Duality/Split Personality

So… Another photo project idea.  It’s like my sixth so far… I need to concentrate huh?  I need pictures!!!

I want to capture the duality of people’s lives.  Chase inspired this idea.  So, for instance, we have people that have lots of tattoos but for their day job they cover up these tattoos.  So we have two pics, one dressed up for work/school and another dressed down for going out or hanging out.

Then there is internal duality, which is even more interesting.  Someone who is incredibly extroverted but in reality, is closed up and feels alone.

A few flickr photographers captured what I want to do, here are two examples.

This first one is by Randall Cottrell.

 

Here is one by Rodrigo Benavides.

 

What do you think?  There were many more I wanted to show but they weren’t bloggable from Flickr.  Grrr.  I’m doing some of this photoshoot tonight so if you wanna join in, Twitter me, call me, Facebook me or email me!

The Moon and I

Bad news on the Wrinkle photo project.  Talked so someone who used to take pics in nursing homes, retirement communities (my Dad).  He was telling me that if people are spending the night, they probably signed a HIPAA.  And if they signed a HIPAA, as most would have to, I would have to get legal documentation of permission to take their pictures, and anyone else that might show up in the frame.

If there were some senior centers around here, which I believe there is at least one, I might have a chance there.  But I can’t rely on these other things right now, I’ve gotta go out and take pictures!

I have one really cool idea in my head which I will share tomorrow.  Yikes though, I have to have pics to show my prof by Tuesday!  Just pics that show I’m working on something though, nothing more than that.

So, until then, I leave you with the only pics I did take tonight.  Pictures of the moon with Micheal, who stayed warm in the car.

This is going to be a very busy week.  Right now I’m tired, thirsty and getting sick.  Boo.  I have chronic bronchitis.  Get it every year and just about every year, it turns into pneumonia.  So right now I’m trying to get healthy, meanwhile the semester is ending and my classes are getting really busy.  Not happy about all of this!!!

Night friends. Thanks for all of the comments.

Wrinkle in Time – Photo Project

So, for our last photo project we get to choose our theme.  I am really bad about that, so many ideas pop into my head and I’m such a sporatic photographer.  I can change photographic styles on a whim, and often do.  Because I have gotten such kind remarks about the dark and unique lighting photos, I’ve been hanging on that style for a good long while.

But now I feel I want to branch out again.

My project idea is photos featuring and showing off older people, as well as younger people but highlighting the way people age.  It is something that has always intrigued me and I see such beauty in age.

I found some beautiful pictures from a Flickr photographer named lonedfx.  My pictures would be similar to these.  It is as if he read my mind!  I would, however, use a ring light to create some fun light effects.  I would also like to feature faces more, at least five or ten pictures of just straight on head shots.

The only difficulty in getting these pictures is access.  But here’s my plan.

  1. Offer free 8×10’s for those who participate, could be a Christmas or Thanksgiving gift to family.
  2. Offer free 17×22 of those who participate as a group photo for the nursing home.
  3. … Thoughts?

What else could I do?  Should I drive to the nursing homes or call?  Should I have a collection of pictures to show I’m legit, even though I don’t have any really of people?  How should I approach the local nursing homes?  Should I go to hospices and if so, how do you treat that?  I feel that everyone is beautiful and I want to both showcase that as well as create a constructive social narrative of how people deal with age, time, money/consumption etc through a picture.

What kind of thoughts do you guys have?  I need to have pictures for class on Tuesday for my professor to look over.

I, as usual, appreciate any suggestions and thoughts.  If you have any ideas of how I could capture kids and families as well, that’d be great.  Seems like I don’t know anyone with kids.  Guess that happens when you’re surrounded by other college students!

Somewhat Shattered

My photo professor had a guest lecturer in today.  His name is Justin and he is a graduate student at Yale University studying photography.  He’s a really great guy, awesome photographer and just super nice.

He told us about his journey from a trade school graduate hopping from job to job and with no desire to be college graduate much less a graduate student to a teaching assistant at Yale.  It was sort of a pictorial display of time but non-documentary.

Justin uses a 4×5 film camera for most of his shots, well he did originally.  Now he uses a Hasselblad type medium format film camera.  These 4×5 cameras allow for tilt/rise/fall/slide etc etc.  If you don’t know what these things are, you’re probably normal.  But for us photo geeks, it means capturing pictures with great, GREAT accessibility… Not the word I’m looking for.

Think of it this way.  When you take a picture of a building, looking up, it gets smaller at the top.  By tilting/shifting/raising the lens you can keep the building perfectly square.  It’s what Ansel Adams used.  It’s what architectural and fashion photographers use quite often, if not exclusively.  They are the old looking, accordian style cameras you probably thought were pieces of crap.  Not so!  I really want one and am trying to figure out how I can find the money for the camera and the film and the lenses… All in time.

After the great lecture, I got to talking to Justin (weird to type that name and not be in third person) and my professor as well as another professor about going to graduate school for a masters in fine art.

All three of these guys studied at Yale University.  It is arguably the best MFA program in the country, as far as photography goes.  And the price isn’t too terrible at around $25,000 a year.

My professor seems to think I could get in to Yale, Stanford or UCSF with my current portfolio as well as some new and better things.  Wow, I sure didn’t think so.  I still have a long way to go, both in time to apply and time to take more and better pics but still…  Stanford and UCSF, according to the two professors, are or can be free.  No tuition for MFA students.  Weird right?  Apparently a little known true story, or widely known and not talked about haha.

So.  I get excited at this prospect.  While I’d kill to go to Yale where my idols teach, Sally Mann, Gregory Crewdson… etc etc.  UCSF and Stanford are in the very area that Ryan and I want to move.  And possibly free.  Awesome right?

I call my parents to share this news and get their opinions.

They don’t seem too excited, positive or supportive of the idea.  My dad says, “Well it’s something to think about”.  I guess I was expecting, “Wow Justin, what an awesome opportunitiy, tell us more!”

Not so.  So now I’m bummed.  It seems only my friends are optimistic about my photography.  I don’t get much encouragement anymore from family and even Ryan doesn’t seem very excited about this passion of mine.  I understand people can’t be 100% into everything I am in, but this is just about my greatest creative love.

Hmph.  I’m pretty down about the whole thing now.  A few hours ago I was all-a-glow and now I’m in the dumps.

I’ll leave you with a few old pictures I took but never put on the internets.  They were all taken before I ever had a photography class, not sure the importance of that but… whatev.

Yeah.  Feel free to comment on what you think I should do.  I’m torn now.  Graduate and get to work taking over my grandmother’s advertising company, go to graduate school, work for a photo studio or start my own studio and teach photography on the side.

Hmph.

I Wanna Be Popular

I began blogging back in 2002 using the site Xanga.  I thought it was the coolest thing in the world and the community behind it was pretty great.  I even paid the $25/yr to get Xanga Premium, and paid for a few friends just to keep them blogging.  It was a pretty sad state, in high school and into college and stuck on Xanga.

It wasn’t long into my college career that I decided to make the move to something a little more powerful.  MoveableType was the answer to my prayers.  For the first time, I was in control of what I wrote, how it was presented and I didn’t even have to pay for it.  I had tried LiveJournal (yuck) and Blogger (not bad but kinda boring) but there was something about another company potentially owning my material, or being able to shut me down, that bothered me.

As I began to grow my blog and needed more flexibility, and when TypePad started to want to charge me for features I used to get for free, I began another search for a great blogging platform.  That is when I was introduced to WordPress, which had only recently changed from b2.

Moving my site over from MoveableType was supposed to be really easy but I was new to the whole MySQL thing and, well I deleted most of my posts, possibly all of them.

Back when my blog first started, I was afraid of people reading it.  Now, my friends and dorm mates all knew the address and read the blog, but anyone outside of that; well that made me quite nervous.  My father had recently gotten a new job in a high position with a boss would was very much against homosexuality and if they found my blog, he could lose his job.  Or so my brother convinced me.

Heck, my family didn’t know I was gay, I wasn’t really out to them; and that’s even a little iffy these days.  But I was terrified that a professor or a family member would find the site and I’d be done with.  So I kept the blog as a subdomain of my main site, Soundwise.  I haven’t updated Soundwise since, oops.

It wasn’t until I moved to California that I felt comfortable with a blog that had its very own domain, and it even had my name in it.  But that was the trick, if someone asked me, “I hear you have a site/blog, what’s the address?”

I would simply respond, “Oh, yes!  The address is really simple, it’s just justin dot com.”

They would go, “awesome, I’ll have to check that out”

Clickity clackity, www.justin.com

Booyah, tricked.  Now, if I wanted them to make it to my site I’d just say, “Oh yeah! just go to www.itsjustjustin.com

Now-a-days I don’t worry so much.  I am more or less completely out to my family and no longer have skeletons in my closet to worry about.  I have made myself public and in many ways that is incredibly freeing.

Not only have I found a way to release stress and tell a story; I’ve found a new way to making friends.  In the past two months I have made so many incredible friends through blogging and through one guy in particular, Jester from Jestertunes.com.

Here’s a quick list of bloggers I have recently befriended or have been inspired by their site…

Winterheart/Sunlight Sucks
ToriBlaine
Jestertunes
UncleMonkeyBoy
Blogography
Down With Pants!
Socially Dead
Snackie’s World
SecondHand Tryptophan
Brainporn

I read these blogs regularly and so do a lot of other people it seems.  Snackiepoo seems to average 20-50+ comments on each of her blog posts, and that’s really nothing compared to some other bloggers who are getting hundreds of comments.

So what I’m here to find out is, how do they do this?  I don’t care about monetizing my blog, that would be awesome but I just like blogging.  I love to write and to post my photography out there and my thoughts on whatever comes to mind.  But it seems that my hiatus a while back where I stopped posting really hurt me, I’m down to 50-300 hits a day.  That’s too big of a range and only a comment or three per post?  How disappointing.

I get the most hits on nerd posts.  If I write about Apple or something totally nerdy, especially if I complain about something nerdy, hits galore.

Something personal, not terrible.

Photography… people love it but rarely comment (sad face)

Political (nothing, zero, zilch)

John Mayer Kissing Adam Levine CRAZINESS!  Tons of hits and comments

So what is the key?  What is it that makes people keep coming back and gets them to post comments?  I’d love some input, especially from the guys on my blogroll.

To me, blogging is like High School all over again, we are all battling to make it to the top and we don’t mind shitting on anyone in order to get there.  Well, I don’t care to be on the top, I just want to maybe make it up the bank of the mountain a bit; and I could use your help!

Much love,

Justin

iPhone 3G this Saturday

So it looks like I will be getting the 3G iPhone this Saturday and I need help choosing a color.  Should I get the 16gb iPhone in Black or White?  I really appreciate your votes on this!

[poll id=”4″]

I am leaning towards to the black iPhone, looks sleek and should not show dirt as easily.  The white is luxurious but kinda not my style, I think… Hmmm… Either way they will be in a case.

Last night I had a dream I was getting my iPhone, the AT&T store was guarded by Apple employees with machine guns.  It was scary.

Zemanta Pixie

Craigslist, Hmph

So, beyond being on a few missed connections, kinda funny really, I have never used Craigslist.  Today I did however and made a whopping three posts, whoa!  Oh and one bulletin board/forum post so I guess that’s four.

Yeah so anyways, I need to get back to my studying/reading/writing/brainstorming.