Honors History of Photography

Post your comments, reviews and critiques below. As stated in the course syllabus, reviews should be at least one paragraph in length (approx 250 words) and follow the general guidelines presented in course handouts, including: Talking and Writing about Art.

Again, this format is informal and the comments should be brief and concise. This is not a space for lengthy discourse or academic writing. I expect you to write as you would speak in class and elaborate beyond “I like…” or “, (the work) is awesome”. Be descriptive and specific in response to both the formal and conceptual elements of the work(s).



209 Responses to Honors History of Photography

  1. Amanda Branda says:

    This article is probably one of my favorites because it shows how important photography has become in documenting all aspects of human life. Every struggle and overcome obstacle we face as humans can now be saved forever. The picture that was most powerful to me in this article was number 6. It is a picture by Stan Honda of two elderly women embracing after becoming the first same-sex couple to get married at the Manhattan City Clerk’s office. This picture is proof that gay rights are human rights. It shows the viewer that being gay is not just a phase a person goes through and that gay couples look forward to the same things straight couples do, such as marriage. I love that the photo is focused in on the two women without an overbearing background and that both women match. It sort of represents two halves of a whole finally coming together. I like that Stan Honda waited for this exact moment to snap the picture because the embrace is very real and honest looking and the expression on each woman’s face is “so happy I could cry”. It is touching to me to feel like I can understand something that has been kept so foreign for so long simply by looking at this picture. It is also extremely inspirational to look at this photo and realize that change is possible in our terribly prejudiced world.

  2. Amanda Branda says:

    One of the groups in class chose famous nature photographer Peter Lik for their presentation. Watching their slideshow, there was one image that really caught my eye and it was a photo of Antelope Canyon. The color of the photograph initially is what made it stand out to me. The walls of the cave are a very deep and rich red color. The sand on the ground is even red, which I assume is either due to the lens used or simply the way the light shines off the cave walls.
    All of Peter Lik’s photos have these vibrant colors that are just unreal. Its like seeing the scene right in front of me if I had better eyes! This red hue compliments what looks like a fiery circle in the sand from the sun shining down into the cave. The spot is so bright, it is almost blinding. According to Peter, what you see in this ray of light shining down is actually dust thrown into the shot. It is very eerie because it sort of looks like a person or a spirit that is watching over the cave. The shot has a very ancient feel to it like the cave is sacred and that is why I like it so much. All of Peter’s photos pull viewers in just by how beautiful he makes the world seem. It is hard to look at any of his pictures and feel like I’ve seen nature the way he has. It makes viewers question if maybe we are simply not paying enough attention in our lives.

  3. Amanda Branda says:

    I wanted to dedicate a blog post to a concept that a friend of mine showed me recently called cinemagraphs. They are still images by photographer Jamie Beck that have a small part of them animated. They are seriously such an amazing idea because they are not quite a film, but not a photograph either. It’s sort of like a hybrid. I like showing them to people who have never seen them because at first you don’t expect the slight movements in the photos.
    The last photograph, where the man on the bench is flipping through the paper in a frozen scene in the busy city, is my favorite one. It is like the photographer wants to help the viewer focus on that one person. It is safe to say that all of us tend to overlook the small details, not just in photographs but in life. If this person was not animated, I would not have even noticed his presence. I also really love the third picture down. Even though the girl in the photo is already really beautiful, the movement of the hair increases that beauty. The animation brings light to something so human that it is often overlooked. I checked out a few other links as well and I found that portraits where the eyes move are entirely more human than still portraits. I honestly think that as technology advances, the pictures on our walls could start to be GIFs like these. I hear this process is a very delicate one that takes a lot of time and effort but I think this could be the next big thing in photography because it is mesmerizing to look at these photos!
    http://fromme-toyou.tumblr.com/ (Jamie’s blog)

  4. Amanda Branda says:

    Honestly, it is very hard to impress me when it comes to ideas in photography beyond snapping a simple photograph. I think this is because a lot of the more unique techniques seem like the artist is trying too hard to be different and that always annoyed me. This, however, is not how I feel about David Hockney, a photographer who would take individual photographs and put them together to make a big picture. My favorite image by him is titled “Mother I”. This image is a patchwork composite image of an old woman. It is really interesting however, because each of the photographs that make up the image were taken at different perspectives and at slightly different times. Therefore, the image is not exactly planned out to look like the old woman.
    It is a skewed view when all of the pictures are put together, yet you still know what it is. The spontaneity of the picture taking is what I love the most about it I think. You can tell that Hockney did not make the woman hold completely still and measure exactly where he would take each image. He winged it. I also like that each part of the woman’s face is featured multiple times, allowing the viewer to really appreciate the small things about the human body as it ages. I have to wonder if he shot the image of her smile first to put in the center because that is what draws me into the picture initially and conveys the most feeling to me. Maybe I just have a soft spot for the elderly and seeing them smile? Overall, this is probably the most exceptional use of photographs that I saw in the entire course.

  5. Sherri English says:

    Joe McNally, a high acclaimed photographer who was even named on the list of 100 Most Important People in Photography, took on the responsibility in 2001 of documenting 9/11 and the attack upon the World Trade Center in his own unique manner. Rather than incorporating images of the actual event, McNally focused on the PEOPLE of the event: the survivors, the victims, the families, the volunteers, the rescuers. He titled his series of images The Faces of Ground Zero.

    In this photographic series, McNally photographed 246 individuals on large, life-sized 9’ x 4’ prints. Each person was posed in their “9/11 uniform” in front of a plain black and white backdrop, not too long since nor far away from the site of the incident. The photographs depicted them as the everyday people they are, and yet somehow larger than life in their symbolic representation of such a horrific event. The set is simple, and there are no props in sight, yet the story is still told in each portrait.

    Ten years later, McNally gathered up these subjects and once again photographed them – but this time in a completely different way. The settings were no longer a plain black and white backdrop, but rather incorporated elaborate scenes. One man is studying at a local library, while another leans on the counter of his restaurant kitchen. These new photographs show how the people have moved on after the event. They show that even in the face of terror, these heroes neither break nor bend, but rather resolutely continued with their lives. Not only did McNally photograph these individuals, but he also videotaped their individual stories of the event, with several different viewpoints telling a multitude of similar stories. McNally started his endeavor through the desire of documenting the 9/11 attack, but his project became much more: it evolved into a symbol of remembrance of the story of how a multitude of ordinary people came together to support each other in a dark hour.

  6. Michael Bacani says:

    At the MOMA, there was one work of art that really stood out at me while I was looking around. It was of a graffiti like board with the picture of Spiderman drawn on it as well as some pasted papers to give the canvas a different effect. When I first saw this I was wondering why something like this made it into a museum. It did not have any formal elements, it did not seem like it had much thought behind it, or any formal color use, or technique. But then it got me thinking that this was the intention of the artist and he wants you to stop and see a plain graffiti picture but wonder why graffiti, why call this art, and why Spiderman? The artist used about every color in the crayon box for the graffiti aspect but had sideman in plain black. The color were used in a random fashion and seemed to have no intention, not to color or give background but to hinder the actual pictures of Spiderman. The picture almost looked like a child was drawing what ever shape was in his mind at the time. It wasn’t that detailed of a painting, it almost looks like that child couldn’t color in the lines and started making wacky shapes, but it was made that way to stop us and wonder why. After looking at it for longer, I did not realize that another group was looking at it besides me. I didn’t even realize how long I was there trying to understand the artist method for the painting until my friends came looking for me. It was a painting made to draw in the attention of those around us with a friendlily icon from the famous comics to make us wonder why?

  7. Amanda Branda says:

    One day in class, I saw a magazine sitting on the desk and started looking through it. The magazine was titled Photographer’s Forum, and in it there were selections from portfolios of emerging professional photographers. One photograph really caught my eye and it was titled Tyler, Trace, Austin and Adam, 2009 by Alex Leme. In this picture is four young boys standing in a run down classroom. What originally drew me in was the black chalkboard covered in graffiti and bright paint probably from a paintball gun. It was also different to me seeing four young boys look so solemn in a photograph.
    It is clear to me that these boys are from a small town in the south because they are wearing camouflage, boots, and American pride attire. They all hold very serious faces unlike what you would expect if they were simply there to mess around and play. It gives you the feeling that this was their school at one point but now it is abandoned, ridding them of the opportunities that come with a good education. I think the picture represents small town decay especially in this economy. Small businesses fail and people can’t survive without jobs so small towns just eventually become depopulated aside from a select few. From my suburban background, it is actually hard to believe that this picture was shot in America and a school was just left to rot. The social gap is surprising. I think the image also portrays the fact that a lot of the kids in small towns are given no self-worth, seen as rednecks, and perceived as more stupid than people that are more modern and liberal. It is very strange and sad how people that farmed and hunted used to be vital to the American way of life, but these people are now so looked down upon.

  8. Robert Morrone says:

    One of the more interesting topics that were covered in the class was motion photography. It’s interesting to think that when people started taking photos, the next step made was to try to capture motion. It makes me think of the human mind a bit in the sense that one they recognized the potential of photographs to record instances, they then decided to record repeated instances in order to get a sequence of motion. The above photo is of the galloping horse by Edward Muybridge. Muybridge was a pioneer in the art of motion photography, and this image was a result of a bet between him and another man. What I enjoy about these photos is that the look of them resembles an early silent film. It is shots like this that show the evidence of how motion pictures were born from the basici photograph.

  9. Michael Bacani says:

    When we went to the MOMA some of our class was able to personally see the work of Cindy Sherman. However the works that we saw were not all discussed in class. In class we talked about how she plays and critiques the different stereotypes but there was also some of her disturbing work. This work included plastic body parts, especially those involving the reproductive organs. Some she had them in a very grotesque background with them in pieces. Her work in that exhibit freaked me out after looking at it. She went away from her normal style of art and took a different direction. In my mind I do not see it as a work of art, however that is a debatable topic because of the reason and the meaning behind the pictures. She made it to critique the modern world’s fascination of the pornography industry so she is showing the grossness of it all through her work. Even though I do not agree that it is truly art, it has the intensions and the formal elements behind it such as the vibrant color and texture that she incorporates so well in her other photographs and artwork. My favorite series of her work is her series where they are self portraits portraying her as a victim or person on interest. Her work in this series is very emotional and exciting at the same time. One of her pictures has her in a dark background in a very intense situation here she looks wet and frightened. Another shows her on the ground with orange tiles that match her outfit but looks almost lifeless or about to be. This is probably one of most famous works. All in all Cindy Sherman is a great artist and photographer with good intension but the one period of “art” make me reconsider that statement form time to time.

  10. Sherri English says:

    First of all, I’d like to say that I would HIGHLY suggest anyone who reads this watch the video in that link above. You simply won’t be able to understand the sheer emotion of this photographic series without watching it.

    While scrolling through a blog called 500photographers, which writes small articles on 500 modern 21st century photographers and their works, I came across a photographer named Darcy Padilla. Darcy, who was a freelance photographer, worked on several different projects, but the one that captivated me the most (and the one she is most well known for) is The Julie Project. In this photographic series, Padilla follows a woman by the name of Julie Baird, who was a victim of AIDS and a young mother when the documentation began. For 18 years Padilla followed her, documenting her story between the birth of six children (five of which were taken by the government), her impoverished lifestyle, and her eventual death at the age of 36. The series is a bit nostalgic and homey in some parts, and downright dramatic and tragic in others. It’s a truly amazing work of art, and was recognized for being such by receiving the W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography in 2010.

    What originally caught my attention about the project was the fact that she shadowed this woman and her family for 18 years. That is quite a bit of dedication for a single photography series, especially when considering that she later promises to Julie in her video tribute that she will find her children and photograph them for her as well. As the story unfolds in the video picture by picture, there are highs (the birth of her children, particularly the hospital scene in which the birth is occurring) and lows (Julie laying in a bed in a disheveled and unkempt hospital room, clearly in agony from her treatment) amidst a train of photographs showing her everyday life. The leadup to her eventual death is gripping, bringing the viewer close to – if not to – tears when combined with the audio of her son speaking with her directly prior to her death.

    Overall, cycling through the images leads the viewer on a rollercoaster of emotion with an eventual tragic end, reading almost like a movie, but with that very bitter taste of reality seeping through.

  11. Tom Dolan says:

    Halsman’s “Weegee Jumping” is one in his series of “jump” shots, where the subject is seen jumping mid-air. I like this series due to its new perspective on portrait photography. In this particular shot, the famous photographer Weegee is seen jumping in mid-air, The whimsicality of this shot is what makes it stand out to me, due to Weegee’s arms being outstretched, and him having a silly expression on his face.

  12. Amanda Branda says:

    The photograph that I loved most this semester was titled “This Photograph is My Proof” by Duane Michals. I’ve seriously had this image as the background on my phone for months now. It is one of the most relatable photos I’ve ever seen because it represents moments we all experience. This picture characterizes how fleeting times of happiness can be (sadly) and the burden of trying to remember how we felt during these times. This is a reason I like taking pictures so often with friends and significant others. Photography is a way to keep memories.
    The quote at the bottom makes the image for me. It reminds me of a quote from Andy Warhol that states, “the best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do”. I have many pictures just like this that I am glad I have because when I am sad or upset, they are reminders that I was once happy with someone regardless of who or how they are now. The picture itself reminds me of sort of a stolen moment between lovers, like they were sneaked up on and weren’t expecting to have their picture taken. The man’s smirk as the picture is captured shows that glimpse of content-ness and happiness. I also like that it is in black and white because it makes it feel more like an old memory to me.

  13. Tom Dolan says:

    Erwitt’s “Florida Keys” is another one of his works that I found to be witty and fun. The crane and the water faucet right next to each other look very much alike, and Erwitt does a good job composing this shot to make the eye see that. I love the originality and humor that he brings to all of his works.

  14. Amanda Branda says:

    The most interesting piece in the High/Low Density Gallery for me was definitely the digital collage by Mark Campbell titled “The Seven Cables Series: Urban Mash, Commune, Gated Community”. What struck me was that when I was initially looking at this set of three prints, I didn’t realize they were really the same house. Someone else actually pointed it out to me before I drew that conclusion! I found it very weird that by changing the surrounding environment of the home, the photographer gave it a completely different feel for the viewer.
    It is very strange how much you judge something or someone by what you see and this picture brings that to light. You add a splash of color, some ridiculous landscaping, and a trailer home out front and you think some sort of college, weed smoking hippie must live there. It is the same with the urbanized home, which really surprised me. By making it look run down in the middle of an inner city, I quickly jump to the conclusion that these are second class citizens that must be either poor or drug dealers.
    I like that the photographer used this picture to show us just how biased we can be with a few slight changes. Photo manipulation can completely flip both the message of the image and a viewer’s perspective on the image. The small details of the each manipulation were flawlessly done as well, making it fun to pick out everything that was different. This piece held my attention for a long time, which I commend.

  15. Tom Dolan says:

    One photo that really stood out to me in class was Halsman’s “Dali Atomicus”. This shot shows a moment of chaos, where there are flying cats and chairs and buckets of water everywhere. This type of “jump” shot makes for an interesting viewing experience because there is a lot to look at. There is also the constant question of how they managed to compose a shot like this. I really like the originality that Halsman brings into this piece.

  16. Tom Dolan says:

    In Elliot Erwitt’s “Bakersfield, California”, there is a naked guy standing in front of two old ladies who are laughing – at what, we don’t know. I liked this shot because it shows a funny situation captured in time by a photograph. The shot is well-composed, with the camera angle leading the eye right from the guy’s butt to the laughing ladies. Shots like these make me want to further research the work of Elliot Erwitt!

  17. Sherri English says:

    This picture was, in 2009, the source of quite a bit of controversy in the world of photojournalism and war documentation. In it, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard lays on the ground, fatally wounded and staring forward with an expression of uncomprehending shock, being frantically tended by two of his comrades. He had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade launched by the Taliban while on patrol in Dahaneh, Afghanistan. Hours later, Bernard passed away from his injuries.

    The photograph, which was taken by Julie Jacobson, was given to the Associated Press for publishing. However, due to the graphic nature of the photo, as well as both political and moral loopholes, the decision on whether to publish it was met with heated debate. During this time of the war, the photography by photojournalists accompanying military unites was heavily inspected and under much restraint due to laws dictating the contents. This, of course, is understandable: pictures of dead soldiers should never be published before their names are given to the families, and other photos could severely compromise the security of military bases. There is also the mistakes of the past to consider, in which soldiers during the Vietnam and Korean wars were treated with vitriol and hatred upon their return to the US, no doubt in part due to the media coverage of those wars.

    In the case of this photo, however, all laws were followed, and the publishing of it was completely legal. The real obstacle was the objections of Lance Cpl. Bernard’s family, whom did not want an intimate photograph of his most devastating moment published across newspapers for all the world to see. Defense Secretary Robert Gates even intervened on behalf the family by sending a letter to the family stating that the A.P. would be lacking judgment and common decency by defying the family’s wishes and publishing the picture.

    The AP, however, after taking the matter into consideration, decided to publish. In their defense, they stated, “We thought the value of that image was to show the complexity, the sacrifice and the brutality of the war.” They thought that their duty to show the war in its entirety, even if it meant violating the privacy of the family, was the most important factor. Some newspapers pointedly disagreed by not running the picture once published, while others sat firmly with AP and also ran it. The entire ordeal created quite a controversy, sparking debate about the ethics of war photojournalism.

    In my personal opinion, the photo should never have been run. While it’s understandable that a journalist’s job is to document the news, I don’t believe that it should ever come above the privileges of the family in a post-mortem situation. Disregarding the family’s wishes was just plain distasteful – there are certainly other photographs that were taken that could have just as easily depicted the cruelty of the war without cold-heartedly forcing a family to relive their son and brother’s death. While I don’t believe they legally committed any crime in running with the image, I DO think they committed a disrespectful and disgraceful act in the name of creating shock value in order to sell more newspapers.

  18. Robert Morrone says:

    One thing I like most about photography is spontaneous and in the moment shots. I never could get to be a big fan of elaborate setups that show deep meanings because of the placement of random objects. Another thing about photography I like is historical photos. The above photo shows both of these. It is a photo of the aftermath of the riot at Kent State. The body of a student is lying dead. What amazes me about this photo is the different reactions people are giving. That is why I like the in the moment style, the reactions of the surrounding people are natural. There is the girl overcome with greif and dispair, the man running over to try to help, a man and a woman stopped dead in their tracks, and then a group of people who are just walking past without even a care. That group of reactions define our society today in my mind. A large group of people who react in entirely different ways to different situations, it is what makes us unique.

  19. Emma Zulker says:

    Last blog! I’ve enjoyed finding interesting images for these! This photo is called “Heartless” by msog on DeviantArt. I loved the concept of this right away when I saw it, but first, the formal elements. The focus of the image is a ring, most likely a wedding band, balancing between the pages of an open book. The ring is lit from behind, casting a heart-shaped shadow onto the pages below. Other than that lighting, the photo is very dark. The ring and its shadow is just about illuminated and then the light drops off fast until the corners of the image are in total darkness. At first glance, I saw this as a beautiful image. The heart-shaped shadow cast by the wedding band obviously symbolizes the love this ring represents, the love of a married couple. I liked that it is sitting on a book simply because I love to read and I’m a bookworm. However, I was stumped at first by the title “Heartless.” I then realized that the ring is sitting on a dictionary and directly to the right of it is the word “heartless.” Suddenly this image can take on a whole different meaning, one of love lost. What you’ll notice is that the line of the page seam goes directly through the shadow of the heart. This could represent a broken heart, a broken love, or even a broken marriage. Now it suddenly makes sense that the image is so dimly lit; if this were truly about a happy marriage, one would think it would be bright and airy. The lighting here causes the image to take on a melancholy air. I think of someone mourning a lost love. It doesn’t matter to me how the love was lost (owner of the ring was dumped, mutual divorce, or even death); what matters is the idea here of a broken heart and a love that no longer is. Just as something that seems beautiful, wonderful, and endless (like a marriage) can change practically overnight, so does this image trick you at first into believing it is something beautiful. That is what I love about it: how quickly it goes from cute and sweet to sad and mournful with one observation.

  20. Emma Zulker says:

    I couldn’t help but do this one, and so soon after Star Wars day! This photo is called “I Have You Now” by Balakov on DeviantArt. I think this is a great comical little shot for any Star Wars fan out there! It’s a parody of the very first movie of Vader chasing down Luke as he tries to blow up the Death Star, but instead we have Lego versions chasing each other on little bikes (with R2 along for the ride!). The shot is framed very well so you get the feeling of this being on a bigger scale than it actually is. The depth of focus used is also good because it doesn’t let you see any distracting background details that would give away how tiny this scene actually is. The depth of focus is so narrow in fact that it is difficult to tell where this was shot, whether it was even indoors or out. The toys seem to be sitting on asphalt, but at this angle and depth of focus, it could be any surface. I think the shot is also very well lit. It’s very soft and bright, illuminating the whole scene and allowing us to see the (very) tiny details of the figures and bicycles. That is especially good since Vader is in all black and could be very difficult to see. That being said, it was probably hard to find a good balance of lighting for this because R2D2 and Luke’s helmet ended up being a little washed out. Conceptually, it’s not hard to understand what’s going on here. A classic scene from a classic movie is being recreated on the small scale with the twist of bicycles. Since this scene is being recreated with children’s toys, I find it appropriate that the scene be given a childish twist. It also helps add to the humor of the image; I don’t think it would have been nearly as funny if the artist had simply built lego models of the spaceships in the movie. I’m glad I stumbled across this image and I hope it made someone smile!

  21. Michael Bacani says:

    This is not specifically a traditional art form such as painting, photography, or sculpture, but when we were in New York, just before we went home I was able to go the Nintendo Center, and they had a whole section dedicated to the evolution of their systems (the consoles), and the games themselves, as if it was a museum inside of the store. Looking back at them, I realize the evolution of smaller systems as well as the attention to graphics, the addition of color and the realistic and vivid qualities that each game tries to capture and it reminds me of the history, and evolution of photography. Like photography, we were able to witness the evolution and progression of the cameras, or in this case games and how they are becoming more advanced and more intricate. The mini museum also had a section divided up into each character franchise, such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus, and Pokémon. I saw first hand an evolution that changes and evolves everyday. They changed from these 2d pixels to this massive 3d looking world involving depth and beauty in each scene. Video Games may not seem like it, but it truly is an art form when looking at the time, work and intricacies put into the creation of each game.

  22. Michael Bacani says:

    The most recent art gallery at Rowan University was High Low Density. It was comprised of sculptures, photos and different kinds of photography talking about the over population problem and fixes to some of them. My favorite one there was the wooden sculpture or model of a city that was made to be live on the top and on the bottom. By this I mean that the way the structure was made was to make houses that were livable on the bottom that was looked like it was on a mountain, however from the top half of the sculpture was hanging from the ceiling. Like the bottom it was made of houses that were livable from the top half. This was a visually beautiful sculpture because it was made of just pure wood. The detail to each house was so intricate and carefully placed to be a support for the next house. I really liked how the supports are only there to hold up the structure but the main support for the stability of each house is the adjacent house.

  23. Michael Bacani says:

    The MOMA had a whole exhibit section on the third floor dedicated to the work of Eugene Atget. We have talked a lot about his work in class and the formal elements as well as the black and white stills that he would take of nature and of the city back in the late 19th century, early 20th. He took many photographs, which were all preserved in the MOMA but of all of them one of them stood out to me and was my favorite. This is the one that was discussed in class, about the outdoors photo where he took a picture of all the beautiful scenery but he took it with a tree branch blocking the view of the since because it came off the tree in a perfect horizontal. He noticed this in nature and thought that he would stray away from the norm of photography and focus on something that people would think was in the way. By doing this he creates a subject to his photo that people are unknowingly drawn into.

  24. Michael Bacani says:

    On the trip to the MOMA I found a really interesting art piece hidden in the inner workings of the museum. It was called Lunar Alphabet II. The piece done by Leandro Katz done in the late seventies depicts the whole alphabet as the different shapes of the moon. He took a picture of the moon noticing the minutia differences in each photo and then forming a word next to the picture. The way he aligned the photo spelled out the phrase “When we pulverize words, what is left is neither mere noise nor arbitrary, pure elements, but still other words, reflection of an invisible and yet indelible representation: this is the myth in which we now transcribe the most obscure and real powers of language”. Besides it being an interesting photo piece it was also very poetic and included a lot of detail and time to make something this large. Each phase of the moon had a corresponding letter to it. The most interesting part of this piece is that he was able to take all twenty-six letter and assign each one a different phase of the moon. Each one letter has it’s own moon that is distinguished by shape, color, and direction. This was done on gelatin silver prints and took up an entire wall on the MOMA.

  25. Michael Bacani says:

    Another drawing that I really liked at the Rowan University student art gallery was a plain drawing of a pair of Bose headphones. But the detail put into this picture is just as intricate as the first one. It did not have as much detail but the way the artist drew it had a lot of formal elements playing with the shadow effect as well as the contrast of black and white. The detail put into the headphones captures the detail and engineering that was made for the comfort and adjustability of the headphones. It was impressive how much time must have been put into such a drawing. It has a lot of detail and it gains a lot of attention for just being so simple.

  26. Michael Bacani says:

    At Rowan University, there was a student art gallery that had a lot of interesting art, mainly drawings and paintings. The one that stood out at me the most was a black and white drawing done with a sharpie. It was split in half and on one side was a white background with black outlining and shapes, but on the other half was the same picture just inverted. The right side was a black background that had white shape. It was not the color that interested me the most though; it was the amount of detail and intricate design put into the drawing that made it art. It must of taken weeks to make putting in an extreme amount of hours every day to make the picture. The most amazing part was that on one side one of the shapes was comprised entirely of dots fading from dense to less dense giving it a very cool color effect. It was amazing how much detail was put into it, especially to replicate the image to the right with inverted colors.

  27. Michael Bacani says:

    From the Perkins center in Moorestown NJ, they had an exhibit of various portraits from various artists that were on display and for sale. The two that stuck out at me the most was a piece called Courage, and another called Road Side. Both pieces were photographs with very different messages conveyed within them. Courage shows the idea of a superhero through the eyes of a young boy. He is modeled after a superhero, however the boy is wearing swimming goggles, has a towel on his back like a cape, and has a paper sun taped to his shirt. To me this picture shows so much imagination and innovation that can only be seen in the eyes of children. This child sees a world where superheroes exist, not only as super-powered beings but as everyday humans. The reason I can connect so much with this picture is because I remember doing silly antics such as this one when I was 5 and 6 like the kid in the picture, pretending I was Superman or Batman and running around believing the superhero stories, and believing that I could be like them one day. Courage shows the happiness and imagination that any child can take on the world if he only had a cape and a lot of heart.
    The second picture that I chose has nobody in it. It is just a black and white picture of a house however from the way the picture is lit, the shadow of the house is almost three times the size of the house itself. My interpretation of this picture is that no matter who or what there is always someone who casts a big shadow over you and it is tough to fill those shoes. Just like the size of the shadow, it is tough to encompass all that area when there is only so little of you. The work you have to do just to even fill a small fraction of that shadow can easily overwhelm you. It is a simple dark picture but it just spoke to me so easily. The picture is very well taken and has a lot of formal elements. The shadow leads straight to the house and consists of a lot of straight lines.

  28. Emma Zulker says:

    This photo is called “Autumn Ethereal” by autumn-ethereal on DeviantArt. I chose this picture simply for the beauty of it. It is a closely cropped image of a leaf sitting on a rock with drops of dew on it. The dewdrops are causing the leaf’s colors to be distorted and refracted in many different combinations and patterns. In the artist comments, the artist admits to using some manipulation to darken the rock beneath the leaf to put the focus on it. I think this photo was well cropped; we don’t need to see what’s going on around the leaf when it presents such brilliant beauty. This is also why I don’t personally mind the photoshopping. I think this leaf deserves all the focus it can get. The way the water droplets refract the light, it makes the leaf look almost unnatural. The dewdrops add a strange metallic sheen. To me, the leaf looks as if it’s made of bronze. I also feel the leaf could represent fire. It is shining with such a brilliant gold and orange color, like a tongue of flame. The darkened black rock also adds to the fiery feel of the image because it reminds me of charcoal. The irony is that it is the water covering the leaf that is creating this fire effect. This represents the duality of nature and of the world. It takes mixtures of extreme opposites to make us the people we are and to make the world around us such an interesting place. The artist captured that essence of nature using one of it’s own naturally occurring wonders: the simplicity of water on a leaf.

  29. Emma Zulker says:

    I found this image on Tumblr but I don’t really know who shot it. When I look at these pictures now my mind can’t help but jump ahead to what conceptual meanings I think they hold. I already have an idea for this one, but I’ll talk about the image first. It’s three little paper origami boats floating on a stone walkway or asphalt in a rain storm. The boats are very bright and colorful in an image that is otherwise bleak and colorless. The depth of focus is very narrow; only the first purple boat and the foreground in front of it is clearly in focus. The other boats, the rest of the ground, and the water fade into haziness in the background. There are raindrops frozen mid-fall hanging in the air. Now for the conceptual. I immediately see this image as a metaphor for the average person trying to make their way through life. The origami boats are made of paper and very small and fragile. They are trying hard to sail on steadily through the storm, but they could be easily swept aside at any moment. Their bright colors represent hope, human determination, spirit, and individuality. It is difficult to make your way through life, though. This difficulty is represented by the asphalt (it is rough, dark, harsh, and cracked) and the rainstorm. The fact that the purple boat is in focus seems to me to show that the “story” is focused on this boat. It is still going strong in the face of this storm in its path. The pink boat looks as if it is falling behind, but it is also holding on to its course. The red boat however, has been knocked askew and it the furthest behind and fuzziest. I think this represents a person that has been swept up by the storm of life. It has fallen to the wayside; it probably needs some help to get back on course. I think the point is that it could, though. It is still just as colorful as the other boats; it still has that spirit and vibrancy. This picture shows the achievement that human determination is capable of.

  30. Emma Zulker says:

    This photo is called “rays of reflection” by ssilence on DeviantArt. I really like this photo. It’s very whimsical and mystical. It’s got some interesting formal elements to it. The tree in the center is a very strong, vertical line that reaches through the whole image, top to bottom. However, the little branches sticking out on the tree’s sides add an interesting horizontal dimension. It’s like the tree is reaching outward, trying to embrace all of the natural beauty around it. The photo was shot in color, but it’s almost as if it was shot in black and white, there’s so little color to the image. The trees are ashy gray, and the snow and light is very white. You can’t even see the green from the pine needles. The light source, the sun, is directly blocked by the tree and the light rays reach out from behind it. They fan out behind the tree like wings. It’s almost as if the light is trying to show there is something special about this particular tree, that it has some mystical or spiritual quality. The other trees spread out behind the tree, going back as far as you can see until they are swallowed by the light. Something interesting I noticed is that the left side of the image is lighter than the right side of the image. The ground is also clearer, while the ground on the right is covered by briars and bramble. There also appears to be a clear path through the trees to the left. It’s like the center tree is dividing the world between light and dark, good and evil. I can almost see the trees playing out some timeless tale. The left side is the good guys and the right side is the bad. The tree in the middle is the “chosen one” with the light shining down from on high to show it is special, destined to mend the rift between light and dark. It’s branches reach out to both sides, trying to literally reach both sides of the conflict. The image is very balanced; the light balances the dark, the tree in the middle keeps the balance in check. It reflects the world; all people have a balance of good and evil inside them and there will always be some sort of balance between good and evil in the world at large.

  31. Emma Zulker says:

    This photo is called “The Path of Light” by angelreich on DeviantArt. I decided to do this one because it was in black and white and it was nice to see someone working in something besides color. I was so used to us analyzing black and white photos in class, I knew how to do this one! I get a lot of formal elements from this one right away. The foreground of the buildings is very dark while the background is light with the line of light reaching forward between the two main skyscrapers. The focus is clearly on the two tallest buildings, their stark contrast against the sky, and the light beam reaching between them. These two buildings create two very strong, dark lines reaching up the middle of the image. In comparison, the light falling between them is misty and soft, not well defined and no sharp lines. When I look at this, I think of an Ansel Adams photo and how he would shoot images and lighten up and darken spots in the dark room. It seems to me that there are many spots in this image that are just “too dark” and “too light” to be naturally occurring. I think the artist probably used something like photoshop to alter the photo and achieve their desired effect. When I thought of Ansel Adams, I also thought of the irony that that path of thinking had. Ansel Adams was famous for his shots of the natural world. This image is about as opposite that as you can get; all metal and glass, harsh lines, and man-made things. The only thing natural is a few trees between the buildings. This, in a way, is a commentary about the landscapes we have nowadays. In Ansel Adams day, you could still fairly easily find those sweeping views of the land. Now, the world has been so built up and urbanized, you are much more easily able to find a scene like this. Perhaps if Ansel Adams lived in the modern day, he’d be shooting cityscapes too. This image might be commenting on that clash between natural and man-made. Between the skyscrapers, I see a struggle of the natural world trying to assert itself, the soft light reaching and clawing it’s way forward between the choking buildings. It’s almost as if the line of trees is reaching forward too, that together the light and trees are trying to crawl their way up the street. The buildings stand like grand sentries to this world of steel and concrete, barring nature from taking another step.

  32. Emma Zulker says:

    This photo is called “Awakening” by Sugarock99 on DeviantArt. The first thought that came into my head when I saw this photo was “Purity.” I feel that is the theme of this photo. In the image is a girl (with her eyes closed) wearing a white dress underwater with white flower blossoms of some kind floating up all around her. You can’t see anything else underwater, just expansive blue that seems to go on forever. You can see the reflection of the girl and the flowers in the underside of the surface of the water. I think this image symbolizes purity. Both the girl’s dress and the flowers around her are white; white has always symbolically represented purity. Flowers also tend to have an association with purity. The girl’s skin is soft, clear, and unblemished. The water is also very clear. The girl’s eyes are closed which I think represents her purity also. She has not yet opened her eyes to the world, which is full of ugly things. I think the fact that she is underwater is also significant. Water has always been seen as something clean, clear, and purifying. In many cultures, one must cleanse themselves with water to perform holy rituals or prayer. Babies are also cleansed of original sin by being baptized in water. The water, and her eyes being closed, make me think of a baby still floating in the womb. Before we are born is probably the purist we can ever be in life, and this picture seems to symbolically represent a child who is unborn and pure. However, it looks as if the top of her head has broken the surface of the water. That, and the dynamics of the flowers floating up, suggest to me that she is about to leave this world of purity and perhaps be “reborn,” or even born for the first time. The mirrored surface tries to reflect her back and creates a barrier she must break through. All in all, this picture makes me think of a pure child about to be born into the harsh world.

  33. Emma Zulker says:

    I want to talk about this photo I found when I Googled “cool photography.” At first I just thought it was a funny and cute photo (when are kittens not cute??) but then I thought about it more the way we do in class. Obvious things about the photo’s content: it’s a cat and a girl wearing a cat mask both jumping up on a bed. The photo is very simple in that there is only the living things, the bed, and the window. There is no art or even color on the wall. The curtains are very plain and the bedspread and headboard are uniform, low-key colors. I feel there is a reason for this, which I will explain later. All of the lighting seems to be coming from the window. Conceptually, I had a few thoughts on this photo. The first thing I thought about was how the girl and the cat were playing. I thought it was creative and interesting to catch both the human and the cat mid-jump. The mask got me thinking about some other things, though. I started to think of African tribal culture. I don’t know much about it, but I think there are some cultures where hunters wear the masks of the animals they hunt or fight as a sort of tribute. I then started to see this image as symbolizing a warrior and wild animal in the throes of a battle. The way the girl and the cat are both pouncing at each other suggests to me that they are about to clash in an epic struggle. It makes me think that the ancient battle of, say the hunter and the lion, is continued today in their descendants: the ordinary person and the house cat, doing their eternal dance. I feel the way the photo was taken emphasizes that. It seems the colors and light of the shot were very muted; there are no bold colors like you might find in modern decorating. It makes the shot look older, rustic, and timeless. The single lighting source from the window is more natural, like how in the wild there is only the sun. Even the clothes the girl is wearing makes me think of an ancient tribal attire; she is wearing bold colors that are matching and repetitive. The striped socks and the shirt that matches make me think of body paint. Even the cat mask seems to be in coordinating colors. This photo definitely, to me, represents an ancient battle, recreated in a sort of dance and in modern day. The hunter and prey are now friends but every now and then they relive their old heritage.

  34. Robert Morrone says:

    The above photo is one of my favorites. I find it quite humorous, as well as creative and unique. What I really enjoy is the use of color. The bright colors, yellow and orange, are placed in the middle by the sharpener. Because of this, the eye is focused to that center point and to the sharpener. From there, if you look up or down, you begin to notice that the picture is representing a zipper. It’s interesting to note that the top of the zipper, the blues and purples, look more like their independent colors. When I look at the bottom, however, I see just a bunch of colors combined. It is almost as if the picture is saying that every person, or color, is unique but when bonded together they begin to look and work as one.

  35. Sherri English says:

    Arno Minkkinen, born in Helsinki, Finland in 1945, is a photographer who currently works in the US. I found his style of photography to be incredibly interesting. His abstract works incorporate the human body in landscapes, many times in ways that would make the viewer not even realize it to be an actual human being. For example, one of his photographs of a beach scene beside a cliff features two boulders in the foreground, and one far out in the ocean. Upon closer examination, however, the two boulders upon the beach are actually humans, curled up in a way that only their spines and backsides are showing, and thus almost indistinguishable from a smooth stone. The ridges from their spines and ribs only help to accentuate the image, making the viewer truly believe that they really are only a couple of rocks.

    The remainder of his photography follows this same style. Tree branches become human arms and legs, fingers and toes are incorporated in interesting manners, and half-submerged bodies become stones or plants. He makes the mix between human and nature work quite well.

    And in other cases, such as in the photograph above, he plays with the idea of miniaturizing the environment in favor of the body. The hands in the image seem to reach out and curl around the skyscrapers, as though to push them aside in order to more clearly view the distant horizon. Other images of his are similar: giant hands pinching the tips of distant hilltops, walking down a cobblestoned street, or grabbing at a leafless tree as though pulling a weed from a garden. Amazingly enough, nearly all of his photographs are self-portraits, as he explains on his website, nor are they manipulated in any way. He contorts himself in various positions, buries himself beneath snow, submerges himself in water – all while either using a timer or cable release, which he throws to the side before capturing his pictures.

    Altogether, I really enjoy his style of photography – especially the fact that there’s no use of photoshop or multiple negatives. It speaks to his skills as a manipulator of the scene rather than a manipulator of the photograph.

  36. Robert Morrone says:

    I’ve begun to notice that as I write these blogs, I focus more on the influence of the photo rather than aspects of the photo itself. I think that may be because I don’t entirely understand how to pick up on specific parts of a photograph and also that those aspects do not make the photo. I think a photo is good or important because of how it is viewed or what it has captured, not the way it was captured. The photo above is an example of that, though I will try to critique like a piece of art if I can. The above image is of protests in Tiananmen Square in China. These protests were for democracy, and were not taken lightly by the government. As you can see from the image, the Chinese government used tanks in order to try to break up the protest. One thing interesting in this photo is that the man is standing on the yellow line in the middle of the street, lined up straight. The tanks look to have turned onto the line in order to get to him. That makes them look more skewed and crooked. The imagery there almost implies that the democratic man is correct because he is on the straight path as opposed to the crooked or dirty communist tanks. Another interesting thing about the angle of the shot is that from the distance it is taken at, the size difference between the man and the tank is not as large as it would truly be in real life. It almost seems as if by standing up to the tank, the man is able to grow in size. This was probably unintended but it still makes the image powerful, as if the photographer is saying that when one person stands up, he can grow to be a large enough to stop a tank.

  37. Robert Morrone says:

    The thing about photography that as always peaked my interest is how amazing a propaganda tool it can be. And a situation that included an extreme amount of involvement with propaganda was the Vietnam War. The photo about is of a South Vietnamese General executing a prisoner at point blank range. The image the photo paints for you is that the General was just going around killing innocent civilians he took as prisoners. The public saw that image when they looked at this photo, causing interest in the Vietnam War to skyrocket. The only problem was that the interest was not positive at all, the American reaction was extremely negative and wanted to end the war. The interesting part is that the actual situation the photo is capturing. The prisoner was a captured Vietcong captain who just earlier had killed dozens on innocents in a mission. The general was just doing his job but with the power that still photography holds in the publics eyes now, he was forever painted a villain because of an assumed image.

  38. Sherri English says:

    I found this photo while browsing through the work of well-known 20th century photographers, and it instantly made me stop in my tracks – which no doubt was the intention of the photographer, Kevin Carter. Carter, born in Johannesburg in 1960, began his photographic career as a sports photographer in South Africa. However, in 1984 he decided to move onto photojournalism, with his subject being the apartheid. His photographs are not exactly the nicest images to look at, but, like the photo above, they draw you in to see their brutality all the same. His works range from starving children to torturous executions called “necklacing”, in which the victim’s arms are trapped by a rubber tire filled with petrol, which is subsequently set on fire. Carter was the first to photograph this awful practice, where the victim is subjected to burning to death for about 20 minutes.

    Carter himself was often quoted over how “appalled” he was over the fact that he was witnessing these things, and only able to take pictures of them rather than lend a helping hand. But the fact that he was spreading knowledge about these things to the world was what pushed him on to continue being a silent witness.

    In his photograph above (taken in 1993), Carter found the starving little girl in the village of Ayod, outside of the food camp which she was struggling to crawl to. When she stopped for a moment to rest, the vulture had landed, intent on waiting until the near-death child finally succumbed and became HIS meal. Carter, meanwhile, sat for 20 minutes in order to “wait for the vulture to spread its wings for the shot”. The vulture didn’t, however, so he shooed it away… and then left.

    Needless to say, his find led to a very striking photograph. The child in the foreground, with her bowed head and slumped posture, is a picture of hopelessness and a struggle to survive, while the vulture in the backdrop represents the coming inevitability of death in such a situation.

    However, the skill shown in the capturing of the photograph is not the real issue. What’s most important, in my opinion, is the complete lack of morals Carter showed by walking away from the scene without helping the little girl. While it’s definitely admirable that he dedicated himself to the mission of bringing awareness to the situation through his photography, what is the overall purpose of such a mission if there is no subsequent action to it? Did photographing the misery for so long harden him to it to the point that he was willing to take this suffering child’s picture and sell it to the highest bidding newspaper, but not willing to help her to the food camp she was so desperately attempting to reach? People were horrified over his lack of action, and criticized him heavily for it.

    A year after photographing this picture, Kevin Carter committed suicide. It really makes one wonder what kind of toll this type of photojournalism has on a photographer’s soul.

  39. Robert Morrone says:

    The above photo is one taken by Robert Capa. It is of the D-Day invasion of Omaha Beach. The significance of this photo can be explained by a quote from Capa himself, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” This specific image helped to change photojournalism. I think the most powerful element of the photo is the one that was completely unintended though. The blurry, surreal look the photo has is what gives it significance. I think that it allows you to feel as if the photo was taken from a soldier’s eyes, because with all the bombs and gunfire flying around, the beach scene almost was surreal. Also, these photos are the closest a person can get to actually seeing what D-day was like because it was Capa who went right on the beach with the invasion to get these shots.

  40. Bianca Hess says:

    I was watching World News on ABC tonight when a report caught my eye. The report brought me back to the project that was done on photoshop and photo editing. It was about how the average model is something like 30% smaller than the average American woman these days. In contrast, many years ago this gap was only 8%. They mentioned that Vogue magazine, presumably the world’s leading fashion magazine, was going to “make a pact” to print more average sized people in their spreads. Much like the Levi’s ad we saw in class that was supposed to be “ jeans for all shapes and sizes” when it clearly was just a bunch of different shots of small to medium sized women, I am doubtful of this pact. With the way that the trend of young and skinny says the photographs it will really take some effort to draw the trend to include people of a variety of sizes in fashion photography. Truly the only ads I’ve ever seen who intentionally use a variety of women in their advertisements are Dove soap and Fruit of the Loom underwear (obviously pretty far off from the rest of the fashion industry). Vogue would really need to launch a big marketing campaign of fashion spreads that correctly express the “natural” American woman as being any range of sizes.

    I was thinking about the role between photographic developments and this line in body size according to the fashion industry. Sadly, it seems as though as cameras and means of darkroom and editing software have become fancier, fashion has become pickier at deleting its fatty, seemingly unnecessary parts (even with models who really have nearly perfect bodies with hardly any body fat to begin with). It is a shame that image manipulation has gone too far. Because of needless editing, we get strange people images where people’s heads are bigger than their waists and legs aren’t connected the hip joints and legs have practically no natural curves to them, etc. Not only does the editing look fake, I think that it often does damage in advertising. Often with small models the way clothing looks on them can often actually not look so appealing (the clothes actually look bad when people have no shape). Also, subconsciously I think it is possible for people to develop a body complex or think they aren’t up to par in order to buy the product because they are the “wrong size” or that they need to buy the product in order to achieve an unnecessary status (depending on what the product is, clothing or accessories or even exercise gear, etc). So now that the fashion industry has made people go anorexic and think they don’t look right to buy things or their image is sad, what’s next? My hope is that someone will think of a unique way to show people what really is normal for fashion models (which should be every size person).

  41. robsauter says:

    This is a picture of a lightning strike that took place over Omaha. This is the Omaha skyline. I’ve always been fascinated by lightning so this picture really stands out to me. I really like how the lightning bolt across the sky draws your eye. And the reflection of it in the puddle is pretty cool too. I also really like how you can tell that it’s night because the city has all the lights turned on. The land also seems to cut the picture in half and makes a good rule of thirds between the land, the city, and the sky.

  42. robsauter says:

    I have no idea where this library is but I want to go so bad. I really like the lines in this picture. There are lines everywhere. The ceiling has many lines. The books create lines. The carpet and hardwood create lines. There is also a strong contrast between the ceiling and everything else. The ceiling has this awesome artwork that is colorful and brilliant. The rest of the library seems stuffy and drab in comparison.

  43. robsauter says:

    I find this photo hilarious. It is another one that is about the decisive moment and finding humor in ordinary places. What gets me is that when you see orthodox Jews you usually only see the adults. Those adults are also extremely stoic and don’t really joke around. Here the kids are dancing, poorly, and being just whimsical in general.

  44. robsauter says:

    This is a picture of a mug shot from 1925. It looks much more like a photograph than a mug shot. It is very cool to see how mug shots originated. It’s worth noting that there is no profile view of the criminal. There is only the picture of his face and then there is a picture of him as you would probably see him on the street. This picture is almost kind of a joke. I’m not sure that this would help police officers identify someone except when they are in custody. Either way it’s interesting to see.

  45. robsauter says:

    This picture is the perfect appropriation image in my mind. Without the text the background is this very nice scenic view. Nothing wrong with it but it’s just a nice picture. With the words though, there is just an incredibly strong juxtaposition between the message and the view. With the words added the picture takes on a whole new meaning. This is the whole idea/point of appropriation.

  46. robsauter says:

    This is a picture of the new world trade center tower. I forget what they are calling it. I think it’s still being completed, so this is not that old. This is a very good shot, but kind of basic. What I really like is more the symbolism that the picture brings up. I was old enough to know what was going on on 9/11 and I lived close enough that I watched it happen. I also lost someone that I cared about on that day. But this picture is such an inspiring shot. Everything about this picture is just uplifting to me. The lighting is so happy. The reflection off the new tower just seems so profound for no good reason. I wish I could say more but I can’t really put into words how this picture makes me feel.

  47. robsauter says:

    This is a photograph taken of some gentleman in Africa. I forget the exact details but he belongs to that village in the back and he has a pet hyena. I really like the fact that the hyena is pretty much just like a dog to him. It’s trying to jump and play like its not weird. I also like the man’s face. It’s very stoic and add a contrast to the hyena’s playfulness. The last part that I really like is the contrast between the bleak and drab village and the bright fullness of the gentleman’s clothing. I’m not sure if there was any photomanipulation or a certain lens was used, but the colors seem so vibrant. It is such a contrast to everything else in the village that the eye is really drawn to it and it makes a very strong photograph.

  48. robsauter says:

    What I like about this photograph is the use of color and gradient and negative space. This is obviously a waterfall somewhere, and that alone is a pretty awesome image. But on the far left of the picture the colors are clear and crisp. They are not exactly very vivid but its a nice scene. Then around the middle of the photograph there starts to get some fog and the colors start to get washed out. And then all the way to the right of the photo is just absolute grey/negative space. It’s a very strong and awesome gradient. The part that really seals the deal for me though, is the flock of birds flying into the negative space to the right. In a way they are kind of breaking the gradient theme, but I think they make it stronger. Monotony is boring and the birds successfully break that up and add a sharp contrast.

  49. robsauter says:

    I like this image simply for the humor of it, but I do understand that there is a lot more going on. Fist of all there is the use of the rule of thirds. About a third on each side of the picture is taken up by the crowd. The look on the dog’s face is also really good, he thinks that everyone is there for him. This harkens back to the decisive moment concept. It’s also a bit of an absurd photograph when you look at it. There is just this dog that is being thrown a parade. The underlying humor is what makes the photo so strong, I think.

  50. robsauter says:

    I really like this picture. It is an extreme close up of an ant trying to walk on water. I think this picture is awesome for a few different reasons. First, it is such an extreme close up that you can see the individual hairs on the ant. I did not even know that ants had hair. This really provides a unique perspective that I think is quite refreshing. Another reason why I like this picture so much is because of the reflection of the ant and land in the water. The water is so calm and reflective that you can perfectly see a reflection of the ant and the land. The last thing that I like about the picture is the ant “walking” on the water. I’m not sure the name of the scientific principle, but the ant is pressing on the water and the water is bending and not breaking. This is really cool because you can almost never see it. It is only because of the zoom that we can see it here and it’s quite amazing when you think about it.

  51. Dan Errera says:

    I was watching an episode of Mythbusters today, which is a show that heavily uses high speed photography. Today they were using it to measure how fast they were throwing a hat at a statue to try to knock off its head (they were testing all James Bond myths.) When I look up high speed photography online, most of the images are of a bullet going through something, such as crayons, a card, glass, or fruit, like the cover of our book. Only really fast things would look interesting in high speed photography, so I guess a bullet is one of the only things that can be used. I really find these images fascinating and love looking at them. High speed photography slows down what usually travels too fast for the naked eye to see. What we usually see is just the results of the bullet, such as broken glass or fruit with a hole in it. It is really interesting to get to see the process slowed down to see what happens. One of my favorites is of a water balloon that breaks. In this image, the balloon breaks faster than the water falls so the water is left in the shape of the balloon. At the opposite end of the spectrum for speed photography is time lapse photography, which takes many images over a period of time and when played back shows the series of events like a movie. This does the opposite of high speed photography. It gives us a chance to see what usually happens too slow for us to notice. For example, I recently watch a time lapse of a flower blooming, which was really interesting. There was also a recent video of a man who photographed his daughter for 12 years and showed the time lapse of her aging from birth to age 12. Some of my favorites are of busy areas with the traffic and people moving by so quickly or a large ship that usually takes a long time to turn. These processes are just more examples of the many uses and interesting facets of the world of photography.

  52. Dan Errera says:

    Photography has come a long way in the relatively short time it has been around. From the hole in a wall to the current digital cameras to Photoshop, photography has greatly changed the world and the way we view it. Imagine a newspaper with no pictures or a calendar with no images. Photography is heavily used in advertising, news, textbooks as well as almost everything we do. Besides having its many uses, photography became an art form, now in the same museums as paintings and sculptures. People express themselves and get their messages across through photography now as well as through the older art forms. People used to assume that what they see in a picture is real and what actually exists, which was in a way photography’s defining feature. With digital media and Photoshop this may not be the case today. Artists can adjust images to create surreal photos and fantastical scenes. I believe this is more of where the art comes into photography. Mastering dark room techniques and Photoshop techniques and having that imagination and creativity to see a scene then create it is amazing. I have always liked taking pictures which is one of the reasons I chose this class. I got my first digital camera when I was very young and began taking it with me on vacations to document the islands and beautiful areas we visited. So I guess if I was a photographer I would be like Ansel Adams, traveling and documenting what I see. But I believe I would also enjoy using Photoshop to create surreal scenes and let my imagination go or to adjust my landscape images to make them look perfect. Whether for art or documentary purposes, I believe photography and cameras will be around for a long time and will be anxious to see how it grows.

  53. Dan Errera says:

    Another of the more interesting photographers for me this semester is Gregory Crewdson. This may be because his images look like they were taken out of some of my favorite movies, such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and ET. When looking at his images, I seem to have to look at them for a long time before it all soaks in and I can comprehend the whole image. I may not really get the narratives in his images, but it takes me more time than usual to study the image and absorb what is going on. I think I like that they are all well staged and set up, like a movie set which is due to the attention to detail and incredible lighting. Everything in the image must be exactly as he wanted it, which is why it took him several months to get the perfect shots for some of his images. His images are very dreamlike and strange. I almost feel uncomfortable looking at some of them; these are not the kind of images I would want hanging in my house. But they are very intriguing and I feel like I just want to see the next one and see what else he did. Every image looks similar, but at the same time have different themes. Some of my favorite ones are the outdoors images. Some have very weird lighting and it almost feels as though an alien spaceship is about to land. I would like to see the places he shot in real life, when not in a set with lighting to see what they really look like. Looking at his images again as I write this blog, many seem almost fake, as though they are computer generated images. I wish I could talk to him for awhile to discuss his images to see what he was trying to do.

  54. Dan Errera says:

    One of my favorite photographers from the semester is David Hockney. I love his collages and other works that combine images to create one recognizable image. This takes real talent and imagination and creativity. He has to know in advance what he wants to create and then go and get smaller images to combine which creates the larger image. He has two distinct forms for creating his images. He uses the composite Polaroids which are images arranged in a grid that do not touch but all together form a much larger image. He also uses photographic collages, which use many images overlapping to also create a large image. While both are interesting, I like the photographic collages a little better. Since the images overlap, I feel they would have needed a little more preparation and foresight and probably took a long time to assemble. One of my favorites is Pearblossom Highway. Even the sky, which is only one color, has many different blue images combined to create it. Every object is it own image but when combined create a recognizable scene. If you stood far enough away you would probably not even be able to see that it is a collage. Another interesting image is that of the older women. He took images of her from different angles and perspectives but when combined, you can almost see her as whole. In a way, you can see more of her and from more angles since that is how he shot her. Other artists, such as Lady Filmer, did a similar thing with their work by cutting out images and pasting them onto another, but Hockney creates his entire images from other images. He creates a college whereas other artists just paste images on each other.

  55. Dan Errera says:

    Many of the photographers in the second half of our semester where documentarian photographers and photojournalists. These include Edward Steichen, Robert Frank, and Diane Arbus. One of the photographers who stood out to me was Larry Burrows. Burrows worked for LIFE magazine and is known for documenting the Vietnam War. Up until this time, photographers were not really allowed into wars to document them. In previous wars, pictures were taken of battlefields after or before the war. They would show soldiers in camps and getting ready for war, but did not show the actual war. Burrows was one of the first photographers allowed in to war to show the world what it was really like. And he was probably one of the last because of its effects. He showed the horrors of war and how brutal it was. His images show wounded and dead soldiers and actual fighting. Many of these ended up in LIFE magazine with some even appearing on the cover, including his famous image of the dead soldier in the helicopter. These images may have played a large part in the American public’s dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the war. And so now the government disallows images of inside the war and has gone back to camps and very few images of life in Iraq and Afghanistan. All we know now about the war are stories and statistics. I believe having pictures of what is actually going on over there with our troops would present a truer feel to the war and would elicit more of an opinion from the public. It is almost as if the government is hiding what they are doing by not allowing pictures. I would like to see what it is like for our soldiers over there. But at the same time maybe the public does not need to see the horrific tragedies of war in photos as it may be too disturbing and inconsiderate to hurt soldiers.

  56. Dan Errera says:

    After our class discussions on appropriation, it seems that there is still some disagreement and opinions on what qualifies as appropriation. The definition of appropriation is to take possession of something, and as it relates to photography, artists who copy images in their art. This is not plagiarizing or stealing, for the artists want the viewers to recognize the images. The artist wants the viewer to associate their feelings and meanings of the original image into the new image and add to it their own meaning. Instead of stealing, appropriation can be called recontextualization. The artist finds an image and uses it in their own way and adds their own context. I agree. I don’t think this is plagiarism or stealing, as long as the artist does not claim the work as theirs. How else are photographers supposed to comment on modern culture? It’s the same thing as when journalists discuss a current event or write about something they see. Instead of writing about it, appropriation artists take a picture of what they want to comment on and put it in their context. Claiming the art as their own would classify it as plagiarism. I think appropriation is a way that people learn. We constantly must add to our existing knowledge and build upon it or else we would always be starting over. By absorbing and using what others have already done, we can only do things that are better and more advanced. One of the more famous appropriation artists is Richard Prince. He is known for photographing Marlboro billboards and presenting them in a different context. I would think many people would realize he is photographing the Marlboro man, and see it not as him trying to sell cigarettes, but changing the meaning and feel to the photo.

  57. Dan Errera says:

    A topic that we’ve been discussing a lot lately that I have also found interesting is the practice of altering photographs once they are taken. I do not mean editing the photo so it portrays something else, such as removing the watch off a soldier’s hand, but enhancing the photo’s colors, using special paper to print the images, and using dark room techniques to alter the image. Our class discusses whether this was “cheating” since it did not represent the actual image the camera took. I tend to agree with this viewpoint. I want to see the image as it actually appeared when it was taken. Photoshopping images to slim models or to remove extra people is not true to what happened and what is reality. I agree that adding color or shading may make the image look like it actually did the day it was taken, but I still feel the image needs to remain the way it was as it was taken. Otherwise, it would feel fake to me and I would not appreciate it as much. My only exception is the removal of red eye, which is usually due to the flash of the camera. The manipulation of images especially in the press and magazines has led to much controversy. Many prominent figures have had people and objects removed from pictures and have been later caught. Models have been made to look near perfect in ads. There should be restrictions on the amount of edits made to all photos so they can accurately portrayed. When people view an image, they assume it is realistic and what it actually looks like due to the nature of photography. People will thus assume photoshopped images are real, which can lead to many issues and problems. I understand this may be better for marketing and advertising, but I would like to see the images as they actually appear.

  58. Dan Errera says:

    One of the most memorable things you (Keith) said this semester to me was during lunch on our trip to the MOMA in New York. The other people at my table were discussing some of the art we saw at the MOMA and had said they did not understand it and therefore did not really like it. You had said maybe the artists were looking at it differently and maybe one day we would eventually understand what they were doing enough to appreciate their work and really enjoy it and see what they were trying to say. You gave the example of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo who were the most prominent artists of their time and are still some of the most famous artists ever. Maybe when they had done their work, such as the Sistine Chapel, the Pieta, David, or the Mona Lisa the people of the time recognized it as art, but did not understand its significance or meaning.
    When I was at the MOMA looking at Cindy Sherman’s works, I felt I could never really see these being famous 400 years from now. But maybe da Vinci and the people of his time didn’t think so either. I guess a difference is that artists like Michelangelo were commissioned to sculpt and paint for the Catholic Church, therefore much of his work is holds religious significance, such as the paintings from the book of Genesis on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. I think people back then knew this work would be important and lasting and understood what he was creating. As the semester progresses I do greatly enjoy some of the art we see and the imagination of the artists impresses me. I wonder what and if any works today will last as long as the famous paintings from hundreds of years ago and eventually become famous and hang in museums.

  59. Matthew Rhodes says:

    I received an email from my aunt recently. She’s the kind of aunt who usually just sends a bunch of junk mail that gets forwarded to the trash bin; however, this one was actually interesting. It was an email filled with images that appeared to be regular black and white stills of people or garbage or a landscape. What was interesting was that they were not photographs, but instead, drawings by Paul Cadden, in a style called “hyperrealism”.

    This style of drawing focus on the pure details of the subject. They are not meant to be an interpretation, nor are they supposed to be literal illustrations. Instead, they are creating an alternate reality blended with our physical reality to create an illusion of reality we cannot see. The easiest way to explain this is that these images are a compilation of many realities onto one image. The image we see didn’t actually happen; instead it is an image that is so real, we believe it to be true.

    This kind of art really inspires me. It makes me think of my dreams. Dreams are not literal realities, but an alternate reality in which anything is possible. I believe that Cadden is a big dreamer. And I don’t mean that in a bad way! His eye for detail is better than a typical artist who draws what he sees. Cadden draws from his deepest thoughts with almost perfect detail. I have never seen someone draw with such precision and realism, and for that, I give him mad props.

  60. Connor McFadden says:

    At the beginning of the semester I found a difference in my opinion of Cindy Sherman’s early works versus her newer ones. I decided to take another look at Sherman’s photography to see if my views had changed. I still feel that her earlier work embodies more emotion, more grit, and are more cinematic, which pleases me. Her film stills in particular seem to tell a story without seeming to strive to be profound. Her later work seems too calculated and meticulously adjusted. To me, they are trying to achieve something without quite accomplishing their goal. Perhaps I am biased because the film stills are more accessible to me than her more sexually explicit images. I am also not a fan of clowns. However, now acknowledge the possibility that Sherman may have intended such a reaction and is perhaps being antagonistic towards clowns or sexuality. I believe there is intent behind these images, and I likely haven’t given them the recognition they deserve.

  61. Matthew Rhodes says:

    Shortly after posting my last blog about the experiment in which Tarynn and I created our own photosensitive paper and developed an image, I realized something. We did not fail; in fact, I think we succeeded. When looking at our final image with the eyes of a Da-Daist, I see something I didn’t quite see at first. “What’s that,” you ask? Inspiration.

    Yes. I think our image (https://p.twimg.com/ArV58MsCAAARTS4.jpg:large) gives us the mindset of, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” In fact, Tarynn and I are actually framing the images and hanging them in our apartments next year to help motivate us when things don’t always go as planned. Now, when I look at our project, I don’t see the darkness; instead, I see the bright light of what can be done when more work and effort is put in to something seen as “a failure”.

    I am proud of our project and I think we can learn a lot from it. It is art. It is art that at first may appear as something like the white canvas at the MoMa, which many thought to be stupid and pointless. However, there is meaning in the dark, dark image we produced. That meaning is hope.

  62. Matthew Rhodes says:

    As chemical engineers, Tarynn and I have the great honor of being a part of an Advanced Chemistry II course here at Rowan. Our teacher was so nice to assign us a 10-page research paper and any topic we choose. Seeing as we were both interested in photography, we decided we would look at the topic of darkroom developing and the chemistry behind it.

    Now I don’t want to bore you to tears with chemistry that I barely even understand, so I’ll sum up our miniature experiment. We first coated a card-stock paper with a heated mixture of water, gelatin and Potassium Bromide. After we let that dry, the paper was coated with a second solution of Silver Nitrate dissolved in water. This coating was done in the darkroom because the 2 mixtures, when exposed to light, will react with each other to produce dark areas where light was exposed.

    The paper was placed in a dark room to dry before we exposed it to a negative. After the image was exposed to the paper, it was placed in the developing bath, transferred over to the fixer bath, and finally into the cleaning bath where our experiment was complete. Here is our result:


    This should look like the Holly Bush Mansion…clearly we messed up somewhere; however, it was our first attempt and we hope to get the chance to try it out again sometime and get it right!

  63. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    Perspective refers to the relationship of imaged objects in a photograph including relative positions, sizes and the space between them. Simply put, perspective is the way real 3D objects are pictured in a photograph that only has a 2D plane. In photography, forced perspective can be used to create optical illusion that trick the viewer into seeing objects farther away, closer, larger or smaller than they actually are.

    Our perceptions of the world are based on points of reference that we create for ourselves, forced perspective manipulates perception through the use of scaled objects. While scientific in nature, forced perspective can have a comedic value to it. Below is a link highlighting some forced perspective photographs that are both eye catching and funny.


    Some tips I found to create your own forced perspective images can be seen outlined below:

    1. Use a tripod; this will eliminate any shaking that could misalign your photo.

    2. Use a wide angle lens; while not make or break, the use of a wide angle lens will make achieving a forced perspective photograph much easier.

    3. Use an adequate f-stop (F/16 or F/22) to ensure a deep depth of field in order to keep all subjects in focus.

    4. Use the manual mode on your camera to ensure the camera will not change your f-stop through automatic corrections.

    5. Keep some elements real. If your intention is to force perspective on a viewer, pick at least one subject that is universally recognized.

  64. Robert Morrone says:

    On our trip to the ICP and the MOMA, the exhibit that stood out the most to me was the Weegee exhibit. What interested me the most about the exhibit was the fact that a lot of his works were shown in papers at the time. Weegee was able to get the main scoop on crimes committed during that time period and his photos reflected the severity of those same crimes. In looking through his images, I realized that a large amount of them would not be allowed into newspapers today. The photos of crime scene victims were gruesome because they showed exactly what the police and medical workers would see upon arriving at the scene of the crime. This brings to mind how Weegee and his images affected the censorship of images that are produced in major newspapers. His style is much different than another crome scene photographer, Alphonse Bertillon. Bertillon had a much more methodical and strict approach. Weegee’s technique hits the senses harder and is a much more memorable photo in the end. That had to do with the different intentions of the two photographers though, as Bertillon just wanted to make a systematic method of documentation.

  65. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    Today cameras are not just for taking photographs of people or landscapes, they are being used in the medical field in new and innovative ways to help doctors examine and diagnose patients. One such camera has helped revolutionized endoscopy of the digestive track by being capable of producing high-resolution video of your intestines for tumors and other problems in less than 8 hours.

    After the patient swallows the capsule the pill travels down the esophagus and through the intestines capturing up to 870,000 images. Requiring only 50 milliwatts of power to run the camera, lights and computer, a vest worn by the patient continuously transmits power eliminating the need for bulky batteries.

    Previous pill cameras have the camera fixed facing forward allowing the tissue walls only to be visible in the periphery of the photos. New technology has allowed for the electromagnet inside the pill to reverses its polarity causing the permanent magnet to turn the inner capsule effectively rotating the camera 60 degrees every two seconds. With this, the camera can face the tissue wall directly and completes a full revolution every 12 seconds.

    Instead of storing each two-megapixel image internally the capsule transmits images wirelessly to a standard SD memory card. After the pill has worked its way through the entire digestive tract doctors can simply download the images off the SD card onto a PC where software creates overlapping images producing a flat map of the intestines.

    This new technology emphasizes just how far the evolution of the camera has come from the camera obscura as well as reinforcing the idea that photography is as much a science as an art.

  66. jbracciante says:

    Framing Photos for Things That Aren’t There: Jurrasic Park

    In my final post I’d like to look at two things that are often not considered when discussing photography. First is the concept of cinematography. Still frames from movies are technically photographs. A movie is simply a series of photographs displayed quickly. A movie camera is no different than a regular camera except that it can take pictures extremely quickly and in succession. In my final post I will be discussing a film frame. Second, much attention is paid in photography to what you are photographing. In movies which utilize a high amount of special effects, accounting for what is not being photographed is a huge skill set.

    In this frame from Jurassic Park the director of photography is shooting Jeff Goldblum running away from a giant empty space between him and a van. Although the T-Rex is added later through CGI, the photographer still has to take the photograph as if there is a T-Rex in the frame. Second because he is using a movie camera, he has to make sure every picture it takes (24 a second) maintains this empty space for the dinosaur. The real life subjects of the photos also have to approximate the presence of this invisible creature. Finally the initial results look strange and unremarkable. I don’t have an example here, but imagine the picture linked without the dinosaur being there. It doesn’t seem like a very good photograph at all, but the photographer knew what he was doing. I have great respect for the breed of photographers who can envision a work in their head, take part of the picture in reality, and finish it on the computer or in post.

  67. Heather Cleary says:



    As we progressed in class towards modern technology, we learned how some photographers integrate the use of Photoshop in their work. Personally, I am indifferent to the use of Photoshop in many works. However, I am concerned when Photoshop has been in advertising. I have researched the effects of using Photoshop in advertising for a previous class and after our class discussion; I wanted to present some of what I had researched.

    I had found that most of the images presented in the media are unrealistic and can be considered false advertisement. Most consumers expect to have the same results as the model in the advertisement. In addition, there has been scientific evidence that these images highly contribute to an increase in body dissatisfaction. This can lead to serious physical and mental problems such depression and eating disorders.

    Others have suggested that a ban to these images. I have suggested putting a disclaimer on these advertising images, similar to the disclaimers in alcohol or cigarette ads. The disclaimer would say that the image that the viewer is seeing has been altered. These disclaimers would make the public, especially the younger generations, more aware that the image is not real. Ultimately, these disclaimers could start a change on what beauty really is versus the fake stereotype of beauty.

  68. Heather Cleary says:



    The last photography exhibit at the MOMA that I found interesting was Sanja Iveković exhibit titled “Sweet Violence.” This exhibit was not required of the class to go see. However, I found that I enjoyed this exhibit the most relatable and intriguing. Sanja Ivekovic is a feminist and social activist from the former Yugoslavia. She expresses herself in many ways; through photography, collages, and performances.

    When the viewer is walking to the exhibit, Ivekovic’s “Women’s House (Sunglasses)” series was presented against the wall. This series has posters of women in expensive sunglasses with an accompanying story of women’s stories of sexual or physical abuse. These stories come from many countries such as Croatia, Poland, and Thailand. Details of the stories were graphic and made the viewer pause and think about how they relate to the women in the story.

    I found “Tragedy of a Venus” particularly unique. In this work, she compares herself to Hollywood icon, Marilyn Monroe. Many of the Monroe photographs were taken from a 1975 magazine called Duga. Ivekovic tries to mimic Monroe’s glamorous poses. Ivekovic’s goal is to bring attention to impossibility for someone like her in Eastern Europe to achieve that type of fame. I found these images humorous and depressing at the same time.

    Overall, I felt that I could relate to her work the most compared to Atget and Sherman. Ivekovic’s focus on women’s rights, beauty, and political violence were felt throughout the exhibit and made the viewer think of their own luck and blessings.

  69. Connor McFadden says:

    One aspect of the Willie Cole’s “Deep Impressions” exhibit that I found very interesting was the repeated integration of household items into the works. The tool that left the deepest impression on me was the iron, which was used in more than ten of the works. Cole’s use of the iron ranged from concealing parts of the human body to forming the petals of a flower. Cole seems gifted at using items in ways they weren’t meant to be used, and perhaps through these works he is urging us to do the same. I was particularly amused by the fact that shoes tend to be more stylish than irons in everyday life, yet the shoe sculptures appeared very plain and colorless to me, compared to the depiction of irons in Home and Hearth.

  70. Heather Cleary says:



    Another exhibit from the MOMA I would still like to discuss is the exhibit of French photographer Eugene Atget (1857-1927). In class we learned that Atget was the first photographer to use a 35 mm camera. His work focused on documenting the wonders of daily life. His perspective was unusual and tended to be dramatic and mysterious and his work directly influenced the surrealist movement.

    The exhibit was titled “Documents pour artistes” which was also the name of his studio. More than 100 photographs were on display and about two-thirds were taken after World War I. He focused on documenting life in France, in particular Paris. His style had soft lighting because of his tendency to take photographs at dawn. Many of the buildings that are shown in his work have since been destroyed in order to accommodate the influx of people living in Paris. Some of his work did focus on the human figure which influenced the surrealist movement.

    I did enjoy his work despite the repetitiveness. I thought most of the images represented Paris and other locations with great precision. I could sense by the photographs how important it was for Atget to accurately document his surroundings. I thought that the exhibit could have been better designed. I felt it was difficult to take to focus on the next image since all the previous images looked very similar. I did like that the walls were not white but a pale shade of blue. The color added warmth to the images. In general, I found that I enjoyed Atget’s work more than Sherman’s work.

  71. Heather Cleary says:




    I know it has been awhile since we all visited the MOMA, but I would still like to discuss my thoughts on some of the exhibits. Throughout class, we have visited the work of Cindy Sherman multiple times. I had seen her work in previous classes but had the opportunity to see her work in more detail in this class and in the MOMA. More than 170 photographs over her 30 year career were displayed. From the work that I studied in class, I was quite excited to see more, expecting to see similar themes. However, after seeing the exhibit, I soon realized that there was much more than expected.

    There were many other self-portrait collections that showed her progression of style and technique. I knew that Cindy Sherman liked to take photographs of her in various costumes. For example, I was exposed to her early work, “Untitled Film Stills” (1977–80). This series is composed of black-and-white pictures that feature Sherman in stereotypical female roles inspired by 1950s and 1960s Hollywood and film noir. I really like this work because I can see her inspiration and relate to the work. I could sense the emotions that she portrayed.

    However, as I progressed through the exhibit, I soon realized that most of her work was not like the “Untitled Film Series.” There were obviously other dominant themes throughout Sherman’s career. These include carnivals, clowns, myth, and just grotesque images. I did not particular enjoy her grotesque images that focused on genitalia and bodily fluids. I also did not enjoy her representation of clowns and carnivals. I found that they had a creepiness quality about them despite all of the bright colors.

    I was not expecting that most of her prints were very large. Many of her prints were several feet high, encompassing her whole body. Much of these prints were of her “her larger-than-life society portraits” series, depicting an influential older woman. I feel that I could not truly appreciate these pieces because my mind was too focused on the creepy and disturbing images I saw earlier in the exhibit. Overall, I did not enjoy most of her work but I did gain an appreciation for her unique style.

  72. Heather Cleary says:



    During class, we encountered many photographs of New York City from the mid-1800s and forward. It has been an inspiration for many photographers. In this article, it has been announced that the New York City’s Department of Records has digitized approximately 870,000 of nearly 2.2 million photographs, and they are all available online. More of the images from their archives will be added over time.

    Many of these photographs were taken by municipal workers which add a unique perspective, showing construction sites of the time. There is one photograph shown in the second link that shows painters hanging from suspended wires on the Brooklyn Bridge. The lines draw the viewer’s eyes up to the top right corner of the image. As your eyes travel up the image, you see the painters relaxing on the wires. Personally, I do not know how they possibly could pose for the camera that high up on the bridge. Other photographs are taken by Weegee, Bertillon and Galton showing crime scene shots and mug shots. Since there is so much range of who took the photograph, there are endless formal elements and techniques. Overall, these photographs show a “vivid and gritty” New York City.

  73. Heather Cleary says:

    -This is a print of a photograph of my great-great-grandmother.

    I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the development of photography and its technology in the 1800s. After this class, I have been able to look at several old family photographs from that time period and pick up on style techniques and poses that were common of the time. Since much of early photography was portrait work, I was not surprised to see many of the family photographs showed these types of poses. Many of the subjects had neutral expressions and were in their best attire.

    However, some of the photographs that I came across had a snapshot style, not portrait style. Many of these photographs were taken from the family’s personal camera. Many of my family members have or have had an interest in photography. These early photographs were of the house and land, inside the living room with guests, a woman pushing a baby carriage down the street. The picture quality was relatively good; many of the smaller details in the pictures were clear. I find it quite remarkable that these old photographs have remained in good shape and were taken with such precision. I am very happy that I have the opportunity to be able to look into my family’s history in such great detail.

  74. Heather Cleary says:


    Alexa Meade is a new and upcoming artist who is known for her unique style. She is a 25 year old artist who uses all different forms of art medium which include painting and photography. Instead of painting on a canvas, she paints people and then photographs them in a way that make the photograph appear to be a painting.

    For example, “Jamie” is 24 in. by 18 in. C-Print that truly appears to be a painting. The photograph shows a traditional profile of the subject with a neutral facial expression. After looking at the piece for a while, you can pick out the details that uncover the real person underneath the paint. The hair and the eyes are the only tell tale signs that this picture is not a painting. The work is very colorful, with a high contrast of deep blood red on the background and a bright turquoise blue of the shirt and headband. In an accompanying photograph, “Jamie and Alexa,” Meade takes a self-portrait with the paint subject. The model holds the same facial expression as Meade has a large grin on her face.

    Meade has also used herself as the model and posed for a self-portrait. One work in particular, “Alexa Split in Two,” Meade has painted half of her face and shoulders and left the other half plain. Then she took the 20 in. by 16 in. photograph of herself where the painted half has a painted blue background and the other half is photograph on solid blue background. Meade has placed herself in the middle of the photograph to draw attention to the contrast. By design, the work has symmetrical elements. The colors are very bright and also have a sense of contrast. Overall, this style is very unique and novel.

  75. Heather Cleary says:


    This article is about a photographer named Bob Carey and his wife Linda. Carey started a photography series that is directly related to his wife’s fight with cancer, called the Tutu Project. The Tutu Project started in 2003 when Carey donated one of his photographs for a fundraiser. Shortly thereafter, Linda was diagnosed. Carey has taken more than 110 photographs of himself in a tutu at different locations, such as New Mexico and New York. He is currently compiling his work for a book. Most of the proceeds from selling his work go towards the fight against breast cancer.

    For example, “Ferry” was taken on the Cape May Ferry from New Jersey to Delaware in 2008. Carey has taken a photograph of himself jumping on the parking deck of the ferry. He is in the center of the photograph. There are many symmetric elements in the photograph, which include the yellow lines and the amount of parked cars on each side. The lighting is very bright at the top of the photograph, almost as if he is jumping towards the light. Overall, the photograph is humorous and inspiring to all the women who are fighting breast cancer.

  76. Bianca Hess says:

    As Amanda and I discussed in our Andy Warhol project, Andy Warhol claimed to not really have influences and/or reasons for why he made art that he and his team made. In fact, he showed a lot of “artistic apathy” in my opinion like his work just came out of nowhere. To me, the artistic apathy is his very beating- around -the- bushes way of revealing his real intentions – we do not often realize how much fame and popular culture, and culture of celebrity affects us thus we are virtually blind to it (just as he “appeared” to be blind to his own artistic influences and intentions). This seems very strange because we have discussed many times about how art is not made in a vacuum. Thus, all ideas come from influences of someplace from something you’ve seen before and then recreated it into some other form. I think his art inspiration stemmed from his obsession with culture of celebrity.
    It is very obvious that his obsession with famous people like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy (among others) stems from childhood when he was sick and kept celebrity pictures all around his room. I think he longed to be just like them, which is why he went down a revolutionary path in artwork (hence creation of the pop art movement). He sought to emulate “hollywood” in his own indie, progressive circle at “The Factory” with his own photography, silkscreens, and films. Just like Hollywood has a new up and coming star all the time, he coined 15 minutes of fame with “Everybody in the future will be famous for 15 minutes” because in his own studio ergo the same as he found new “Andy Warhol superstars” for his movies.

  77. Bianca Hess says:

    I was interested in the group presentation about the photographer Elliot Erwitt. I appreciated the happy, witty, silly, and humorous nature of a few of his photographs. When I take my own photographs I look for curious, unique, or avant-garde looking things in nature and the community so I appreciated Erwitt’s artistic focus. Also, I think his work in B&W make for really nice contrasts. I think if they were in color they wouldn’t bring the same force and intensity as they do in B&W.
    My absolute favorite is this photo of the chihuahua dog in a sweater. I love how Erwitt makes the contrast of the dog’s puny size and the woman’s large dress shoes. What I also appreciate about this photo is that everything is scaled according to the dog’s size and point of view. If you look into the background, city buildings never quite look like that since people are usually at least several feet high. I was pondering what his point of taking a picture from the chihuahua’s point of view would be about. Perhaps Erwitt wants to represent that even though you could be the little guy “underdog” in life when everything else is high and tall around you, you can still overcome and be happy (note the happy pooch face and tongue of the dog).
    Another photo I loved that the group presented was the one near the beach of the stork bird and the water pipe. I love how the birds neck and head are so much like the water pipe. I think the contrast between the natural and man-made is very evident. According to the picture title, Florida Keys, this is likely a beach or dock picture. The bird represents the natural state, while the water pipe represents human colonization and recreation (it is likely a foot washing station). Erwitt likely took this photo to represent how people can encroach on land and take the beautiful paradise away from nature. So instead of having lots of birds around the beach area, there are likely lots of washing stations.

  78. Bianca Hess says:

    I enjoyed our class trip to the High/Low Density Exhibition in the University gallery in Westby. I thought it was well curated. The gray wall paint was a nice complement to the color schemes in the artwork. After we studied Bill Owens and suburban life I came to understand the High/Low Density Exhibition more. I could see more clearly the artists’ intentions of showing negativity and absurdity in crowded places.
    I was intrigued by the mixed media wall. In this piece the artist has a blend of black, white, and gray colored billboards and fake tree cell phone towers. I think that this piece refers to us encroaching on land and turning places of paradise into places of industrialization and consumerism and instant gratification (hence billboard ads and the need for cell phone towers). In one part of the scene, the billboards and cell towers are heavily clumped together. Going from right to left, the scene becomes more gradually clumped and so crowded it is hard to tell certain figures apart. Perhaps this is there to illustrate that our society is heading towards the landscape looking that packed and ugly. Rather than have natural sources of beauty like trees we’ll have metal poles. I was also interested in the large gray board with the hundreds of little gray houses glued on in different arrangements. Upon first looking at it, you would think it was just a topsy-turvy pattern on a board, which perhaps goes with the mayhem of living in a tight squeeze environment. After I walked over to it and realized they were little glued houses, I looked at it and it seemed to be more like an aerial view of rooftops of a crowded suburb. I like how this piece of work can be looked at in a variety of ways and how you aren’t exactly sure what it is until you get closer.

  79. Brad Fedor says:

    I check Reddit daily for interesting posts that catch my attention when I saw this amazing photograph of four stags in a gorgeous woodland setting. The stag do not appear to be in a natural state. I think that the photographer did something prior to taking the photograph, like throw a rock, to get the deer to face in his direction for a more majestic shot. This photograph must have been taken during the Fall, since the range of leaf color varies between orange and yellow color palates. As a biology major, something I noticed was how close the deer’s fur color was to its surroundings. Evolution must have cause the deer to adapt to this environment to yield a orange-brown fur color, which together with the leaves and the light made the overall orange tint of the photograph stand out even more. Another thing that immediately caught my attention was the soft light that seemed to make the stag glow. The light made me think of purity, showcasing the deer in their natural existence and showing a complete absence of human interference in the stag’s living space.

  80. Hali Pearce says:

    I really loved this picture when we looked at it in class. The photograph of the naked woman is very demure. While normally, a photo of a naked woman would be very provocative. But the way she is facing fully to the back, so that nothing but the form of her curvy body is shown. Just the voluptuous figure is enough to be conservative yet provocative at the same time. By adding the violin/music marks on her back, the audience draws a connection between the curvy figure of the violin and the curvy figure of the subject.

  81. Hali Pearce says:

    I really enjoy this fashion photograph from this year. In latter years, fashion photography was well lighted so that the model and the garment, makeup, accessories, etc, can be seen and advertised correctly. This photograph, however, had one front like on the left side of the model which illuminates her neck, cheek, nose, and half her lips. The rest of her, however, is immersed in darkness. The drama between light and dark on the same subject provides a sense of mystery and seduction to the viewer.

  82. Robert Morrone says:

    The photo above is one of the supposed Loch Ness monster taken in 1934. The photographer is supposedly Robert Kenneth Wilson. What I find interesting isn’t necessarily the photograph itself but what it means in the history of photography. I feel this image or rather the reaction to the image proves how much photography had solidified itself as an artform. The astounding amount of people who suddenly believed in “Nessie” because of a photograph was astounding. The same could be said of the Bigfoot photograph that created so much hype. People question paintings because even if they depict a real or assumed event, they take time to produce and as a result rely more on the artist’s interpretation and memory. A photo captures the moment, and because of that is widely regarded as an absolute medium of recording.

  83. Hali Pearce says:


    Angela Vicedomini entitles this photo “Evolution”. The moment I saw this photo, I burst out laughing. Like some of the other photos we studied in class, the photographer wants you to draw a connect between the animals and the humans in an ironic and humorous way.

    The first thing seen when scrolling down the webpage is the monkeys looking down their noses and acting snotty, and on its own would be funny. But when combined with the upper class, prestigious socialites with their elitist attitudes, the monkeys look as though they are mocking the humans.

    When combined with the title “Evolution”, the audience then interprets the elitist attitude of high class socialites to have been passed down from an ancient form of elite, high class chimpanzees.

  84. Hali Pearce says:


    Mariel Clayton creates realistic and fantasized photographs with Barbie dolls in her photographs. In this particular series called 49-rooms, she shows 49 different rooms, in what I would like to think of as a hotel, with a wide range of activities. One room called “Bedtime story” shows two gay males reading their son as good night story in his bed. Another one, “Beauty” shows a disgustingly dirty bath room filled with clothes, makeup, and other cosmetics strewn about, with a Barbie sitting in the middle of the floor, surrounded by the cosmetics. “Sustenance” shows two dolls in the kitchen. The female is sitting on the floor, clutching her head, with blood on her hands. The male is standing in front of the fridge, with a bottle of Jack in his hand.

    “Bedtime Story” is to show the audience that gay people make just as good of parents as straight parents. “Beauty” is a stab at the women who sacrifice everything to be ‘beautiful’, even keeping up with their work or cleaning their house. “Sustenance” shows a battered woman at the hand of her drunken significant other.

    Mariel Clayton combines a favorite childhood pastime with real social issues to get her point across to the viewer. Her meticulous setup and thousands of different props pull the photos together to produce a aesthetically-pleasing, yet socially alarming series.

  85. Robert Morrone says:

    The photo I’m going to review is by Phillippe Halsman. It is from his series of jumping photographs. When I first saw this in class, I was amazed by the clarity of the mid air shot. What is even more amazing is the set up it must have taken to prepare. Normally, set and prepared photography seems rather dull to me since almost anyone could do it given the right tools. But in this case, it is different. The thing I like most about this image is the fact that Halsman went into the shoot with his ideal photo and would not settle for anything less. It took 28 different shots before Halsman finally felt that he captured Dali in the correct sense. Halsman felt that when taking jump shots, a person can be captured at their most natural. I agree because no matter what you response one tries to force, jumping and being in free fall is as relaxing a pose as any professional could choose.

  86. Janine Norbut says:


    This photograph was located under the photojournalism section of deviantart. While the artist’s comments underneath the photo suggest the photo is simply of their friend surfing, the title and composition of the piece suggest more.

    The title of this picture is called Roof Of Water. The wave takes up more than half of the picture. There is much controversy on the subject of global warming today and I believe this picture is trying to portray global warming. The wave being the largest object in this picture means that it is the most powerful and unstoppable. The fact that the wave is so much larger than the land and the extremely small houses on the shore show that the artist believes global warming is a very important issue that is much greater in scale than we realize.

    The surfer on the wave symbolizes the fact that people today are touching the idea of global warming but not fully embracing its severity. They are not in control of the wave as they would like to believe. The surfer is simply sliding over it.

    The sun still being in the picture shows that while today things may appear to be bright. However the clouds on the horizon are moving in. The combination of the clouds approaching and the waves nearly blocking the sun from the picture, show that the artist believes that time is running out.

  87. Brad Fedor says:


    This past Saturday I upgraded my phone from a razor that I had since the end of 2005 to an iphone. I used to take many sky pictures on my phone but in April of 2009 my hometown had many quick and strong thunderstorms and regular rain which caused the cloud formations to interact beautifully and divinely with the sky and sunlight. After seeing these again, I sent them from my phone to my computer where I made a quick Flickr account to showcase them.
    All of these photos were taken on my outdated razor cell phone but still perfectly capture the beauty of the images I saw. All of the photographs except for sky 8 were taken in a moving car except for sky 8 and sky 6, where the red light is clearly visible. Sky 2 was taken after one of the quick thunderstorms and displays the confusion I had from seeing the overwhelming bright sunlight breeching through the black clouds. I laughed when I saw sky 3 because I realize I unintentionally photographed a picture that went by the rule of thirds through the colors of gray blue and black. The way the dark cloud was faced adjacent to the soft clouds and light blue sky in Sky 4 made me think of a classic faceoff between the good vs. evil or dark vs. light. Sky 5 was taken during a sunset and made me think that off in the distance, a grand spectacle was occurring. Another thing I saw when I looked at the photo upside-down was that I was flying above the clouds towards a grand destination bathed in light. I took Sky 6 when I noticed how the traffic light stand seemed to run along side the cloud and create a blue sky lake surrounded by a beach of the lamp post and the cloud. Thinking about the photo again now with the perception of a lake, I think of how the traffic stand can represent a manmade structure, like a dam, that tarnishes the perfect natural landscape that the lake could have had.
    After learning about formal elements and the importance of structure and carefully captured lines, I realize that many of the photos I once saw as stunning are now rendered as just being amateur.

  88. Brad Fedor says:

    I visit the comedy website Cracked.com daily to read many articles that rank interesting and thinking out of the box topics for example, “6 Nobodies who stumbled into world changing discoveries or the one I will be talking about, “18 images you won’t believe aren’t photo shopped.
    The fact that this article exists shows how little trust our society has for a photograph that looks dream like and out of the ordinary. Cracked has several “I can’t believe its not photo shopped” articles but this was the most recent one that was released. I like all of these photos and how the author of the article sites the explanation of why these photos appear photo shopped. Many of these photographs are very surreal which makes it even harder to believe they’re not photo shopped. Also, many of these images are meant to be seen by the general public who are not specifically affiliated with the fields that would easily see these as real, like meteorology or plant/animal biology. However thanks to the internet and information sharing, I would agree some of these photos are real because I understand that a man could be that small due to genetic mutations or an artist can do incredible art on a plain landscape.
    I really like the images of the asperatus clouds. These clouds seem like they belong in a painting where divine intervention was being depicted. We see clouds everyday but if someone were to see this in person, I couldn’t imagine them willingly pulling away from the sky. These photos reminded me of the April 3 years ago where my hometown had highly erratic rainstorms that left the sky with incredible colors and shapes. If I could see any of these cloud formations for myself again I would take endless photos of them.

  89. Brad Fedor says:

    Continuing with the top selling photographs, I will talk about my thoughts towards the second and third place top selling photographs:
    2. Untitled #96 (1981), By Cindy Sherman for $3,890,500
    3. 99 Cent II Diptychon, By Andreas Gursky for $ 3,346,456
    The first time I saw Untitled #96 it immediately reminded me of Elly Jackson from the music duo, La Roux, as they have a closely resembling face. I did notice when googling Cindy Sherman that this image came up the most. This is certainly one of my more favorite images of Sherman because this was taken around the period where she took photographs imitating people that weren’t meant to be grotesque. I also noticed that similar to the other photos that she took around the same time that Sherman looked away from the camera. It seems like she is portraying an adolescent girl who often daydreams about love interests or dream like situations. Another thing I like about this photo is the pleasing use of the color orange. Everything in the photo has an orange tint in it, including Sherman’s skin, which I find easy to look at partially because my favorite color is orange. The presence of the different shades of orange with the varying patterns off of the floor and her dress make this piece quite intriguing.
    I was so stimulated and energized from all the different colors and shapes in the two in one photograph, 99 Cent II Diptychon, that it was quite overwhelming. Once again Andreas Gursky has landed himself one of the highest priced photographs. I like the fact that this mocks our extreme consumerist society overproduces anything that the mind can think of and all of the carefully and colorfully planned labels each item has to drawn the attention of the consumer. The latter statement is rendered null with this photograph because with all of the varying colors, how can one’s eye be caught by any one product. Another thing I wonder about the photo that it seems like this was taken in the same store just facing different directions.
    After seeing the top 3 photographs understand why they are revered as unique and artistic but I suppose the value of a photograph is placed in the beholder. However, it can’t hurt to have the media talk you up as well.

  90. Janine Norbut says:

    This photograph is a picture taken by my cousin David Norbut. He is a professional photographer and does many types of photography. This picture is from a series he took in Manhattan.
    When I was going through this particular series it reminded me of Nicki Lee, who we discussed in class. She took photographs of herself in stereotypical outfits and places.
    In this picture David does a similar type of photograph. In this picture of his wife in the city, it appears as though she is actually from the city, despite the fact that she is not. If you look at all of the pictures in the series nothing in this photograph suggests that it is any different. However, David and his wife Charise are both from Delaware. However nothing about Charise’s appearance or expression would suggest that she does not fit in in the city.
    This leads you to wonder if the other models in the pictures are actually from New York or not.
    This is a similar style as the artist we talked about in class. How she dressed like the people from New York did and carried herself the same way.

  91. jbracciante says:

    Rock Concert Photography:

    Rock concert photography is fascinating. Recently it has become the source for a wealth of amazing photographs. There are so many cameras in one place, all taking so many pictures so frequently, that by the theory of large numbers yields at least a small sample of quality work. The low light and restrictions on flash cause many of photos from lower quality cameras to “smear” but this can be a very cool effect in some cases. Also the frantic nature and motion involved with getting close to the stage makes for some interesting accidental angles and perspectives. Of course a lot of time these conditions yield absolutely horrible photographs, but it makes the good ones that much more special.

    Take for example this photograph of one of my favorite rock bands, “The Darkness.” It was taken in the crowd by an unknown photographer. Certain elements, notably the venue worker’s head in the bottom of the frame, are not intended or very professional. It also could be that the photographer was being jostled by the crowd and could not re frame to avoid the stage hand, or ask him to move. The fact that the lead singer is airborne gives this photo a one shot, one moment vibe. I’m not sure if the photographer was snapping pictures every few seconds, happened to see the lead singer leap into the air and photograph at just right the moment, or just take the picture by sheer luck. In the end I don’t think it really matters. I just think it’s awesome that photography (specifically the modern day prevalence of photography in settings like this) allows us to see a moment that would never have this much detail exposed otherwise. It allows us to see a moment that no one ever really saw.

    On a side note, I’d like to point out that after looking at this picture for awhile, it could be construed that the bass player has hit the lead singer into the air with the neck of his guitar. Again this is an interpretation that would have never existed without the photographer snapping this photo at the exact moment he did.

  92. Matthew Rhodes says:

    The final image I wanted to review from Goldstein’s series is of Aurora and her prince from the Disney classic, “Sleeping Beauty”.

    In her story, Aurora was cursed by an evil fairy who was upset she wasn’t invited to her birth announcement celebration. The fairy said that on her sixteenth birthday, Aurora would prick her finger on a spindle and die. Another fairy tried to dispel the curse, but was only able to change the princess’ fate to slumber til awoken with true love’s kiss.

    Goldstein’s image depicts Aurora, still a young princess, comatose in a bed in a retirement home. Her prince, still sits at her bed awaiting for her to awaken. Even though it has been many years and her prince is old, he appears to not have given up hope. Even “true love’s kiss” cannot awake a person who is in a coma in modern day society; however, the person would age, unlike in Goldstein’s image. I believe this was intentional though, helping her audience easily recognize this classic tale.

    I’m so fascinated by this entire series, especially how she relates reality to fiction. Everyone believes in fairy tales at some point in their lives. It takes some faster than others to realize the hard truth. Goldstein is using this parallel to her advantage in creating witty, but sad images that anyone can both enjoy and learn from.

  93. Matthew Rhodes says:

    This image in Dina Goldstein’s collection is the only one that doesn’t depict a classic disney princess. Instead, the main character in this scene is none other than everyone’s favorite, “Little Red Riding Hood”. At first glance, it may appear to be a normal depiction of this classic Grimm Brother’s tale; however, Goldstein puts her modern day twist on this one as well!

    Here we see Little Red who is most likely walking to her grandmother’s house in the forest. She wears her classic red hood and carries a basket. But unlike the fairy tale, her basket is not filled with goodies for granny. Instead, it is filled with fast food! This image shows one of the biggest problems we Americans are facing today: Childhood Obesity. Little red appears very plump and tired looking as she walks to her grandmothers.

    I think Goldstein did another excellent job with this image, displaying yet another modern day reality. Her use of a classic story helps relate the issue to an audience of any age. It’s easy for anyone to recognize this story and be appalled by the reality woven in to this beloved fairy tale.

  94. Tom Dolan says:

    In Harold Edgerton’s “Bullet through Flame”, the audience is able to view something that had never before been able to be seen by the human eye. Edgerton was known for his pioneering in high-speed photography. He used an electronic stroboscope in conjunction with high-speed cameras so that with each flash, exactly one frame of film was exposed. He invented high-speed cameras that were able to capture up to 15,000 frames per second, and when these films were ran at a normal human rate of 24 frames per second, the action that is happening can be seen in slow motion. The technology Edgerton incorporated into his works changed how science could be documented through photography. In this particular work, we are able to see the exact moment that a bullet flies through a candle flame.

  95. Tom Dolan says:

    The photo “Dreaming” by Peter Przybille has been my desktop wallpaper for around a month now and I don’t foresee it changing anytime soon. The image, which shows an Alaskan Husky sleeping in a field of red flowers in Norway, is well constructed in the elements of color and focus. The flowers nearest the viewer are blurred, which draws the eye right to the sleeping dog. The gorgeous landscape and flowers also create the feeling relaxation and joy that comes from nature walks with dogs. I love dogs.

  96. Sherri English says:

    This is another image I found while procrastinating my time away on tumblr. At first, I though it was a nice little photoshop job. I’ve always personally been envious of many of the talented people on that website and their skills with the program, and quickly assumed that this was just another instance of it. I realized otherwise, however, after reading the description, which read:

    “365. One photograph for each day of the year.”

    I quickly did a doubletake, and realized that the image indeed seemed to cycle throughout the seasons. It’s an image of one small section of a forest. On the left hand side, the trees are leaf-less, and snow covers the ground. As it edges towards the center, the snow disappears, and some growth comes up in its place. The trees and ground are still relatively bear, but this small section of the image seems warmer, with a bluer sky peaking through the treetops in comparison to the dismal gray of the snowy portion. Then, almost-but-not-quite abruptly, green dominates the center of the image, with leaves a-plenty along with grass and other weeds littering the ground. It’s definitely reminiscent of a summer scene here. After a long stretch, the green dies off to orange and yellow before the trees quickly lose their leaves once again, the snow returns.

    There was obviously a great deal of effort put into creating this image – over a year’s worth of time, to be exact. What the photographer’s camera set-up was, I don’t know, but I can imagine a stationary tripod with some sort of weather-protection around it sitting in place for a whole year in order to capture the same scene again and again, every day, without fail. It’s a very neat endeavor, and while I’ve seen similar works, I’ve never seen one put together in this way. It reminds me of the work of Edgerton, whose time lapse photography would show lengthy amounts of time in a series of fast moving images. The image really represents the beauty that can be found in each season, all in one simple photograph.

  97. Sherri English says:

    Like PETA, another organization known for its attention-grabbing advertisements is Calvin Klein.

    The clothing company, known mostly for its jeans production, has come under the knife several times due to the racy depictions in its advertisements. One of these ads in particular depicted four young, attractive individuals, all in a state of half-dress (wearing the CK jeans, of course), posed in a sexual manner upon a couch. This type of advertisement is nothing new to Calvin Klein, who are not shy when it comes to using nudity and sexual innuendo in their ads. The placement of this ad, however, is what really sparked the controversy.

    The series of images I posted above come from a news story about the ad, which was enlarged and placed on a billboard in a prominent SoHo neighborhood. As seen in the photographs, the area clearly experiences a great deal of pedestrian traffic. This is normally a very good business move for any company: place your advertisement in a place with lots of people, and in turn attract lots of customers.

    But does the ad really do its job? From what I see in the photographs from the news story, it doesn’t really seem to. Sure, it attracted attention from the media – putting a giant picture with that kind of content in it within eyesight of little kids walking home from school everyday isn’t exactly popular with the public. But even ignoring the controversy around it, does the image do its job?

    Let’s analyze it. The people in the image are all wearing the CK jeans, and the CK logo is spread right across the middle of it. That’s certainly a plus when advertising for said jeans. But besides that sexuality of it, the image doesn’t necessarily seem to stand out in its surroundings. The people walking by are paying it no heed to the point where it’s comical – the rushing business man in his suit and tie, the nonchalant jogger, the woman breezily crossing the street. None of them seem to so much as realize the picture is even there. And the sexual content, despite possibly grabbing attention in the short-term, isn’t something in today’s age that would really make a person step back and think about the deeper meaning of the image. It doesn’t make me, personally, want to go out and buy the jeans those people are wearing just because they’re good looking and doing sexual things in them.

    Overall, I don’t think there’s any reason to do shock-value for the simple sake of doing shock-value in your images if it’s not helping you get your message across.

  98. Sherri English says:

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, commonly known as PETA, is not an organization commonly known for their subtlety. In fact, the reason PETA is likely so well known is due to the publicity they get – and that publicity comes from discussions about their various ads and commercials, all of which intentionally incorporate a large amount of shock value.

    Take this image, for example:
    PETA - Flesh

    While not one of their most bear-prodding images (excuse the expression, PETA), it’s still not exactly a photograph one can resist doing a double-glance to. I, personally, wouldn’t be able to simply scroll past it without a second thought if this came up on my computer or tv screen. The graphicness of the image – the nudity, the blood, the insinuation of death and entrapment – all help grab at the viewer and stop them in their tracks. It makes a person want to read what’s on that little message in the middle, makes them want to see what this person is saying. It snatches up your attention and doesn’t let go. While the viewer may not necessarily agree with the message itself, it still brings connotations of queasiness when thinking about it, which is exactly what PETA wants. They want you to think, “That’s disgusting” when you see this, because of its similarity to the meat industry. In turn, it might make the viewer just as disgusted when they walk by the package of raw roast or ground beef in the grocery market. By making the viewer disgusted with their work, they’ve effectively met their goal.

    Whether that goal is effective to their overreaching message in the long run is another point entirely, of course, but that’s another debate for another day.

  99. Tom Dolan says:

    Throughout the presentations in class, one of my favorite artists that we have covered would have to be Elliot Erwitt. His 1946 print “Dog” really captures the whimsical and humorous nature of Erwitt. The contrast between the size of the feet of the dog and the woman standing next to it show the massive size difference between the “owned” and the “owner”. The dog’s sweater also provides a humorous aspect to this piece. All in all, I think this shot was well constructed, as well as explains the humor that the artist tries to incorporate into his works. Not to mention, this dog is adorable.

  100. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    As we discussed in class last week, appropriation involves the recontextualization of someone else’s art. It was brought up how in the past, and even in the present appropriation artists have been ridiculed and sued, the latest being Richard Prince.

    In March of this year a federal judge in New York ruled that Richard Prince infringed photographer Patrick Cariou’s copyrights by creating “Canal Zone” from a series Cariou’s of paintings and a collages. In Prince’s defense, he claimed that Cariou’s images were “mere compilations of facts…arranged with minimum creativity…[and] are therefore not protectable” by copyright law. He further argued that his use of Cariou’s work amounted to fair use, a provision of the law that allows copyrighted works to be used without permission for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research. Prince strongly felt that “appropriation art is inherently fair use, regardless of whether or not the new artwork comments in any way on the original”.

    To determine if “fair use” is a valid argument, courts use four tests, each of which in this trial were found to be in Cariou’s favor. Prince failed the four tests for fair use for a multitude of reasons. First, he did not create his “Canal Zone” works as commentary, but rather as stated in his own testimony “was simply using the original works as his raw materials”. Prince further failed the test’s, in that his works were intended primarily for commercial rather than educational purposes, works from the series brought in a combined total of nearly $20 million. The court ruled that Prince acted in bad faith as neither him nor his gallery stopped selling the appropriation works even after Cariou sent a cease-and-desist notice. Finally, the court found that since Cariou lost a gallery show due to the Canal Zone series, “it is clear that the market for Cariou’s photos was usurped…the Court finds that Prince has unfairly damaged both the actual and potential markets for Cariou’s original work and the potential market for derivative use licenses for Cariou’s original work.”

    After reading the justification behind the ruling on this case I feel I have a much better understanding of what, in today’s legal culture, is found to be acceptable or not in terms of art appropriation.

  101. Brad Fedor says:

    After hearing about the huge prices some photographs sell for, I decided to investigate the top selling prices for a photograph and share my thoughts on them. The top photograph was: 1. Rhein II, by Andreas Gursky for $4,338,500
    Rhein II was definitely my favorite of the 3. I do not believe it deserves the title as most expensive photograph but I can see why the buyers did for several reasons. I see Gursky’s use of the rule of thirds, the lowest third being the green grass with a gray strip of sidewalk running through it, the second third being the gray colored water and the small grass strip separating the second third from the last third being the gray sky. I also noticed how all the lines in the photo ran parallel to each other, which is something that is unseen in a nature photograph. Something else I noticed when looking at the photograph sideways was that if the ground beneath the thing gray line went on more, the photo would be nearly symmetrical. I believe Gursky also wanted to show the viewer that nature is beautiful and all the colors and shapes involved should be awed at and appreciated. This photograph was immediately pleasing to me because I love admiring the colors that nature brings out, especially after seeing all the trees and flowers bloom recently.

  102. jbracciante says:

    One of the most viewed photographs of the 21st Century: Bliss

    Everyone in this class has seen this photograph taken by Charles O’Rear. In fact, I think everyone I’ve ever known has seen it. Most people probably don’t even think of it as a photograph, it’s just slips into the background unnoticed day after day after day. It is just an empty green field after all.

    Actually the image is quite remarkable. The sky is pristine blue, and the fields an almost perfect waxy green. The grass is immaculate and the flourish of mountains in the background elevates the photo into the realm of surreal perfection. Remarkably, the photo was not digitally manipulated at all and was actually snapped quite candidly.

    What strikes me about this photo the most is its mass exposure coupled with its title “Bliss.” The saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side” has humorous correlation to the image. Bliss was always on the other side of the monitor, and always outside the office/school/workplace it often appeared in. The actual, “Bliss,” (photographed in 1996) doesn’t even exist anymore. The location is now covered in an unremarkable looking vineyard that has marred the perfection of the original image. So many people have looked at this image in the context of a dreary place and perhaps wished to be in this field. No one will ever get to experience what O’Rear saw though, and many will never ever see the location outside the confines of a small desktop computer monitor.

  103. Hali Pearce says:


    I found this photo online for the sony world photography awards of this year. In the photo, the photographer portrayed humans, on all fours, as their cars, parking in a parking lot. Had the photographer not used the humans, the picture would have been completely ordinary and the audience probably would have questioned as to why they would photograph that. But the humans add a humor factor into the picture and really makes the audience think about how weird it would look if humans crawled on all fours and “parked” themselves outside the mall.

  104. Hali Pearce says:


    I love this Peter Lik photo of the American Flag. He could have done a stand still photo of the flag against the sky, but instead decided to shoot it as it was waving in the wind. I feel as though it portrays that the spirit of america is constantly alive and moving, not stand still

  105. Hali Pearce says:

    I was drawn to this Peter Lik Photo because of the way the water looks like a painting. He most likely used a uv or other filter and used an exposed time on the shutter to make the colors pop and make the water look like a painting. He had to have taken 100’s of pictures to get the way he wanted the water to look, especially since the water of the falls was falling so quickly.

  106. jbracciante says:

    The Cola Wars: Humor Photography

    Here’s a series of absolutely hilarious pictures. However, unlike Elliott Erwitt or some of the other artists we’ve studied, this isn’t found humor. The artist, Stephan Black, has taken ordinary inanimate objects and given them personality and insinuated action through posing, context, and popular knowledge. What we have is the personification of soda cans. They represent the views and feelings of the companies that manufacture them and “act” as the companies might. The artists is doing this with craft and precise intention.

    The first image shows a “gang” of Coca Cola cans that have “murdered” a Pepsi can. Rather than show literal wounds, the Pepsi can has been crumpled, and rather than show blood, we get a reddish, pink liquid, the telltale appearance of artificial fruit punch. A scene of murder that would usually be disturbing and graphic is now humerus and unconventional.

    The second image in the series shows a distraught witness who perhaps saw the event in the previous photo trying to identify which can did the killing. We have a litany of different Coke cans, some short, some fat, some tall, some with special markings. These are all found objects, but Coca-Cola’s variety of branding and packaging was originally intended to market their products. Black re purposes this variety of cans into a scene that is compelling and funny at the same time and mimics the variety founds in common “mug shot” scenes. Overall, I think this series is well done, creative, and successful in making us think about rivalries between businesses while making us laugh.

  107. Robert Morrone says:

    The above two links are baseball cards printed in 1909 and 2010. The first one belongs to Honus Wagner, an extremely prominent shortstop, and the second to Albert Pujols, an extremely talented first baseman. What has always fascinated me as a baseball card collector is the evolution in the clarity and detail of the image. The older cards depicted the player posed in as a portrait, similar to the beginnings of photography in general. As printing and camera technology increase, the image on the cards change into clear action shots that can be mass produced. The prices of the two cards above are about 20 cents for the modern Pujols card and approximately 2.8 million for the Wagner card. While limited production of the old card is the main driving force in terms of price, I find this situation relatable to buying an original, genuine Warhol photograph as opposed to an exact replica of the image. If I had to choose of the above cards, I would pick the Pujols one just like I would probably take the replica of the Warhol painting.
    I personally do not understand the value in owning the original photo for an absurd price, as the less costly replicas sometimes look exactly alike, if not nicer. The only thing the original allows for is to show off money, as it is the rich who always pay the outrageous prices for these photographs, most of which can be reproduced with ease. Paintings fall under a different opinion for me because it is basically impossible to replicate a painting. The original in that case would be the best as it was what the artist’s hand wanted. As i am writing this, it almost seems like this could have been the mindset of many people at the dawning of photography and could possibly even add some explanation as to why paintings and portraiture stayed popular for an extended period of time after.

  108. Matthew Rhodes says:

    In this image of Dina Goldstein’s series, we see Rapunzel without her beautiful long hair as we typically see her. In this modern reality, it appears that she may have cancer and is going through treatment, causing her to loose her precious hair. In her lap, she holds her hairpiece that will help her feel like herself. Rapunzel clings to her new tower, which holds her treatments being delivered to her. The image invokes much sadness with the solitude of Rapunzel, the dreary hospital setting, and the look of sadness on her face. She’s still alone, battling a stronger force than an evil witch.

    I find some irony in the story Goldstein is portraying. In the Disney movie, Rapunzel hair has healing properties. In this image, we are aware that even this magic can’t help her. It enforces the idea that magic is not real, nor are fairy tale happy endings. As I said before, we shouldn’t take this in a negative way. Goldstein isn’t trying to make pessimists of us all; rather, she is trying to make the delusional more more of a realist. Her series shows where the fairy tale ends, and real life begins.

  109. Matthew Rhodes says:

    Dina Goldstein continues her series of modern day Disney princesses with the enchanting Belle, from “Beauty and the Beast”.

    The classic story of Beauty and the Beast isn’t really necessary to understand what Goldstein is trying to tell us in this picture. Belle, meaning “beauty” is known for exactly that (well, that, and her obsession with literature, but that’s unimportant here). What we’re really taking a look at here in this image is our perception of beauty in modern day. With advertisements and models always depicting what is “beautiful” people resort to plastic surgery and botox to resemble these people as close as possible. Women do everything they can to stay young and beautiful forever, and yes, some men partake in this as well.

    Apparently, even Belle, who embodies the classic beauty falls into this trap our society created.
    Goldstein’s satire this time was a bit deeper than the previous images I discussed. This image, which is more graphic, also has more of an impact on it’s audience. These “enhancements” to her body are not exactly pleasing to the eye. In fact, I found it close to the grossness of some of Cindy Sherman’s work we had the privilege of seeing; however, I was able to see the meaning in this image. The parallel to Belle, Beauty, and what we, as modern day members of society define as “beauty” was quite clever and is easily seen by all audiences.

  110. Matthew Rhodes says:

    Next up, on my look at Dina Goldstein’s series of modern day Disney princesses is Snow White.

    In her story, Snow’s birth mother died. Her father remarried to an evil queen who was jealous of her beauty. She ordered Snow be killed but the hunter she hired could not go through with it. Alone in the woods, she came across a little cottage where 7 dwarfs lived. She befriended each and they let her live with them. When the dwarfs left for a day, the evil queen came and gave Snow a poison apple which caused her to sleep until she received “true love’s kiss”. The prince came to her rescue and awoke her with a kiss. They rode away together on his horse and lived happily ever after.

    In this picture, we see what Snow’s “happily ever after” actually became. With a blank expression on her face, she stands in an average looking living room, holding two children while one pulls at her dress and another crawls about. To add to the chaos of the scene, she even has a dog who’s clearly looking for trouble, chewing the end table. Snow appears to be the typical housewife as her prince relaxes on his throne, drinking a beer and watching the football game. Unfortunately, this is what a modern day “happily ever after” tends to mean.

    I did not enjoy this satire as well as the others in this series. Unlike her other pictures, I don’t think Goldstein did a great job pulling any parallel’s to Snow’s story in this one. If it were up to me, I would have had six children in the photo representing six of the seven dwarfs, the seventh being the dog. I do believe, however, that she does a good job, again, showing one of the sad truths to our “fairy tale dreams”.

  111. Matthew Rhodes says:

    A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a “comical” series of photographs taken by Dina Goldstein. I want to analyze each of them separately due to the nature and specific topics of each. The series focuses on our beloved Disney princesses and their “Not so ‘Happily Ever After’s” in a modern day reality.

    First up, the most iconic princess of them all, Cinderella.

    According to the fairy tale, she made a wish upon her mother’s grave to be able to rise from the cinders of the fireplace her stepmother forced her to clean every day. With her wish granted, she went to the ball, lost her glass slipper and became the object of the prince’s affection. He searched all over the kingdom til he found her and they became husband and wife. Long story short, they lived happily ever after; however, Goldstein has a different take on her story as it would happen today.

    In her picture, Cinderella, clearly unhappy with how things turned out, appears to have given up waiting for her prince to come. She sits alone at a sports bar drinking away her sorrows. The neon sign shows a parallel to her emotions with bold, neon letters spelling “BLUE”. She’s still wearing the same dress she was given by her godmother; clearly, she hasn’t given up. Goldstein also throws in some parallels to the classic story. The iconic glass slipper has been replaced by a wine glass in Cinderella’s hand. Her pumpkin carriage is represented by the round orange table she sits at, as it is the only table of it’s kind at this bar.

    I think this picture is a well thought out satire of a beloved story. I believe Goldstein was trying to show the reality of life; sometimes, believing in fairy tales can cause disappointment. With that in mind, she isn’t trying to crush our dreams, simply keep us informed of an unfortunate reality.

  112. Dan Errera says:

    One of my favorite things we did in class this semester was have the opportunity to see all of the old styles of cameras. It was really interesting to see the progression from a hole in the wall to Kodak to the brownie to the polaroid. There were some very interesting models that look nothing like cameras today. I can’t imagine having to pull out the lenses to take a picture! The polaroid camera must have been so incredible when it first came out. It had the same idea to it that digital cameras have today. The photographer was able to see their picture almost instantly after they took it. The only difference is the polaroid was unique where digital photos can be uploaded and reprinted. I read an article today about how polaroid cameras were making a rebound and coming back into the market. The article stated these would be for artists and photographers as they would be expensive. They kept the same design as the original polaroid. This model takes a digital image and prints a copy of it.
    Another interesting camera that I saw this semester was my grandparents’ camera they took on their honeymoon. After bringing it into class and finding out it still worked, I would like to try and use it. It was neat to be able to hold something they used so long ago and almost feel what they felt when capturing their honeymoon. Now I would like to find pictures from it!

  113. jbracciante says:

    Leon Baas & Others: Surrealist Macro Insect Photography

    Having been a film student, I am a sucker for (in love with) a shallow depth of field. To elaborate, many people know that film is shot at 24 frame per second. That mean the exposure time for each frame of film is 1/24 of a second. Such a short exposure time requires a large aperture to gather the necessary amount of light causing a shallow depth of field. Zooming in on an object (which decreases the amount of light that is allowed into the lense) exaggerates this effect. I like this effect because it mimics the way our eyes work. Many people do not think about or realize that our eyes focus on one object at a time. To demonstrate put your finger in front of your eye. You can “rack focus” from your finger to other objects around you. Our eye’s have a very selective focus. Limits of macro photography (being incredibly close to a subject does not allow much space for gathering reflected light) cause this same selective focus to be present in essentially all macro photographs.
    In the case of macro insect photography we are able to explore a world that was previously unavailable to humans. However, it is presented entirely in selective focus. Artist Leon Baas uses this effect in a combination with lighting and size perception to create surrealistic scenes that technically exist but convey a world and story that is completely foreign. They also tend to be simple (since most of the picture is in extremely soft focus) and also visually striking. These two photographs of ants (the first by Leon Baas and the second by Istvan Lichner) both feature scenery composed of mundane elements (water and a plant fiber) that look entirely alien and beautiful. The colors are also bright and don’t usually appear naturally on a scale that (is seemingly) this large. I leave you with this comically surreal picture (also by Baas) that seems almost cartoonish. A dramatically lit ladybig take flight off a mushroom like some sort of terrifying super villian / monster. In reality, it’s one of the cuter and more friendly insects.

  114. jbracciante says:

    Overlooking Formal Elements in “Rajan Snorkeling” and other Animal Photography

    I feel as if the popularity of animal photography on the internet has somewhat trivialized the craft and mastery involved in many of the photographs. Although I have selected an example here which clearly shows a unique and unconventional angle of a fairly popular mammal, often there are some excellent photographs that are regarded simply for the subject matter (a cute animal, expression, and/or caption) and more technical aspects of the photograph are overlooked.

    In the photograph selected the viewer instantly thinks about the elephant itself. The weight of the giant beast is apparent in the depth it has sunk. Its feet are only a few inches from the bottom and it’s trunk is the only thing that manages to float to the surface. The trunk is being used as a snorkle, something many viewers will be surprised to learn an elephant is capable of. The attention is completely devoted to the subject of the photo. The formal elements require more time to observe. The photographer is using a wide angle lense, something which makes the animal appear wider and larger than it actually is. The photographer is very close to if not lying on the ocean bottom, which creates a dramatic angle making the elephant appear even heavier. Finally the camera appears dangerously close to the animals feet, causing the viewer to feel as if they are about to be crushed or kicked down. All of these elements are overshadowed by the novelty of the revelation that an elephant is gleefully swimming around.

    To give two further examples I have selected photographs of “Cute Ducklings Sleeping,” and “Bathing Parrot.” In both the immediate attention is given to the adorable nature of the subjects. The excellent composition and timing of both photographs, and the shutter speed on the parrot photograph is in most cases overlooked. While it is exciting that so many animal photographers have their work recognized on a mass scale with internet meme’s and e-mail chains, it is a little disheartening that their photographs formal elements are under recognized.


  115. jbracciante says:

    Peter Lik: Water Landscape

    This photograph fascinates me. It has a slightly longer exposure to make the water silky, but because the landscape is so vast the water very far away still looks static. As a result it appears as if the water is rushing toward us, draining out of the enormous ocean. The setting sun adds drama, it almost appears as if this is the final hour of the final day on earth. Because nothing is left except the rocks and the water, it seems as if everything else has disappeared. The water is leaving too and soon only barren earth will be left under a dark sky.
    Still there is beauty in moments that are fleeting. The sun will only be illuminating this dramatic event for a few more moments. The action will carry on throughout the night but it won’t be as romantic or as poignant as it is in the moment captured here. Throughout the day the water is blue, at night, black. Here it is a startling mixture of purple, orange, blue, and grey, swirled together out of something that we cannot imagine to be boring, clear water. The rocks, usually ugly and rough, are clothed in this most beautiful flattering garment.
    Finally the clouds are a mixture of doomsday orange and vanishing sky. They too are leaving forever, vanishing with the water, the sun, and the day.

  116. jbracciante says:

    Overlooking Formal Elements in “Rajan Snorkeling” and other Animal Photography

    I feel as if the popularity of animal photography on the internet has somewhat trivialized the craft and mastery involved in many of the photographs. Although I have selected an example here which clearly shows a unique and unconventional angle of a fairly popular mammal, often there are some excellent photographs that are regarded simply for the subject matter (a cute animal, expression, and/or caption) and more technical aspects of the photograph are overlooked.

    In the photograph selected the viewer instantly thinks about the elephant itself. The weight of the giant beast is apparent in the depth it has sunk. Its feet are only a few inches from the bottom and it’s trunk is the only thing that manages to float to the surface. The trunk is being used as a snorkle, something many viewers will be surprised to learn an elephant is capable of. The attention is completely devoted to the subject of the photo. The formal elements require more time to observe. The photographer is using a wide angle lense, something which makes the animal appear wider and larger than it actually is. The photographer is very close to if not lying on the ocean bottom, which creates a dramatic angle making the elephant appear even heavier. Finally the camera appears dangerously close to the animals feet, causing the viewer to feel as if they are about to be crushed or kicked down. All of these elements are overshadowed by the novelty of the revelation that an elephant is gleefully swimming around.

    To give two further examples I have selected photographs of “Cute Ducklings Sleeping,” and “Bathing Parrot.” In both the immediate attention is given to the adorable nature of the subjects. The excellent composition and timing of both photographs, and the shutter speed on the parrot photograph is in most cases overlooked. While it is exciting that so many animal photographers have their work recognized on a mass scale with internet meme’s and e-mail chains, it is a little disheartening that their photographs formal elements are under recognized.

  117. Sherri English says:

    I came across this particular image while stumbling around on tumblr. Normally, it would be something that I’d simply scroll past – however, likely due to taking this history of photography course, I paused for a moment to examine it further.

    The first image in the series of four daguerrotypes is that of an older couple, appearing rather stiff and severe as they stared into the camera. In fact, it’s similar to many other daguerrotypes I’ve seen: little emotion, rigid posture, and nothing more interesting happening than two individuals looking forward. The next image in the set was similar – however, this time, the woman was looking away, and… was that a hint of a smile on her face? Possibly. Both of the first images were rather clear and distinct, with many of the details fully exposed.

    The next two images were what really clinched my interest though. The couple no longer looks so severe there. Rather, they are clutching at each other in a fit of laughter, with the woman finally hiding her face from the camera while her significant other holds her tight and smiles. The pictures are blurrier here, with less detail available, likely due to the movement of the individuals within it. Despite that, they convey more emotion and liveliness than any other daguerreotype I’ve ever seen.

    While I’m unsure if the images are faked or really an actual set of daguerrotypes from that time period, I can still clearly read a message in them. Due to the length of the daguerreotype photographic process, the subjects usually tended to hold stiff postures in their images in order to keep as still as possible for the sitting, with some needing supporting braces to decrease the amount of movement. They would also lack emotion in most of their expressions, likely because of the difficulty of holding the same expression for that amount of time. Because of this, many people look back at the images of the people of that time period and interpret their ancestors to be much less lively people than they themselves. In fact, I myself have always had a subconscious mental reaction to the pictures by translating them to mean that these people were all too serious for their own good.

    These photographs, however, help change that misconception. These people were just as easily amused as the rest of us – because I can clearly picture myself bursting into the same type of laughter in the middle of a photograph session.

  118. Sherri English says:

    During our trip to the art gallery exhibition entitled High Low Density this past Thursday, one image that caught my eye was a simple silhouette design. It was primarily a landscape-type shot, with rolling hills and tall trees – however, incorporated into it was an almost comical overabundance of man-made constructions. Billboards, cell towers, and powerlines dominated what would otherwise be a picturesque outline of a purely natural scene. Their stark presence seemed jarring – whether that affect was due to the sheer amount of them or the dichotomy between natural and unnatural that they represent, though, is unknown.

    To me, the piece seemed to be making a critique about the state of landscape photography in the modern day. Today, it’s almost impossible to photograph a purely natural shot without some sort of unnatural element finding its way in. Whether it be the billboards and cell towers of the exhibit in the gallery, or even simply roads, homes, or other buildings, nature in itself is being overrun by the expansion of mankind. In order to get photographs that hearken back to Ansel Adams – who, I feel, would agree mightily with the message of the piece from High Low Density – one must go to great lengths to find untouched scenes. A common complaint I’ve found while perusing various amateur photography forums is, “I found the perfect little landscape to photograph, but I’m going to have to edit out [insert man-made object here] so it isn’t ruined.”

    Do man-made objects really “ruin” a photographic scene, though? Many would say yes, or so I’ve found. The maker of this piece certainly seemed to find it to be so. And to them, it’s likely that the art of natural landscape photography is becoming a dying one.

  119. jbracciante says:


    I figured a post on the late Lartigue (considering I just did a presentation on him) might be appropriate. Rather than look at his whimsical childhood photography I have instead selected a photo from 1980 entitled Shadow. It was taken when Lartigue was 86 years old, 6 years before he died.

    The contrast in the photo is extreme. Nearly half the photo is solid black, while the others parts are bright white. The wispy silver door is the only thing that falls outside these parameters. The shadow is very long, implying that the light source was very low behind the photographer. This light source was probably a setting sun that was just about to disappear. If the sun is indeed the light source than Lartigue is looking/walking into a very dark house. Perhaps a tomb. There isn’t a shred of light inside. His shadow is also trapped. Walls of darkness close in on both sides. There is no escape for Lartigue, no room to turn around and go back outside. Soon everything will be dark. The door is almost useless. It soon won’t matter whether it is open or closed for it will be just as dark outside the house as it is is inside.

    This photo perfectly encapsulates the overbearing, certainty and finality of death. Lartigue took it at a point in his life when he was very close to death, certainly no coincidence. However Lartigue had lived a long and full life. The shadow is very long, and has seen a full day. This adds a small element of peace to the photo, giving us knowledge that although the day must end it was not wasted.

  120. Christina Nitzsche says:

    Does everyone know about the statue in front of the student center? You know, the one that looks like two brown triangles stacked on top of each other? Many people have discussed this statue, trying to figure out what exactly it is supposed to be, what it could symbolize, or even just why the artist created it. Now, I cannot speak for the last one, however, I am going to discuss with you my thoughts of the statue. This view only works from one angle: walking out of the student center facing the statue. http://applesandcinnamon.deviantart.com/art/Swiss-chocolate-bunny-157566651. Compare this picture to the statue. If you take out the fine lines in the picture provided, the two become a lot more similar. The statue is of a chocolate bunny! The bottom triangle makes up its body, that is, without the tail, lines for the arms, or any fine lines whatsoever. The top triangle is a blend of the ears and the head. I am not quite sure why the artist created a bunny statue. Maybe they wanted Rowan’s mascot to be a rabbit instead of an owl. I cannot say this with certainty. More likely, the artist wanted the statue’s viewers to interpret the statue for themselves. This is exactly what I did. Next time you are leaving the student center from that angle, look at the statue. What do you see?

  121. Amanda Branda says:

    The photo that instantly grabbed my attention when I stepped into the beautiful old house known as Perkins Center for the Arts was this photo linked above called “Dirty, Dry, and Dull” by Victor Rodriguez. Usually, when you see a photo of a person, it is the eyes that capture you and portray the emotion that interests you. This photo was surprisingly different. What struck me initially was not the eyes, but the major contrast of the black hair covering the eyes against the white skin and background. It is striking that the subject of the image is circular: half black hair, half white face.
    It was that lack of color or warmth that made me feel like the photographer was trying to convey some kind of message with this image. All of the things that would make it a simple portrait are not there. The woman’s face is coated in chunky white makeup, her eyes are covered, and she is not wearing any particular clothing that we can see. Thinking deep into the chunky white make-up and the overpowering hairstyle, I think the artist was trying to portray women changing themselves to conform to a standard. I feel like the woman in this photo could be very beautiful, but you cannot tell because her overpowering hair is covering her eyes and makeup is covering the natural tones and colors of her skin and lips. It demonstrates the fact that individuality is often looked down upon. It could also be about women trying to disconnect from their ethnicities in a world where having white skin as a woman puts you ahead socially. Being dull and dry and conforming can sometimes be easier than standing out and having to fight for respect.

  122. Janine Norbut says:

    Over the past weekend I was able to go on a trip to Washington D.C. to see some of the Smithsonian museums. The museum we spent most of our time in was the Air and Space museum. In this museum it displayed the history of all aircrafts from the Wright Brothers to the Apollo Missions to the planes and drones the army uses today.
    In this museum they also had photographs of the different air and space craft while they were being used. My favorites were all of the photographs taken in the space program. In these displays they had very significant photographs such as the moon landing and photographs of all of the astronauts. These events were very significant in history.
    There was also an entire room filled of paintings of different marine aircraft used in many different wars. These photographs were the most interesting because of the way they were painted. They were mostly focusing on promoting the marines. The art would show the marines in the foreground in heroic poses with the planes in the background most of the time. However all of these paintings display the evolution of the planes throughout all of the different wars America took part in.
    Photography and art are very useful for documenting important things like technical advancements in society. Despite what many technology/math related fields may believe, photography and technology can coexist.

  123. Janine Norbut says:

    Over the weekend I was fortunate enough to see Ellis Island. In the museum at Ellis Island there were thousands of photographs of different time periods. It was very interesting to walk through the museum seeing photographs of all of the immigrants that came through Ellis Island. In the café on each table there were pictures of immigrants eating all staring at the camera. In the dormitories there were photographs of how crammed full the rooms were each night. The best part of being in Ellis Island was that they had photographs of the room you were in through all different time periods.
    It was also interesting walking from through the exhibits from the oldest time period to the closing of Ellis Island seeing the development of the photographs taken. The photographs from the oldest cameras were very easy to pick out. In these pictures most of the immigrants are posed in front of the camera. They are all sitting or standing clearly in the shot. As the shutter speeds improved the photographers began to take some more candid shots of the immigrants. One of my favorites was a picture of the registration room which was according to the facts on display, was always packed. It was very interesting being in the place where my ancestors first set foot in America.

  124. Janine Norbut says:


    People all use different ways to express themselves. Some people paint, some people write, some people play musical instruments, and so on. In this picture a young girl is playing a violin and the bow is on fire.
    The artist made this picture wanting the audience to focus on the violin. The background and the girl are primarily dull shades of blue and black. The colors blend together to make the backdrop. The brightness of the fire draws your eye to the center of the picture.
    The girl’s expression is very calm, focused, and relaxed, as if she had played this violin a thousand times before. Instead of releasing her passion into her expression, she releases it all into her violin. The bow on fire represents the passion in her. The girl is using the violin as her way of expressing herself.
    The girl and the violin take up the majority of picture which shows their significance. The background is a bleak looking stone hall. The stone shows that the girl cannot express herself elsewhere. Stone does not get caught on fire.

  125. Janine Norbut says:


    This picture is titled dynamic. When I saw this picture I immediately thought of all of the photographers who took the pictures for physics and math textbooks and used photography to study motion. I found it interesting that many people still do this today.
    This photographer clearly took this picture for artistic reasons, however the laws of physics are clearly shown through this picture. When light travels through water it bends and causes the image to appear distorted.
    The title dynamic is perfect for this piece for many reasons. Dynamics is the study of forces and why things are in motion. Since this piece is displaying some of the laws of physics it is fitting that the title of the piece is a physics term.
    The title is also perfect for this piece because the background appears to be moving when you look through the glass. Instead of the lines being hard and diagonal like the background, the lines that you view through the glass are soft and fluid like waves.

  126. Tarynn Huitt says:

    I want to finish my blog posting with this image. This image speaks to me now as my semester is starting to wind down, or should I say, accelerate to the speed of sound until I can place my pencil down after my last final.

    This image was taken by Stanley Kubrick, the famous filmmaker of some masterpieces such as Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and of course, the recent favorite of everyone in the Honors Concentration, Dr. Strangelove. Maybe it was because I was working on some chemistry homework when I was supposed to be watching the movie, but I just didn’t get it. Every now and then, I could give a chuckle, but it was nowhere near the entertaining value of war story satires such as Catch-22. But as with every great movie, the story is more than the laughs. It was a social commentary on the Cold War, during the Cold War.

    I’m sure Kubrick has something to say with this image, as well. But like my attention span during Dr. Strangelove, it’s simply not there.

    Formally, this image is very interesting. The lines and repetition of the stairs are mocked by the hand rail on the left. There are more lines and rectangles in the windows, door and the banister on the right. To make the kindergarten geometry lesson complete, the window also has several triangles for our viewing pleasure. Although the static pieces of the image try to draw the eye up, the girl has motion in the downward direction. With all this motion, your eye is kept entertained. Finally, she is in a middle dark section, but flanked by the light of the window and the wall.

    Another remarkable thing is the balancing act the girl is in. For such a small woman, dwarfed by the door and window, she has great strength and the viewer can’t help but be impressed by her ability to carry such a load of books. Like everyone else in the class, I can really relate with this girl. She’s ready to take on anything the semester has to throw at her, and she has the power and poise to do it, too. So good luck as you wrap up the spring of 2012 and have a great summer!

  127. Tarynn Huitt says:


    I would like to dedicate this post to all the engineer and science-types in the class, especially the ever so unimpressed civil engineer. This image is so striking because it is abstract with strong formal elements. The cables of the bridge are lines used to create repetition and draw the viewer’s eyes into the upper corner of the image. Each man is in a unique and interesting pose. As silhouettes, they appear to be flies caught in a spider’s web. But what really appeals to me, and I’m sure it will to most other students in the class, is that the men create a sine wave. They curve with the perspective of the image moving the eye up through the image in a very graceful way.

    Thinking back to our favorite years spent in trigonometry class (sarcasm heavily intended), we can appreciate the work on the behalf of the engineers of the Brooklyn Bridge. The math and physics involved in this masterpiece are even more astounding that this image is visually striking. A lot of effort was poured into this bridge that most people tend to look over. With the men in the shape of a sine wave, each passing individual is reminded of the difficult and often under-appreciated work of an engineer whether that average person survived trig or never quite made it there. Engineering is an art form of its own, and I believe this image speaks well to that.

  128. Chelsea Patrick says:

    Today in class a presentation was done on Photoshop. Coincidentally enough, my class right after that talked about Photoshop as well and we watched a video on it called “Killing Us Softly #4.” The video talked about how Photoshop has been hurting how women view themselves in today’s culture. They even featured the same picture that was featured in the presentation today in our class of the model whose head was bigger than her hips. My opinion on Photoshop is that it’s a fun tool to edit pictures with and to express creativity through. However, I do believe it’s been taken too far. Another presentation last week talked about Peter Lik’s photography and how he would edit the colors of his images, but only to show what he really saw in real life. I think that that’s perfectly fine to do because it’s not like he’s creating pictures artificially and selling them for lots of money. Photoshop is bad when it becomes damaging to our perception of life. Women and young girls think they have to look like the models in magazines or ads, but in reality not even those models themselves look like that. The images of women are usually heavily manipulated to make them appear thinner, more attractive, have perfect features, etc. Sometimes different parts of different women are even put together into one, literally creating a new person that doesn’t even truly exist. These photos send out a bad message to people about what society’s expectations are of them. Another reason Photoshop is taken too far is the manipulation of photos for news stories or magazines. We expect the pictures in Time magazine or in the NY Times to be truthful, but how do we know they weren’t manipulated? If photos of the world, news, and other important topics start becoming Photoshopped, no one will really know what’s going on or what the truth is, which was supposed to be the purpose of journalism to begin with. Photoshop is fine when it’s for someone’s personal enjoyment or when it enhances an image only a little. If ads want to change the colors of clear a blemish off of a model’s face, fine. But there’s a fine line between touching up and completely remaking reality.

  129. Christina Nitzsche says:

    Jerry Uelsmann is famous for his incredible work in photoshopping. He started out mastering work in the dark room and has recently started using digital Photoshop. However in my opinion, his earlier work is better. The following link will take you to one of his images that I greatly enjoy. http://pdngallery.com/global/en/professional/features/legendsV5Q5/largeimagepages/06.jhtml When I see a picture, I look for symbolism. This picture reminds me a lot of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. There is a picture of a young boy up in the clouds looking at a house within two very large hands. It is an extremely surrealist image. The boy is looking around, slightly over his shoulder, like he is contemplating whether or not to turn back. The house, though it is up in the clouds, looks moldy and dirty. The trees in the background are dead. These two elements portray the danger of continuing on. The huge hands symbolize the hands of the giant. Also, the boy has no clothes, further symbolizing Jack. He and his mother were poor. Poor families in the past typically let their children go without clothing until around the age of 10 to 12 because this was before maturity and they were still considered children. This picture, to me, shows the story of Jack and the Beanstalk after Jack climbed up the stalk but before he reached the house.

  130. Brad Fedor says:

    Walking around in my house today, I realized I had a framed photograph of one of Ansel Adam’s photos (not the real thing of course). Immediately I was drawn towards the right side of the rock in the center of the photo. The white light shimmering off the rock then led me to the road passing by the rock which had a the aesthetics of a painted road. Then my eyes drifted towards the other lightened areas of the photograph like the other rocks and clouds. Ansel Adams nature pieces are truly fascinating to see and instill nothing less from awe when one gazes upon them. I noticed that Adam’s used his darkroom experience to highlight the aspects of the photograph he wanted the viewer to see first to draw them in and see what Adam’s saw. I also noticed some abnormally darker areas of the photograph which I assume is also apart of his skillful darkroom work. Adam’s was able to perfectly capture the beauty and wonder of any landscape he came across. I can easily see why he was one of the most influencial photographers of the 20th century and why my parents chose to have this photograph displayed in our home.

  131. Emma Zulker says:

    I know this was a while ago, but I wanted to write a post about Cindy Sherman and her exhibit we went to see at the MOMA. When we first learned about Cindy Sherman in class, I was intrigued by how she dressed up as “characters” and photographed herself in shots like movie stills. I am a cosplayer, which means I go to conventions dressed up as popular characters from fiction, so I immediately connected with Sherman’s idea of dressing up and playing a role. I believe Sherman invented a sort of new type of acting; rather than portraying a different person by moving or speaking like them, this involves capturing the very essence of a person. I feel this is acting on a different level because you have to become someone else down to your very soul, since a person can continuously gaze into the image of your eyes; in a movie or on stage, you don’t get to look into those windows to the soul forever.
    Another thing I find intriguing about her work is that she doesn’t give titles to individual photos. While at the exhibit, I found myself instinctively looking at the title card on a few pieces, hoping to glean a little insight. I simultaneously like and dislike this. As someone who is just learning to critique art, the title card is usually a nice little clue. It helps me understand a little more aboout what the artist thought of the piece. It was frustrating at times to not have that clue from Sherman as I tried to “figure out” some of her images. At the same time, as a budding art critic, it was a good exercise in learning to form my own opinions and insights about the photos. I felt a little liberated to think or feel what I wanted about a picture, rather then get an idea and look at the title card and feel I was “wrong.”
    Since I was intrigued initially by Sherman, I headed straight for her exhibit when we got the the MOMA; I wanted to see more of what she had done than what we saw in class. After viewing her images, I can honestly say that I liked no particular piece. What I think I like most about Sherman is her idea of doing dressed-up “self”-portraits. Most people were saying in class that her stuff was weird, or that they didn’t get it. I kind of have to agree. I would never want to hang one of her prints on my wall. I simply love the concept of her photos. Of all of her photos, I like her earliest and her latest work: the Untitled Film Stills and the Women of a Certain Age. I like the film stills because of the range of characters she created and the intricate details that went into her photos. I like the new series for much the same reasons. I also liked how large they are and their rich colors. Cindy Sherman is probably going to be one of my favorite photographers just because of the originality of her ideas and the concept behind them, not because of her actual photos.

  132. Bianca Hess says:

    Before Sherri and Kym’s presentation, I had never heard of Peter Lik. After their presentation, I was surprised I hadn’t heard of him since he seems incredibly famous and high-profile in today’s photography world. If his work wasn’t incredibly expensive I’d surely want to buy the pieces. I felt like it was easy to connect with his work because he captures the beauty of what things feel like they ought to look. He captures that special essence you would want to capture when you take nature photos. His work, for me, emphasizes the beauty of how colors blend together in nature. For example, his piece “Angel’s Heart” shows a seamless flow of rocks that appear orange, magenta, and purple. The colors are all perfectly arranged like how they would look with light hitting them in person and you’re there admiring them. The colors really do make the rocks look “angelic” almost. Another example, “Beyond Paradise” emphasizes the tranquility and beauty of calm, exotic seashore water and makes you want to be there as if you were walking over on the scene’s bridge out to a sailboat.
    Having commented on how beautiful, color conscious, natural line conscious, and perfectly sculpted his work seems, at times I find it hard to believe his work isn’t entirely photoshopped. His work is what I would call better than what you find on nature photos on webshots.com. I recall Sherri and Kym commenting on how he’ll stay out on location trying to capture a specific image all day. I can imagine that should get a photographer pretty close to getting the scene he/she envisioned for a piece of work. Although, I do think at times minor adjustments have to be made to account for lighting or shadows.

  133. Tarynn Huitt says:

    Anything is art, right? How about sand? It blows my mind that people could be so talented with such a difficult medium. This elephant is especially beautiful because so much attention to detail was paid by the sculptor. You can clearly see all of the elephant’s wrinkles and even feel the despair in its eyes. It seems that he is making one final spout of water from his trunk before he passes away.

    When I see this elephant, I can’t help but to think of life itself. We slave away all of our days trying to build something beautiful with our time, like the sculptor has with his elephant. We constantly deal with the beating of the waves and our troubles. Just when it seems the tide has receded, it’s back again. The elephant has finally expended his own life and the tide will come and take him at last.

    It is a natural part of the world to build things up and have them washed away again. Life may be near its end for the elephant, but I like to see his fate not as his end, but as his troubles being cleansed once and for all as he is taken away into the Great Ocean.

  134. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    While stumbling around on pinterest I came across a photograph entitled “Autumn Zen”. I could not help but notice the striking similarity to the Peter Lik image “Tree of Life”. In fact, the similarity was so great I had to view the images side by side to confirm it was not the same photograph (images can be found in the links below). The composition, lighting, framing and exposures were almost identical. This got me thinking about “copycat photography”.

    After a quick Google search I found that this act, sometimes referred to as photo plagiarism, is a real problem in photography. It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but there is a distinct line between creative inspiration and blatant copying. It is not until specific image are copied, such that 90-100% of the elements in the original image, including subject, lighting, exposure, aperture, composition, etc. are identical that it can fall into the category of photo plagiarism.

    It is difficult to be a truly innovative photographer. Having both new ideas and strategies that are fresh and original to the field is a testament to a photographer’s creativity. They are necessary abilities to becoming a trail blazer. Printing such work teaches other photographers “how to think” and allows them to employ the same techniques. While this may be good at first, one photographer’s unique style and achievements can quickly become lost if too many other photographers copy it. Numerous reproductions by copycat “wannabes” can dilute the impact of a once unheard of style until it becomes a trite photographic trick or norm.

    The ability of one photographer to replicate the images or another is an example of how photography is distinct from the fine arts. While natural ability is still an important talent to possess in the creation of breath taking photographic images, with the advent of digital apps such as Photoshop and the ability of even non-professional photographers to obtain high quality camera equipment, the real art is in learning out to stand out from the pack. It can become an even more challenging feat that capturing the perfect picture.


  135. Christina Nitzsche says:

    When I first saw this image, I thought it was really well done. The building in the background is Virginia Tech. As many of you may know, Virginia Tech was the school that had multiple school shootings and probably the most famous school shooting. The culprits were students themselves who were angry at the way they were being treated. They trapped people in classrooms and unmercifully shot anyone they could see. Many people were injured and a few were even killed. Students had to drag their injured classmates out of the building and parents had to look their children up on a list to see if they were still alive. This was a very difficult time for this school and it affected the entire country. Recently, another school shooting occurred at Virginia Tech. One male shot and killed a police officer who was also a father of five.
    The image was taken as a response to the most recent shooting. There are five flowers in the foreground as a tribute to the five children who lost their brave father. The white flowers symbolize their innocence while the pink flowers add in a splash of color to the dismal scene. The school is shown in the background, looming over the flowers and the row of cars behind them. The cars symbolize the normal people who attend that school every day. The photographer used these effects to impact the world with the sorrow their immediate community if engulfed by.

  136. Emma Zulker says:

    I am going to review a photograph by an artist whose work I have seen quite a few times on DeviantArt, a website dedicated to art. This piece is called Decay Rate by Ivan Guroun. It is a landscape shot of a lake with mountains in the background. Judging by the high resolution and color saturation, the photographer used a professional digital camera and, most likely, some filters. The colors in this piece are primarily at the cool end of the spectrum and most of these cool colors are found in the background. In contrast, the foreground has warmer colors, which look like they are created by a sunset. This color contrast separates the background from the foreground and puts the focus on the objects in the foreground. The subject the artist wanted to focus on, the decaying log is used as a strong, vertical line up the middle of the photo. It reminded me of an artist we discussed that tended to use vertical lines in the center of his photos, which was unusual at the time. There is also a strong horizontal line created by the blue of the sky reflected off the water. It further divides the photo into foreground and background.
    I have reviewed this artist’s other works and he primarily shoots nature and landscapes. I believe that the artist is trying to capture moments in time (and specifically in nature) and share with the rest of the world something they may never get to see. It could be that the artist is an environmentalist who is trying to capture the beauty of nature before it is lost to us, or is trying to show us the wonder of the natural world so we will feel motivated to take action to save places like this. The piece stirs emotions like peace and tranquility, awe, and joy. The artist’s purpose could simply be to bring out these emotions, and perhaps others, in viewers and let us feel human. He could also be trying to motivate us to get back to nature. Our culture is so centered around technology that we often miss what is around us. The artist might be trying to remind us of the big wide world out there and how wonderful it is. He also might be trying to make us feel humble, by placing before us a grand, wide-open view that makes us feel small in the grand scheme of things. This piece is not a particular favorite of mine, but I do find it interesting to look at.

  137. Chelsea Patrick says:

    Yesterday in class we discussed some of the work of Diane Arbus. After doing a bit more research on her and looking at some of her photographs, I really see how different her approach to photography was. I particularly like that she focused a lot of her work on shooting odd people. From circus performers to giants to transvestites to nudists, she captured a wide variety of people. Her approach was different because she was focusing on those who had basically been rejected or looked down on by most of society. These people were called the freaks, the weirdos, the outcasts, but to her, they were great subjects for her work. Her subjects usually looked right into the camera head-on. It was meant to look like they weren’t afraid to face the world, despite their flaws and the hardships they had endured because of their looks or lifestyle. Capturing these people in photographs helped bring awareness to the types of people out there that many too often forget about. Not everyone is the same; no one is completely normal and we are all different in our looks, lifestyles, and hardships. Diane Arbus showed this through her work not only by bringing recognition to those who had been hurt by the world, but also by showing that there wasn’t a need to be ashamed.

  138. Chelsea Patrick says:

    A while back in class we discussed how people used to photograph the dead in a way that hardly anyone still does nowadays. I thought it was interesting to learn about the different traditions that people used to have in society, especially one that so many might find odd, creepy, or disturbing today. In the past, it was common for people to have their loved ones photographed after they passed in order to keep their memory alive. Because of the lack of medical advancement, many children and adults would die and it was common for families to lose a few kids, a reason why they often had so many to begin with. Photographs of the dead were generally shot in a few different styles. One way was to make the deceased look as if they were still alive, either by propping them up, staging them as if they were doing a certain activity, sitting in a chair, and more. Sometimes the living family members would surround the person or be holding onto them, especially when the deceased was a child or a baby. Another way to photograph the dead was to make them look as if they were just sleeping. The photograph would allow families to imagine that their loved one had just fallen asleep on the couch or in bed and were still very much alive, despite the well-known truth. A later method of photographing the deceased was to simply dress them up in their best clothes and then photograph them lying down or once they were in their coffin. This was much more focused on the fact that they were dead and it wasn’t trying to make them seem alive. These photographs were taken so families could hold onto the memories of their loved ones. Back then, no one necessarily had any pictures of their family alive unless they could afford it. Photographing the member of their family after they had passed on was their last chance to capture their memory and what they looked like forever, before it could be forgotten. Though it may seem creepy to many today to have photos of dead family members throughout your house, it was very comforting to people in the past. It allowed families to look at the photo and remember all of the good memories associated with that person and almost feel like the person was still around.

  139. Tarynn Huitt says:


    I can’t honestly say Cindy Sherman is on my favorite photographers list. Yes, I was offended by a lot of her later work, but that’s ok. I am allowed to be offended, and I don’t have to like it. The series above, though, was probably my favorite of her work. In it, she makes caricatures out of Renaissance paintings. The work was surprising enough that, like a couple of jalapeños on your nachos, it gave enough kick to keep it exciting. The absurd over exaggerations of the figures sitting for portraits is a satire on Renaissance society and art. These portraits litter throughout the Renaissance period and were really a way for the rich and powerful to make their self-perceived importance something tangible. In a way, it was like the Facebook of the day. But instead of arousing jealousy in others by saying, “Look at these pictures of me and my hot body in Florida” the people are saying, “Look at these romanticized portraits of me that cost a lot of money to have painted.” When you really look at those portraits, they can be really absurd. Sherman’s second image in the link above is a great example. It’s a not-so-classic representation of Madonna and Child. In this picture, you can barely see the child and wonder if it’s really even there. Instead, your eye is drawn to the prosthetic breast Sherman is wearing. It is located in the center of the frame and conspicuously fake, so it’s the first thing your eye is drawn to. It’s as if the picture is about the breast and not about the close relationship between mother and child that the portrait should focus on.

    All in all, I really enjoyed this series because I’m a huge fan of satire and it was just offensive enough. Unlike a lot of her later work, I didn’t feel like I was on some horror film porn vomit acid trip.

  140. jbracciante says:

    Sanja Iveković. Focusing on: Make-Up & A New Year’s Eve Party :


    I saw the “Sweet Violence,” exhibition on our class trip to the MOMA. The parts of that exhibit that stood out to me were the many magazine articles or ads featuring “beautiful faces/women” that had been physically torn or deformed. I’m assuming that the message is as obvious as it appears, The “beauty” that so many women seek and the products, processes, and obsession used to attain this “beauty” cause the women to ruin or destroy something. Furthermore the “beauty” portrayed in the ads and magazines, is unattainable. It’s a myth, something used to lure people into a pursuit or something that never really existed. I should state that I have and have had very strong beliefs on the application and marketing of beauty products before I went into the exhibit. I believe the emphasis and pressure on many young women to buy and utilize these products is unnecessary and tragic.

    In the exhibit there many works that (to me) all conveyed this opinion. I would like to focus on two in particular. The first is a picture simply called, “Make Up.” In it a women has been pierced seven times, in a pattern that can be interpreted two ways. My first notion was that of literal piercings. I could see without too much trouble the presence of a lip ring, two cheek studs, and four eyebrow rings. However, after reading the title of the piece, I realized that make up is also applied to all of these locations. Lip gloss/stick, blush, foundation, eyeliner and mascara. I also realized that make-up can be as destructive if not more destructive than my initial thought of literal piercings. Where as a piercing takes place once, make up is applied over and over and over again, constantly re-marring the purity of the human’s skin/face. Also regardless of the outcome (piercings for jewelry, an altered face), the process is disgusting. Tearing apart the human face. Ivekovic has captured this repulsive moment, showing it for exactly what it is.

    The second picture is called “A New Year’s Eve Party.” In it a glamorous, cool red head is sitting on a sandy beach suggestively inhaling a cigarette. Adjacent from the ad is a rather normal looking girl, in a fairly mundane location, maybe even dingy, smoking presumably the same kind of cigarette. She doesn’t look cool or glamorous, or particularly more attractive. In fact in the context of being presented alongside the ad, she looks foolish. It seems that Ivekovic wants us to believe that the black and white girl saw the ad and decided to smoke to emulate the beauty and allure of the red head. She has failed and is instead no better off than she was before. Together, I interpret the message of both pieces together to show a general contempt Ivekovic has towards the advertising of products, particularly ones that women falsely believe will make them more attractive.

  141. Matthew Rhodes says:

    Today I got to thinking about Facebook and it’s influence on our everyday lives; how it’s changed the way we communicate with friends, co-workers, family, etc. Not only do we use Facebook to keep in “the loop”, we use it to share our thoughts, our accomplishments, our opinions, and sometimes our drama. This isn’t always achieved through writing a status or posting on each others walls, it can also be accomplished through photography.
    Whether it’s pictures of friends during Spring Break or our Starbucks Mocha Frappachino in the morning, there has to be some reason we’re sharing all this…right? Some people like to think Facebook is all about who can get the most “likes” or comments on what they post, but what’s that got to do with anything? Nothing. Having 100 “likes” for your new profile picture is not what defines a person. So if that isn’t the answer, what is? Perhaps it’s just to brag about your life. You know what I’m talking about. We all have those friends who post pictures of their new cars, new boyfriend/girlfriend, new pets, new outfits, etc. Frankly, that annoys me to the up-most degree.
    In my opinion, I believe that Facebook is like an online scrapbook. A collection of family photos and memories. Whether it be my family at home or my family here at Rowan, I like to keep memories somewhere easily accessible and somewhere where I can’t loose them. Facebook is my scrapbook to share with my friends, not an arena for “like” competitions. I don’t think Facebook changed how we view photography, but I do believe it play a big part of it. Some, like myself, continue to take photos that preserve a time where everything was perfect. I utilize Facebook as a tool to create a scrapbook of what I like to call, “My Life”.

  142. jbracciante says:

    Context, Interpretation, and Re purposing “In Voluptas Mors


    Back story: I am big fan of horror movies (well made ones) and have an extensive collection of full size movie poster prints (some framed, but most waiting to be.) Two of my favorite horror films are the 1991 film “The Silence of The Lambs,” and the 2005 film “The Descent.” The posters for these movies both feature an interpretation of a surrealist portrait photograph by an American named Phileppe Halsman. The original photograph (taken in 1951) was actually commissioned and collaborated on by famous painter Salvador Dalí, and features Dalí standing next to a skull made of seven naked women. Halsman’s photograph was based on a sketch Dalí gave him and looks very much like a Dalí painting. The two of them ended up collaborating quite frequently in this manner in the late 40’s and 50’s.


    Critique/Comments: I actually saw the “female skull” for the first time after purchasing a print of the Descent subway poster. This interpretation is MUCH less repulsive than the actual Halsman photograph. For one, it only features six women (as opposed to seven.) All of them are fully clothed. The skull is also inversely lit, so that while the women appear darker, the skull as a whole is a much brighter image. It is much less disturbing and as whole conveys a much more cinematic and yet understandably contrived feeling. The second time I saw the image was on the Silence of the Lambs poster. This version features the original number of women (seven) and the original lighting (pale bodies, dark background) is maintained. However, certain distinguishing features of the women (breasts, nipples, fingers, toes, belly buttons, bone and muscle structure) have all been airbrushed away. The context of the image (like the Descent) is also radically different than the original image. The skull is very tiny and located on the head of the moth. Unless inspecting the poster closely, one can easily miss that the skull is even made of women. This presentation leads once again to a creative, but ultimately contrived and less disturbing image.


    Finally, we have Halsman’s original photograph. It is way creepier than either of the movie poster versions. For one you have the context of Salvador Dalí actually being in the picture. The skull looks like some kind of nightmare, or dark evil thought that is trapped in Dalí’s mind. The picture (although surreal) is presented as is. It is not outside your local cinema or on the cover of the DVD you got from the video rental store (avenues where you expect nothing but photo shopped images.) It features seven very real life women who look very uncomfortable and very eerie. The image is loaded with sexual tension, fear, death, repression and evil. Upon further research I learned the Halsman spent over three hours posing the seven women exactly how they appear in the photograph. There is no photo shop and no darkroom trickery. I believe Halsman’s approach led to his photograph being the darkest and most intense version of this image. The details of the image and reality of these women being exposed and posed as a very terrifying apparition is very disturbing.

  143. Janine Norbut says:

    This photograph is a picture of a pregnant woman’s stomach and a child’s foot pressing on the inside of the stomach. I’ve seen this picture twice before. When I was thinking about pictures to blog about, I spent time searching for it to write about.
    As realistic as this picture appears, I learned in a digital photography class in high school that it was photoshopped. My teacher explained that it is impossible for a child’s foot to press hard enough against in the inside of the mother’s stomach to appear this way. However it is still a very powerful picture.
    Many people do not believe an unborn child is considered alive until it is born, but this picture shows that although the child is unborn, it is moving and very much alive. Not to bring abortion up in another blog but this picture is clearly pro-life. The photographer supports the fact that the child is a person before they are born.
    Mothers often try to describe the feeling of their child kicking inside them, and how it makes them feel to know that a child is relying on them to survive. This picture shows that when a woman is pregnant, much more is going on than her stomach just being larger for several months. It shows people who can’t understand this feeling yet or at all what it must be like to be a mother carrying a child.
    The composition of this piece is entirely focused on the woman’s stomach showing that the child is the most important part of the piece. The light is brighter around the child’s foot which also supports this.

  144. Janine Norbut says:

    Walking into the MoMA I knew exactly what to expect, however I could not help but feel extremely disappointed in the creativity of the art displayed.

    Art is a way people express themselves. I understand that people can express themselves in any way they wish however, I cannot understand how a pink board leaning on a wall, piles of wood on the floor, or a suit hanging on a wall can be considered “art.” I understand that the modern art featured in the MoMA is focused on purely on the form and the style in which it was put together, however I will never understand how people can appreciate it. For example, there was a piece which was basically a white piece of canvas, I know it took a long time to make. According to Professor Adams, each brushstroke was carefully painted to be exactly horizontal, the artist focusing solely on the form of the picture. However, all this picture tells me is this artist was very deep. That is sarcasm. An entirely white painting tells me that the person who painted it was either a very monotonous, neat-freak, needing everything to be perfect in their life or just had a lot of white paint lying around his house. Very expressive.

    When I walked into the room immediately after the white wall, my first reaction was that I walked into an out-of-date wallpaper sale. Almost half of this room was striped canvas. I hoped that the colors would have some sort of symbolism; however I could not help but groan as I read the name of the piece, “Striped Canvas.” As I walked around the rest of this floor I was able to predict 90% of the names of the pieces: “Felt Suit,” “Nail in Board,” or “Hole in Wall.” After seeing these I needed to leave the room.

    As an engineer, I understand that my patience for real art is limited. However, art that is expressive or sends a message to an audience I can appreciate, even if I do not spend all of my time to figure out exactly what it means. Art that can make you feel without staring at it for twenty minutes is real art. Art that tells a story is real art. The pieces that were on the walls in the MoMA, pieces that you might accidentally confuse with the walls of the building, is not art. I was completely unimpressed with almost all of the pieces in the MoMA.

  145. Bianca Hess says:

    I enjoyed the student art show that we saw awhile back. I liked a lot of the pieces I saw, and I intend to highlight three of them here. There was one in particular that seemed like an interesting spin on vector art. It had random colors, bird like figures, smoke clouds, and black spirals emanating from the lower right corner of the piece along with other much lighter, pastel colored spirals elsewhere all on a white background. To me this piece evokes a “rising from the ashes” kind of theme. All of the main action in the drawing is coming from the lower right like the spirals. The drawing is also unframed – just some canvas material mounted on wood, which I think accents it nicely because a border would really retract from all of the hubbub going on. I tried to think about what the artist meant when they made this. One possibility I thought of is that it might represent the struggles and efforts of the artist’s career. Sometimes they are free as a bird and other times they feel bound not knowing what they ought to do. The birds I think represent them doing well, and the smoke and spirals pointing down represent failure or lack of inspiration. You notice that a lot of the spirals really aren’t perfect spirals at all. They just zig zag along in eventually reaching a direction of the canvas. Perhaps this represents the artist’s frustration to find the right school of art they best belong to, although its certainly something very geometric and urban graffiti ish.
    Another piece I really liked was what looked like a collage of various shades of red/brown/taupe fabrics. Some paisley shards were in it also. What was really neat about the collage is that it gives you the feeling of old European churches – brown and dark yet pops of red and blue from the bright stained glass windows. If you stand in front of it long enough it really does trick your eyes into seeing these. Another piece that was interesting was the jewelry box on display that looked like a miniature tree stump with butterfly and leaf carved figures attached. The center of the box was filled with fake grass. This piece evoked lots of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan” kinds of imagery due to the tree and hole appearance. I feel that the jewelry box is kind of like a time capsule in relation to these 2 movies. Both of those books/movies involve a character who doesn’t want to take on adult responsibility. The whimsy and treasure of the box makes it like a precious memory of childhood that the artist materialized into a molding.

  146. Bianca Hess says:

    One of my favorite pieces of artwork at the MoMa is the room with 2 neatly rectangular piles of butterscotch candies in silver-foil wrappers arranged on the floor with about a 2.5 foot walkway in the center by artist Felix Gonzales Torres. The room appeared to be about 30 by 40 feet give or take. The piece is visually striking since light is reflecting off the surface of the foils. On first glance, you have to wonder what the piece could possibly be about. If you stand there to examine the floor and what you see this becomes very apparent. You notice that the piles are pretty much kept in strict rectangles and some of the candies have been unwrapped and random butterscotch candies and wrappers have been thrown in the piles. My opinion of this piece is a comment on human failures of recycling and cyclical abuse of our earth’s natural resources.
    From a formal perspective, the size of the piece is very large – perhaps reflective that is a widespread problem that we are overly taking from the earth without repairing it – like a dumping ground or a landfill. The perfect rectangles I think are meant to hint at that certain people try to keep the reality of the problem somewhat hush-hush. The perfection of the rectangles is a façade that we are already working to fix the problem and its working. Examples of this are like Coca-Cola’s “Give it back” slogan printed on their bottles and even Rowan’s blue recycling bins. The majority of things we think we recycled are not being recycled at all. They are winding up in landfills. The idea that can “walk right by” these piles could be representative of the wool being pulled over our eyes that we don’t really always know the problems of inadequate recycling are there. Another concept is that we have wrapped and unwrapped candies. The wrapped candies represent natural resources untouched by us. Unwrapped candies could be things we’ve used and tossed back but we’ve given them back incorrectly by not putting them to good use. I think the artist intentionally told the museum staff not to interfere with people picking up the candies because it would help to show the point of the piece and how humans play the role in abusing earth’s resources.

  147. Bianca Hess says:

    I enjoyed looking at Cindy Sherman’s older work when we saw it in class. I loved that her “Untitled Film stills” (of course they are reminiscent of film noir movies) personally reminded me of the women in Charlie’s Angels – feminine yet daring and adventurous. They are visually appealing and often small but not underwhelming. Overall, they were enjoyable to look at. I felt different when we visited the MoMA and we got to see her career’s worth of work. There were things I liked and disliked about her work. I thought her new work involving the very official and austere looking women was visually interesting. I thought that the size of the photographs (most of which were far bigger than a person) nicely complemented that the subjects were about “high society” individuals (even though the photographs were intended to making fun of high class concepts). I also thought that the dark aqua-green painted walls made the colors pop really nicely for this particular room of work. However, her other newer work, similar to other student’s opinions in our class, were really not my taste. It was hard for me to look at the shocking clown and manipulated, sexual-themed mannequins. One thing that has occurred to me after the fact of our class discussion is that perhaps the clowns and mannequins business Cindy Sherman used is related to some sort of coming of age “twisted nightmare” of her sort of metaphor showing “childhood” and “sexual maturity” perhaps. Maybe she used the clown photography to turn childhood on its head by scarily representing the clowns. Rather than having them look silly, she made them look scary. Rather than presenting sexual maturity/nudity where we think of the great artists hundreds of years ago where it wasn’t that shocking to look at (person laying on a sofa, etc.), Sherman made strange, vulgar sexual images from cut up mannequin parts.
    I was looking back at the art critic, Peter Schjeldahl’s review of Sherman’s retrospective exhibit. I paid close attention to the following statements he makes because I think it gets at an idea I had: “They don’t feel like photographs, passively recording slices of reality. They feel like paintings, infused with decision throughout.” I think Schjeldahl is right on this point. The high society portraits look like paintings, and the mannequin and clown pictures look so staged and overly thought out. I feel like they are so staged and grotesque that Sherman has almost lost her spontaneity that filled all her old-time work. Because of these things, it makes it harder to appreciate her work because it winds up looking like she is trying too hard to say what she means to say.

  148. Amanda Branda says:

    The photo that really stood out to me in the Cindy Sherman exhibit last weekend was the one of the three clowns up close and the one clown in the background (http://www.clownlink.com/uploaded_images/sherman1-750237.jpg). The focusing of the photo is what really caught my eye. It starts out really blurry on the three big clown faces and focuses in on the full figure of the clown in the background. Clowns are usually seen to be either happy or scary and that is the reason this photo really disturbed me. The clown in the background of the photo is neither. It is slightly slouched with its hands held down by its pelvic area looking at the camera very awkwardly, almost sinister, like we are looking in on the clown during a private moment. It felt too invasive for me. Plus, the eyes are completely black which makes it look more evil than a clown already is.
    The first clown in the front looks like he is screaming at the camera taker which makes it feel more to me like we are unwelcome in looking at the photo. The third clown’s eyes are slightly closed and he is giving a smirk like he knows the onlooker is doing something dirty or wrong. Cindy uses color to define each clown, each with different color hair and make up and the clown in the background with full striped pajamas helping it stand out. Overall, the picture was very strange and unlike any other I’ve ever seen. Cindy truly knows how to manipulate specific emotions in her viewers as this photo proved.

  149. Edward Thomas Dolan IV says:

    “Milkdrop Coronet” by Harold Edgerton is a photograph that really caught my eye in class. The white drop amongst the deep, blood-red background is stunning to the eye. The splash from the drop leads the eye right to the droplet itself, above the splash. The splash itself soft of represents a crown-like shape. The science behind the high-speed photography used to capture this image is also fascinating. I feel as if Edgerton’s photographs sway away from the conceptual aspect of photography, and towards the ideas of being able to “see the unseen”.

  150. Edward Thomas Dolan IV says:

    I can’t pretend to understand much of modern art after visiting the MoMA. Some shocked, some scarred, some intrigued, but all had many vague and underlying meanings that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. I understood some design elements when they were easy to see, and I was able to tell when something was satirical or ironic; however, I felt as if a lot of the messages the artists were trying to create went straight over my head. This could be due to my traditionally logical interpretation of things. However, the architectural exhibit I could understand much of. The design of the old Jeep used in WWII and the TV’s and radios from previous eras were easy for me to comprehend. Overall, even if I didn’t understand a lot of it, I’m glad I made the trip up to the MoMA.

  151. Tarynn Huitt says:

    I was excited to see Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth at the MoMA. I have talked about it before in high school and seen thumbnails on Google and in books, but it isn’t the same as seeing it in person. I think anyone would agree with me when I say how the ability to observe the individual brush strokes and the size gives a greater impression. When you see this painting, the first thing that strikes you is the girl’s line of sight and how it points directly at the house. You can’t see her face, but the way her upper body is turned, you can feel her sense of longing to be in the house. Then you ask yourself why she wants to be in the house so badly. Also, why isn’t her whole body twisted toward the house? Her lower half seems to be exerting no effort. The colors are unsaturated, suggesting that the time of year is summer when everything dries up.

    After doing a little research, I discovered that this girl had polio and was “crawling” to the house. This explains why her bottom half seemed so inanimate, even in a still portrait. Her legs are beginning to dry up like the grass as the polio slowly paralyzes her. Even though this is a terrible situation to be in, Christina still exudes determination in her posture, which is ironic because it is her body that deteriorates. Her purpose and strength in life is demonstrative of her courage and the human spirit.

  152. Heather Cleary says:


    On the trip to the Museum of Modern Art, in the third floor exhibit, there was a television that showed the Lumiere Brothers’ The Serpentine Dance. A few weeks ago, we were sent the clip. The silent film was inspired by dancer Loie Fuller and her famous skirt dances. Loie Fuller was born in Chicago and started her career as a child actress. Later in her career, she started to experiment with different lighting and created new movements with her skirt. She used these new moves in her performances and they were described as “unique and ethereal.” She moved to Europe and her performances became a sensation. She was also well known for being an inventor and she holds several patents for stage lighting.

    In the Lumiere Brothers’ film, colored lights were projected onto her skirt and the film was hand-tinted frame by frame. The dance is very interesting and the color change in her skirt is stunning. I also like when she spins and is facing away from the camera, she seems to disappear because of her black hair. I find it fascinating that this film was hand colored. Even though the film is only a couple of minutes long, there must have been hundreds of frames that had to be painted one by one. Overall, this is one of my favorite works that we have studied so far.

  153. Hali Pearce says:


    This 1931 photo of Martha Graham, was published in a series that appeared in high fashion magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. I find this photo very interesting the fact that you cannot see most of the model, except for half of her head, and one arm. The rest of the model is covered up by a fabric bag of sorts, which she seems to be emerging from. The only lighting in the photo is a spot light right above her head. From this photo, I have gathered that Martha Graham represents all of the woman population and is emerging from the darkness into the light. This photo portrays itself, to me, as a metaphor for feminism.

  154. Hali Pearce says:

    In this fashion photo of the acclaimed model, Twiggy, the subject of the photo is not the garment, but the model. With her oversized features, slicked down hair and simplistic sweater, Twiggy’s face is the main subject of the photo. She is illuminated with overhead lighting, which is the typical lighting that most people are seen in everyday. Since the photo is simplistic with no heavy, dramatic makeup and hair, Twiggy is portrayed as a simple, everyday person.

  155. Chelsea Patrick says:

    Visiting the MoMA, I saw a lot of pieces of art that I enjoyed and many that I didn’t as well. I really started to think about the difference in art today from what it used to be. Newer (modern) art can be more interpretive and wild while older pieces look more realistic and can be straightforward in their meaning. When comparing a few specific pieces, I think of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” This painting is recognizable to people everywhere and is definitely meant to be of a specific scene. Viewers aren’t usually going to wonder what’s going on in the painting like they may with some of the modern art around today. This was one of my favorite pieces that I saw that day, among other work of his. In contrast to that piece, I saw a few pieces of work at the MoMa that were simply blank, white canvases in frames. I didn’t see what was so special about them and I began to question if that was even art. Compared to masterpieces, this was so simple. It probably didn’t take much effort or time and I think anyone could have done it. Another piece was a large rectangular, light-pink piece of plastic leaning against the museum’s wall. Again, this was very strange and different. There wasn’t an explanation of the meaning behind it or its’ purpose. However, that’s what modern art is. Personally, I enjoy the more realistic, classic pieces that are older. I find more beauty in them and like being able to know what I’m looking at. That being said, I do enjoy a lot of modern art and I think it’s interesting to put meaning into something without certainty sometimes. There were some pieces at the MoMA that I truly enjoyed and thought were beautiful. There were some pieces that were huge canvases filled with what looked like scribbles, but the images were beautiful when you stepped back and looked at them as a whole. Even though the meaning wasn’t clear, I still appreciated the works of art. I like all genres of art. I’m still warming up to some of the more modern work around today, but I am able to find appreciation for them if a piece really strikes me or if it is very unique and creative.

  156. Chelsea Patrick says:

    My favorite exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art was Cindy Sherman’s. We had talked about her a little in class and looked at some of her pictures so I already had seen some of her work by the time we went to the MoMA. I liked her exhibit because of the diversity. Though her photos were of herself, no two looked the same. I enjoyed looking at the pieces and trying to figure out what role she was playing. I thought it was unique to title the images with just “Untitled” and a number. Through reading about her in the articles from class and an article in Time Magazine, I learned that she liked to leave it up to the viewer to define what or who the photo was of. She also said that if her role got too close to who she was as a person, she wouldn’t use it. She liked to play characters that were nothing like her. I found it really amazing that she could transform her look completely in the various images and make a certain character look nothing like her. From my reading, I found out that she has experimented with and used Photoshop to change her look in some of her recent photographs. While I think this is fine and that Photoshop is a great tool, I feel like it’s much more unique when she only uses makeup, props, and accessories to create a look. I think Photoshop is something anyone can learn to use. Even though anyone can also apply makeup and put together props, Cindy chooses each piece, shade of makeup, and so on from what she is envisioning in her imagination. Photoshop provides tools and the creator is only able to choose from those tools and change what the program allows to be changed. In my opinion, creating an image without altering it with technology just seems more genuine, creative, and raw.

  157. Christina Nitzsche says:

    I have never had a love of Modern Art. This feeling was made worse when we visited the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Saturday. Cindy Sherman’s exhibit was especially disappointing. Her photography went from well-thought-out pieces that tell a story to a narcissistic collection. Her images once made you think. Now, her newer pieces either make you shudder because of fear, horror, and disgust, or make you think she just said “what costume can I throw on today to take a picture of?” The pictures in the last room almost look like a bad photographer took each person’s picture with the exact same background. I was extremely disappointed by her newer work! The only thing I truly enjoyed in the MoMA was seeing the original “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. When the security guards were not paying attention, you could get really close up and see the vivid brush strokes and wonderful mix of colors. I did not however enjoy any of the contemporary art. There were statues of what could only be described as animal feces, completely white canvases, a suit on a hanger, and even a hole in the wall, although I’m not sure if that was “art” or a missing picture. While discussing the white canvas with Professor Adams, I learned that this “picture” was just a formal painting. The lines were al horizontal and took a lot of time. I thoroughly believe that if you are going to spend that much time on a painting, you should make a picture that tells a story or at least looks decent. The white canvas showed no artistic skill whatsoever and was done precisely, just like an engineer or math major did it (don’t be mad, I’m an Accounting major so I insulted myself as well). Also, hanging a suit on the wall is not art; I do that whenever a lay out my clothes for an interview or business event. Contemporary art is not really art, because art is something that is used to expresses yourself or an issue. It also helps reveal the culture of the place it is in. This “art” was just things thrown together to make less than interesting shapes. I would not go back to the MoMA and strongly suggest that future students go elsewhere to get their photography education, perhaps a photography museum.

  158. Brad Fedor says:

    Through a friend on Facebook I was shown a picture of an anatomical heart stripped of fat and muscle. My dream job is to be a cardiologist, inspired from a heart condition I have, so my attention was immediately drawn to the photo.
    The first thing I noticed was the coloring used on the heart. The vibrant bright red veins and arteries were stunning along with the smaller white veins and arteries with a darkish brown color for the heart. I believe the uploader wanted the viewer to focus on the beauty of the veins and arteries instead of the heart itself by giving the heart an unflattering color. This image reminded me of an angelic jellyfish, swimming freely but existing as a fragile being. Another comparison I made to the heart was that of a tree where the veins and arteries would be the roots of a tree, taking in resources from the soil (the body), and the heart was where the base of the tree began (a brown tree trunk). The lighting in the photo came from the right of the heart, enough to make the veins and arteries glow and reveal the heart’s color is brown. Most people see things as dissection of the human body or the handling of organs as disgusting and nauseating. But if anyone sees this beautiful picture of the human heart, I think they will find a new appreciation for the human heart and the science behind it.

  159. Christina Nitzsche says:

    When looking at Cindy Sherman’s images in class today, I did not see the dangerous, daring woman that everyone else claimed to see. When I look at this image, certain features are most prominent. Cindy puts this character in the kitchen, the woman’s “place” during a male-dominated time. She has a pot and dish soap around her, essentially saying that she should be cleaning “like women are supposed to.” Also, she is wearing a dress and an apron, “as women should.” Sherman has her character looking over her shoulder as though she is scared and vulnerable. Men during these times saw themselves as protectors of “their women,” possessing them and treating them as objects rather than human beings. She is clutching her stomach and using her other arm to protect it, as though she is pregnant and trying to keep her baby from getting hurt. This is a feminine, motherly instinct. What it seems to me that Sherman is doing is dressing up as a “typical woman” of this time period and mocking the characteristics that she is supposed to possess. This is also evident in the following picture: https://artblart.wordpress.com/tag/cindy-sherman-untitled-92/. In this image, Sherman’s character is supposed to be a teenage girl, most likely in a school uniform based on her outfit. She is on the floor in a dark, dirty room. Sherman’s character is looking up and of to the side, as though she is looking at someone. She looks terrified and hopeless. Her hair is wet, like she was just in a storm, which helps set the mood for something less than happy. This character looks as though she is about to get raped or killed and has given up hope that someone will save her. Again, this shows a weak, helpless woman, waiting for some strong, masculine man to come save her. Cindy Sherman does an excellent job of mocking the “typical female” and her role, but does not portray the image of a strong, independent woman.

  160. Christina Nitzsche says:

    On the first day of class, we got a survey asking us different things we liked about photography and the different types of photography we enjoy. I answered that I enjoyed nature pictures, and with this class I came to learn that it is not just pictures of flowers, trees, and landscapes, but also x-rays of these images. I searched for these types of images on Google and came up with this site: http://infioreworld.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/x-ray-flowers/. Though they are all beautiful images, my favorite is the fourth. The image is bold yet soft, formal yet surreal. The contrast between the stems and the background enhances the lines and formality of the image. The points are crisp and the lines are smooth. By overlaying the flowers, contrast becomes greater. Shadows become darker and depth is visible. My favorite part of the image is the light blue/aqua color of the flowers. It gives the image a dream-like sensation, and brings a happy tone along with it. If the image was solely black and white, the image would have a more dismal, drab tone, like that of a funeral. Another glorious part of this picture is the pollen. The bright color of the flowers drastically contrasts with the pollen, showing off its sharp points and severe lines. The photographer did a wonderful job positioning the flowers. They take up a lot of room, however the image looks balanced between full and empty space. This image, though simplistic at first glance, has a very complex set-up. The flowers go from light to darker as they travel up the page, and the curved lines and stems help direct your eyes upward so that you may see everything that is happening in the image. The image was extremely well done and obviously well thought out.

  161. Tarynn Huitt says:

    This photograph is of the astronomer Edwin Hubble as he looks into a Hooker telescope. It was originally published in the November 8, 1937 issue of TIME magazine. The image is well composed with light falling on Hubble and his telescope. Because of the lighting and black and white, it almost seems that the man and his technology are one entity. In retrospect, this alludes to the famous namesake Hubble telescope sent into orbit in 1990.

    The viewer’s eye is drawn to the upper right corner in which Hubble is looking. With such a massive telescope, it makes one curious about the wondrous, cosmic things he could be studying. This is symbolic of Hubble’s career. I believe that the juxtaposition of the small Hubble next to this giant telescope is what really gives this image its strength. In comparison to the universe Hubble and other astronomers studied, our importance can seem overwhelmed by the awesome things happening inside stars. But we have brains that the stars don’t have. Hubble’s telescope couldn’t say anything unless there was a man behind it to interpret what was in the lens. Even though that telescope may trump Hubble in size, Hubble trumps the telescope in his contributions to society just like we can trump the stars.

  162. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    The Weather Channel airs an ongoing series entitled “From the Edge”. This show follows Peter Lik, a renowned Australian landscape photographer who is sometimes referred to as the modern day Ansel Adams. In a recent episode last week, Lik was on location photographing the waterfalls and cliffs of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. While the show’s breathtaking scenery alone is captivating, the real enlightenment comes as Lik talks his way through what is going on in his head as he attempts to capture the perfect gallery shot.

    Some take home lessons from watching the show include the nature of the “formal” elements in a striking photograph. Throughout the show the idea of using the shapes and contrasts of nature to draw and direct the viewers’ eye was stressed. To accomplish this requires looking around to find the best angle and point-of-view. In order to create a striking composition forethought has to be accomplished, as objects in the foreground and background play as crucial of a role as the subject itself.

    Just as important as the formal elements, however, is timing in creating that perfect gallery shot. As we can also see in gallery quality photos, lighting is king. It can make or break an image, even one with an otherwise strong composition and subject. The contrast between light and dark creates emotion, movement and intensity along with accentuating voids. Considering this, the time of day in which one takes the picture matters! Photographing at high noon, when the sun is directly overhead and there is a lack of shadow, is perhaps the worst lighting to shoot in. It often adds particular harshness to an image, especially one with people. Instead photographing at dawn and dusk provides softer lighting, lengthening shadows and a fleeting myriad of colorful hues that can greatly enhance the subject being photographed.

    It is little wonder, therefore, that the golden hour for photography is always the first hour of sunlight after dawn and the last hour of sunlight before sunset. It is at these magical times when all of the natural elements converge to provide the overall best quality lighting for almost any outdoor photograph.

  163. Chelsea Patrick says:

    This past Thursday in class, we went to the student art gallery. I thought all of the pieces were unique and beautiful in their own way. I tried to look for a piece that I could really find meaning in or that stood out the most to me, but thinking back I’m remembering a piece that I didn’t fall in love with at the time. There were a few cardboard sculptures but I specifically remember one that was of different flowers. I liked the different textures that the artist used, even though the flowers were all made of the same cardboard. It made me think about how something as simple as cardboard can be altered and transformed to show different textures, shapes, and designs. I thought that the size of the sculpture was just big enough to draw people’s attention to it, while still having small details if you were to look closer. I also loved how the artist chose to create something from nature – flowers in this case – as their focus for the piece. The message I took from it was kind of like how if we recycle and reuse materials, we can help save the environment. Recycling cardboard to create art was a good example of how anything can be used to create art, and it can be done in an environmentally friendly manner. One last aspect that I took from this piece was that the artist chose to keep the cardboard in its’ natural shade of brown. They could have painted it to make it brighter and look more realistic, but I think that keeping it natural helped to reinforce the “nature” and “environment” tone of the flowers; that nothing pure in nature is altered or changed, it’s simply kept in its’ natural state, whether that means looking bright or dull. Overall I thought the artist did a nice job. I’m not sure if they intended for it to send a message about recycling, reusing material, or protecting the environment, but that’s what I drew from the piece after thinking about it. Of all of the cardboard sculptures, this is the one that stood out to me the most and that I could connect meaning to.

  164. Tarynn Huitt says:

    This photo is of a car driving through Joplin, Missouri after the tornado in May. This topic hits home for me. I have family in Joplin and wasn’t able to hear from them until a few days after the tornado. Also, my best friend was the roommate of Will Norton, the 18 year-old boy who was sucked out of the sunroof of his car while coming home from his high school graduation. He was missing for several days and eventually found dead.

    I have seen several photos of Joplin after the tornado, but I find this one particularly striking. The image is mostly dark, with destruction surrounding the car. I see the picture as divided into three different parts. There are the dark clouds, the leftovers of the storm, rolling away on the right. Along the bottom, the debris of the tornado remains, demonstrating the physical and psychological mess Joplin has to clean up. Lastly, you can see the clear sky on the left and the cleaned road for the car to travel. These parts of the photo are better lit. They show that stability will eventually return to Joplin and that the town has hope. They have to drive through the mess that the tornado has left for them. Just as the road was cleared for this car, God will clear a path for Joplin.

  165. Brad Fedor says:

    The Artwork displayed in the room we visited on Thursday was very impressive and aesthetically amazing to view. Three particular pieces stood out to me: The glove with the crystal imbedded into it, the picture with the three batman villains, and the symmetrical black and white inverted picture with many detailed dots.
    The glove with the imbedded crystal was the first thing that stood out to me when I walked in the room because it reminded me of two video game characters, one who has leather glove with a gem imbedded into it and one with a similar glove but no gem imbedded. Then I noticed how the fingers of the glove were bent. I had trouble determining whether it was a left or right handed glove until I looked more closely and saw although the fingers of the glove were bent back, if a hand were inside it would bend the other way. This confused me further because if it was bent in the latter form, the gem would be in the person’s palm, making it unseen by most, but having a deeper meaning. I believe this meaning is that anything beautiful can be made by anyone, and the tool you can use to express that beauty is in your hand.
    The artwork of the three batman villains, The Joker, Poison Ivy, and Two Face, was the next thing that caught my eye. One thing I recognized about the villains design is that they were based of the appearance of how they were in, Batman the Animated Series, a TV show I watched frequently as a kid. One theme I noticed about all of these villains was that they had physical deformities or altered bodies. The Joker had an acid scar on his face, Poison Ivy was immune to poisonous plants, and Two Face had his face seared. I very much liked the background of the artwork as well, being various small strips of paper with two colors per villain. I especially liked the background for Two Face as it had a whiteish background on the side where his skin was intact and a blackish background on the side where his face was seared, becoming the catalyst for his inner demon to surface.

  166. Dan Errera says:

    I am still continuing to enjoy our study of the history of photography. One of the more interesting things that has happened in the time period we are studying is that people were taking pictures not only for enjoyment and portraits, but they began using photography. We discussed the photo secessionists, those photographers who took artsy pictures that were more romantic and more narrative. Opposite them were the purists who took clean pictures. I would assume it is these purists who were the ones to begin using photography for documentary purposes. For example, the United States government commissioned photographers to document the civil war so people at home would know what was going on during the war.
    There is a photograph in our book called “Articles of China” by Talbot, which is of his teacups and stationary. Talbot wrote of photography’s ability to “depict on paper in little more time than it would take … to make a written inventory” of his china collection. He then acknowledged its use in the event a thief would steal something, seeing its future use in law enforcement. Around the turn of the century, Alphonse Bertillon began using photography to document criminals and crime scenes. I found his tripod camera he used to take above the crime scene very interesting. Today, there are photographers hired solely to document crime scenes since the photograph captures the image instantly.
    Another example of the emerging use of photography is its use by Le Secq to preserve the architecture of Paris. He was hired in 1851 by the Commission des Monuments Historiques to record significant historical French buildings. I feel it was a rather short time period from the first camera to its widespread use and dispersion. By the early 1900s, people were using cameras to document buildings and crime scenes. Thanks to Kodak, cameras were made available to the middle class and photography became a career for some and a hobby for others.

  167. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    Macro photography is a genre of photography that is exclusively devoted to close-up images. Close-up pictures taken in the macro style reveal detail which often is overlooked or unable to be seen with the naked eye. In order to successively take macro images photographers use “macro” lenses, specifically designed for extreme close-up work. With a long barrel for close focusing, these lenses contain a limited depth of field. This feature makes objects even millimeters apart in either the background or foreground noticeably blurred. But even with macro lenses some of the basic photographical principles still hold true, such as the rule that longer lenses give you a flatter perspective. Another aspect that is key when taking macro photographs is lighting. Macro lenses typically create a loss of adequate lighting. Having artificial light is of keen importance if control of the flash cannot be achieved, such as in a point-and-shoot camera.

    Below are two links for examples of eye catching macro photographs:



    All of the photographs featured in these two links exhibit striking compositions. The depth of field puts focus on the desired object while creating stark contrast with the background, thus drawing the viewer’s eye through the picture. The close-up nature of these photographs also allows for greater artistic freedom in the framing and cropping of the subject, in the process allowing various emotions to be created.

  168. Tarynn Huitt says:

    I stumbled upon the work of Taryn Simon through Ted.com. She was giving a talk on her two projects, The Innocents and An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar. The above image is from The Innocents. It shows a man at the scene of a crime he was falsely committed of doing. In fact, he had never been to this site until Simon did this shoot.

    Most of the photograph is dark except for the backlighting coming from the head lights of a car. This set-up reminds me of a scary movie. The protagonist is trapped in the dark woods as the killer moves in. The outcome for the character is usually hopeless; his or her fate is already decided. This is similar to the situation presented in the photograph. A wrongful conviction has chased down this man and trapped him. It consumes him like the light of the car and he is left with a defeated expression on his face.

    Another interesting thing about this photo is that it blurs fact with fiction. This man never committed any crime, and until this photo shoot, he had never even been to this location. As mentioned in class, we expect photography to be a depiction of reality, but this photo does the opposite. This photograph associates this man with a location that in reality is not part of his history, but in a fantasized history conjured up by a prosecution team and law enforcement.

  169. Janine Norbut says:

    The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 is something that no American will ever forget. This is a photograph of the destruction at ground zero.
    This picture was taken in color. Everything in this picture is rusty and gray. There are no bright colors in this picture. This represents how the country felt from the attacks. People believed there was no hope and they were very frightened. The monotonous color scheme also represents the unity America felt after the attacks. The color shows that America was united as one country. The attack brought everyone in the country together; everyone had flags on their cars and on their houses.

    The photographer was not only trying to document the destruction caused by the attacks on the World Trade Center, but to show the cross made from I-beams that is in the middle of the wreckage. The cross is a symbol of man’s evil and God’s mercy. The attack on the towers was man’s evil. The destruction in the back of the picture clearly shows that. However, the cross is standing more importantly to remind us of God. To remind people who lost hope and were despairing after the attack, that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins and to open to gates of heaven. The cross serves as a reminder for those who lost loved ones in the attack. This cross shows that although the ones who we love are gone now, they are now happily in heaven.

  170. Christina Nitzsche says:

    After class on Thursday, I had an image stuck in my head. I remembered Stieglitz and thought I would look him up and try to find the picture, however when I searched for him, I found a beautiful and compelling picture that you can find at this site: http://jessicaacuna.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/kissing-stieglitz-goodbye/. The image reminded me of the style we were discussing in class. This picture would be a secessionist image showing the beauty of nature instead of portraits or pictures for science. The picture is essentially split into two halves: the top half with the tree and the bottom half with the bushes and the reflection. The tree is the main focus of the picture. It is perfectly symmetrical, almost like someone took half a picture and mirrored it on the other side. The background is the exact same way. This shows what people can do with Photoshop and is a more simplistic technique when it comes to photoshopping. The tree stands alone, isolated by a field. The tree could represent the artist. The person feels alone, like the only person they can turn to is their reflection. When I look at the two images of the tree, two emotions come to me: anger and sorrow. The top tree brings up the anger. The crisp lines represent a hard exterior. The bottom tree provokes sorrow. The blurry, lighter image shows a softer tone. The artist is sad on the inside, but does not want the world to see, so he or she puts on a fake, angry exterior and lives on that way. The lack of saturation helps to enforce this idea.

  171. Brad Fedor says:

    I was very impressed with the photographs at the Perkins center. Two photographs that stood out to me were “Courage,” the superhero child, and “Laura,” the girl with the vibrant red hair with no shirt and pants on backwards. These photos particularly stood out to me because of the bright colors in them and the meanings I saw in them.
    The first thing I noticed about Courage was when I walked into the Perkins center and looked into the room to my immediate left, it was the first photo I saw. I think it was set up like this because it is an eye catching photo and a good first photo to look at when entering the room. What I really like about courage was the materials used in the boy’s outfit were similar to what I used when pretending to be a super hero when I was little with my brother. I think there are several meanings behind this photo. Firstly is that every child wants to imitate a super hero they admire when they see cartoons or movies and that burning desire doesn’t entirely wane when that child ages. A second meaning could be that through a child’s eyes, most adults can seem like super heroes when they watch the adult do a certain task their job entitles that seems impossible to a child without using superpowers, like flying an airplane.
    I was drawn to Laura because I could easily see this happening to a girl at a party who’s had to much to drink or intakes something harmful and having a disastrous result. The slouching, depressed position she is in could either be from the realization of what she’s done after she retains her conscious and judgment or still stuck in a stupor of confusion. I think the pants put on backwards, not on high enough, and not being buttoned furthers my belief in that she came out of a stupor and isn’t exactly aware or her surroundings or consciousness yet, leaving her unable to complete a simple task of putting on pants properly and having them buttoned. I also noticed she is missing underwear, possibly because while in her uncontrolled state of mind she was sexually taken advantage of and wouldn’t know any better.

  172. Chelsea Patrick says:

    Over this past summer I saw the film “The Tree of Life.” I had been waiting to see it for a while and finally got the chance while I was in Florida on vacation. I went with my sister and parents to this very small, old fashioned cinema that wasn’t too far from where we were staying. Since the theater was so small, we ended up in the front row, which made everything in the movie much more intense as I watched it. Everyone I’ve talked to that has seen this movie has either really loved it or hated it with a passion. I’d heard that groups of people were actually getting up and leaving the theater because it was “so bad” and “stupid.” However, I am one of the people who loved it. It was one of the most incredible movies I’ve seen and it was extremely moving – almost to the point of tears. My interpretation of it was that it was representing “life.” Yes, it didn’t make sense all of the time (does life?). Yes, it showed only bits and pieces of the main character’s journey and some parts were confusing. But that’s what I loved about it. Life is a collection of memories. We don’t remember everything, nor does every moment define who we are. I felt like “The Tree of Life” captured important, defining points in the main character’s life and showed them as a stream of memories. If anything was out of order, it was because that’s how we think. We don’t remember things chronologically; we may think of one memory, jump back to another, and so on. This was a movie that made me think very deeply and remember that our time is limited. There are so many different scenes that I could talk about and give meaning to, but one is standing out in my mind right now as I think about everything that happened.
    There was a scene that focused on the universe (here is a link to that scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WvuJwMFPz4). This scene blew me away. It was almost frightening as the realization that we all keep in the back of our minds crept back into my head as I watched it; It reminded me of how small we are in our lives and that there is so much more to life than we know. The beauty of the images and the music really added to the power of the scene as well. This film did a terrific job of showing snippets of the beauty of life, whether it was beautiful memories of a childhood, growing up, life as an adult, after death, nature, or the universe. I also liked that there was nowhere near as much dialogue as there are in regular movies. It made it more unique and left a lot up to the viewers to interpret. Some people don’t like to be left questioning everything at the end, and I’ll admit that I’m normally one of those people. However, this movie was different. It was moving, beautiful, and captured so many different elements of life in a creative, thoughtful manner.

  173. Bianca Hess says:

    I took an interest in the photographs we observed in class that regarded historical events and grim figures. For example, we saw Alexander Gardner’s photographs of dead solider bodies in a field and cannon balls on a field and pathway after a battle. These images are very stark with a dark mood. I was particularly troubled when Professor Adams mentioned to us that these weren’t original photographs captured after a battle but that they were actually recreated by rearranging bodies out on the field and by dispersing the cannon balls differently than how they fell. I was deeply disturbed by this. Perhaps I felt this way because I’m a Bio major and in science manipulating a final project of research is considered scandalous/unethical/unscientific. I was thinking deeper about why Gardner and his crew wanted to rearrange the fields just for their picture (couldn’t they just walk around until they found an angle they liked??) I was displeased that they were manipulating history unnecessarily. I wouldn’t be surprised if rearranging happened other times too by him and other civil war photographers..perhaps this was done to make the North look better during the civil war and make the south look like unruly deviants? Or were they trying to create glorifications of war somehow by making pictures look somewhat balanced and aesthetically pleasing…but really, war is never aesthetically pleasing! It’s War!! Why they went through the trouble I don’t understand. Looking at those images feels like history is being made inaccurate and virtually useless images since they have been tampered with (although I really don’t agree with taking pictures of the dead anyway). Also, I was also a little further distressed today in class when we looked at Gardner’s “Execution of Mrs. Surrat and the Lincoln assassination conspirators” that showed people being hanged. The image is very solemn although somewhat counterbalanced since there is much daylight in it. Yes, I understand that these were guilty people and I understand that in the late 1800’s it was common for public executions to happen, but why would we want to retain 3D images of it as stereographs?? That boggles my mind with its morbidity. The stereograph of dead bodies laying on a wheelbarrow collection pot also adds to this.
    I realized this brings up a common issue – we still today take gruesome photos/media – things like Saddam Hussain’s execution video that went viral online and Kevin Carter’s 1994 photo of a dying/starving Sudanese child being food prospected by a vulture (let the reader know that Carter committed suicide later that year). The question is why are gruesome historical images and/or manipulations of gruesome images ok to us? Have we turned negative images into celebrations (such as in Saddam Hussain’s execution after he was finally captured) or are we reporting societal problems to make a statement (such as the Sudanese child). I suppose the in-between of my two contemporary examples above would be when missions groups take video of hungry children and then promote their aid funds as television ads. In general, I find it disappointing that in our culture we have to show negative/disturbing television ads to influence people to help others. It would be great if people could recognize needs without needing to see gruesome images. However, I guess it works, but it would be a little nicer to emphasize the positive changes like building schools and installing filter systems for clean water (just my opinion there).

  174. Christina Nitzsche says:

    The following link will take you to a beautiful picture taken by our very own classmate, Tarynn Huitt. http://365project.org/thuitt/365/2012-01-25 I really like this picture, not only because of its incredible angle, but also because of its color. I think that having the picture be taken so close makes everything else that may have been in the picture go away so that the viewer can focus on the guitar. The camera focuses on the right hand which is on the neck or the ‘fret board’ which has very little motion in this picture. When watching someone playing the guitar, most people watch the hand that is strumming the strings because the more motion something has, the more interesting it is to watch. That is why people think things like “watching paint dry” or “watching the grass grow” are boring. In the background, you can see the blurred image of the player’s left hand strumming. The type of guitar is typical of a country singer. The plaid shirt is a symbol of farmers. These shirts are thick enough to keep farmers’ arms, chest, and back from getting scratched up, but thin enough to keep them cool when the hot sun is beating down on them in the summer time. This look was adapted by country singers and is now a popular fashion trend. The plaid shirt plus the type of guitar portray a country-like appearance. Also, most of the saturation was taken out of the picture. This depicts a sullen, sluggish mood as that of a farmer after a long day of working in the field. Overall, this picture was extremely well done and I applaud Tarynn for her incredible talent as I hope you all will as well.

    • Thanks Christina for bringing Tarynn into the critique process. 🙂

      I am familiar with the image and have commented to Tarynn on her skill and vision in her photographs. I think your assessment of the image is well articulated and supports your argument well. By adding elements of style and culture to the review, you reinforce your statements and viewpoint. For me, the deeper meaning in terms of the cultural references are well stated but, I think most viewers would be able to appreciate just the technical skill and beauty the image illustrates. I commend Tarynn for her expertise and applaud your insight and ability to take the image beyond the formal and into the conceptual. This moves the viewer beyond the technical and builds a romantic narrative from which greater appreciation can be found.

      Well done,

  175. Tarynn Huitt says:


    I stumbled upon this idea and found it completely fascinating. Many people, me included, take on 365 projects. Several choose to do their project with some theme to help give some direction. This 365 project I found is titled, “From Where I Stand.” Every day, the photographer captures an image of her feet in some location.

    Although the photographer is only 33 photos into her project when she made this blog post, she is doing an amazing job at it. In the first few pictures, she incorporates things she commonly does—shopping, playing with her kids, and yoga. But as someone who does a 365 project, it’s the routine days that are really tricky. However, the photographer impresses me by finding something interesting to photograph her feet with, like in “Too Many”, “Late Afternoon” and “Who, Me?”.

    Even though a 365 can be an easy way to get lazy with technical skills, which I will admit to doing, I feel that most of the photos from this collection are not. There are some things I would change in some of the photos, such as minimizing the depth of field in “Mommyhelper Monday” so the girl’s face is more in focus, but overall, the images are impressive and well thought-out for a series of same-subject photos.

    In “Too Many”, she emphasizes strong composition to divide the photo into thirds, the white bed, beige carpet, and black shoes. The color scheme is kept neutral, but not monochromatic. I believe this was intentional, because she could have easily worn the peep-toe shoes and shown off her red toe-nails.

    In “Quick Cardio”, she does employ a monochromatic look. Her shoes and the pavement are all in the same color palette. As a runner, I am stricken by the minimalism of the photo. I know that when I am running, it’s just me and the road, and I can feel that in the photo.

    I could continue to ramble about her good use of lighting and post-processing, but the point I want to make is that I am really impressed by this photographer. This theme for a 365 is really constraining, but it pushes her to get really creative while still making several technical considerations like she would in any other photo. I am really interested to see how she progresses through the year.

    • Excellent review Tarynn,

      I too, find this series to be fascinating and even stellar. For someone who is a “hobbyist” and not a professional, she has a great deal of expertise, imagination, and creativity. This series cold easily be the focus of an exhibition or book. A great many artist photographer aspire to the simplicity and complexity of these images as well as the concise way in which the ideas are conveyed. She certainly is an inspiration for those other 365er’s out there. 😉


  176. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    While reading the March issue of Glamor Magazine I came across an article about editing digital photographs, an action sometimes called “photo shopping” after the popular application. According to the article there are multiple websites for hire that will digitally alter any portrait of yourself with your specific requests. This could include adding in a full head of hair to hide a bald spot, creating blemish free skin, adding muscles or larger breasts and even removing 30 pounds of excess weight. Years ago, altering photographic images would be seen as an act of vanity, but now it has become as common practice as plastic surgery. With a growing acceptance of altering reality though, especially among the younger generations, it begs the question – what is enough?

    Photoshop and the art of deception has rapidly expanded, especially in the tabloids and on the internet. But today it has leaked outside of the world high fashion and modeling and has even entered the field of science. Today, thanks to software such as Photoshop, scientists can edit their own photographs. While this might sound innocent at first, one must realize that as much as 70 percent of investigated scientific misconduct cases reveal photographic manipulations. Many scientists are not clear on which uses of Photoshop are appropriate and which are not. In general, it has been determined that changes made to improve the overall clarity of an image (i.e. adjusting the contrast) in order to show more detail is acceptable. On a case by case basis it may even be permissible to crop a photo to better emphasize the subject. It is when only particular parts of an image but not others are manipulated, or when regions of one image are pasted onto another, that intentional deceptive misconduct can occur.

    As a response to this growing trend several scientific journals are using forensic software to spot image alterations or plagiarism. One set of software known as “droplets” can detect image alteration including regions which have been erased. One specific droplet searches for similarities and differences in two black-and-white images, identifying if one image is a copy of the other. Contrast enhancement or histogram equalization can be used to identify “cut-and-paste job”. While not all cases are caught, implementation of these forensic software has led to a reduction the in publication of falsified or plagiarized data.

    • Very compelling comments Kym,

      There is so much here to respond to and I will certainly be bringing some of this into class as we progress into the 20th century. Since digital media was introduced into the mainstream, these issues have become more and more salient. As we may have briefly discussed in class, the manipulation or alteration of photographs has been both a catalyst for development and evidence for the decay of ethics in modern society. For me, it has been another powerful element of photography as a provocative and radical medium. As we move forward with technology, photography evolves as well and the impact of images and “authenticity” is brought even further into the critical scrutiny it demands.

      Well done,

  177. Chelsea Patrick says:

    Third Post:

    I was online and I came across the article “21 Stunning Photographs with Meaning” (Link is http://www.presidiacreative.com/21-stunning-photographs-with-meaning/). I wanted to do a review on a photograph in this post and one of the photos in this article really caught my eye. “Bath Time” is the title of the photo. It is of a white dog, maybe a terrier of some kind, in a white, old-style bath tub. The first thing that stood out to me was that the entire photo is white. The only contrasting shades are the shadows, faucet, and the dog’s nose, eyes, and paws. Certain patches on the dog look like a darker white color, but mainly the picture is pure white. At first I found the meaning of it to be comforting and the feeling of a cozy, safe home. The bathtub is something everyone has in their home and many people find comfort from being able to relax in it. The dog added another degree of comfort. Dogs are seen as man’s natural companion. They make us happy, cuddle with us, and make us feel safe. Their companionship is timeless, just like the ritual of cleaning ourselves every day that will never go away (though most of us shower nowadays rather than bathe). With these two elements together, I really got that “homey” feel from the photo. It was inviting, comforting, and made me want to reach out and pet the dog. I thought the white focus of the photo made it have a peaceful, innocent feel. Maybe because the dog itself is innocent, or just because being in the comfort of your own home is usually peaceful.
    Everything in the photo has a very smooth texture except the dog. Its texture is very ruffled and stands out against the smooth background. Even though everything is white, the dog still stands out because of this. This piece really connected to me on an emotional level. It made me want to be in that photo so that I could experience that sense of calm and the welcoming effect it has. The dog poking out of the bathtub makes it very lovable. It looks cute like it was just relaxing in the bathtub, someone walked in, and the dog decided to pop out to see who was there. I can imagine the scene of what happens next: maybe the owner laughs, pulls the dog out, and ruffles its fur while speaking to it even though it won’t talk back. I like that even though the image is completely white and there isn’t a lot of action, I am still able to see a story unfold.

    • Well said Chelsea! You are right on target with your assessment of the strength of the pallette. An overall white scene generally connotes a “high key” image and represents light and more positive environment. The monochromatic hue of the image also keeps everything light and consistent, and allows the viewer to focus on the dog and the feeling the image evokes. I am sure you noticed the angle the image was shot at – very low, at the dog’s eye level, which also represents a similar feeling as the photographer must be sitting down.

      Great job and very astute. 🙂

  178. Chelsea Patrick says:

    Second Post:

    Whenever I browse the internet for art, I always seem to stumble upon “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” This piece of art is a shark suspended in a tank of formaldehyde solution. The shark is supposed to look as if it is still alive, with its jaws open, bearing a set of sharp teeth. From what I’ve read, people find it very shocking and see it as if the shark really is still alive, about to have some innocent sea creature for lunch. When I first came across this piece, I definitely thought that it looked interesting. I considered it to be art at the time because who am I to question what an artist creates from their own mind? However, looking at the piece now, I have a strong urge to not call it art. I can’t get past the “Museum of Natural History” feel to it. When it comes down to it, it’s simply a shark preserved in a tank. Yes, it was alive at some point, and yes it can still be made to have a “live” feel to it by keeping the eyes visible and making the mouth open in attack. But I continue to think of the other animals I’ve seen on display at other museums or even those displayed in people’s houses! Taxidermists have made a career out of stuffing animals to make them look life-like, but the bottom line is – they’re not alive. They are just the bodies of an animal that has passed on and is no longer with us. I just couldn’t find anything incredibly special about this piece that made it different from all of the other animals I’ve seen.
    On another note, thinking about how the shark’s body was real and not man-made, I could see how people would like to think of death as “physically impossible” when something is preserved. However, there is another weakness in this piece in that the original shark had to be replaced after some time because it had deteriorated to such an extent. That alone makes me feel like the purpose of the piece disappeared. The “life-like” shark that was seen as still “living” had to be taken away because death started showing itself, no matter how hard they tried to keep it away.

    • Very well said Chelsea. You have stepped head first into the ongoing debate (even within the art world) about what is art, who it is made for, and how are we supposed to access it. Contemporary art, especially conceptual contemporary art, can be incredibly dense. Theoretically and philosophically, much of this work can be nearly impossible to access without a reasonable understanding of the theory behind it. You obviously are well versed in these areas in that you have easily observed some of the more complex ideas behind Damien Hirst’s work. The arguments on both sides of this debate have grown since the earliest days of conceptual art nearly 5 years ago.

      You present a number of clear and reasoned points from multiple perspectives and that adds a level if depth to your questions that would not be there if there was just a, “I have no idea what this means and it definitely is not art!” comment. Here is an article from the NY Times
      ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/opinion/16dutton.html?pagewanted=all ) that may shed some light on a reasonable answer. Although written from the perspective of the worth of art in terms of dollars, the article speaks directly to your question.

      Keep up the good work,


  179. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    “When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!”
    -Ted Grant

    After looking at a series of vintage wedding photographs in class today, the stark contrast between those of yesteryear and those of today is obvious. These differences are as much a statement on societal changes as they are an emphasis on the evolution and growth experienced by photography. Fashion sense aside, the vintage wedding photographs simply lacked the dynamic composition of today’s wedding art. The vintage photographs were studio crisp, but aseptic and sterile, lacking any true warmth or emotion, let alone failing to capture any of the real joy a wedding day should bring. Although today’s wedding photographs are still, for the most part, posed portraits the composition set up by the photographer pulls the viewers eye into the picture and throughout the entire composition, thereby creating suspense, movement, and a fluidity of emotion.

    Due to the economics of the time, vintage wedding photographs often were taken in the photographer’s studio, with highly controlled lighting and a limited range of poses. It is not surprising that they all look very much alike. The evolution of the art through such elements as bringing the photographer to the wedding party rather than the wedding party to the photographer opened up an entire range of possibilities. Changing the viewers point-of-view and using various aperture settings has aided in creating more dynamic, eye-catching photographs. The changes to the depth-of-field created by changing both of these features of a photograph help to create a more visually appealing image by pulling a viewer through the picture and telling a romance story by allowing subtle emphasis to be placed where desired.

    Utilizing the “Rule of Thirds” has allowed a straying away from the bride-and-groom centered, lack-luster nature of traditional wedding portraits, thereby making today’s photos more vibrant and forceful. Technical elements, such as the development of specialty and wide angle lenses, has also led the evolution of photographs where the entire bridal party is involved. Today these lenses makes foreground subjects look bigger than similarly sized subjects further away. This ability allows emphasis to be given to the bride and groom without the need for a staid photograph. In addition, wide-angle lenses allow for the greater arrangement of people which helps to provide a range of different compositions, thus allowing natural scenery and lighting to be used advantageously. And the introduction of digital photography dramatically increases the range of special effects, editing, and corrections that can be done to put the finishing touches on any wedding picture.

    Truly, the art of the wedding photograph has evolved as much as the fashions and the times that they capture.

    • Very well stated Kym,

      I agree that the nature of wedding photography has evolved dramatically over the past 100 years and I think your points are valid as to why. From the technical or formal elements like, composition, color, the rule of thirds, and greater spontaneity, to the more intimate and personal elements like, feeling, and romance. It is interesting to see the genre evolve into what we know today and I look forward to your thoughts on that.

      Keep up the good work!


  180. Dan Errera says:

    As we move into our third week of this class, I realize that I am not only enjoying the photography aspect of the class, but also the history aspect. I usually enjoy taking photos of my travels to document the places I have been and things I’ve done. Looking at the old pictures in class and reading the articles about the history of photography really gives me a glance not only as to what photography was like back then, but also what the world was like. The clothes people wore back then were significantly different then they are today, as were hairstyles and the general scenery and lifestyles. Looking at those photographs really showed what life was like back then and what was important to the people in the pictures.

    In terms of the history of photography, this was the first time I had ever heard of a camera obscura. I really didn’t understand how light could travel through a small hole then project the outside image inside a dark room, but upside down. After seeing it in action, I still don’t understand how it works, but I enjoyed seeing it. I was very surprised when we turned off the lights, and the trees, buildings and people appeared in front of us. I am also very impressed that we progressed from that to digital cameras and iPhone cameras in only one hundred and thirty something years.

    Another interesting aspect about both history and the history of photography was the view held about women as expressed in the articles we read this week. One of my most memorable quotes from the articles was “Just think of it – your picture taken by a Lady!” I don’t know if they expected a picture to be any different if a woman took it, but this shows the view held during that time. “Photography as an Industrial Occupation for Women” attempts to be an advocate for women, and it most likely was at the time it was written, but today is seems almost demeaning. It also seems interesting that Jabez Hughes took into account the physical strength required to take pictures when discussing how women should be able to become photographers. He also believed there were parts better for the rougher sex since they became too dirty. None of this is an issue today.

    • Thanks Dan, for your insight and comments. I greatly appreciate your openness to adjusting your perspective to account for the context of the past. I agree that the changes just in culture alone and what might have ben important to society is a fascinating exploration into an earlier time. We have the luxury of history and the documentation (visual and written) that has recorded it, however, it is insightful to be able to understand how the world was different and is more so now.

      I also appreciate your thoughts on the articles. I have found them to be both humorous and disturbing for the same reasons you mentioned. Our ability to take the readings in te context they were written allows us to gain a better understanding of the societal perceptions of the day. It also frees us to see the challenges others have faced and overcome in the progress of time.

      Well done,


  181. Edward Thomas Dolan IV says:

    In the Willie Cole exhibition in the Rowan art gallery, one piece particularly grabbed my attention, “AmeriQuiz”. As soon as I saw this piece, I immediately saw a failure on the artist’s part. He attempts to use acronyms to express his political stances, and his biases resonate strongly in his work. Acronyms such as “Anything mentioned except relevant issues chumps America” spell out A.M.E.R.I.C.A. in a spiteful and ignorant way.
    There is an atmosphere of frustration and anger towards the government in this piece. Seeing as the author spent most of his time living and working in Newark, one could perceive how such an atmosphere could arise in his artwork. I feel badly that the author’s views of America have been warped so strongly by his environment; however, when I see this piece, I am immediately angered and shut off from seeing it from any perspective but my own.
    For the most part, I enjoyed Willie’s expo. However, this piece irked me.

  182. Amanda Branda says:

    An image that really stood out to me in the exhibit “Willie Cole: Deep Impressions” was the first print out of the trio called “Man Spirit Mask”. This print depicts the black and white face of an African American man marked with a colored pattern of the openings of a stem iron. I think the reason this image was so compelling to me was because the face actually comes out of a background of complete darkness and the eyes were black holes directed right at the observer. It literally felt like the man in the image was staring straight into your core. The face was also stone cold and I felt like when I looked at it my emotions were sucked out of me. Because the print was so large the face almost surrounded you like a forced confrontation.
    Even though the face was very forward, the first aspect you really noticed was actually the colored markings. Knowing the markings were made from the openings of a burning iron, I linked that in my mind to scars. It is strange how representative that actually is of how people judge others. We are always looking for the imperfections in other people and sometimes they are very challenging to look past, as are the scars in this picture. I also related the markings to the tribal markings in indigenous cultures. These markings almost always told some kind of story or had some kind of meaning. Scars to me also tell a story.
    Relating it back to the African American man in the picture, I personally look at the scars as symbolism of the struggles of African Americans during the times of slavery. The man in the picture is very hollow, which reminds me of how the culture was very beaten down during that time period. The markings were important because you can never overlook a scar, just like this world will never forget the dark times the African American people endured.

  183. Hali Pearce says:

    My favorite piece in the collection was the Pacific tji wara, or the antelope-looking animal made out of bicycle parts. This piece was to pay homage to the African tribe dancers’ distinct head dresses in shapes of animals. The tribe’s dancers wore this to honor the antelope/man deity who ensured their good harvests.
    I like the fact that the the artist used bicycle parts to create the antelope. It is symbolism of the way man in the United States used to use antelope and other types of animals for transportation, and over time, they have gradually been replaced by bikes and automobiles of the like. As for the color, I think that using color that is not found to be a natural color of most animals (besides flamingos), is representative of the change in society from very natural to a materialistic world.

  184. Michael Bacani says:

    During the visit to Willie Cole’s exhibit Deep Impressions, I was amazed at his use of household items, such as an iron, for contemporary art like his piece, “Man Spirit Mask.” The picture that fascinated me the most was his serigraph print called, “The Ogun Sisters.” It was most likely due to the fact that Cole included the chemical symbol for iron, in the picture. This puzzled and attracted me as a Biochemistry major, but it made me wonder the reason as to why he would include this in his print. There was so much going on with this print compared to his other works involving an iron theme. As I looked closer, he included the same chemical symbol twice, once over each woman’s heart, which I heard other students joke about the print earlier, saying “Iron Man?” Not only did each woman have the symbol for iron on their heart they were also holding an iron. The whole portrait itself had a border having multiple impressions of the iron using the negative space effect that he used in the “Spirit” or the middle portion of “Man Spirit Mask.” After reading Cole’s description on the side, he also included one more aspect of the iron that I did not notice. The symbol by the top of the print shows the Haitian sign for Ogun, or the Yoruba deity for iron.
    My interpretation of this may be entirely off, but it seems Cole is trying to say that iron is a vital part of our life, not only as the tool, but also as the element, and as an item of worship. He uses the iron chemical symbol over each woman’s heart to remind us of the iron in our blood has a daily effect on us subconsciously. Cole also uses the Yoruba in a spiritual sense that the iron could be seen as a daily routine or ritual for our personal benefit to make our clothes look nicer. He also displays through his use of the sisters using the iron as a tool in the print. The description of the print also says that because Cole flipped the image of one lady to make it two identical women, the middle creates a third figure on a medical bed being resuscitated by the iron as if it was a defibrillator. This would be another example of how Willie expresses the iron as a tool as well as ritual used to prolong life.

  185. Chelsea Patrick says:

    The sculpture called Pacific tji wara stood out to me initially because of its vibrant color. Looking at it, it reminded me of an antelope or a gazelle of some sort, especially because of the “antlers” and the long neck. I thought the head might be the largest part of the sculpture because of how hunters often display the head of an animal or the antlers as the prized pieces of their capture. The color of the sculpture to me came off as whimsical and playful, like we discussed in class. When I think of this type of animal, I would think of them as playful and graceful. They are light on their feet and move around fast and freely. I thought that pink was a great color to use because it brought attention to the sculpture, just as a gazelle or antelope would capture someone’s attention in real life.
    As for the sculpture being made out of a bicycle, I saw this as referencing how material objects are taking over the world and replacing those that are natural. While people once often looked at nature and animals as beautiful sights and bringing happiness, many now think that of their material possessions, such as a bicycle. I’ve noticed that many people nowadays will refer to their possessions as “beautiful,” “fantastic,” and “awesome,” even if they are simply referring to a car or bike. The natural gifts of the earth, such as an animal in this case, are now being seen as less of a beauty and gift than some man-made items as desires change in our new, material world. This train of thought also led me to think of how technology is taking away the rawness of life. For example, now anyone is able to explore Africa through images on the web instead of seeing it in real life. People create and care for animals online through games and different websites, instead of actually owning one themselves. This made me think that the bicycle being used could also represent how instead of experiencing the real-life animal, we would prefer a man-made version that isn’t even alive, since so many of us are so used to not experiencing the messy and genuine parts of life. Some people would rather have a mechanical, pretend animal in the comfort of their own home rather than go see one for themselves in its natural environment.

  186. Janine Norbut says:


    Abortion is a widely debated topic when it comes to most people. People are either pro-life or pro-choice. This picture of a mother throwing her child away is titled ‘Abortion.’

    Nobody can look at this picture and say that it is acceptable. This photograph is showing that the photographer believes that the picture is basically what abortion is, the murder of a child. They see abortion as throwing away your child, whereas many people believe that abortion isn’t murder because the child hasn’t been born yet.

    This photograph is in black and white. This is to show how most people see the decision between pro-life and pro-choice. However looking at the picture you see that it is all shades of grey as opposed to just black and just white. The decision between pro-life and pro-choice isn’t as simple as yes or no. The multiple shades of grey in this photograph show all of the different situations women might be in that make you consider both sides.

    However, despite all of grey and uncertainty in this photograph we can still see that the artist believes in pro-life. The mother is shadowed in darkness while the child is lit up. The darkness around the mother and her dark colored clothes shows that the artist believes what the mother is doing is dark and evil. The brighter light around the child and the child’s white outfit shows the child’s innocence.

    Looking at the mother’s expression you see her uncaring, almost bored face which shows in this picture she doesn’t care that she is murdering her own child.

    • Very powerful comments Janine,

      I appreciate your taking on such a loaded image and concept. There is so much to talk about with this image and the ideas it evokes (let alone the reactions!). I read some of the comments on the DeviantArt page and was not surprised to see the intensity of emotion a photograph can bring out. Your description and exploration into its meaning are well articulated and definitely point the reader/viewer in a legitimate direction. I find it fascinating that this provocative image can incite anger and attack, however, the intent of the photographer is clear – to do that very thing – evoke intense emotion. Whether the meaning is as direct as your state it (and it certainly could be) or more ambiguous, it brings out a visceral experience.

      Well done,

  187. Bianca Hess says:

    I enjoyed our class visit to the Willie Cole art exhibit on Thursday 1/19. The first thing that caught my eye from a composition standpoint was the presentation of the art. I always like when artists frame their work in sharp, matte black, squared-off frames because of the very composed and polished look it gives the art. Black new-age style frames like that are just my personal favorite since I have several prints I intentionally framed that way. Also, this gives a very contemporary or modern look, which is the perfect complement to work in those styles unless you keep the canvas bound on its original wood board. Work in black frames like this that aren’t meant to be modern don’t always look right, or the frame and piece just don’t complement each other at least to my personal opinion anyhow.
    On a more interpretive note, I had a very different meaning for “Deep Impressions” that the artist probably didn’t consciously think of and we didn’t mention in class. It was interesting that he was able to use the “iron” from our culture as imprints and turned them into representations for African culture. However, I thought more about what an iron represents. I may be going out on a limb here but this is honestly what occurred to me first before we started the class discussion. In our culture, we don’t usually like wrinkles in clothes (unless you intend to be sloppy). Therefore, we want to use an iron to fix the wrinkle problems. If you think about this for a bit, you will realize the underlying meaning. In our culture, wrinkly clothes do not exude perfection, but perfectly pressed clothes do. However, there is a catch in trying to achieve perfection (both physically in the act of pressing clothes and just in real life) – sometimes we get burned! For me, I was able to see this bitter-sweet reality of perfection in his work. His representations of African culture and Mayan-type cultures were interesting and beautiful, but you notice both positive themed and negative themed work throughout the expo. For example, the bright colored flower prints (“Mandala 2, 1994” and “Pressed Iron Blossom No. 2, 2005”) were really beautiful and somewhat show the perfection of nature in that flowers are arranged just right and look so visually pleasing in the natural world. However, there were other prints that were a bit negative. For example, the “Art Against Apartheid” poster was about the harsh reality of South Africa. When Apartheid was still happening, the dutch-descent whites there trying to achieve their own perfection in lavish lifestyle while the native blacks suffered in poverty. This poverty I perceive as an example of getting “burned.” Another example of getting burned is “Raid, 1999” in which the whole piece is scorched designs from irons and the edges of the artwork itself are singed. Both “AmeriQuiz, 2008” and “America Papers IV, 2006” show burning in a more figurative way since no physical “scorches” are on it. Both pieces list acronyms coming from the letters in “America” and show very politically/socially/emotionally charged words. Some words are positive while others are negative. I think these two also show that sometimes in trying to achieve perfection, we may get burned.

  188. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
    – Dorothea Lange

    While reading through “A History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present”, I came across a photograph describes as a “post-mortem portrait, woman holding baby” on pg 66. Upon reading the short description provided, it briefly explained how these post-mortem portraits were a common occurrence during the 20th century when illness ran rampant and claimed thousands of lives, young and old. Lacking a true description of the purpose and history of post-mortem portraits I went and did a little research on my own.

    The invention of the daguerreotype in 1839 made portraiture much more accessible, especially the middle class who were unable to afford painted portraits or photography session. This cheaper and quicker method lead to the common practice of having photographs taken as a means for memorializing dead loved ones. Post-mortem photos, as stated above, were especially common with infants and young children and typically became the only image of the child the family ever had.

    Early post-mortem photographs were usually close-ups and depicted the subject in a deep sleep, or posed/arranged to appear lifelike. Children were often shown at rest on a couch or in a crib and frequently were accompanied by siblings and other family members who were still living. Adults were more commonly posed in chairs or even braced with specially-designed frames to appear standing and attentive. To enhance the lifelike appearance the subject’s eyes were typically propped open or pupils and a rosy flush were painted onto the photographic print. Later post-mortem photography diverged from the attempts to create a lifelike appearance, and often showed the subject in a coffin.

    Below are some links that provide examples of post-mortem portraits:


  189. Kymberleigh Romano says:

    Willie Cole: Deep Impressions

    The compilation of work, displayed in the gallery, shows in my opinion a symbolic evolution of art, culture and humanity. With an art style that developed through the polar influences of his father and mother, an underlying contrast of masculine and feminine comes to light throughout the collection. Heavy, masculine, emotion evoking pieces are synthesized through culturally designated women’s tool (i.e. the hairdryer and the iron).

    A mastery of multiple mediums is conveyed in the comprehensive survey. Expressing the struggles of growing up in the poverty stricken and corrupted city of Newark, New Jersey, medium choice for each individual piece (i.e. paper bags, abandoned hairdryers, etc.) adds to the power behind it. A strong sense of struggle and inner turmoil can be seen and felt in some of his heavier pieces which stand in stark contrast the light joyful emotions portrayed in others reflective of the phases and experiences of his life.

    Pieces of particular interest to myself include; Burning Desire, 2010, Home and Hearth, 2011, and The Worrier, 2011. Selected pieces displayed visually appealing and attractive characteristics from afar and upon closer examination show the intricate nature of the selected material and deeper message. The variety of messages each piece can portray given the individual admiring it adds, in my opinion, to the strength and universal nature of each piece.

    Overall the collection contains eye catching works of art each worthy of its own analysis and discussion.

  190. Brad Fedor says:

    This is one of my favorite articles about film I’ve ever read. I was left astounded at the revelation the author had made about Pixar and I 100% agree with Pixar’s message, “Humanity does not have a monopoly on person hood.”
    All of the settings in Pixar films are realistic and represent futures that could possibly happen for humans and non-human beings. Like WALL-E, robots are already a reality in our world and will soon have full emotions and consciousness, some according to scientists decades from now will have minds of humans uploaded into them. Pixar is saying these non-human robots will have a very difficult time adjusting to our society because our society will be highly hesitant to accept them. Another possible future which Pixar says people may eventually have to experience is an alien race from another planet visiting ours. The human population’s immediate reaction will be fear because we instinctively fear those we know nothing about. This will make the acceptance of person hood of these beings even more difficult than in the case of the robots because we can at least control or understand what makes them. Or flip the situation where our civilization is so advanced that humans may travel to a different planet/world. In certain aspects of our history we have shown our very worst when first contacting new beings, like when Christopher Columbus traveled to North American and enslaved the indigenous people. So we must be certain an atrocity like that will never happen again and treat the new beings as people and not lesser beings.
    I believe that Pixar films are a very good introduction for accepting non-human, sentient beings as conscious people or creatures. Furthermore, my take from the films is that people should respect others for their beliefs and hobbies and not condone things that differ from your values and beliefs. The films also tell humans to respect all other forms of life from lions to rats, for they have emotions of joy and sensations like pain similar to all organisms. Unless humans are self aware of this problem they have, they will never be able to accept non-human beings.

  191. Heather Cleary says:

    In the Willie Cole: Deep Impressions Exhibit, I found “Home and Hearth, 2011” to be to most interesting piece in the collection. Last semester, I took Honors Art through the Women’s Movement and in this class, we focused on women artists and common themes these women used to express themselves. Immediately when I saw this piece, I saw two major themes that were used in the feminist art movement; the woman experience and goddess imagery.

    “Home and Hearth” directly reflects on the natural woman experience of conception. One can see essential elements to a female figure and sperm-like objects gravitating to what seems to be the vaginal opening of the female figure. Bright colors of red, orange and yellow, which outline the female figure, contrast with the blue background and the white and pink sperm-like objects. The breasts of the female figure have a white pattern, from an iron, which indicates scarification, a process of using scars to make a person more appealing to society. This interpretation was confirmed with the description of the piece provided in the gallery. When I first saw the piece, I interpreted the female figure to be a goddess-like form. Again, this interpretation was confirmed with the description on the piece. In the description, Cole focused on the goddess Yemaya, “the global female deity of the ocean and moon.” I found through a quick search on the internet that this particular goddess is prayed to for assistance during childbirth and for fertility, especially by women who struggle to conceive. Since this piece focuses on conception, Yemaya is the perfect deity to use to express this woman experience.

    Overall, I found it intriguing to see a male-artist hone in on the themes of the woman experience and goddess imagery knowing that these two themes are more commonly found in feminist works of art. Cole used his well-known iron motif which was strongly present in this piece to express these two themes.

  192. Tarynn Huitt says:

    (I hope the html works, if not I posted the links to the images.)

    Both of these images are visually striking for different reasons, but try to convey similar meanings. The first is of a line to get into a job fair in Atlanta, Georgia. Alone, the number of people waiting is astounding and seemingly infinite because the line extends beyond the scope of the photo. The photographer does this by carefully composing the picture so the line winds its way from one corner to another, drawing the eye along with it. This makes the photo even more striking and visually powerful.

    I also see the first photo as an allusion to the second, which is a famous Great Depression photo. This photo doesn’t use a visual line like the first to be visually striking. Rather, it uses repetition and irony to capture the viewer’s attention and make its point. The people are close together in a breadline, wearing dark coats. Presumably, it is winter. This conveys hopelessness and almost draws the viewer into the moment, feeling cold, hungry, and nervous about the future. But what makes this photo so famous is the obvious irony. The billboard behind the people gloats about the prosperity of the American lifestyle, a remnant of the previous booming decade. But at the time this photo was taken, the norm was breadlines and government assistance, not a happy road trip with the family in a brand new car.

    Both pictures are examples of photojournalism, but are just as powerful as any other genre of photography. They capture very real moments in our nation’s history, preserving them for future generations. Words can’t have the same impact of a certain moment in history as well as photo that shows real people facing real problems. Juxtaposed together, these images emphasize the severity of the recession we’re still in. This first photo isn’t from 2008 or 2009 when the Recession was at its worst, but from a couple of months ago. I have often seen this recession referred to the Great Recession, just demonstrating even more how this recession is closer to the severity of the Great Depression than some of us even realize. Together, these photos have the same effect.

    • you are so right in your assessment of these images. They are very similar in message and sadly all to current. Despite the 60+ years in between them, they resonate in the same way. When you say, “Both pictures are examples of photojournalism, but are just as powerful as any other genre of photography.”, do you mean that they are equal to other genres or more powerful because they are representations of a reality?

      I appreciate your argument and agree with the strength of your statements.

      Well done!


  193. Christina Nitzsche says:

    The picture called Burning Desire was my favorite at the exhibit today. The picture is full of symbolism. Red is the color of passion, desire, and strong, sexual emotions. Fire is also seen in a sexual light. Because fire is seen as dangerous and exciting, people use it to symbolize sex. Sex is thought of by most people to be more exciting when there is some sort of danger involved. This is why some people have sex in public places. Finally, the half-naked or fully-naked woman in bed is an obvious symbol of sex and sexual desire. She is looking directly out (at the viewer of the picture) with her arms back exposing her chest. She is smiling a welcoming smile as if to invite the viewer into the picture and her bed to take part in the desire they are feeling.
    Another picture that caught my attention was the picture of the man’s face in Man Spirit Mask. Although in class we discussed the spiritual implications behind it, I did not see the same thing. Someone said that the man may have scarred himself like a Native American to make himself look more beautiful. If that was the case, I feel like the man would be smiling. This face was the face of a deeply troubled man. His eyes are soulless and his expression is emotionless. It is as if the life has been drained out of this man. I got the impression that this man could be a dead man, eyes open as though he had died that way and no one had found him yet. The picture was also very large; larger than a real human’s head by a lot. This gave the impression that the artist was trying to draw everyone’s attention to the piece because there was a greater purpose behind creating this picture.

    • Well said Christina, I appreciate your line of reasoning and your well thought out descriptions. I agree, the Burning Desire piece is a potent expression of the kind of dangerous (potentially) passion that the viewer is drawn to.

      In terms of Man Spirit Mask, I certainly see your perspective and acknowledge the strength of your argument. I am struck by the intensity of your impression. Thinking of how it relates to the other 2 in the triptych, it makes sense that a viewer could draw the same conclusion. The piece on the far right showed an iron covering an upside down face. That would certainly reinforce your interpretation.

      Very insightful.

      Thanks for your active participation!

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