Thursday, January 31, 2013

Everyone Should Read a Book by Edward Abbey

 Devoted though we must be to the conservation cause, I do not believe that any of us should give it all of our time or effort or heart. Give what you can, but do not burn yourselves out -- or break your hearts. Let us save at least half of our lives for the enjoyment of this wonderful world which still exists. Leave your dens, abandon your cars and walk out into the great mountains, the deserts, the forests, the seashores. Those treasures still belong to all of us. Enjoy them to the full, stretch your legs, expand your lungs, enliven your hearts -- and we will outlive the greedy swine who want to destroy it all in the name of what they call GROWTH.
God bless America -- let's save some of it.
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Experimentation or sabotage?

Today I took videos of some of my landscapes and was planning to experiment with them in Final Cut, however, I can't figure out how to get the videos from the camera to the computer. So instead I messed around in Photoshop, which resulted in an experiment I don't feel too sure about. I photoshopped some of my landscapes onto different backgrounds from photographs of "real" landscapes. What's the verdict?:




I am not totally sure how I feel about these, particularly the desert one. There really are no rules here, and no way that these are "supposed" to look. They aren't even supposed to look entirely real. I just don't want them to look too "fake" though.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Frosted Fail

This week's attempt did not go so well. I tried to make an arctic scene (probably a reaction to our recent sub zero temperatures), and the sculpture itself turned out all right, but I failed disastrously with the lighting and photography. I also didn't take any pics of this in the process of being made because it was such a mess. I dyed corn syrup with blue food coloring and then attempted to take photos of it using natural light while the corn syrup ran all over the place. When I looked at the photos afterward it seemed like a stretch to find even one that I liked. This one was probably the most successful:


I definitely did not achieve that pure "winter light" that you often see in photographs of arctic scenes. It was more of a fading, 3:00 PM kind of light. I should have used some non-natural lighting to get some more detail in the darker tones. I'm embarrassed, but here's an example of a bad one:


The lighting and color is disastrously bad on this one. I can't even go back and retake these photos either because the landscape was so messy I had to trash it right away. The good news is that I am planning on making more landscapes than photographs I am using in the show so I will be able to pick and choose which ones I like; I won't necessarily have to use these.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Gettin' Gross with Syrup

This week I created and photographed Landscape 2 which is tentatively called Frost/Frosting (last week's I decided to call Desert/Dessert). The materials this time: Frosting, syrup, chili powder, beans, (chewed) gum. Here's a photo of it in the process:


And this, for proof of materials:


For the final photograph I experimented more with lighting. I didn't want such deep lighting like I had in my last landscape, the desert, so I used two lights this time. One was a taller, brighter light than the last time and the other was a small one that I placed behind the landscape. Here's what I got:



The black and white was just a test that I did, but I kind of liked it after I did it. I think if I want all my photographs to look cohesive in the end I will have to keep them all in color, but, it was an interesting experiment.

 My absolute favorite part of this landscape is the reflection in the "water" (syrup-did I mention this was a gross, syrupy mess?). I think this week I came a lot closer to it looking like a true landscape. This weekend I am hoping to start experimenting with taking video of some of the landscapes. I have no idea how that will turn out, but I am going to try.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Beginning of Landscape Art

So, I haven't really blogged in awhile, unfortunately. I have kind of missed it, so I'm glad I have the chance to start blogging again for my senior project. For this project I am creating landscapes out of food, and then photographing the landscapes as if they are a "real" landscape. The photographs will be the finished work. This week I created the first one and photographed it. Here's a photo of it in the process of being made:



For this first one I decided to do a desert (maybe because it's cold out?) It is made out of melted caramel, chili powder, brown sugar, glue, and, ultimately, veggie chips (the red blobs you see in there I decided to change). The next step after it was made was to photograph it as if it were a "real"landscape. Here are two of the photographs that I think are the most successful:


I will have to decide which of these I think better fit the idea of being "phenomenological," or, looking as though you could move through the landscape. I will also want a second opinion on what to do with the sky and background. I edited the color in Photoshop so that it wasn't pure white, and looked more like a "sky," but I am not sure if I quite like it, because even in these small images it looks pretty artificial...not that the whole entire photograph isn't "artifical."

The other thing I need to decide is whether or not to include in my project some of the landscapes I made over winter break, which I didn't like at the time, but which I am now starting to reconsider, such as this one:


My problem with it now is that it isn't made entirely out of food, and then I would have to change my entire thesis for my project.