Re-emergence

•02/20/2010 • 2 Comments

Finally updating this website after so long has been quite the experience. I’ve been able to see some of my growth as a photographer and see my style develop. Hopefully I can get my scanner up and running in order to upload the print images that I have from Glasgow. They are my favorite body of work that I really want to work more with. Black and White 35mm film shots have become a favorite of mine. Unfortunately with balancing school and such, I have not had time since Scotland to shoot personal work outside of class assignments.

I’m currently working on two bodies for class. The first of which is a color abstraction for my Photographic exploration class. Each week we go to 9th street here in Durham and shoot on a given topic for three hours. This is to help us hone our perceptions to shoot on task rather than just randomly. As my overarching assignment, I am to collect photographs for my final portfolio for which I chose color abstraction because I am really drawn to colors and textures that are presented in a way most people would not view them.

The second project I am working on is documenting The Wooden Nickel in Hillsborough. I have been on site twice so far and I’ve enjoyed the project so much. Every time I go to shoot, I am always welcomed by Phil the bartender and so many Nickel regulars. At least half my time is typically just spent having awesome conversations with various people. A huge difficulty I am having though is working with the lighting. Inside the Nickel, there are only a few incandescent bulbs on the walls so my ISO has to be so high that I get tremendous amounts of noise and the shutter has to be slowed down sometimes to impossible lengths for humans to stand still during. Hopefully once I meet a regular that feels comfortable enough with me to let me follow them outside of the Nickel, the problems will be solved since I will be photographing them in more well lit environments. Seeing as people have always been a difficult subject for me to photograph, I’m please with some of the shots that I have gotten so far.

As the semester progresses, I am going to try and update this site regularly like I used to when I first created it. Sharing my photography with others is a passion!

Summer Ventures

•05/06/2009 • Leave a Comment

The last few days have been a whirlwind of excitement for me. I have been training in the DukeEngage Academy for my summer volunteer work with my delegation, Encuentros de la Frontera. We will be traveling to Tucson, AZ for 8 weeks this summer. While there we will be staying at the BorderLinks dormitories. The 8 of us also, will be doing a placement program of our chosing for 6 weeks of that time. I have chosen to do a placement with No Mas Muertes along with my friend Austin. We will be camping in the Arivaca desert for extended periods of time. In both morning and night, we will do desert walks looking for lost immigrants. Should we come upon any, we will provide them with medical aid if necessary or even just water and directions. We will also be stationed at the medical camp with the rest of a No Mas Muertes delegation seperate from our DukeEngage group. This placement is so exciting for me because it will allow me to both help immigrants while learning about their struggles and document these same struggles in the desert. I will try to post as many of the photos up from this summer as possible, but you can also check them out on my blog on the Encuentros de la Frontera blog that I set up. You will also be able to read the blogs of my tripmates there as well. It’s located at dukeengagetucson2009.wordpress.com. I’ll be writing again soon either before or from Tucson!

Photographic Potential

•04/20/2009 • Leave a Comment

After getting an email with a link to the Glimpse website (glimpse.org), I’ve decided to take the chance and apply to be one of their abroad contributors. This summer, I will get experience in this area as I serve as the primary blogger for the Duke Engage BorderLinks program. However, I would like to take it further than just blogging about my volunteer work. I would like to use my love for photography to share the cultural immersion that I will experience while spending my semester abroad in Scotland. To me, sharing my experiences about culture shock through my writing and through my photography would be important because it has ties to my desire to help Americans understand and explore the hardships that immigrants in our country face. By writing from first hand experience and as an American myself, I hope that I can open the eyes of anyone who may read my work and view my photographs. I won’t find out the results of my application until I am off in Tucson and Mexico for my Duke Engage project, but I hope that news still finds a way to reach me. I would be so excited and honored to be able to turn my documentary classes and love for photography into a fruitful project that will be shared with many people.

Speaking of projects, my documentary project is complete for Professor Sims’ documentary class. It can be found at aek12.wordpress.com. Let me know if you have any feedback on it 🙂

Free Thinking

•04/13/2009 • Leave a Comment

This past weekend, I took a hiking trip to Pilot Mountain and Stone Mountain. There has not been a time where I had wished that I had my camera more. The views were breath-taking and the skies were as clear as the possibly could get. Sitting on the top of Stone Mountain and I was almost inhaling the gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge and surrounding areas. The blue mist was there and the most crystalline shade of blue. As breath-taking as it was, I would almost be worried that my camera would not be able to capture the sights and magnificently as they looked to me. Even though I have this worry, I hope to go back to Pilot Mountain and Stone Mountain both hopefully before I leave for Duke Engage in May. I want to take my camera and at least try to capture those views and share them with others who may not be able to make the hike and view them themselves or just want to have a perfect memory of that trip. I think that is what makes my work most special to me, is being able to show someone a photograph that makes them smile or just takes their breath away. Even if it isn’t of the greatest composition or quality, a photograph can light up a person’s face all the same as the most professionally taken photograph. 

So a lot of people might think I’m crazy for coming to this conclusion, but as I’ve spent more and more days in the Photography Lab out in the wearhouses working on editing my photos for my Documentary Studies final project, I am starting to debate whether I want a Mac or not. I’ve been wanting to get a new desktop for a while, but haven’t been sure what kind. I love my Vaio to death, but I like the ease of a Mac in the photographic process. It’ll be a long time until I can save up enough to purchase a new computer, but I’m going to keep thinking about it.

New vs. Old

•04/08/2009 • 1 Comment

Now that I have the website up and running with most of the kinks worked out, I’m debating what direction I want to take it in. On one hand, I can continue to post only my new work that is more along the experienced professional line or I can move it more to a lifetime collection of works. The latter would include work that I had done in the past before I got really into the art of photography, but still was able to produce pleasing photographs. These just would not be as sharp and crisp as those from my Rebel.  Input would be fantastic. To me, this website is just as much about the interaction between my photography and its viewers as it is with the relationship of my photography and myself.

Picture Sizes

•04/07/2009 • Leave a Comment

My apologies for how large the pictures are appearing when you click on the link to them from the website. I shot most of the photographs in the RAW and just coverted them to JPGs after the proper edits and forgot to resize them. In the next hour or so I will work on resizing and reposting them so you get nicer normal sized edits when you click to expand them. I’m sorry for the delay and thanks for your patience.

Second priority

•04/07/2009 • Leave a Comment

I hate that I’ve been so busy lately trying to catch up on work from missing a week of classes for grandma’s funeral that I haven’t been able to do any work on my documentary project or for my personal portfolio. Sitting here in Microeconomics it is hard paying attention because I have more will to want to work on my blog and photographs than to sit here rehashing information about externalities that I learned in a previously class already. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I’m so drawn to photography. For me it’s hard to express myself to others when it comes to speaking. I find it so much easier to free write a piece and allow them to read it or just to show them photographs of mine. Right now though, I’m trying to think of new places to photograph or places that would be expressive of who I am. If you have any ideas for subjects please feel free to let me know.

New blog in progress

•03/31/2009 • Leave a Comment

As part of a class assignment, I am working on another blog that deals with telling the immigration story of one of my co-workers, Nereyda Ponce. The blog will give an oral history of her life and include photos of her at work and at home. The blog can be found at aek12.wordpress.com. It’s still a work in progress right now. I’ll post when it’s complete!

Worries

•03/31/2009 • Leave a Comment

The more I think about what photographs to prepare to post on here, the more conscious of my work I get. I worry that it isn’t as good as it could be or that people won’t like my style. To me, I love making the colors in my works over exaggerated in order to really make the colors pop and bring a new vantage point to an old scene. I mainly like to work in the abstract or with still objects. Working with people is too tedious and not as rewarding for me so you will see very few portraits.
Today is a hard day to not just sit outside and work on getting my blog put together because the weather is gorgeous outside. I could take pictures an work in photoshop for hours and be content. Too bad I have to study for my economics midterm instead.

Photographic Statement

•03/30/2009 • Leave a Comment

So I’ve already been asked where the words for my “photographic” blog statement came from. Last night I was just doing a bit of freewriting to clear my head and those words were the result. I had never intended for them to be read by anyone, but when I was trying to think of how to define my outlook on photography, they seemed to fit so well. Life is just too unpredictable and too short to let moments pass by without documenting them. This story is all to familiar in my life. There are so many moments that I wish I had a camera to capture, but now I have only my memories of the moments which are fading with time. Had a picture been taken, those memories would never fade- they’d be with me always in vivid color just as they occurred. For that, I want to capture as many of those wonderful moments as possible when I can and that is what you will see a lot of in this blog.