March 22, 2010

Playing catch with paper planes

"It's just artists block"
Photo credits: Abby Banks, Ashley Carey, Ezra Distler, Helen Jones, Saturn Milner

This is our newest shot - taken from Abby's studio window on Main Street, downtown Brattleboro. Ashley was in the street below with a giant paper airplane, waving her hands in the air! She sure got some funny looks from passersby. Ah well, there is always fun to be had on rainy afternoons.

March 20, 2010

Morning shot

"Good morning, goodbye"
Photo credits: Ashley Carey, Corey from Gill

This is an outtake from our camera obscura shoot. It's long exposure where a couch hopper got up and left while the picture was being taken, it looks kinda cool. We also really love the way the alarm clock glows. The yellow and green theme was inspired by the duo-colored sets and lighting in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's films like Amelie and Delicatessen.

March 18, 2010

Camera obscura picture

"For Abelardo Morell and Hiroshi Sugimoto"
Photo Credits: Abby Banks, Ashley Carey, Henry Dunn, Matte Greaney, Helen Jones, Sara Rice

This photograph was taken after turning our living room into a camera obscura. I had been talking with my roommate one day about pinhole cameras and camera obscuras and how you could make a darkened room into a camera obscura pretty easily. She did not believe me. I showed her a book by the photographer Abelardo Morell who does just this in his pictures. She was still skeptical but excited at possibility so we decided to try it for ourselves and, of course, we had to take a picture of it. With the help of some friends, a bunch of cardboard, and four rolls of duct tape success was ours! We then sat in the room and watched a documentary film about Abelardo Morell (it is called Shadow of the House by Allie Humenuk, and I recommend checking it out) and took a picture of ourselves for the duration of the movie. We thought it was a nice way to pay homage to our biggest inspiration for this endeavor. The length of the exposure was also a nod to the photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto who takes beautiful pictures of movie theatres by taking an exposure for the entire length of the movie.
Here are some shots by the artists who influenced us:

Abelardo Morell

Brookline View in Brady's Room / Manhattan View Looking West in Empty Room

Hiroshi Sugimoto

Orinda Theater / Union City Drive-In

March 10, 2010

Spirit photos

"Untitled spirit series"
Photo credits: Ashley Carey, Henry Dunn, Helen Jones

This series of pictures was inspired by spirit photography of the late 1800's. At that time people were trying to use photography as proof of supernatural happenings. People wanted to believe that photography was a document of what was in front of the camera unaltered by the creator. Even today, with the popularization of Photoshop, we tend to think of photos as fact. Photography is not always fact, and has never been. This contradiction comes to the forefront in spirit photography -- as well as in clearly staged pictures like our group makes. No ghosts made it to our seance though! Maybe we will try again another day. Here are some examples of spirit photography from the exhibit The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult which showed at the Met a few years back. It was a really interesting show and I believe it was made into a book as well.

H. Mairet, Séance with Eusapia Palladino at the home of Camille Flammarion, France, 25 November 1898
/ The Medium Eva C. with a Materialization on Her Head and a Luminous Apparition Between Her Hands, Albert von Schrenck-Notzing

March 09, 2010

A still life

"Still life with dead daffodils"
Photo Credit: Helen Jones, Martha Jones

Recently I listened to a lecture by photographers Laura McPhee and Abelardo Morell about an exhibition called The Poetry of Everyday Life: Dutch Paintings in Boston Collections which showed at the MFA several years back. In it they talked about what they like about the paintings and how it could relate to their photographic work. I found it very interesting. I have always loved Vermeer and his sense of light, this made me want to look at more Dutch paintings for inspiration. Abe in particular talked about still lives, tabletop scenes, and what they can symbolize -- which is often excess and waste. Here my mom and I tried to make our own more modern and modest still life. Below are some of the types of paintings that we allude to.

Pieter Claesz "Still Life with Roemer, Tazza and Watch" /
Willem Claesz "Still-Life with Gilt Goblet"