Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Photography in the Sun

Today, we had our first BBQ of the season! Below are some of the photos I took of my friends and I from the afternoon.

I have always enjoyed photography and the prospect of editing photos; I was always the one to bring a camera to a party and the keen one to upload all of them as soon as I got home that night. What is it that I enjoy about the process? I guess my love of taking photos has stemmed from my need to rigorously document my life (the very same reasons for keeping a diary) and the need to edit them is my desire to be a better photography and produce images that are beautiful and meaningful. Doesn't everyone feel that tiny bit proud inside when someone makes their Facebook profile picture a photo that you've taken? 

However, when I first started editing photos (I was about 14), I went completely overboard; over saturating every image and introducing funky colours. Looking back on it, the photos looked horrendous, but in that time since not many people were into editing, these photos seemed cool. Maybe in the back of my mind I was trying to imitate all those photos that I saw in fashion magazines. 

Every since then I've kept at it and tried to improve, encouraging my friends to do the same; there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning after a night out and seeing an blurry, murky photo of yourself looking awful.
So whats the magic secret? How does one take an amazingly, mind blowing photo? The most honest answer I've found is on an article by Christopher O' Donnell on photoargus.com , he says 'Photographers often ask me what is the most important step in editing my images and are often disappointed by my response, hoping to hear about some secret Photoshop workflow. The most important step – hands down – is to take a photograph that is strong on its own and does not NEED to be edited. Most of your photo enhancements can be done in-camera before it even makes it to your computer, and does not compare to anything you can pull off in the darkroom. If you find yourself editing your images in order to correct them, and not enhance them, go back in the field and try again'.

 I think this is advice I need to follow myself, and I would probably save a lot of the time I spend endlessly browsing and meticulously editing all the photos that I take.

However if that doesn't work, he also says 'when you’re done editing your photo, undo the last step you did and it will look perfect. What this means is that we can get so caught up in the editing moment that we fail to see how far we’ve progressed (or damaged) our image'.

Interestingly similar to the wise words of Coco Chanel!,  'When accessorising always take off the last thing you put on'. 


35mm film camera

I'm really sad that the film camera I've had for a few years has broken :(, here are the last few photos that I took on it. 

Doesn't the sight of the sea always make you feel at peace?


What is a concept?

Definition: A notion or statement of an idea, expressing how something might be done or accomplished, that may lead to an accepted procedure.  

The necessity to have an immediate concept when starting a project is something that I think I have struggled with this year. I feel that it takes me a long time to come up with reasons as to why I create something. I guess the way I work is to get inspiration and then see what my hands draw or stick together. This is why I find the early tutorials quite challenging when asked to explain what i'm doing. We started this last project of the year 2 weeks ago and only now have I sort of got my head around it.  
My current idea started when I first saw the image on the left, I was interested in the way the wooden panels had been set out in a consistent order, flowing all the way onto the covering roof. The way that light was able to shine through and create these perfect regular shapes on the floor really enticed me. 
Therefore, I decided to take this idea through into my own design; I scurried off in between lectures to the model shop to purchase some sticks of MDF from which I would try to recreate the vision I saw in my head, ( I know that never works, but I thought i'd give it a try). 
My first thought was to create the entrance into the bakery (sorry I forgot to mention that this project involves the remake of an Algerian Patisserie which has to include a place for the bakers and their families to live in) similar to the image on the left. From there I moved onto where I imagined the cafe seating area would be, and here still using the element of the timber structure I created a higher space almost 1.5x height, and on top I repeated the image- here I would imagine a sort of outdoor garden-like balcony would be. After this I was stuck.
It was only after sitting there staring into space did my actual concept come to me; I would use these wooden panels as rythm for the whole structure. Instead of my initial idea of having everything open plan, I would frame certain views using the panels and place a series of them in certain places around the cafe. This I feel would create a sense of mystery and intrigue, the kitchen of the bakery wouldn't be private, but from certain angles would only be seen through this wooden structure. Same with where the the cakes and bread would be sold; people will be intrigued to come up and take a closer look inside in comparison to the more open plan seating area. Customers could also be able to have some privacy and be sheltered from others in spaces surrounded by these panels.  Curiosity and Intrigue. Thats what I'm going for, god knows I will probably keep changing this design, but at last I have some sort of concept.

Monday, 26 March 2012

I want to find my voice

I first stumbled upon this image when I was a 'trying to be cool' 14 year old in braces, first discovering the world of fashion, design and blogging. Five years later, this image to me is still as powerful as the day I found it. For some the photograph is just a pretty girl on a bicycle in California, but for me it represents a whole lot more. Sometimes I see it as  the road to achieve your goals, the steep process being the hill and reward just being over the other side. Other times I see it as you watching your life unfold before you eyes, and the long journey and mysteries that you will encounter along the way. I wonder what this image will mean to me in twenty years time, when almost half of my life would already have passed.
But also in purely aesthetic terms the bright yellow sepia tones of this photo creates a rush of happiness from within, (but then again sun and light always make me happy). I also feel like I tend to romanticise a lot of things in my life; the floaty see-through dress that the girl in the picture is wearing makes me think of love and summer days. Without sounding too cheesy, a little secret dream of mine is to somehow recreate this photo one day.

(source: I found it on a tumblr http://frecklesandcutouts.tumblr.com/, but I don't know where its originally from )

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Native American Tipis

As part of a humanities module this semester, we were asked to research the relationship between people and domestic buildings in a specific pre-industrial society. I realised i've always been interested in the
 simple yet effective structure of the Tipi. I find it fascinating that the tipi design was very influential and similar structures are still used in a contemporary context, such as for camping or for shelters at festivals, (I've always been jealous of those people while i've been stuck in my sweaty 3 man tent). Due in tomorrow, we were asked to produce a 1:50 scale section and plan of our chosen dwelling.

“I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”

Leo Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina' is one of my favourite books of all time, I spent last summer ploughing away at it on holiday. Who can't resist reading about the tragedies of Anna's doomed love affair and Lenin's failing attempts to win over his bride to be? I remember the exact time I finished reading it; I was on a beach in Corfu with my family and the air was getting colder as the sun began to set. I was sitting on my sun lounger, covered in a blanket, tears flowing down my face at the tragedy of the tale, getting the usual 'what do I do with myself now' feeling as I shut the book.  

Looking up in New York City

(Source: http://bryanteslava.com)

First Post

Hey Everyone,

I have no idea about who will actually read this, but ever since I came to University last year, i've had this idea of blogging about my interests and most importantly about my journey through an undergraduate Architecture degree. I think its important for everyone to have some sort of creative release and to impose it on the world in their own way. I guess for now i've chosen to blog. I've kept a private diary for many years now, colourful pages sprawled full of heartbreak, teenage emotions and magazine cut outs. However, over the past few months I feel like I've written in it less and less, and i've reached the conclusion that perhaps it's just that i've grown out of it (and grown tired of cutting and glueing down my favourite photos). Therefore, I feel a blog is the new way forward :). I guess i'll post about whatever is on my mind, photographs that inspire me and the documentation of my days.