Friday, August 27, 2010

Back at School

Shooting my first wedding tomorrow. Super nervous and excited. Hopefully all prepared. I didn't take that picture up there, but I sure hope the wedding is just that awesome. Stuff about senior project coming soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tarot-spiration Files

I've been keeping a folder on my desktop. Anytime I find something I want to apply to my senior project, I stick it in there. Most of the pictures are "do"s, but there are a few "don't"s in there as well. Here's a sample, with my thought behind each photo:

This is Death from The Particle Tarot, by Dave McKean and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Although this is a thousand times more digitally altered than I would like my deck to be, I enjoy the strange beauty. Also how much of the frame is taken up by the face instead of the entire subject.

This card comes from one of the few photographic tarot decks I was able to find online that didn't make me cringe. It's called The Healing Tarot, by Rev. Jennifer Elizabeth Moore. It gives me hope that maybe being thrifty and on a low-budget can still give me interesting and symbolically significant pictures.

This is the Tower card from Bea Nettles' The Mountain Dream Tarot. I'm concerned about how I'm actually going to pull off the tower card. I don't want to build something, but I'd also like to have a minimal amount of actual background in the cards.

This is a possible solution to my Tower problems. This is from The Golden Tarot of Klimt by A.A.Atanassov. While there is still a building present, it is more focused on the falling figures. I'll work on that.

I found this signage-based minimalist interpretation of the Major Arcana through a google search, and have not been able to find any actual information on it. It appealed to the graphic designer in me and made me laugh.

This is the Strength card from the SPILL Performance Tarot deck, which was a collaboration between the SPILL Festival in London, and a variety of collaborating artists listed on the page linked above. I would put all their names here, but there are literally about 30 of them. I really liked the interesting composition in this card. It stood out a lot to me.

This is the Star from the Silver Era Tarot, by Aunia Kahn and Russell J. Moon. I like the composition and interpretation once again. The editing and consistency in the rest of the deck that I have seen is not perfect, but they got published, so that gives me hope.

Joel-Peter Witkin's La Giovanissima. I really like the simple textured background and the softness of the exposure.

This is the Temperance card from il Sentiero dei Tarocchi by Giovanni Pelosini. It is a strictly Major Arcana deck, and in every card these two friends are dressed the same. I thought it was hilarious, as well as well interpreted and beautifully colored.

This is the 8 of Wands from the Tarot of the Boroughs, shot on location in New York by Courtney Weber and George Courtney. I was interested in the fact that although this is the 8 of Wands, there are no Wands present in the photograph. I don't think I'll go with that (it would make reading harder and I don't want text on them) but it's interesting to know that that option does exist.

This is the Magician card from the Parfait Amour Tarot deck by Will Parfitt. It's another strictly Major Arcana deck. I'm really enjoying what he's doing with long exposure in this photograph. I don't know if I necessarily want to do that, but I like the ethereal effect.

This is a great picture of Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer that I really liked. Maybe I can adapt that composition into my Lovers card?

I don't remember the name of this deck, but I liked it a lot. It's all piece of scrap metal and junk that have been rearranged to make pictures. It's really awesome.

I'm also considering a Lovers composition like this. I can't find where I found this.

Erwin Olaf's Chessmen series. I like the simply constructed mish-mashed props and the idea of reconceptualizing a common and already highly-interpreted subject matter.

Erwin Olaf's Blacks series. I actually thought that this was an interpretation of the Major Arcana the first time I looked at it and it actually sparked this whole project.

This is the Temperance card from the Carvin Rinehart Tarot. It's still in progress, but is yielding some beautiful things. It's probably my favorite photographic tarot out there, and completely stunning.

These are the stars of Harry Potter going into King's Cross in their aged makeup to shoot the Epilogue to Deathly Hallows. I liked the whole bagfaces imagery. I'm not sure where I could use it, but it stuck with me.

I like the incorporation of other screen shots of this performance piece into the main one. For a while I was thinking of using other printed photographs in the actual set up of the cards as background or whatnot. Then I started thinking that maybe that wouldn't look so great. But this is kind of related to that though process.

This is the album cover to Cecillia Bartoli's Sacrificium. I have been unable to discover who the cover artist is, but I enjoy the way the photograph is very undersaturated, and could be in black and white except for the ruddiness on the statue. I think I'm going to go for something like that. I love black and white, but I don't want to be Bea Nettles.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Walk Blog

I started our walk blog (finally). I'm going to post pictures and the stories behind them, hopefully very frequently. Check it out at

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Update 3

We walked/biked/drove-when-Heather-got-heatstroke from Minneapolis to Chicago. I'm so proud of us. The 16G card I bought specifically for the trip corrupted on the second day, but I ran file recovery on it and got some really really neat stuff. I'm very excited about it! Thank you again to everyone who donated. You're all marvelous!Here's my favorite one:

Pretty neat, huh? Since I have nothing to do for the next three weeks until school starts, I'll most likely be starting a daily blog with a photo and a story behind it on our Squat Gallery blog as soon as I sort through all of them.

My internship with Heidi is quickly drawing to a close. Check out the sweetness that is my editing skills on one of her recent photographs in these screencaps:



Fixing that cymbal was really hard (due to the circular pattern), and gave me the greatest sense of accomplishment I've had all summer. The sense after the walk was very much tainted by ligament pain.

I've also been researching for my senior project tarot deck. While I was browsing the internets and collecting inspiration for my own deck, I came across an artist named Carvin Rinehart, an Indiana painter and photographer who apparently has all the same photographic interests as me. He did his own tarot deck, and also does tableaux based in mythology, both biblical and classical. I'm so excited that I'm not the only one! Below is his St.Lucy the Martyr.

And this is the book I've been doing most of my research in. It's great. It's got sections explaining the Major Arcana in depth, the entire deck in depth, the tarot in relation to mythology, and all sorts of nerdy stuff. It's really helping.

I think this week I'll do a really quick photo series. I'll get back to you on that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Update 2

So, summer's been going by faster than I had hoped. The sports/group photography job has pretty much died out for the summer, leaving me tons of time to work on my internship and train for the walk from Minneapolis to Chicago, which is actually a bike ride now. We start that on Wednesday, and hopefully will not die.

I've been documenting my family this summer. No one that I know has as bizarre and versatile a family as I do and I thought I'd follow in the footsteps of pretty much everyone and do some documentary work about them. Here's a sample. I'll hopefully have a tab for it up on my website too.

I need to update my website so badly...

I also wrote a post for a music blog called Marching With Six about Harry and the Potters in Chicago. Check it out here:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Update 1

Finals FINALLY ended. I'm home for the summer now. I got a job photographing groups of ballerinas (ages 2-17). I love it way more than I should. I always wanted to be a dancer and I get along great with kids. It's awesome. It's also on location, so it's not cooped-up and boring, and requires much less cleaning in the long run.

It's also kind of like walking into a Degas sometimes:

I'm pretty sure I'm going to take adult ballet classes when I get back to Minneapolis.

Our Kickstarter project is going really well. We're past 75% funding as of today. Hooray! If you'd still like to donate here's the link: KICKSTARTER - Impressions of the Midland: A Photographic Walk from Minneapolis to Chicago.

I started my internship with Heidi Norton. It's super fun and there's tons to get done. She's great person and a wonderful photographer.

I'm also considering options for my senior project, and I think I want to make a Tarot Deck. Below are two fabulous photographic tarot projects:

"Mountain Dream Tarot" by Bea Nettles.

And "Vertigo Tarot" by Dave McKean.

And finally, I'm pretty sure I worked out all the bugs on the website this time. There were a bunch of pictures not showing up in Firefox, but hopefully everything is well now. Also, I removed last names from the web text in "The Best Evidence is in Black and White" due to subject request. Apparently the page was showing up pretty high in the Google search, which is good because it means people are going to the site, but not so good because it means that people's horrible angry moment selves could be revealed, with names. But I did it, even though I'm fairly certain that Sophie Calle wouldn't take down the last names....

But the names are still there in the pictures. So I guess it's a good compromise.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Impressions of the Midland

So, we're walking from Minneapolis to Chicago, incase you missed that memo. And we got a Kickstarter page!

DONATE!!! Even a dollar will help the dreams of three young photographers!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Making of Terrain

So these are a few pictures from my phone that are from the shooting/processing of "Terrain", my series about scars/disfigurations.

This is my set-up. That is David's beautiful Mamiya RZ.

These are all 17 rolls of 120, after hand-processing. My record was 8 in one 4 hour period. I felt like such a beast. I wound up scanning 70 of them on our Imacon and then editing and printing about 35 of them. I think they'll be a Blurb book pretty soon...

Historical Art Work, yayyyyy

David Maisel's series "History's Shadow" presents X-rays of classical sculptures from various museum collections. He says that, "through the x-ray process, the artworks of origin become de-familiarized and de-contextualized, yet acutely alive and renewed."

I think they're awesome. I'm a huge history buff.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

100 Abandoned Houses

This is pretty amazing. Kevin Bauman documents a fraction of the beautiful abandoned houses in his hometown of Detroit. I thought it related slightly to that O'Hare project I mentioned a few times, but never actually got around to doing anything with.

That will be my summer goal. I need to get all the projects I shoot on a whim edited and up on here and my site.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Still Finals

After an all-nighter in the Digital Print Lab (I scanned 58 negatives on the Imacon), my website is finally up and running again. Check her out!

Sunday, May 2, 2010



I processed 8 rolls of film on thursday. I felt like such a badass. Here's a preview of my new project on scars and how beautiful they are when you look at them formally.

Anyway, to sleep now. The website will be back up soon (as in by friday), but in the meantime, check out my photobiography blog project on tumblr:

Friday, March 26, 2010


My Junior Review went well. I spent 10 hours over two days prepping and installing it, and the Review took 20 minutes. I had a good panel though. Stevie, Paul, and Travis were on it, all of whom I knew, so I wasn't nervous about talking about my work. Now it's finally spring break. Ben, Heather and I are working on getting a show in gallery 148, the 1419 gallery, and have been thinking more about our Squat Gallery bus stop shows. But for now, school is over. I am so ready for this break.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Typewriter Problems

So, I just spent an hour in the MCAD library on their fabulous IBM late 80's typewriter typing up the textual part of "the Best Evidence is in Black and White." Apparently I can type just fine until the last line. I have 6 pages here with screw ups on the very last line, sometimes even the very last character. I felt very disruptive, but I got it done. Now all I need is to print the pictures of the people. I found two to three for each, and my mother dug out the 5th grade picture for that girl. I also found a mysterious copy of my 7th grade yearbook which I borrowed from a friend and scanned about 6 years ago. She's in that too. I was so excited. Now I just have to pull together the Shakespeare part, and write my junior review statement. Yuck.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Junior Review is coming! I've been very busy with papers about Lord Byron and trying to find a better solution for the Shakespearean Women project. I'm trying something with dolls this weekend. I hope it goes well. On the Best Evidence is in Black and White front, I'm turning it into more of an installation piece, with a type written sheet of the documentation, the small pictures I took over winter break, a picture of the person that I have lying around (the only one I'm missing is this one girl from fifth grade, but I'm hoping my mother can dig out my 5th grade class picture...), a pedestal with an item that I associate with that person, a relic if you will. More updates soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shakespeare Take Two

We reshot Shakespeare over the Monday night-Wednesday morning period. This time they're in focus, or at least as in focus as my assistant could make them be. I'll actually give you a sample this time. This is Miranda (below) from the Tempest.

Well, I tried embedding a jpg, but because it's so big and had to compress it so much to make it tiny enough for this file, it looked truly awful. I'll compress it by hand and put it up soon, I promise.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Shakespeare

I'm reshooting in focus next Tuesday. I'm going to try some different things with the out of focus idea. The originals were good, but they're lacking. I need to zazz them up. We'll see what I can do.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Shakespeare accomplished

So the other day, I took the super fancy Hasselblad out and about (but mostly in my apartment) and took 6 of the Shakespearean Women photos. First we went to my friend's apartment courtyard and took the Calpurnia one. It was freezing out. Then we headed to my other friend's house and attempted to take the Titania one in front of a pine tree at a country club, but it didn't work out so I reshot later inside (without freezing my models) and i'm going to composite the background and figures. Then we went to the frozen lake and shot Ophelia, which was burning cold. After we went home, we shot Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, and Goneril and Regan from King Lear. All in all they seem to be pretty good. I might want to reshoot Goneril and Regan at some point because the composition's a little funky and it's so overly blurry that you can't even tell what they're doing, but the rest of them are pretty discernible.

Alright, off to edit those. I'll link to them soon, I promise.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shakespeare for FUN!

So I checked out a giant book of Shakespeare from the library to get a head start on my research for my Advanced Photo project. After about a page of Pericles, I decided that sparknotes were the best way to go. I read Pericles and Antony and Cleopatra. While Thaisa and Cleopatra were typical Shakespearean underdeveloped females, I can't really think of a good way to portray them in tableau form. I could do Cleopatra with the asp, but I feel like that's overdone, and I would rather focus on how whiny she is while Antony's not around. I don't know. I'll think about them more, but I just don't think they have the same potential as the other women I've been considering.

More later as the Shakespeare quest continues.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Abandoned Neighborhood

I made it out to the abandoned neighborhood today. It was eerie and sunny at the same time. We took all our pictures while driving, because it's freezing and none of the sidewalks are plowed anyway (owing to it being abandoned and all) but I think we got some fairly nice ones. I hope.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ready for 2nd Semester

So, break is almost over and I'm wrapping up the first stage of the autobiographical project I'm working on. I have 4 of the 6 initial pictures of houses that I need to go on. I'm planning on taking the other 2 on my way out of town tomorrow morning.

I've also been planning out the project I think I'm going to focus on in my Advanced Photo class this semester. I'm excited that it's a critique-based class, because I always have trouble making work that I really love when I'm prompted by a project. This project is going to be on Shakespearean Women and how underdeveloped and one-dimensional they are. I need to do a ton more research for it, but I have a fairly good idea of what I'm going to do for several of them, including the Nurse (Romeo and Juliet), Calpurnia (Julius Caesar), Titania (Midsummer Night's Dream), Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), and Desdemona (Othello).

In other photo news, I failed at my one goal for winter break, which was to update my website. It hasn't been updated since first semester LAST year. So there really isn't anything I feel accurately reflects my work up at the moment. It's mildly upsetting.

I've also been meaning to photograph an abandoned neighborhood near O'Hare Airport. The city ruled in favor of the expansion and this neighborhood had to evacuate, but it's winter so they haven't started demolishing it yet. From the outside it's beautiful and creepy, and I'm pretty sure if I miss this opportunity they'll knock it down and I'll regret it. How often do you get to photograph an entirely deserted but in-tact neighborhood? Not often.