Monday, November 14, 2011

Ad-Buster Project

            For my ad-buster project, I juxtaposed two pictures to make a strong statement. The picture on the left is the advertisement, and the picture on the right is from a news article. The advertisement is targeting men who are looking for wedding rings for their fiancées. It explains to men that diamonds are worth the large amount of money they cost because they are a symbol of eternal love and last forever. Men are the primary targets because women usually don’t buy expensive diamond rings for themselves; weddings are the main reason that diamond rings are purchased. Therefore, women are left out of this advertisement. The advertisement is simple, since men typically don’t sit and read magazines and ads for an extended period of time, like women may. The text is to the point and evokes happiness in the viewer. The target will most likely want to purchase this product because it makes him excited for the future with his fiancée.
            On the right side of the advertisement there is a picture of individuals in Zimbabwe working in harsh conditions to retrieve diamonds to provide to Americans. The text on the right side satirizes the advertisement on the left. The fact that the diamonds last forever does not make up for the fact that many diamond companies exploit workers in foreign countries and place them in dangerous areas to obtain diamonds. Many Americans are oblivious to the fact that some diamonds are supplied by abused, underpaid, or underage laborers in other countries. I aimed to exemplify this ignorance by satirically saying that although diamonds last forever (which is the company’s big selling-point), “bleeding stops eventually.”

Monday, October 31, 2011

Family Photography

Many people have the perception that the word “family” is only representative of a specific archetype. When what people consider their “family” strays from this blueprint, some individuals may say that it is not a family or that it is “broken.” For me, my family includes my dad and I. We are not broken, however, and our strong relationship and my solid upbringing are the things that I am trying to emphasize in this project. I used family photographs of my dad and I and added text to convey various messages about what I believe a “family” truly is.
    In my first image, I tackled the perception that many people have about what a family really is. Many people may say that a family with only a father and a daughter is broken, but I think that they are misguided. Therefore, I added this text to my photo to bring forth this issue. In the second image, I filled a picture of my dad and I with synonyms for the word “support.” In my life, my father is my main pillar of support, and sometimes the only one who I can count on to take my side. He is always there for me, which is what true family should be. This image shows that there are many different ways at looking at one thing (as represented by the synonyms for one word), but that in the end, they are all the same. My small family gives me the same strong support that individuals with two parents and many siblings receive, just in a different form. My third image shows my dad and I in a large field with a quote that says, “family is one of nature’s greatest masterpieces” (George Santayana). In this image, I wanted to show that family is a strong entity, and even when you are up against massive things in this world (like large fields) you still have your family. I altered the image so that the background of the picture is black and white, and my dad and I are the only things in color. This shows that although nature has created some magnificent things, the love of a family the most everlasting and most important. The last image I picked shows my dad and I on top of a mountain, with text that says, “Wherever life takes me…my family will always be with me.” Not only does this show in a literal sense that my father is my travel companion and accompanies me on many adventures, it also lets the viewer know, figuratively, that whatever life throws at me (deep valleys= ruts in life; remote villages= uneasiness in the face of new challenges; towering cliffs= the good times in life) my family will always be there for me, and will never waver.
    My primary influence while creating these images was Carrie Mae Weems. I modeled my pictures after her by adding text to the images and appropriating the meanings of what one might see when looking at these images. I also was influenced in my project by Carrie Mae’s similarities to my family relationships. Carrie Mae has a strong relationship with her father, just like I do, and she is not afraid to let the good aspects of that relationship shine through in her images. This allowed me to confidently move forward in my decision to portray the positive side of the relationship that my father and I have.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Documentary Photographs

For many years, Native Americans have gathered in Pow Wow dance and song rituals in order to celebrate their culture and pass traditions onto younger generations. This Pow Wow was in protest of the artificial snow-making that is soon going to be occurring on the Native Americans' sacred mountain in Flagstaff. This is a very important issue in Northern Arizona because Native Americans in this area regard the mountain as their God, and feel that it is disrespectful to spread reclaimed "poop" water on the mountain. This Pow Wow was a special occasion because the dancers were all young individuals, who were learning the traditions of their culture and fighting for what they believe in. This Pow Wow shows that the beliefs of the Native American culture are still very strong and continue to be passed onto younger generations. The fear, anger, and sadness of seeing their sacred mountain be "tainted" is apparent in the eyes of these individuals, but they still maintain the strength and focus to honor their beliefs and fight for their culture.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I chose to focus on texture due to the fact that there are so many various textures that can be found on a bicycle. The photograph of the seat shows that it would have a smooth, slick texture and slightly rough feel where the grid-like pattern is. I liked that the stitching of the seat is visible in this photo, and was glad I could incorporate the springs behind the seat, which also have a distinct texture. The bike pedal and its checkerboard pattern are clearly rough and hard, which is visible in the picture. I wanted to capture the pedal's ability to grip to a rider's shoe. Tires have various textures including smooth (on the edges) and rough and treaded (on the ventral surface), which are both visible in the picture of the wheel and bike tire. I included the brand name of the tire (Nylon) to add interest to the photograph, as well as the texture of rubber lettering.


I chose Lighting as one of my elements due to the fact that Oregon, the location where I photographed the bike, has many types of lighting depending on what time of day it is: cloudy, sunny, calm sunsets, fiery sunsets, etc. I was able to capture some great shadows at certain times of day, as well as sunny skies. I loved the effect of the rays of sunshine bursting through the wheel spokes. The sunset at the end of the day also offered a new way to view the bike, which was beautiful, and made the bike blend into the surrounding trees as well as stand out in the orange light.


I chose to photograph this vintage bicycle when I was in Oregon over Labor Day Weekend for many reasons. This bike belongs to my grandma and is special to me, therefore, I wanted to capture the beauty of this bike, even though it is rusty and dented up. I think that Oregon is one of the most beautiful places I have been, so I liked being able to capture the lush flora in the background of my pictures. The lighting in Oregon is great, too. The sunshine is not as intense as in Tucson, which I think makes for some good pictures. In addition, the sunset was beautiful! Photographing the bike in my grandparents' large driveway allowed me to move around the object and capture many different perspectives.