The second of two major trips our group takes every semester, our New York trip occurred earlier in April. Flying into Laguardia from Detroit, we spent 2 pretty full days exploring the city. Although it rained pretty heavily one day, we weren't deterred from visiting camera shops, parks, and other locations.
While this may sound strange, as I went with a photography group to New York to take photos, I was less focused on the camera and more interested in having a good time with an amazing group of people.
A recent trip to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor yielded some fantastic portraits. Going into this shoot, I had initally planned on testing out a rather rough pinhole camera I made earlier in the week. I didn't expect to get the kinds of shots I came away with. I've been wanting to host a portrait session in a local greenhouse. This turned out to be very similar, with lots of light (despite the cloudy conditions) pouring in from the many windows on the walls and roof.
Although I was particularly excited about the portraits, I managed to get some photos of the plants and the Gardens themselves. Overall, a very satisfying shoot, and definitely a place that needs to be revisited in the near future.
Almost every year I go to the Dow Gardens during their butterfly exhibition. After going this many years in a row, sometimes multiple times each year, I'm not so much interested in the butterflies. The green-house, atrium feel of the building is what draws my attention the most (as illustrated by he few photos below).
While I went through 3 or 4 rolls of film, I only managed to snag a few digital photos. I shot with my digital camera last, so, after a few hours inside (and away from the awful winds that have been going through the area lately), I was understandably, feeling like I had photographed mostly everything in there that day.
This Winter semester I've been able to enroll in an Intro to Black and White Photography class. While the class focuses on some of the more basic elements of photography, it allows me to access SVSU's darkroom. While the class does have it's own assignments, I mainly shoot for myself. Below are some of the photos that I've been able to develop while taking the course.
None of these are photos from course assignments, but instead tests of things I've wanted to try outside of assigned material. All of these photos were shot on my Mamiya RB67 from several shoots including studio, Grand Rapids, Chicago, and Romeo.
I might have mentioned before that I've been shooting on film more, which eats away at the amount of digital images I'm able to produce. There's a couple different projects I'm working on that involve film, but I've started one that is mainly digital.
For this workshop, I mainly put my Minolta and Mamiya down. Our group took a trip to the Saginaw Goodwill to pick up a few items, including some fabric, a retro-style telephone, and a walker.
Some of the shots are pretty basic portraiture while others are a bit more abstract. Definitely had a great (and safe) time with the fire, very thankful for how smooth that test-shoot went. As we're planning on doing a more extended shoot later in the year, this was mainly a trial run (that produced some interesting results).
I discovered Port Hope and the nearby Pointe Aux Barques during the summer of 2016. Before, I hadn't heard of the place; now it feels like I visit the area frequently.
Currently, we're having a warm period. I'm hesitant to say that this is the start of spring, but, flying my drone over the still frigid but warming waters surrounding the lighthouse, I might have experienced a bit of excitement as I thought about the potential of an early warm season.
It’s been difficult to make a point to go out and take photos with a busy academic and work schedule, especially with the brief period of daylight available during the evening hours. As the temperature increases and daylight extends into the 6-7 p.m. range, photo sessions become much more accessible.
I’ll admit to being infatuated with the typical “coffee shop” portrait shot through a window. I know, it’s been done to death, but I just couldn’t resist recreating the hackneyed style for myself. Overall, the photos represent a slight deviation from the style in which I’ve been comfortable shooting. These images are a bit “grungier,” with a slight tumblr-photography style influence. I still prefer lots of cool tones in my shots, especially in this instance to serve as a contrast to the warm colors in the hair.
Overall, I had a fantastic time shooting in Downtown Bay City (despite the fact that I lost my keys during the shoot…which I later found inside my car).
Regardless of political affiliation, the importance of assembling to peacefully protest must not be lost amidst the complaints of those who see protests as outlets for violence. The protest surrounding the President’s Executive Orders to temporarily ban refugees and to begin construction on a wall along the Mexican-American border was an incredible event to witness. Alongside politically charged chants and amidst all of the sign waving were conversations surrounding the smallest things; figuring out what to eat after the event, small talk about minor life events, etc.
These conversations, alongside the more serious political purpose of the event, seemed alien; and yet these are the things that characterize the human experience. Not just the American experience, but those of every person from every walk of life. These Executive Orders do determine who we are as a nation. However, as important as these are, they also serve as a distractor, a “shock event” among others designed to distract the populace from other event going on that will have a lasting impact on the nation.
Trump’s cabinet picks have defied all of his campaign promises to “drain the swamp,” as the premise that he was going to root out corruption was faulty from the start due to the fact that business is the corrupting force within politics.
However, we may take a tentative respite in the fact that history is not linear. While it is difficult to see the progress made by the previous administration frustrated, it is not at all unrealistic to imagine a post-Trump America that picks up right where While there were many issues that the Obama administration could have handled more proficiently, I believe his government was working towards beginning to address issues of intellectual property rights, campaign finance reform, internet law, and many other issues that should be defining our political debates currently. America will withstand Trump and his administration that currently and baldfacedly represents big oil and big bank interests; the question is becomes, “how many lives will we let slip by during his administration?”
Drove down to Ann Arbor for a quick day trip. After trying to get our polaroid film to work properly, we decided that the city didn't leave us as inspired as we had hoped. Instead, we took a drive down one of the roads leading out of Ann Arbor without a plan. Eventually, we came across an area that looked great for droning. We called it a day after raising some concern from a pair of geese.
After returning home, we proceeded to destroy 16 rolls of film. We soaked film in solutions containing wasabi, NyQuil, melatonin, and other chemical odds and ends. I'm particularly excited about a concoction containing Absinthe and another with NyQuil, melatonin, and vitamin C.