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Intricately Beautiful New Spaces

This is a series of photos from a recent shoot I did with my friend, Aly who recently moved into a new apartment here in Lincoln. Aly is incredibly talented in multiple fields, especially in music and the arts. This series of photos was taken in effort to capture a little of the essence of her new, elegantly antique living-space located in a historical building, The Francine. Her small, studio apartment is full of creative energy and historic character spreads throughout every inch. As soon as you enter the building, you’re greeted by a musty, yet fragrantly pleasant scent. A mix of past cooking, laundry detergents and old brick diffusing from every room. As an early 20th century stone-building, it contains the quirkiest of apartments–with mismatched wooden and tile flooring, rusty windowsills and torn pieces of wall-paper hanging here and there. But the warmth is inviting, the patterns thought-provoking, and the tenants absolutely inspiring.

Not only did Aly personally lead me through her apartment all-the-while explaining exactly how we can capture the light streaming through her windows or articulate the perfect angle for a shot, she presented her journal which contained all kinds of lyrics from years past, which she then chose one to sing for me. She even played one of her own recently recorded pieces and showed me a newly-found passage onto the roof that had a remarkable view.

Many times I have perplexed myself with whether it is best to go for a new, but boring apartment containing all the fix-ins, or sacrifice the tiniest of modern-comforts to enjoy a whimsical, unique, and intricately beautiful living-space such as those that reside in The Francine.

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“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” ― Noam Chomsky

This was a difficult one to shoot, especially since we began trying to set this picture up to include a blindfold. It’s difficult to get a good shot when you can’t actually see the camera and don’t know if you’re in frame. Luckily, Michael was a huge help in keeping me in frame, tying me up, and communicating with me. I’m pleased with the motion in this portrait.

 

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51/365: Hollow at Heart.

With as much conceptual photography I’ve been thinking about recently, it’s good for me to come back to the basics every one in a while. I really do appreciate the simple images. I have a weak spot for it.

Today I was thinking about people. There are just so many of us. There are too many people to actually know even a small percentage of them, but there even are too many people that just live around me that I can’t even begin to know all of them. But I walk by people every day, people from all kinds of different backgrounds and holding all kinds of stories on their backs, yet I never stop to ask anything, or even more look them in the eye. I was taught from a young age not to talk to strangers. Now as an adult, I hold that habit, and at times use it as justification to not stop, to not talk, to not greet another human. It’s sickening when I think about it and I just wish I would, that I had the courage and strength to actually talk to people that I do not know, or to just have the decency to look others in the eye.

I don’t have any other explanation for this photo other than this,

“Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?” – Walt Whitman

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Day 50/365: Untitled.

A late post from yesterday. My friend, Bridget came over to do some in-house shooting with a backdrop. We had a great time experimenting with different lighting and even found a great post in my home to hold up the backdrop!

It’s been an exceedingly busy “day-off” as I spent most of the day catching up on cleaning house and a friend from the YouTube community came over to film a couple videos blogs. Photography took a back seat and I was only able to start editing now!

As it is a late post, I’m happy with this pose. Bridget had some great directions she took a lot of the photos we took! I’m happy to share some more of them later. There’s quite a variety.

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Day 49/365: Gulliver the Great.

“Undoubtedly, philosophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.” – Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels

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Day 48/365: The Sun.

I love dramatic portraits. Rich colors, contrasting tones and deep shadows make for interesting photographs. I simply wanted to play around with color and lighting today. One thing that I did recognize is that I really need to brighten up my wardrobe a little bit. I own too many neutrals.

With my shoots with others recently, I’ve been more prone to favor extreme lighting and bright coloring. I appreciate the variety of it all and how just looking through these new sets of photographs draws my eye in like a soft temptation. Years ago, the images I shot in Europe were blasted with over-saturation and broad color spectrums. I would like to appreciate more of the natural color that softly flows around these winter months.

Taking this photo reminds me a lot of a song by The Naked and Famous I used to listen to nearly every morning when I was in college, titled “The Sun”.

Here it comes
The unavoidable sun
Of what’s just happened
And what’s been done
And you know
I don’t remember a thing
I don’t remember
A thing

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Day 47/365: Take A Seat.

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This photo was inspired from a series I did last year, “Loose-Ties”. 

I’ve been captivated by a number of people’s work in many portraits from painting to photography. These pieces of work I’ve been studying have commonly had themes of isolation and an inability to be comfortable with oneself. I want to experiment more with these themes of self-captivity. I believe this feeling of wanting to escape from yourself is shared among many people from time to time, if not at least felt once in a lifetime.

The object on the table is a pair of scissors, just out of reach. I didn’t get a solid view of the scissors due to the angle of the camera, and considered re-shooting. I actually took multiple photos throughout my entire process of tying myself up, reaching for the scissors, finally reaching the scissors and cutting myself out of the threads. After looking through the entire series, I decided that the photos I took were enough, even though we can’t clearly see the scissors in this one photo. I might upload the rest so this can be viewed more as a process rather than a single photo.

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Days 44-46/365

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44/365: What’s Yours Is Mine.

I went to take photographs with my friend, Alyson today. I wanted to finish up my geometry series with an image I’ve had in my mind for a while.


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45/365: Attempting To Escape From Self

A late post that was supposed to go up yesterday, but as we were traveling to and from Kansas City, the internet was not with us and it wasn’t possible to post.

I was thinking about the portrait, “Scream” today as I was working. After visiting a museum yesterday and seeing a lot of old paintings, I was thinking about a lot of the art that I had previously learned about in high school and college. The iconic, “Scream” popped out to me and I wanted to create some kind of portrayal of this painting. I wanted to take a photo that hints towards a feeling of desperation. I’ve seen purposefully blurred images before, but I wanted to combine a tiny aspect of what I’ve been learning concerning the Brenizer Method.


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46/365: The Fall.

A photo composite I constructed today to represent this flighty feeling that I’ve been having. It feels like I’m falling through space at times and can’t control anything that is around me or in my life. It’s as if I’ve been placed on some trajectory that is as strong as gravity. I cannot defy it, and I cannot move from it. It’s hard to tell whether this brings me satisfaction in life or joy, and whether this brings me towards what many would call soaring, or if I’m not flying at all and just tumbling towards destruction.

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Day 43/365: Wishful Thinking.

Some days are better than others. I took this photo as a symbolic representation of the struggle from making it day to day in life. As happy and warm as I can make life seem, I want to pay homage to and bring attention to how much pain, loss, and suffering many people are experiencing in these current moments.

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