Punk Rock Poster

Another assignment (last semester) involved creating a poster composed of various textures and yet be a cohesive and identifiable image. I used my own images as a starting point and added texture and played with color. I like the end result {two versions: hot and cold}.

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The King of Pop

This semester (or should I say last semester since it’s the summer?…time flies) I was challenged with designing a promo piece / mailer for my photography studio. I wanted to do something interesting that also revealed me as a person so I came up with this retro inspired piece. My family has a doll collection that was passed down from my grandmother who traveled all over the world. With each country she visited she added to her collection. She was also a huge Michael Jackson fan.  My sister and I both dance and are hugely inspired by the king of pop. So I couldn’t help but be notice the irony of the King sitting among the other dolls.

Paul Strand

I admire the photographic instinct and intent of Paul Strand. I also admire Lewis Hine, who was Strand’s first photography teacher and introduced Strand to the idea of using photography to better humankind.  It’s also interesting that Strand embraced other mediums such as film. (How neat would it be to have the great Lewis Hine as a photography teacher?) Paul Strand got quite an education at the Ethical Culture School. After graduating from this institution he happened to be part of the New York Camera Club another member of which was Alfred Stieglitz. The Photo-Secession movement had just begun also. In 1911 Strand began to work closely with Stieglitz who was a proponent of Straight Photography. Strand’s photographs appeared in Stieglitz’s publication, Camera Work, in 1916 and Stieglitz declared, “Strand is without doubt the most important photographer developed in this country since Alvin Langdon Coburn.” Strand’s work along with that of Edward Weston and Stieglitz helped define American modernism and the elegant photographic print now carried incredible value.

After viewing an exhibition at Stieglitz’s at Gallery 291 of avant-garde European art Strand began studying cubism and abstract art. In 1916 at his family lake house he began to experiment with abstraction. These became his first significant  abstractions made with his camera.

Abstraction, Twin Lakes, Connecticut, 1916


Strand often visited the Lower East Side immigrant slums called Five Points (this particular location is featured in the film, Gangs of New York, staring Leonardo DiCaprio). He would approach a scene with a camera and fake lens (to distract his subject or trick them perhaps), the real lens would be concealed beneath his arm, pointing toward his subject. He was often able to take his photograph unharmed, the subject unaware. Strand sought to capture classic New Yorkers of his time and catalog the diversity of humanity before him:

“I like to photograph people who have strength and dignity in their faces; whatever life has done to them, it hasn’t destroyed them. I gravitate towards people like that.”

A good example of this is Blind, 1916

Like Lewis Hine, Strand sought to capture the crush of cultures that inhabited his urban landscape and document their struggles and poverty. “It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.”

In the 1920’s Strand took his photography to another level in an effort to describe the movement of the city and became involved in documentary filmmaking beginning with the short film Manhatta (composed of stills and motion film). From 1920 to 1932 Strand made numerous photographs of his wife, Rebecca Strand. Later, Strand moved to France and studied architecture, landscapes, and portraiture.

Urban Landscape

Last month I was tasked with an urban landscape assignment. And fortunately for me two things happened. 1) it rained and 2) there was an awesome rainbow…rain and rainbows: two things that are rare occurrences in Arizona.


Next time I hope to better capture the intensity of the rainbow. Like sunsets, rainbows don’t last long.

Standing Before the Storm

Originally the top photo was done for a class last semester. I was standing on a bridge overlooking a vast expanse of riparian habitat where 3 rivers converge…in this direction though you only see the bridge, mountains in the distance. From another vantage point you will see the river, which I posted previously (last image of the series). During this same outing I captured the second image a mile down the road…the sky was filled with clouds heavy with rain. I just moved and had these images mounted for my new room…and I think they look awesome =)

Non-Places

“The world of supermodernity does not exactly match the one in which we believe we live, for we live in a world that we have not yet learned to look at.  We have to relearn to think about space.” –Marc Auge

Describing Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Douglas Coupland asserts, “O’Hare is the acme of metaphysical nonplaces dreamed up: the realization of technology’s secret goal of placing Plexiglass sheeting between ourselves and the world. Jets and turboprop commuter planes may well be the vessels in which drama occurs, but the hub is the stopping of time; human biology divorced from narrative and nature.”

While working on an assignment called NonPlaces I discovered there are nonplaces all around us. Places where it is hard to determine the actual use or meaning. Places that are ambiguous in nature, perhaps unsettling, or ironic. Places like a dead end, a vacant lot, public space with a surveillance camera. Places that no one really inhabits, but simply passes through. I found quite a few. A trail through the forest, a residential street that dead ends at a diary farm, mailboxes for an undeveloped housing complex, and a lonely bridge that seems to go nowhere.