Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Architecture: Rainy impressions

The photographer as artist

The idea of this post has been swirling around in my head since the first week of March when I began this challenge, and I believe I now have the time and words to express my thoughts and ideas.

But first, I wanted to thank all of you for stopping by my blog every day for my photos. I love your kind comments, and it means a lot to me that people other than myself care about this little project of mine.

Some of my photos are well conceived before I even pick up my camera. I know exactly what I want to shoot, and I can see the edited photo in my head already. "Lapidary" is a good example of this particular process. I saw a close up shot of the engraved words on a stone bench with a blurred out building in the background. Originally, I wanted to use a bench with the word "Keck" on it only to find two people using this bench for it's intended purpose. The change of benches was actually, to me, what made the shot. I had a less interesting and more direct word, but I had this wonderfully colored column in the background. Perfect.

Other times, and I would say most of the time, I have little to no idea what I will be shooting that day. I simply start wandering with my camera in search of inspiration. Sometimes, I find my shot out of the blue. I know it's the shot. And I take it. I simply cannot wait to get if off my camera, edit it, and post it. That is how "Worn out" happened. I had spent some time photographing (or trying to photograph) a particular set of archways and left a bit unsatisfied. With the lens cap on and the camera switched off, I walked back to my office. And then I saw this shot, perfectly set up. I quickly snapped a few shots before the unknown man sitting by the statue moved and was thrilled with my capture.

And then, sometimes, I don't find that shot. And I turn off my camera a bit dejected, knowing I probably have an okay shot, but nothing thrilling. (Do I have to post something brilliant everyday?) And then, as I pull up the photos that night, I'm rewarded by an unexpectedly thrilling shot. "Marble Veins" was taken at the end of my shoot that day and was completely random. I took little thought, snapped only one photo, and walked away. I was completely surprised when I viewed this one photo on my screen. A little light, contrast, and saturation enhancement, and I was staring, just starting at what I think is an incredible photograph. (Did I take that?)

That night, I thought back to the moment I took that one shot. What was I thinking about? What was my intention when I pressed down the shutter release? What was I trying to or hoping to say with this photo? Being completely honest with myself, I wasn't thinking much at all. I saw the marble protrusion, it was about at my eye level, and I thought to myself, "This could be a cool depth of field shot." Click. Why then did this seemingly random shot speak to me with an intensity that I was overcome with? Why did I feel such a strong connection to this shot?

First, I thought of this piece of hand worked marble on this building that's nearly a century old. I thought about the person who probably spent hours shaping and forming these organic, beautiful shapes out of this incredibly hard material. Then my mind wandered back to Italy and my love of art. I remembered seeing Michelangelo's David in Florence and the life altering experience that was. I went back to my journal and re-read the page long entry that began with me walking into the museum and ended 20 minutes later when I finally walked away from the David. Of all of the cliché great art I've been privileged to see in person, Michelangelo's David not only lived up to every ounce of hype, but also blew my mind and left a deep, emotional impact in my heart. The thought of this artist carving this majestic and huge sculpture out of a large chunk of marble with a black vein running through the middle of it is incomprehensible to me. I have nothing but awe and admiration for his work.

As you enter the Academia in Florence, the hallway is lined with Michelangelo's unfinished "prisoner" sculptures. They begin almost unrecognizable; you can see the subtle workmanship of the piece of marble, the vaguely rounded shapes. The next set of sculptures are obviously worked, and you can see a "prisoner" seemingly fighting his way out of the marble, begging to be fully formed as the David so beautiful is. The next sets are more and more complete, and then the hall ends with the David. It's breathtaking.

How does this relate to my photograph? I asked myself the same thing as my mind ran with thoughts of Michelangelo. And I realized that while I cannot sculpt as he did, or paint as Botticelli did, or sketch as Rembrandt, I can and do draw mountains of inspiration from their work. And, if I'm privileged enough, photograph it. Capturing the work of this sculpter who spent hours and maybe days nearly a century ago to mold this marble into intricate shapes is all I can do create art. A photograph as art.

That is my hope for the next 11 months. To create art through my photography that's meaningful to me, the artist, and allows you, the viewer, to see my world as I see it. To see a moment as I saw it. An artist behind the lens is all I hope to become.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Architecture: Genome

Photo note: I was unable to take a photo of anything architecture related today; however, I did take many photos of this darling little girl. Who was built with DNA. Enjoy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Architecture: Pillar of stone

Note on failure number two: Due to the fact that I've been hit by a nasty stomach flu and have thrown up more in the last 24 hours than I have in the last 15 or so years of my life, I somehow did not get around/have the energy to take any photos today. Imagine that. This photo was actually taken last week, so please forgive me. I hopefully should be recovered enough tomorrow to break out the camera.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Monday, March 08, 2010

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Friday, March 05, 2010

Architecture: Worn out

Credit goes to Matt for helping me edit this into a great final shot.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Architecture: Rice's Campanili

Photo project begin: Architecture

I mentioned in a previous post that I (a) was beginning a photography class soon and (b) wanted to start a daily photo challenge. Regarding (a), the class started last week, and I'm already enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to getting to know my camera and all of its capabilities better.

And now, onto (b). After a talk with Matt on Sunday, I decided to start on my own personal photo-a-day challenge on March 1st.


But today is March 2nd. Yes, I've already failed at my own challenge.

But it wasn't my fault. My camera battery charger was mistakenly taken to Dallas by Matt's parents when they came for the marathon in January. I was not informed of this until last week, and my wonderful mother-in-law immediately shipped it out to me. Because my battery was already low on juice, I wanted to save it for tonight and tomorrow's classes. How embarrassing would it be if my camera became useless during a hands-on photography class? Long story short, I wanted to start my project yesterday, but I wasn't sure when my charger would arrive. Thankfully, it arrived this morning! Now, my challenge can commence...

My goal: To take and post one photograph on this blog daily.
Time frame: Starting March 1, 2010 (ha!) and continuing until February 28, 2011. (Yep, that's 1 year.)
Themes/Subjects: Each month, I will choose a theme or subject that each photo must pertain to. (I'm open to suggestions!)

March 2010: Architecture

If you've seen my photographs before, it's obvious how much I love photographing architecture. I love the clean and sometimes interesting lines created by one or more buildings. Finding unique angles is the difficult part, but I love the challenge of trying to capture a facade in an interesting way.

Now, because of my charger dilemma, I will be cheating for this first post (which should for March 1st). Saturday, after some hard core 5K training at the gym, I walked around parts of Rice University for about 45 minutes completing my photography assignment from class that week. Here's one of my favorites:

Rice has a unique, yet homogeneous, style of architecture. It can be difficult to tell the buildings apart (especially when they lack signage), but on the whole, I think the architecture is quite beautiful. I have found that most buildings have an element of design that's recognizable and breaks up the repetitive nature of the campus' architecture. This photo is of the McNair Hall, which houses the business school. The intricacy of the doors' design (I assume their cast bronze?) is what struck me.


And now, a few notes:

1. As Murgs states on her "A Poem a Day in 2010" blog, seriously, don't make me do this alone. Please feel free to comment and encourage me along!
2. I haven't set the themes/subjects for the next 11 months, so please feel free to suggest one or two. I need more ideas!
3. Hopefully, the failure I've started with won't continue, and you'll be hearing from me again tonight.
4. Find daily challenges interesting? Read Murg's daily poems or view Lisa's collections. Thanks girls for the inspiration!