Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Climbing on Rooftops?

This is in response to Night Climbing by Ian Jeffrey at http://www.aperture.org/blog/night-climbing/.

Ian was writing about Thomas Mailaender, a contemporary photographer who collected these images for a traveling show recently.  The images, however, are taken in Cambridge in 1937 of guys climbing on roofs.  This article grabbed my attention because I myself like to climb.  I generally like climbing trees but I generally like to see things from above.  Something about seeing the world from a higher vantage point is fascinating to me. 

Ian points out that the activity of students climbing on the buildings isn't unusual.  He mentions a book called The Roof Climber's Guide that was written in 1899.  You don't write a book about something you never do.  The interesting point Ian makes is that these particular students were interested in publicity, in photographing themselves.  In 1937 this would have been more unique than today where everyone owns at least two cameras, one on their phone and one on their laptop.  Clearly these students back in 1937 were just forerunners to today's society where we're fascinated with photographing ourselves and putting our images up for the world to see on facebook and whatever other websites we're connected to on the internet.  

What's in a Dream?

What's In A Dream?

This is an image that I composited for class.  The assignment had a mere two requirements.  First of all we had to create a "dreamscape" that told a narrative and second, it had to be made using ONLY scanned in images.  

Some people don't really have dreams all that much but I am not one of those people.  I get dreams quite often.  Most of my dreams involve some sort of adventure.  As a case in point, I had a dream just this morning that had me in a sword fight with some chubby kid on a bright street somewhere and somehow I got his sword and won the battle.  But I digress.  I decided that since the assignment required us to use scanned images it would make more sense to see what I could find and then put the images together that I found.  Our art department here at Bradley University, like many other art departments I'm sure, has many old copies of National Geographic that are free for the cutting up or scanning.  On a couple different days I collected issues from before the 90's and searched through issues until I found an image that made me feel adventurous and reminded me of my dreams at the same time.  It wasn't too selective, just visually interesting to me.  Once I had around twenty images I had to narrow it down to a few that would work together and then put them together.  I ended up with the images below:

I liked the two little people on all of that ice because it looked like a place that would be interesting to walk around in, to climb upon. The volcano was mainly because I like blue but the fire got my attention and seemed intense, like what might occur in my dream.  The man on the end is from Yemen in real life (thirty years ago he was still alive anyway) but I chose him because he looked dangerous and interesting.

After playing around a bit I ended up with this image:

Showing it in class the teacher and fellow students thought I should perhaps add a few more little people and make my snow cave a little more like a snow cave.  The volcano also seemed to be just texture rather than a volcano.  Thankfully someone else in the class had this image:

                                                                  so I could add more little guys without much trouble.

It was an interesting assignment although I generally don't like being stuck using the scanner only.  It was a good way to stretch a little in being creative.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cactus at Night

This is a flowering cactus on one of my friends' porch.  It is funny to me because the flower only comes out at night.  I do a lot with painting with light and wanted to photograph this desert flower.