Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why We Teach

This was a tough year for education and in general I get a bit disheartened when I see an influx of the types of people who shouldn't be in education ...or I see more government regulation whose end result is taking time away from the classroom. This year I met the good, the bad and the ugly of college administrators. I saw shockingly bad behavior and got asked some very interesting questions. It was obvious that some of them get what we (teachers) do and others just don't. There were dull blades and some very sharp cookies. The truth is, most people haven't a clue why teachers do what we do...

We teach because: 

- nothing beats that moment in the classroom where you realized they actually "got" it...where the light bulbs go on and you've helped them expand their concepts of life. 

- every day is different, might be the same hill we're climbing each semester, but each group of students is different and needs different approaches. 

- it uses every single fiber of your intellect, energy, patience and spirit.

- it gives back what you took.

- we're a bit bossy.

- we get paid to learn. 

- once you understand the path, you have to show it to others. 

- it's the right thing to do. 

- what else could be as challenging trying to figure out what it will take to help each student see which step they need next? 

I'm sure I've missed some of the reasons you teach...please feel free to share if I missed what inspired you.

This will be my last post for this blog as I'm spending the summer getting ready for school in the fall. Thank you so much for giving me your time.   Best wishes, Ann

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Anatomy Of An Image

Where do we find inspiration? Sometimes it's by getting an "inside" view on how an image was created. With that goal in mind, I've created a You Tube Video showing how this image went from the  original on the left to the finished version on the right. The video is on my YouTube channel, which has additional tutorials on Lightroom and Photoshop. I was inspired both by the travel posters (see below) of the 30's and 40's as well as my love for vintage Los Angeles architecture.  Here's a link to the video. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

New Ways to Photograph

Back when I was a little more limber and was teaching a beginning photography class, one of the opening group exercises I would do  is to have them stand on top of their desk (luckily we had strong tables) to see how the world looked different. Then we would reverse the experience and everyone had to be on the floor - placing their eyes two inches from the ground. Strangely enough, it was this second viewpoint that was the most unusual.

The whole idea was to take people in their everyday setting and look at how differently you could change things simply by using a different viewpoint. We forget (or never knew) what the world looks like from someone else's vantage point until we're literally placed into it. So today I though I would look at how many of those different viewpoints you can use to change the look of your image-making. 

From February's Month of Creativity:
Altitude is the first one and includes everything from a "god's eye" view to an "ant's viewpoint." Think about shooting from ground level up to knee beyond - 10ft above, even thirty feet above. In each of these situations you've got a whole different set of compositional and design options. Don't forget that you can even go below ground level to really change it up.

Scale - shooting details - getting as close as you can. Consider shooting a series of shots that in each step you move 50% closer with each step. See what happens to our sense of the subject as we start to lose our reference points.

Additional methods of changing what happens within the frame: 

Time - how an object changes over time. This could be anything from a decaying object to an organic element that grows and morphs. Think of Nick Nixon's great series on his wife and her sisters - photographing them annually over several decades.

Compositional shape - think of the different energies found in a panoramic shape vs. a square frame. By its nature the square, with it's equal sides, is balanced and calm while a pano has a very dynamic energy as it makes the eye move over its landscape.

Tone or light is a way to direct the eye - try creating a shot where the majority of the image is in darkness and the subject becomes an island of light. Do the opposite, fill the frame with light and sketch the subject with only the slightest change in tonality.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vintage Trailers ... the Road Less Traveled

In May we attended a vintage trailer rally at Pismo Beach. We've been doing these rallies for over 15 years now and it seems like I enjoy them more each year. In the beginning it was mostly old car guys, but over time we've been discovered by the hipsters, so now we're an interesting blend of generations and temperaments.  One of my favorite parts is when you wake up in the morning, open your door and gaze out at a sea of small unique "homes" with wisps of campfires and sleepy eyed kids who say "hi" as they head for the showers. It's an echo of times past - when everyone seemed to have a DIY mentality and it would have been odd to copy your neighbor's trailer. It always baffles me to look at the rows of grand modern trailers...all of them white, beige or brown - plus, the occupants never seem to come out to enjoy the view, much less get to know their neighbors. 

I think these vintage trailers are also connected to the "tiny house" movement where people find joy in living "small" and freedom in structures that don't demand 24/7 maintenance (or massive mortgages). For me it's also a nice break from most of my media, reading books and escaping from tv. Here's some exteriors of my series from this year's rally. You can join us by getting your own vintage trailer at Tin Can Tourists, but I should warn you now...the problem with vintage trailers is no one stops with just one!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Palm Springs Vintage & My Anniversary!

It was one year ago (plus 1 day) that I started this blog. The idea was to explore creativity as I took a year's sabbatical finding ways to reinvent myself as an artist. Well...I'm pleased to say that I did accomplish that goal - but it was a hell of a year in many ways. 

In this past year I had my heart broken, felt truly lost and created a new foundation. It was a year where I met some very mean spirited, small-minded people with no understanding of how to motivate or why teachers do what we do - but I also met some real gems - people who know what collaboration and consensus means and who constantly strive for excellence. I both lost and then rebuilt a sense of myself as an individual and an artist. In the midst of feeling so alone, I realized I was actually surrounded by a rich and diverse community of souls who took the time to let me know how I had touched their lives...and let's face it, our connections to others is all we have in the end. 

I reaffirmed my goals for the next 5 years - and while I'm deeply saddened by the changes that have come to my school and frankly, not really sure if it will be able to recover - these are my peeps and, at least for now, where I will stay to fight the good fight. 

A few weeks ago I had a great time visiting Palm Springs - admittedly, I wish it hadn't been over 100 degrees for most of the time. was only May! That said, it's a really interesting town for design mavens. Between the tons of antique stores stocked full of modernist treasures, the vintage car dealership, the architecture, good food and friendly locals it's a gold mine for the visually oriented. I decided to look for vintage trailer parks and had a blast!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tiny Town & Marwencol - Obsession and Creativity

This week I'm featuring two amazing examples of obsessive creativity...people who worked outside of the "art world" and are excellent examples of creating your own world.

Tiny Town was the 68 year obsession of Charles Moshinskie's dad and grandfather. His dad worked on it for 68 years, creating playgrounds, swimming pools, dances...all of these little scenes play out in this construction with over 21 states depicted. Looking at what he created I'm humbled by the intensity of his conviction and imagination. 

I recently watched this documentary about another artist who also found his life's passion in creating his own world. Marwencol is a film about Mark Hogancamp who had been left brain-damaged after an attack and created his own World War II town that he then photographed to create an evolving storyline. If you have Netflix, you can watch Marwencol online!

We often call this type of work "outsider art" which always leaves me feeling just a little bit pretentious - as if there's an inside and outside to crativity. Actually the term isn't really about's more about business, or the business of art. What's always interesting to me about outsider art is its purity and the connection you feel with the artist...a vulnerability and truthfulness that cuts through all of life's crap.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thinking (and Talking) About Your Art

Wow...I'm surprised that I still have more to say about this experience - but I thought I'd add a bit about what I learned this week related to the process of discussing (and thinking) about your work. As I said before, these portfolio reviews are complex experiences with fundamental flaws and strengths. On the strength side, I found it meaningful to bring my work out into the greater community, i.e. people who don't already know me. By the beginning of the third day I had a different understanding of what I thought the work was about, which lead me to create a different interaction for my final day of reviews. 

I can't imagine how exhausting the process must be for the reviewers, but most of them really gave it a good shot. There was the occasional dud (overheard to say "maybe you should give up") or egotist ("I'm an expert so when I say this you should listen") but for the most part they showed up and gave their best input. I was able discover differences between the images I brought as a unit, which has helped me identify a few divergent trends. 

Here are some of the questions that people ask in a review - and I think they're good ones to ask yourself. 

1. "Tell me about yourself"...which really translates into "tell me what in your life has brought you to the point of making these images - what core values or motivation does this work come from?" Obviously, you don't want to go too much into your psychological depths, but it's good to help them understand you're not just playing. 

2. "What are your influences?" Well, this can also be a question asking if you see that you're referencing certain established artists. For some reason I totally blanked on naming Magritte as a strong foundational influence and so was faced with having to honestly say that I wasn't really thinking of Jerry Uelsmann when I was working. Which is really odd...because it's the truth. I never really connected to his work before, because it wasn't what I was interested in. A few months ago I saw a terrific show of his at Peter Fetterman's, but the work lacks an emotional quotient for me.  I think this question also helps the reviewer get some quick reference points on starting to understand what you're trying to accomplish - remember this all has to be attempted in 20 minutes. 

3. Obviously, they're going to ask about the work you're showing..."Tell me about this work." This is the time I always wish I had the perfect short sentence that brilliantly explains everything - they call that your "elevator speech" as in, you meet someone you've desperately tried to see in an elevator and you've got 20 seconds to tell them about your work in a way that will capture their hearts and minds....hmmm...I do realize the inherent flaws in that concept, but nonetheless, it exists. 

4. "What do you want from me?" Considering this concept is a good use of your time. Of course, there's the obvious, "I want you to tell me I'm brilliant and that you're going to make me rich and famous right now!" For the most part, this isn't going to let's get real and figure out what this person's skill sets are and how can you utilize them to your best advantage. This is true in any type of interaction - it's always a negotiation, it helps if you have a goal in mind. Try and avoid "I want you to tell me if I'm good enough for..." because that's not possible for anyone to assess. Let's face it, we've all seen crap work out that that it's not about quality. Consider them a resource book that you've got on a 20 minute loan. 

5. "If we had a group of people standing in front of this image on the wall of my gallery, what would you say to them about it?" That's an interesting one...part of it is wondering if you can help them in the promotion of your work, but it's also going into more depth about the images. You don't want to give them a long lecture about each image but, depending on the work, you want to be able to discuss it in some way. Yes, there's the legend of the famous artist who refuses to talk about their work...but let's face're coming to get their feedback and that won't happen without your participation. Talking about your images is about becoming a better communicator and that's the core of the creative arts.

Hopefully, this gives you some insight into the process, but also starts you thinking about how to discuss your work with others. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Getting Out...Part II

This week I'm in Palm Springs for Portfolio Reviews. You see these events advertised everywhere now, they've become a new industry...and I guess I have mixed feelings about them. In the past I've attended two other reviews: Photo Lucida, in Portland, is the best of the smaller regional reviews, Fotofest, in Houston, is an enormous, overly intense experience. Each time I attend one of these events I'm struck by the same's exhausting (and not part of my nature) to get myself out among so many strangers, all of us trying to make connections.

Over time, I've gotten used to the format of the experience and that has helped. My presentation method has been slimmed down to an easily carried portfolio box. The prints are standardized in terms of the size of the paper and how the work fits on it - basically removing any unwanted distractions. I've got a business card and a solid promotional leave-behind. The "review" is a 20 minute slot during which you've got to find the table, introduce yourself, unpack your stuff, give a short description of the work, have them turn the pages/flip the prints, answer their questions, take a few notes, ask your questions and pack up when the buzzer rings. Fun huh?

I decided to put myself through this process because I felt it was time for this new body of work to leave the studio and start its path into the world. However, now that I'm here, that old uneasiness returns. Part of it is the monetization of what used to be a fundamental part of the art-making experience - talking about your work with curators, gallerists and collectors. That conversation and relationship was a part of how artists developed and how the art world saw itself. I'm left with so many questions: what if your work doesn't benefit from being summed up in 20 minutes...what if it's better to look at all the work laid out at once...what if they've already seen 10 people and their brains are mush?

On the upside, I've met many great photographers in just a few days, which is one of the best end results of these experiences - that connection to a greater group. The Sunday afternoon event was an open portfolio review where all the participants got space to show their work and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around meeting people whose work I liked and discussing it with them. There was a real mix of expertise levels and that was interesting as well.

So, is it worth it? I don't know...sometimes it's about movement...even when you don't exactly know where you want to go. We'll see...

Here are a few of the photographers I met:

Torrie Groening: she had been a print maker for over two decades and the work I saw was mixed media with layers of painting and photography - you can tell she has a strong sense of how to work with color. I loved the delicate quality of the work. She had traveled from Vancouver, Canada

Wendy Sacks: interesting body of work featuring photographs of children semi-submerged in water. There was a lush quality to the prints and I especially was drawn to the reflections that created patterns throughout.

Bobby Lee: he had both what I would call commercial/glossy fashion style portraits as well as a beautiful set of subtle landscapes. Additionally, he had hand bound his portfolio with pull out pages...very impressive.

Adam D. Gerlach: he was from Santa Barbara (Brooks Institute) and had a beautiful set of black and white intensely dark landscapes. Stylish work, abstracted with good design.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get Out!

I remember having a conversation many years ago with a student about what art-making is - what its purpose is. The student was very involved in her new experience of making imagery but she hadn't realized that just making the work isn't enough to be an artist. It's very easy to get confused between exploring your creativity and actually trying to be a working artist. What's the difference? 

4th Street Bridge, Multiple Viewings
Bringing creativity into your everyday life is a valuable way to make each day more meaningful. You find yourself surrounded by a world full of wonders and questions...and that's a worthy goal in and of itself - but being a working artist is different in that you're creating something that must find its place in the world. Making art and then just hiding it in your room/closet/studio isn't enough. Art is a commentary about the world/time/space we live in and you owe it to the work to bring it out into the world. Additionally, you don't really know the work until you've seen it in a different environment. 

This week I'm stepping out in two very different venues. The first is part of MOPLA which is a month long celebration of photography in Los Angeles. I will be participating in a group exhibition at a "pop-up" space presented by OFFSITE Projects. The exhibition features the work of five photographers all exploring Los Angeles and is called LA Story.  I'll be showing work from my Multiple Viewings series which explores the iconic spaces in LA. This is a collaborative effort and we're all pitching in during the four day run of the show. It is located just a block away from Paris Photo, an international photography fair, so we're hoping to get traffic from there as well. 

At first I only saw the trees, Razor's Edge
The second event is Connect 2013, The Palm Springs Photo Festival, which starts on Sunday and runs for the week. I'll be bringing a new body of work - Meditative Spaces Found While Traversing The Razor's Edge - this will be its first real journey into the world and I have no idea what to expect. My work (all the different series) has always been about the experience of living, who we are, what we leave behind - but it was always fairly subtle. This new work speaks to the experience of living in a much more solid manner. The images came out of my meditations dealing with change, life, age, fear, name it...I'm trying to illustrate the human condition. As I said before, it's not enough to just make the work, you then have to bring it out into the world to start to fully understand it - so this is my first step at that process. 

LA Story, April 25-28th, 660 N. Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles

Connect 2013, April 28th-May 3rd, Hyatt Regency, Palm Springs. Come by this Sunday from 2-5 for an open Portfolio event. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Another Important Tool...

What if I were to tell you that one of the most important tools for being an artist is not creativity (ironic thought for this blog, I fully realize) - but rather resiliency - or what I like to think of as "bounce." The ability to face a world of rejection isn't just about our interaction with the outside world - it's an essential tool in the creative process as well. 

How many times have you had an absolutely brilliant idea only to see it die a thousand deaths as it hits the page? Or that great image that almost works but for some reason you just can't quite make it come together? Every artist, writer, filmmaker, musician...probably even most scientists have to learn how to face failure and not allow it to dampen their ability to keep coming back the next day. 

One way to do this is to shift from a "goal" orientation to a "process" one. What I mean by that is, if you're only focused on making a new masterpiece - then anything that falls short of the mark will likely be very disappointing. If instead your focus is on the process or practice of creative output, then you've succeeded to some degree just by showing up everyday and putting in the time. This doesn't mean you don't care about making good work - but you become a little insulated against those times when it just isn't working.  Showing up for the difficult process of being an artist on a regular basis will mean that eventually you're going to hit those masterpieces and find your way...but you can't find that path if you're not in the game. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

As Time Goes Bye...

Today my neighbors are having a massive garage sale...they're leaving the house they've lived in for over 50 years and we're all heartbroken about it. On either side of me, I've had the same neighbors since I moved in twenty years ago. One set is ten years older than me and the other is twenty, so I've been able to have interesting and vibrant "previews" of what life has in store for me. But this change wasn't expected and it's been a wakeup call for us as we try to see what lessons we can learn, and the biggest ones seem to be about recognizing change and responding to it. 

You'd think that change would be easy to spot a mile away...but often it's a bit of a slow moving glacier. You don't miss the big changes: deaths, births, job loss, heartbreak - those hit you in the face and demand an answer. But it's the sneaky ones catching you by surprise that really seem to make the biggest impact on life longterm. I think that's what happened to my neighbors - over time, their life and business was changing, demanding they change the habits of a lifetime and I think they missed it - and they're not the only ones - it happens to us all. 

Right now, as you read this, your life is changing. The relationships around you are different than they were even a month ago, your work/school/life environment is morphing and you may have missed it because you were coping and coming up with short term solutions. How do we prevent this? I don't have the full answer but I do know that it's really important to assess your life and choices on a regular basis. Ask yourself if your current solutions are working? An easy way to assess this is to see if you're having to face the same issue over and over again - or better yet, do your solutions really address the root of the problem or just the symptoms? Are you challenging yourself to change and grow on a regular basis? Are you doing things that scare you (no, not robbing banks...) on a daily basis, getting you out of your comfort zone?

At the core of it, I think that's why I've been so interested in creativity. It's not just about creating new art, but rather it's developing a way of approaching life that remains surprised and striving for new solutions. So...what is it for you? What could you do today that would shake things up? 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

One From The Heart

One of the best ways to set the mood in the studio is to turn on music...often I listen to energetic stuff, especially when I'm stuck doing the endless masking that this new series involves. However, there are times where I really need something that removes me from this world and places me into my fantasy world. What seems to work best are movie soundtracks...and I guess that makes sense since they are created to partner with images...and I find instrumentals are best in that they allow me to continue with my own inner dialogue. 

This is one of my all time favorites...Tan Dun, For The World from the film Hero. I listened to it a lot a few months ago when all the drama was happening at my school...the sadness helped me find a larger perspective and what's interesting is I think I can see its influences in my work months later. This soundtrack has the beautiful violin of Itzhak Perlman which, when combined with the orchestration, feels like a person standing in that beautiful landscape. I've created a cd that features several from this film and others and I use it often when I want to create imagery that really comes from the heart.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Photography and Invisibility

You may or may not know this, but I teach at a college that has decided, for cost cutting reasons, to discontinue the photography program. There's a lot of directions that I could view this from, but for me, it goes back to the invisibility of photography. 

When I was in my teens, like most people I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Of course I'm still waiting to feel grown up, but that's another post. It was really just by chance that I stumbled into a job as a photographer at the University of Chicago Billings Hospital. I started as a projectionist (it's a teaching hospital) and the only way to get a pay raise was to become a photographer. Fortunately for me, the photographers there liked me and embarked on training me for the job. I learned how to do everything from photograph dead bodies to run a color line. I remember being surprised that a job didn't have to be something you were disconnected from. It opened my mind to understand the difference between having a job and a career. That you could find something that was interesting and fit who you were in life - that you felt really "you" when you were doing it. 

A few years later I moved back to Cali and decided to pursue photography and get a degree. I remember telling my grandmother I was going to college to learn photography and she looked at me...laughed...and said, "Why would you want to do that? Nobody needs to have their picture taken." About the only thing she could connect it to was the Sears Portrait Studio. She was surrounded by images, loved magazines and had tons of cookbooks...but the invisibility and ubiquity of photography made it invisible to her. It's a very sad truth that I heard this same reference last month...from an administrator at my school.

We have a son who works at a very large hotel chain in the bay area and he was telling me that one year they sent every hotel a really nice camera saying "from now on, you're taking your own photos." It was a complete disaster, not only for the fact that none of them knew how to operate the cameras, but the fact is cameras don't take pictures by themselves and amateurs usually take amateurish photographs in professional settings. 

So here we are in 2013 and we still face the same issue. Photography is completely embedded in the fiber of our being, so many of us use it and yet we don't understand there's more to it than the camera - or software. Taking an interesting image can happen in an instant - but making interesting images, day after day,  to meet specific needs on a deadline is a skill that takes years of training to develop (pun intended) and it's foolish to think otherwise.

Here's an interesting article from the NY Times on the rise of photography...too bad my school doesn't have the same vision...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Selling...not a dirty word!

I've been reading the new Daniel Pink book on selling. You may remember him from an earlier post on his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.  His most recent book explores the idea that most of us are involved in the process of selling - especially if you expand that idea to include anything that involves influencing others.

It's easy when you're an artist to think of the artistic process as being very pure, but when you think of it, making art may be pure, but that's really just the first step in being an artist. What comes next is figuring out a place in the world for what you've created...and that's where influencing others comes into play in a big way. 

I won't give away the whole book, but one of the first things that really caught my attention is the idea of attunement - how you can connect to the person/people you're trying to influence. Often, as an artist, we can feel very removed from the selling process, especially if it's connected to a gallery. There's this mysterious world of "collectors" that art dealers have access to, but the truth is, you can have more insight into who'd be interested in your work than you think. How? Well start by analysing what you're work is about...who would could relate to your imagery and why. Maybe it's about looking at your subject matter - are there themes that you're exploring that are relevant to others. Or, it may even be the style or technique you use. Often when you look at who has purchased your work in the past, you'll notice that they're often a bit like you. Think about the kinds of venues you (and your kind) like to go to - and think outside of the "gallery" box. 

Start this process today. Come up with 3-5 themes or concepts your work explores. If it's relevant consider technique and even size (big art needs a big room). Through this process you can start to identify who would be interested in your work and that's really the first step in reaching that audience. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Give Yourself a Photo Assignment

A few months ago I was up in Northern California doing something I enjoyed - helping my mom out - but it left me a bit cut off from my usual sources of activity and after a couple of days I got a little bored. I soon realized however that if I'm bored, that's my problem so, I decided I'd take charge of my life, go explore a nearby town and give myself a photo assignment. When I worked commercially, that's how the flow of my life worked...I went from one assignment to another. Every once in a while, it can help to "pretend" you're on assignment.

In this situation it turned out to be a good way to add some structure (and control) to my life, and half way through my project idea I realized there was a better one staring me in the face... and this is it - the Homes of Oroville. Oroville is one of those towns that time left behind. You can tell it was once a vibrant place - but over time its fortunes have changed. I see it now trying to make a comeback, starting with a very interesting series of downtown structures that are surrounded by beautiful, gracious homes. 

After I was done I had a better sense of the town and had even met some very interesting people there. Consider giving yourself a photo assignment this week...plan it out, schedule a day and head out. Good luck! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Morning Time

Everyone has their own unique "mental sweet spot." What's great about identifying yours is that it has the potential to be your optimal time for creativity. One of the problems with having the world in your cell phone is that it's way too easy to wake up and reach over for that phone and see what everyone has been up to...and that will immediately shift where your energy is going to go.

I'm suggesting that you find a way - if mornings are workable for you - to put off attaching to the outside world, because one of the elements of creativity is really learning how to make your own world. Ideas sometimes can flourish when there's space left for them.

A very productive process for me, has been to introduce a physical activity, such as walking, that I can do first thing in the morning and I take along a recorder. Many of these postings, and my ideas, have started life as a recording. I also have included the process of transcribing by hand - there's a part of the brain that is activated by that physical act - and I've found it very it takes a bit longer, which gives the ideas more time to mature.

So...on your day off - grab on to that morning space, when you've just woken up and your defenses are down and the dream state is stronger. Take that time and use it - or if your life is not morning oriented - grab some time and use it as a "cool down" from work. Get out - hole up in a coffee house somewhere, and start dreaming.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day Twenty-Eight - Where Did You Go?

Thursday, February 28th: Telling Stories

Thank you so much for taking this journey with me. I hope some of the prompts have worked for you. I'm not sure why creativity has always been such a passion with me - part of it is my love of novelty but it's also about the quest of being an artist.  This week I heard the "task" of being an artist summed up brilliantly in the film Brief Encounters, a documentary that covers ten years in the life of photographer Gregory Crewdson. Towards the end of the film he had a great take on what being an artist is all about:

"I feel very strongly that every artist has a single story to tell," he says, "the struggle is to tell and retell that story again and again in visual form and try to challenge that story. At the core the story is the same. It is the defining story of who you are."

The fates were generous with me in sending this film my way the day after I received some sad news. It helped put things into perspective in that it sent me back to my core. My task for you this last day is one of review and reflection. Look back on the work you've created (or maybe just thought about creating) during these 28 days, see if you are finding your story - or finding new ways to challenge it - it's in there somewhere.

At this point, I'll be returning to my weekly post date of Thursdays and so I'll see you next week with a new post. Once again, many thanks for joining me. I'd love to see some of the images you created during this time - please feel free to send me some! (small jpgs!).

If you've just joined us, February was a 28 day creativity challenge with a new "prompt" each day to get you thinking in new ways. The goal is to just have fun, don't try to control too much, feel free to use a cell phone or any camera that's easy for you. Don't worry about the end results. With each prompt you can take it literally or not, you can wing it, google it, ask for people's opinions...whatever you want to do is perfect. Bottom line - it's supposed to be fun, there are no right or wrongs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day Twenty-Seven: Random Moments

Wednesday, February 27th: Timing Life

Today you're going to take an image every "x" amount of time throughout the day. Set your timer to beep you every 10, 15, or 30 minutes and you must take a shot when that alarm goes off. At the end of the day, review the images. Did it free you up to just "have" to take an image without thinking or planning? What does it say about your day? Do you see patterns or themes? Did you take them all from the same viewpoint...change them up? If we didn't know you, would we know what the order of the images should be? Were some of those taken in embarrassing situations? Did you take them anyway? Do you wish you'd taken more? 

If you've just joined us, February is a 28 day creativity challenge with a new "prompt" each day to get you thinking in new ways. The goal is to just have fun, don't try to control too much, feel free to use a cell phone or any camera that's easy for you. Don't worry about the end results. With each prompt you can take it literally or not, you can wing it, google it, ask for people's opinions...whatever you want to do is perfect. Bottom line - it's supposed to be fun, there are no right or wrongs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Day Twenty-Six: Typology Tuesday Color

Tuesday, February 26th:  Red and such

Red is such a sexy thing and for photographers its a bit like "shooting fish in a barrel" because it has such power. Today's typology is about color - feel free to use red...or choose your own. Think about color, how it's used and how you relate to it. Are there cultural or age components to color? How does it change when it's new, old, saturated, pale, pick only one hue, but it can have many variations. 

A typology is a collection where everything is the same type of thing. Think of it like a collection - that collection could be shapes/objects/places/ name it. The only rule is that you compose each shot the same - so the "type" fills roughly the same amount of space in each frame, and is located in the same position. 

If you've just joined us, February is a 28 day creativity challenge with a new "prompt" each day to get you thinking in new ways. The goal is to just have fun, don't try to control too much, feel free to use a cell phone or any camera that's easy for you. Don't worry about the end results. With each prompt you can take it literally or not, you can wing it, google it, ask for people's opinions...whatever you want to do is perfect. Bottom line - it's supposed to be fun, there are no right or wrongs.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Day Twenty-Five: Assembly Required

Monday, February 25th: Tear it up

Today we're going to look at abstracting images through deconstructing them a bit. Starting with a printed image that is fairly tight on its subject, tear the print up into smaller pieces and reconstruct the subject in a different order. See what kinds of new shapes you can make, try doing it with multiple copies of the same image. Once you've got a composition you like, rephotograph it and move on. Try for 5-10 during the day. 

If you've just joined us, February is a 28 day creativity challenge with a new "prompt" each day to get you thinking in new ways. The goal is to just have fun, don't try to control too much, feel free to use a cell phone or any camera that's easy for you. Don't worry about the end results. With each prompt you can take it literally or not, you can wing it, google it, ask for people's opinions...whatever you want to do is perfect. Bottom line - it's supposed to be fun, there are no right or wrongs.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Day Twenty-Four: The Look of...

Sunday, February 24th: Tasting through your eyes

I'm told we have five senses...actually I think they've added a few more...but today you're going to look at creating a bridge between two of your's. I'd like you to choose either taste or smell and let that guide you through the day. How do you illustrate what taste or smell looks like? An obvious way is to photograph the object/subject that it comes from - but let's see if you can go beyond that. Think about the sensations, try to move away from the literal. 

If you've just joined us, February is a 28 day creativity challenge with a new "prompt" each day to get you thinking in new ways. The goal is to just have fun, don't try to control too much, feel free to use a cell phone or any camera that's easy for you. Don't worry about the end results. With each prompt you can take it literally or not, you can wing it, google it, ask for people's opinions...whatever you want to do is perfect. Bottom line - it's supposed to be fun, there are no right or wrongs.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day Twenty-Three: To The End of Victory

Saturday, February 23rd: Where the road leads you.

This post is done with the assumption that you may have today off...or at least a few free hours. If Saturday is your big work day...accept my apologies!

My husband and I have a ritual we call "to the end of Victory" which is named after a drive we took on Victory Blvd - taking it all the way until it ended. There was some thought that "hey, it goes west, so it must end at the ocean." Needless to say, it didn't, but the ensuing trip was a lot of fun as we watched neighborhoods and cultures change.

My challenge for you today is to select a street and take it from its beginning to its end. You could select a long one or a short one...but see where it takes you and document those changes. One of my favorite trips of this kind was when we started south on Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena, which then turned into Atlantic Blvd, which turned into Eastern Blvd, which turned into Garfield, which turned into Cherry which landed us a block from the ocean - from the mountains to the ocean in one afternoon was really fun.

Have fun...oh, and if you don't have a car...take a bus to the end of the line.

If you've just joined us, February is a 28 day creativity challenge with a new "prompt" each day to get you thinking in new ways. The goal is to just have fun, don't try to control too much, feel free to use a cell phone or any camera that's easy for you. Don't worry about the end results. With each prompt you can take it literally or not, you can wing it, google it, ask for people's opinions...whatever you want to do is perfect. Bottom line - it's supposed to be fun, there are no right or wrongs.