Friday, October 15, 2010


So I don't know how I feel about creating a brand or a logo or a watermark, but I have been playing around with the idea...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Nick Allen

I just stumbled upon the photography site of Nick Allen called Within Waves. Check it out!

Nick explains the last image (titled "Fragmentary") by saying, "This is what happens when saltwater hits film before developing, with limited manual film advancing, and multiple exposures. I think some sand might have worked it’s way into the frame as well. No photoshop required…"

Booooooom Project

The creative blog hosted a project called Little Drifters which invited people to create and photograph little sculptures to set free into various bodies of water. Some of the images that resulted are really beautiful.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ville Varumo

Matthew Cusick

Matthew Cusick's collage work using maps...

Rune Guneriussen

I am loving the color of the light in these installations by Rune Guneriussen. He is a Norwegian "artist working in the transition between installation and photography. As a conceptual artist he works site specific primarily in nature, but also with more manmade structures. The isolation of objects are turned in to installations, most of these are not seen by audience, but only photographed".

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Linn Olofsdotter

Found this illustration by Linn Olofsdotter for Oilily that I love love love.

post college life...

So it has been a while since I have posted because I have been unsure about the direction this blog is going to take now that I am a college grad... oh boy. Over the past few weeks I have come across some interesting artists and projects that have inspired me. Many related to the ocean or water which shouldn't come as a shock to anyone. :) I think I will start posting the "finds" I am making while I start to think about some of my own work again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

more from mada

As I edit more photos and continue to experiment with my editing process, I find myself wondering how others will perceive my images... what they will get out of them or a feeling they might come away with.

These two photos were taken when our group visited the Indian Ocean near the city of Toamasina. This little girl was so adorable... she was happily playing with other kids and came running over when her dad began cutting up coconuts for our group to try. She was a happy little girl who appeared perfectly content with her lifestyle, but I wonder whether others will find her looking sad in these images.

The photos above are not the only time I am going to question my images... While I was in Madagascar I began thinking a lot about photojournalism and how African countries are portrayed in the media. Population growth is an issue that I am particularly interested in... the WWF wrote a paper entitled "Population trends and the environment in Madagascar". The article states,"Madagascar's exploding population exacerbates its economic stress. The island’s average population growth rate ranks among the highest in Africa at 2.8 percent per year. The population of around 14.1 million is expected to double by 2025. Since in-migration is negligible, population growth is driven by high fertility rates. In turn, poverty and a lack of reproductive health facilities contribute to the high fertility rate. Research has also shown a clear correlation between fertility and women's access to education. This is significant for Madagascar as over 40 percent of the female population over the age of 15 is illiterate. Female literacy is exceptionally low in the spiny forest but higher in the central highlands in and around the capital, Antananarivo".

This is clearly a complex problem to solve. My question as an artist is whether creating sad, even beautifully sad, images of children is going to do any real good... because unless real changes are made, Madagascar may see some very catastrophic effects due to their population growth. As a photographer is this a meaningful use of my time? And is it even truthful when I think about the actual happy children I saw?

Monday, August 2, 2010

HOLY S*@#!

Check out this:

This is one of the coolest things I have seen in a long time... another reason why I am DYING to get into underwater videography (and perhaps finally decide on my next camera purchase and go with the Canon 5D mark II ??) writes, "In this remarkable clip, world freediving champion Guillaume Nery stands at the edge of the world's second deepest underwater sink hole. And he jumps. The ensuing photography is a hypnotic adventure into the impossible. While Nery contends that no freediver can nor ever will make it to the bottom of Dean's Blue Hole, he spent four afternoons pulling off the stunts to simulate the effect while girlfriend/freediver Julie Gautier, just as impressively, filmed them (while freediving herself!) with a Canon 5D Mark II".

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flight - May 12, 2010

My first journal entry from the trip:

The flight alone has already been pretty incredible. Our flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was rerouted due to the volcanic eruptions in Iceland. Our flight plans actually took us above 66 degrees north, into the arctic circle, around Iceland. I was secretly hoping to pass over the northern part of the country just to get a glimpse of the amazing landscape I visited three summers ago. We never caught a glimpse of Iceland, but we did get a chance to see the eastern edge of Greenland. I opened the shade on the airplane window and I found myself looking down at black rugged mountains, layered in snow. The mountains appeared to be just peeking through the unimaginably deep snow banks, as if they were drowning.

I am writing this as we fly over a completely different, yet eerily similar landscape... the Sahara. I see nothing but sand and complex rippling patterns caused by the wind. The mountainous formations that appear every so often look like black islands in a sea of glowing beige. The differences between the two environments are immediately apparent to me. I can imagine myself struggling through the frozen landscape or the suffocating heat of the desert. The temperatures may be polar opposites, but the sense of isolation is frighteningly similar. Black peaks pear out beneath expanses of snow or sand, and both landscapes spread out before me until the horizon. There are no manmade interruptions like the orderly rectangular squares of cultivated earth outside the Amsterdam airport. These places are untamed and explored by so few. In many ways I feel like I have explored a significant part of the globe in the past 16 hours. From the arctic circle, and on past the equator, we have already begun our exploration even as we happily enjoy our inflight movies, vegetarian pasta meal trays, and beverages.

Here is an overlay of the two photos above... just for fun.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Madagascar [underwater]

I just returned from my 6 week long trip to Madagascar! I will have lots to write about this summer until I switch over to the new blog/website that I am working on. I will begin posting to both blogs :)

I have started editing the 1600+ photos I took during the trip. I am really excited about them, but it may take me a little while because I am also editing wedding photographs from this past weekend.

Here are a few underwater images... most have been converted to black & white... and of course I am into the patterns.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the finished (?) product.

I am happy to report that the opening reception on April 16th went very well. There was a great turn out and it was really exciting to see everyone, so to those of you who could stop by, thank you!!!

The show runs until May 1st if you would still like to see my work.

Here are a couple of images from the final exhibition space:

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Today I saved 24 milk jugs from the garbage of Starbucks. It turns out that the Starbucks in Arborland mall does not recycle. I was pretty shocked and actually horrified once I realized just how much recyclable material ends up in landfills (or who knows where) as a result. The employee who collected the milk jugs for me handed me two large bags and said that he was giving me what the store probably throws away in 4 - 5 hours.

Then I asked him if every store just throws away their recyclables. He told me that he used to work at the Starbucks downtown and they recycled everything. He seemed to think that the store's location had a lot to do with the recycling situation and he wasn't sure why recycling was less accessible at this location.

So now I am very intrigued to know who is really at fault... Ann Arbor or Starbucks? Or are they equally at fault? I need to find out more details... I know that the city doesn't pick up recyclables everywhere, but does that mean recycling services are completely unavailable? In general Ann Arbor has a reputation of having a very good recycling system, so if an Ann Arbor Starbucks is not recycling what does that mean for other Starbucks locations across the country? I am also interested to look into the corporate policy of Starbucks... Starbucks advertises fair trade coffee, some brands are supposed to be "good for the planet", the store sells reusable travel mugs (my travel mug is, in fact, from Starbucks), and they also offer a discount for using your own mug. So I found it very ironic to be looking at a new mug product which was advertised as being created from sustainable/reused materials as I waited for my 24 milk jugs to be rescued from the trash....

Here they are laid out on the studio floor after cleaning them and cutting them in half.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Did: Gathering milk jugs, cutting, stringing (7+ hrs)
Hanging material in extra studio (2 hrs)
Working on new website (3 hrs)
Group Crit (20 min)
Meeting w/ Mark Nielsen (1 hr)

Discovered: I am very excited about the installation possibilities for my work after
Italicputting it up in a second studio space... but I am also very nervous about my final show being a complete success due to space. After talking to Mark, I realized I really might not have enough room to make both a projection and sculptural installation possible... I am going to bring a projector down to the gallery next week to play around with a few things, but I think I won't know exactly what I will be showing until I start setting things up in the gallery....

I was also really grateful for the critique on Thursday with our visiting artists. I think they really had a new perspective to share and they also provided me with a list of other artists to look at so I am excited to check that out.

Other than that I am work work working... cutting plastic, stringing it together and trying to figure things out...

Do: My last pool photo shoot is tonight, so I am going to photograph some of the milk jug handles and un-cut milk jugs. Then I need to get serious about the loop of images that I will hopefully be able to project and I also need to collect plastic exponentially from now until my final installation. At this point I feel like the more material I have to work with, the better my installation will be.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Did: Editing new photos (some are shown in my last post) (1.5 hrs)
Gathering milk jugs, cutting, restringing, organizing (8+ hrs)
Chatting with a number of people about installation options (2 hrs)

Discovered: I am now pretty set on pushing forward with an installation and projection in the gallery. Now I just need to figure out how to combine the two. I have thought about a couple different scenarios:

I would like the projection and the plastic materials to occupy some sort of space together without competing with each other. I want people to be able to examine the plastic objects closely without getting in the way of the projection. And the projection and the sculpture feel to me as if they are two separate works (although they are obviously closely related) so I would like them to have enough room so that there feels like there is that small distinction...

I have spent a ton of time this week collecting milk jugs because I am going to need a large amount of material to pull off a successful installation... I also restrung a lot of the previous strands that I had made because they were strung on thread and I wanted everything to be consistently strung on thin fishing line. I feel like I am getting into a pretty productive working mode.

Do: I now have a new second studio space to start working on possible installation scenarios. I am really excited about this and in critique an idea came up to install the material above the viewers head so that people can walk under the installation of my materials. Then I could have pieces of the installation hanging down at a better viewing level, and maybe even trail some of the material onto the floor.... lots to start doing. I am hoping to have a mini installation to show next week.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010


Did: cutting, collecting, restringing plastic (7+ hours)
researching photographers I came across (1 hr)
Friday pool photo shoot & prep (4+ hours)

Discovered: So, Florida was not the super productive break that I had expected, but I would like to say that the weather was greatly at fault for this. The temperatures were 15 degrees colder than average for the time of year making up the coldest string of days since 1958. Yay spring break!!! My grandma's pool was not heated and so I wasn't able to take advantage of it... I did complete a photo shoot last night and I will start going through the images and editing them.

Florida was productive on another level though. I walked the beach a lot (in a sweatshirt :) and went to the Florida aquarium. I began taking picture of organisms I found that had interesting patterns and forms.

Here are some of the new forms that I have been working on:

I think there might be a lot of potential to utilize shadow in the gallery space:

I found the photographers David Liittschwager & Susan Middleton who focus on animals that are endangered. They began a series in the Pacific and came across an albatross that had died from ingesting plastic. They photographed the bird and then removed the plastic contents and photographed them separately:Do: GET TO WORK. I'm slightly freaked out by our lack of time. I need to make a final decision soon about whether or not I am going to have the plastic pieces in the gallery space. I plan to meet with Mark again personally to discuss my options and show him the projection that I have started putting together.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

new projection experiment

I have created a new short video loop of my images... they are moving much slower which I think could work well in a gallery space...


Did: Cutting plastic (4)
Creating new video (1.5)
Prep work & packing for Florida photo shoots (1)
More research & article reading (1)

Sorry this post is late! I forgot to post it before I left for Florida on Friday...

A new BBC article just came out about plastic pollution in the Atlantic Ocean. It seems that more research is being done in oceans other than the Pacific, and its not a shock to me that they are finding similar "patches" elsewhere. Check out the article, "Plastic rubbish blights Atlantic Ocean". I also came across the website,, which has a ton of links to articles about marine plastic pollution. I love the title that states, "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: The Parabolic Toilet of the Environment". How eloquent.

I was really happy with the feedback I got from showing my projection at the critique. I posted the new projection in my last blog post. I am going to push forward with making new images this week in Florida... assuming the weather cooperates with me... it has been freakishly cold :(

Do: Make more images and continue cutting & making plastic forms.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Did: Thesis 2nd draft (4+ hrs)
Met with Patrick to discuss printing options (1 hr)
Small group crit (1 hr)
Recovering data from hard drive (2+ hrs)

Discovered: To be honest, this week has not been extremely productive for me. I became really overwhelmed by a technological problem with my hard drive. It totally freaked me out and I need to do a better job of backing up my work asap. My hard drive malfunction, in combination with the need to finish the 2nd draft of my thesis and prepare for my cousin's wedding which I am photographing today has prevented me from being really productive with my IP work. I am hoping to get back on track before the upcoming break because I am planning on photographing in my grandma's pool in Largo, Florida. I'm really excited to enjoy some warmer weather, but I would also like to produce a lot of new images... I need to get back into a productive mode.

I do think that the small group critique this week was really helpful for me. It became apparent again that viewers do not necessarily see a connection between my images and marine pollution. Instead they see pretty images that look like weird organisms. My group suggested that I try taking some images where the milk jugs might be slightly transformed but more identifiable as milk jugs. If I combine images that look more like milk jugs and the images that I have been making in a projected loop, I may be able to make it appear as if the milk jugs are being deconstructed. I like the idea of trying to visually show the process of plastic breaking down. I think I avoided photographing the milk jugs as milk jugs in the past because I was
worried that I would make work that would be too literal. I didn't just want to throw trash in the pool and photograph it. But I am excited about the idea of slightly manipulating the milk jugs and photographing them as if they are going through the process of breaking down and becoming the abstract-organic-looking sculptures that I have been making. We shall see... I think it is worth a try...

Amanda also suggested that I look at Cornelia Parker's work. I recognized her piece "Hanging Fire Suspected Arson" (1999) but I really liked this image of her piece "Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View" (1991):

I think this piece could provide some great inspiration for the installation of my work...

Friday, February 12, 2010


Did: Pool photo shoot & prep (4 hrs)
Transfer readable files to my computer (1.5 hrs)

Review of thesis 1st draft (45 min...)
Conversations with Erica & Amanda (1 hr)
Edit photos (4 hrs)

Discovered: One of the biggest things that I discovered recently was the fact that my camera has a very weird image quality setting, which I had to figure out how to deal with... I wrote about this in more detail in my last post, so I'm not going to go into that too much again... I have begun to actually access and edit the images and I am really happy with a few of them.

I am really happy with the way I was able to play around with reflection in this shoot. In a couple images the reflection essentially doubled the subject matter that I could deal with.

In the editing process I have also been playing around with different color balances for some of the images. I think that if I am going to project a reel of images I am going to need to pay a lot of attention to the color of the images and their relationships as a set. I also need to figure out what the dimensions of the projection will be so that I make sure I am editing the photos to the right size.

Do: I need to rework my thesis, sooner rather than later so I don't put it off. I also need to start working on a new loop of images for a projection and test that out. I am really excited to meet with Mark or Stephen about gallery space, because I think the site is going to be very important. I want to know where I will be showing sooner rather than later so I can get an idea about the amount of material I am going to need to make and/or reconfigure for the space. LOTS to do!