Monday, April 30, 2012

Natural Art

 Below are the photos I am including in my final cohesive portfolio and artist statement for my nature photography class. 


  Lines are a basic element in almost all forms of art, including paintings, sculpture, dance, and other visual mediums. Lines also appear all throughout nature, in forms such as tree trunks, blades of grass, ripples in water, spiraling vines, and many others. My goal for this portfolio was to combine the natural beauty and basic principles of art growing around us with photography. In addition to capturing the lines in nature I incorporated lines as a compositional technique in many of the images I took and selected for this project. 
   To add variety to these images I included many different types of lines, some straight, others circular, others curling or waving. But I made sure that in each photo lines are either the subject or a strong element. To keep it visually interesting I also used many different angles, focal lengths, color and light tones, and although they are all pictures of nature I tried to include a variety of objects and subjects. 
   I took most of these photographs at Pennsylvania state parks, including Mount Davis, Ohiopyle, McConnells Mills, Presque Isle, Point State Park, Raccoon Creek, Schenley Park, and Trough Creek. There are also a few I created near my home in West Virginia. I took pictures at the Pittsburgh Zoo and the Abandoned Turnpike for this project, however I chose not to include those in my final selection because they did not fit the theme very well and detracted from the overall unity. When selecting the images to include in my final fifteen I considered not only the lines and variety of subjects, but also the color and general feel of the photos. I printed these photos on watercolor paper, which gives them a slightly painterly appearance, and brings out different color tones and vibrancies. 
   Throughout this portfolio I tried to capture the raw, organic art forming around us in nature. My goal was to communicate the lines of nature in interesting and varied images. Since I had not decided to print on watercolor paper until after I created almost all the images, including the painterly appearance in the images as a sub-theme was a post-production decision.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Abandoned Turnpike

For our last nature photography trip, my class visited the abandoned turnpike.  It was an interesting trip, and very different from all the other places we've gone.  The focus was less on nature, and more on the overgrown, falling apart, turnpike.  We walked about a mile to the tunnel, then over a mile through and back through the tunnel.  I did not love that part of the hike, because I'm uncomfortable in dark, closed, cold spaces such as caves, and apparently tunnels.  Some of the graffiti also disturbed me, because it was very hateful.  I would like to go back sometime, to take portraits of fashion photos.  I think it could be used as an interesting backdrop, and create a lot of contrast with stylish clothes. 

Mt Davis

Mount Davis was probably my least favorite nature photography trip of the semester.  There was not much of interest to photograph.  I would have enjoyed going just to hike, but trying to get images to add to my portfolio made it stressful.  It was kind of cool to be at the highest point in PA, but otherwise it was a generic forest that had not greened out yet.  There was not anything unique there that really set it apart from the other woods we've visited.  To make my images interesting, I tried to focus on little details for the most part.

Pittsburgh Zoo

I went to the Pittsburgh Zoo with my nature photography class.  I was not a fan of this trip, because I don't like zoos.  Seeing the wild animals in cages upsets me.  My favorite part was seeing and holding the sea turtles, because they were rescued.  Even those made me a little sad, because they were in such tiny tanks.
  Photographically I did not think the trip was that great either.  It was a dreary day and for the most part the class stuck together so it was a little difficult to get unique photos.  I also knew that trying to make my photos look like the animals were in their natural habitats wouldn't yield very interesting images, so for a lot of them I tried to capture the feeling of the zoo as well. I Included the cages, etc., in some of my photos to illustrate how unethical zoos are.  In this blog I also included some of the pictures I took that don't have the cages or tanks, to show some variety.

more edits

These are the last images I edited for my art project.  I like the latest images I created more than the earlier ones.  I think I am going to keep working on this project, even though the class assignment is over.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

some editing attempts

I've been working a lot on editing for my art project.  But I can't get the images to look quite how I want them to. Here are some samples of what I've been trying.  What do you think?