About Me

My photo
I'm a Guilford College graduate with a B.S. in Criminal Justice; I minored in Visual Arts Photography. My blog tracks the highs and lows of my experience in a Film Photography course during the Spring of 2013 and up to the present, as I delve into digital photography. I may even include other mediums of art such as acrylic paint, graphite drawings, etc. I'll talk about my experiences snapping photos or simply snapping from frustration as well as my successes and failures, tips and tricks that I've learned, and exploring the photography/art world through the lens of a Black woman.

31 March 2013


Hello all,
I've had a lot going on in my personal life, as of recently, that I've been trying to handle and deal with, but when I get on top of things, I'll be back to posting regularly... you'll see more personal posts, pictures, etc. Just hang with me. Thanks.

Artist Spotlight

Tatsuo Suzuki
Tatsuo Suzuki is from Tokyo, Japan. I tried to find biographical information about him or a history to his photography, but I couldn't find anything, at all, other than where he currently lives.
I chose to spotlight Suzuki because I was attracted to his close up portraits of the Japanese. He captures liver spots, every wrinkles, freckle, stray away eyebrow strand, and pore. I've seen so much photography of white people and blacks, but this is my first time seeing so many awesome portraits of Asians.
In almost each portrait, some sense of emotion is expressed... it makes me want to know the individual person's story or what they were feeling at the time or why. What is also interesting about his portraits is that these aren't beautiful models... these are everyday people with facial feature flaws and character to them. In one of his portraits, the man is missing an eye. His Flickr is here [x] and his blog is here [x] in case you'd like to see all of his work.

21 March 2013

Artist Spotlight

Nan Brown
Brown studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute in the 1970s. She taught herself Ansel Adams' Zone System and was influenced by his philosophy of craft. Brown was self instructed. In 1975, she pursued a career in studio photography. On her site, she features to collections of work: Trailers and Intimitations. Her Intimitations are quirky photographs of children [x]. Her Trailers Collection is just that... trailers [x]. However, there's more to her collection of photographing trailers than what it sounds. I believe that's why I chose her as a photographer to spotlight - I found her images of trailers intriguing and beautiful. In reference to her trailers collection, she stated:
"I have long loved trailers as objects. They are often alone in a landscape, ironic metal comments. From the side they are billboard-like and wonderfully two-dimensional. Their facades are of subtly beautiful tones and textures, a black and white photographer’s dream. The squares and rectangles of windows within the squares and rectangles of trailers, I trapped within the square camera format. The repetition of form causes people to look closely at each trailer for variation. Portrait-like, individual personalities are revealed. The spark for the series included not only their visual charm but also the emotional impact of trailers as shelter. As a child, traveling across California, I was drawn, through my car window, to the otherness of the small, roadside communities or the dislocation of lone trailers. Their fascination for me now includes the seeming license expressed in the treatment of the exteriors and yards, a result, I think, of the diminutive and transient nature of trailers. The images refer obliquely to culture. But trailers are so versatile and useful that the quality of that culture cannot easily be corralled, certainly not within a silly stereotype like “trailer trash” or even a category like poverty. Yes, they offer ubiquitous, inexpensive shelter, but they also serve those seeking simplicity, “freedom”, or a get-away, and even those just needing storage. For the most part a mobile home is just that, a home. I have become deeply attached to the images as I have collected them. They are stand-ins for the gamut of spiritual states from valor to depression to depravity, conditions not the province of any given social class or group."

Artist Spotlight

Gary Mitchell
Mitchell has been doing artistic nude photography since 2005. He chose to concentrate on the contrasts of light and shadow, rough and smooth, as well as traditional and unexpected. He's been published all over the world. I believe that I admire his work, because out of all the artists that I've been researching and looking into, he was the first one that featured nude models. When I first got into photography, part of me wanted to see what it was like to photograph people in the nude. However, I didn't know how to go about getting models for that or figuring out which of my friends and acquaintances would be comfortable enough with doing that. He doesn't compare to other artists that I have spotlighted, but as previously stated, he's the first one I came across that specifically did nude photography. He's pieces can be found in the following link [x].

12 March 2013

Gregarious Ali Spotlight - Hodgin Valley Farm

Copyright infringement applies to my photographs. Unauthorized use of my images on other websites is prohibited.
"More than Meets the Eye" - Hodgin Valley Farm in Pleasant Garden, NC. 
"Drop" - Hodgin Valley Farm in Pleasant Garden, NC. 
"Acrophobia"- Hodgin Valley Farm in Pleasant Garden, NC. 
"Camouflage" - Hodgin Valley Farm in Pleasant Garden, NC. 
"Stand Out" - Hodgin Valley Farm in Pleasant Garden, NC. 

The Ultimate Task

We haven't had kBr in the photo lab for quite some time, now. I think for over two weeks. If you don't know what kBr is, check out my first post [x]. If you can recall over a week ago, I visited Hodgin Valley Farm, and I believe I got some terrific images. However, I haven't been able to develop my negatives because the recipe I use requires kBr and we didn't have any. According to my professor, it will arrive today at 11:00 am. I'm supposed to be presenting in today's critique, but I have nothing to show. Here's the ultimate task... I have to wake up at 10:00 am to head to lab so that I can measure out and mix my chemicals for development (30 minutes), develop my negatives (30 minutes), wait for them to dry (20 minutes), then go immediately to the Mims Digital Lab and produce some prints for the critique. I have to do all of this before 4:00 pm. o_O May the force be with me.

02 March 2013

Artist Spotlight

Image Source [x]
Benoit Courti
Courti is a French photographer who lives in Paris. He was a music composer before becoming a professional portrait photographer in 2010. The Dmax (maximum black) that Courti captures in his photographs is so rich, deep, and beautiful. I believe that is what attracted me to his art the most... how intense the blacks are in his photos.
He achieves an amazing tonal range and photographs texture so well. Whether it is the single strands of a young lady's eyebrows that stand out individually and intensely; each crease and furrow in an elderly man's face; or every defined vein and wrinkle in his model's hand - Courti captures it effortlessly. In each portrait photograph that I viewed by him, I was drawn to the gleam of light in each person's eyes... how innately beautiful it was.
The contrast in his photographs are astonishing. In one of his photographs he captures the blackest of black in the shadow detail and background; a bright tone of white in his stop action capturing of cigarette smoke with great highlights and details within it; the freckles on the model's forehead, as well as, the salt and pepper beard on his face. I imagine that Courti has spent an endless amount of time getting to know a lighting studio inside and out. It'd be amazing if I could take close up photographs of people half-way as decent as him.
He even manages to shoot a black on black photograph of a black sheep on a black background, but he metered it accurately enough for the sheep to be a deep black, but not blend with the Dmax background. His portrait photographs can be found here [x]; view them for yourself to see how breathtaking they are. More of his captivating and awe-inspiring photographs can be found here [x]. Each week when I do these artist spotlights, I think that artist for the week is my favorite; Courti trumps them all... I don't think any of the following artists that I'll be spotlighting will be as impressive as he is.
One of Courti's "Deep Black" photographs

Field Trip - Hodgin Valley Farm

This past Tuesday my classmates, teacher, and I went on a trip to the Hodgin Valley Farm in Pleasant Garden, NC [x]. It was freezing cold and rainy that day, but I'm pretty sure I got some good pictures. It's unfortunate that I didn't not have as many rolls of film on me as I would've liked, because there were so many amazing things there to take pictures of. My teacher said that if we liked it we could go back, however. There were chickens, geese, swans, a peacock, horses, cows, a donkey, and goats. There was a lake, a barn/farm, a pretty landscape, and an array of tools, tractors, carts, etc. to look at and get shots of.
When we got back from the trip, I was so excited to go to the photo lab that night to develop my prints. I set up the balancing scale, got out my supplies, and set up the dark room for reeling my film, but unfortunately there wasn't anymore kBr. Also, I wasn't chancing messing up my film by over or underdeveloping it, because I'm not experimenting with any recipes other than the one I have; I'll just have to wait until we get some kBr shipped in and just keep taking photographs in the mean time.