29 October 2013

C I T Y   O F   A N G E L S

A few sunny images from my trip to Los Angeles in September. The ocean was so warm, we could run right into the waves.

25 October 2013


Last summer in Uncle David's pool. 

16 October 2013




As I have been studying photography more, a serious desire to pursue photojournalism has taken root. But this desire has also been in a constant battle with my natural impulse to produce or mimic things that are visually pleasing and beautiful. I've felt at times that I have to choose between the two, and that it may be a struggle for me to give up control over the placement of my subject or let go of some element of direction, and yet still be able to make a beautiful photograph. So many photographers are able to do this, but the aesthetic I strive for, I fear, might be lost in the process.

Then I look at the work of Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravos, who managed to do both so beautifully and seamlessly. Their photographs have such a similar point of view, it's hard sometimes to differentiate between the creators and their creations. Neither of them are necessarily considered photojournalists, but often their images have similar characteristics. What they accomplished is so much like what I hope to be capable of myself. They each took beautiful photos that are staged and arranged, but also ones that are documentary, that they happened to capture during a precise moment or event. Some, like the last one by Manuel, are hard to look at, but they stir emotion and are a testimony to something that happened – something that people should know about. And despite the differences in circumstance and either lack or control of direction, their photos maintain a cohesiveness; a seamless collection with a singular voice. They're beautiful and inspiring.

A lofty goal perhaps, but I really hope to achieve this in my picture making someday. I want to take photos that are beautiful, but not just artistically. I want them to carry a message, share a story or communicate an issue that needs attention. I want my photos not only to mean something, but to do something.

14 October 2013

Y E A R   2   B E G I N S

Today marks the fourth week of my sophomore year in college, and while it feels good to see how quickly and successfully I have accomplished forty-five credits, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a decade or more older than all of my classmates. I've been walking out of classes feeling frustrated and bored. We do not share the same level of understanding, and so oftentimes the discussions are lacking a certain complexity and maturity that I desire. I am trying to remind myself that it's not their fault I decided to become a student at my age, but nevertheless, I find myself wanting more.

Meanwhile, I am doing an independent study in photography which is helping to fill in where other courses are lacking. I have been working one-on-one with my photo teacher from last quarter, and my time with her has been fulfilling and constructive. My first project was to replicate a photo by another photographer, and then create a response to it. No surprise, I chose to copy a few images by Francesca Woodman. I am pleased with how my interpretation turned out, though Woodman obviously did a much nicer job. I have yet to come up with a response photo that I am excited about, but you can be sure that I'll post it once I do.

Something I really should be doing more of is writing here. If I'm going to be a journalist, I had better be writing often, and not just for school papers – though I'll be doing plenty of that this quarter. I will do my best to spend more time here. My poor neglected blog.

01 October 2013


Things I've seen on the ground recently.