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

American Experience: New Orleans - Reflective Essay

The film American Experience New Orleans offers a wide overview of the history of the city of New Orleans. What seemed to be a motif of the cities culture is the clash of cultures in its limited plot of wetland. Giving birth to multi-cultural music, celebration, food, and people. A place where people had no personal choice on whether to crash into each other was the public schools. I found great interest in this, and how the main “problem” that arouse was people’s clashing races.

Louisiana as a state was won at The Battle of New Orleans. In this battle were many races and one of the soldiers was our seventh president Andrew Jackson. I recently read a biography on him and having read it, it was a nice connection to the film. This battle had opposing sides obviously but I find it fascinating the adjective American. To be an American you at some level are an immigrant but then again who isn’t. But I wonder when we will make our own race or identity with this word that caries so much meaning, for it seems to be broken when we view melatonin levels. Melting cultures is not only a foundation of America but of New Orleans.

In Plessy V. Ferguson a suit filed over railcar segregation ended in a loss for the black man whom filed it, Plessy. The man had individually stood up for equal treatment of the rights being practiced for his white counterpart. This seemed a large loss for many but in 1954 that got voice in Brown V. The Board of Education, stating segregation was over lawfully. Many whites though still did not change and continued to practice the thrown out ways of doing things. Although it had changed on paper it would take time to have people practice it. I can understand this because people’s molded actions and opinions do not just change in a snap or because of a document signed by someone else but I found it ridiculous that in 1960 there was still so much public hostility towards a young girl trying to go to school.

In the case of Ruby Bridges, being the first black student to practice the right to go to a "white" public school in New Orleans in 1960. The effect is a majority of non-acceptance and whites switching schools or moving away. After picketing outside the building and openly voicing their racist opinions with their heads held high. I viewed them as arrogant and silly, for it is their choice about where their children will go to school but I can’t believe they didn’t fathom that other parents could probably care less about their personal family decisions. If people do not want their children around people who don’t share the same beliefs then they should have sent their children to a private school in the first place. A public school is for the public and the beliefs and opinions of the public vary widely. The fact that they stood there with signs and microphones communicating horribly how they disagreed with a Supreme Court ruling and the choice of this little black girl being allowed to go to school was not going to change it but do nothing but further break up the community.

Schools are where we send all of our children, the people who will replace us someday and take upon them the responsibilities of the world we now uphold. So I am passionately interested in these environments and how they are run and who participates, how schools are similar and how they differ. Their relationship between them as an independent institution and them being meeting grounds for the city. How they are a place where many different kinds of people meet together to achieve the same thing, an education. After watching the film I decided I want to focus my photographic essay on their public schools. As for the film overall I was not surprised by New Orleans rich and significant history and its identity in relation to our nation because it is pretty notorious.