Studio Tethered Capture: Dairy

 

It’s officially the beginning of fall semester and we’ve stepped up into our second year in the program. I couldn’t be more excited to start in my field of concentration: Commercial Photography and branch out into the real world with internships beginning in October.

We hit the ground running with our first assignment: Dairy, where we learned how to tether and Catalog our photographs in CaptureOne. We had free range as far as what we wanted to shoot so long as dairy was the star of the photograph. I knew I wanted to shoot cheese and include milk to give the photograph some movement. I bought a few different types of cheese that satisfied my overall aesthetic for height, color and size. Brought a few props into the studio and started to improvise by slowly adding items into each photograph. Once I was happy with the lighting (Broncolor Lights) and composition I had my classmate pour milk slowly and carefully right where I needed it while i captured it on CaptureOne. Though I made a mess, I learned a lot while having fun. Great start to the semester!

 

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Behind the scene studio setup using tether capture

 

 

 

Design Lab II – Possession

BlogWeek8_05I have never been a huge fan of scary movies; especially anything dealing with spirits or demons from another dimension. I grew up terrified of Freddy Krueger ,Chucky  & even those nasty gremlins but nothing terrified me more than hearing first hand ghost stories from my Aunts and Uncles who grew up in war-torn Cambodia.

So, what inspired me to create such a series?

I’m taking it back again to my Design Lab II class for Spring of 2016. We were allowed to come up with any concept for our final portfolio and I wanted to try something different. Maybe it’s one of those subconscious fears I wanted to overcome or the fact that creating such a horrific series gave me some control over this irrational fear of mine.

BlogWeek8_02My original idea was to photograph the 9 stages of Hell from Dante’s Inferno. (1. Limbo 2. Lust 3.Gluttony 4. Greed 5. Anger 6. Heresy 7. Violence 8. Fraud 9. Treachery). I wanted to capture what it would be like in each stage of hell and bring the viewer into each scenery. I wanted to create an art installation where the viewer would walk into the piece and view the photographs from inside a dark room fully equipped with eerie sounds and heat insulation.

What started as the 9 stages of Hell became something more of a series of photos I’d liked to call “Possession”. Goes to show; you never know where your ideas will lead you but you must always trust the process.

 

Magazine Layout

We are developing ideas for our custom color printing class this summer to create a magazine consisting of at least 12 images. I had a few ideas floating around but went with this project I entitled “Open Road”.

I envisioned 2 best friends hitting the open road for the summer with no place in mind but the wind in their hair and adventure at their feet. Obviously, its a working progress and I realize this doesn’t quite have that feel. I envision one thing but creating it is a whole different thing. That, and I don’t have access to a Red 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible or close enough to shoot in the Nevada desert.

While on the “Open Road”, we happen to stumble upon this shabby abandoned house and got a few shots out of it. I still have some tricks up my sleeve and hope to pull off this vision. Wish me luck!

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Models: Dana Phoeun / Sasha Kanich
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Models: Dana Phoeun / Sasha Kanich

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Tradition and 3 Generations

 

Ama_02.jpgToday marks the 100th day of my Grandmother’s passing. The number is significant in that a ceremony is held on this exact day to end the mourning period. We honored her life and our beloved Aunt who also passed recently in prayers and chants followed by the burning of incense and offerings.

 

Three generations under one roof to remember the ones we love most.AMA_03.jpg

Jieh Ting Chang, 83, died on March 24, 2017.

She was born in China on October 15, 1934 and immigrated to Cambodia with her aunt when she was only 15 years old. She was married at the young age of 18 and had 12 children. She is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge Regime (1975-1979; which claimed the lives of up to 2 million people), but lost her husband and four children in the conflict.

Her daughter, Marie Peng, was able to escape the war-torn country and found refuge in the United States. In 1991, Marie’s determination to bring her family safely to the states finally bared fruit after years of hard work when all twenty of her family members stepped foot onto North Carolina soil.

I was seven at the time and I still remember it like it was yesterday. My brother and I proudly held signs that read “Welcome to the land of the free” as we were eager to greet the family we’ve never met. At that age, it’s hard to comprehend how important that day really was. But days like today, as we were surrounded by family, it was a clear reminder how special and beautiful it all was and still is.

Death becomes us all, but our memories remain rich in our family’s legacy. RIP Ama and Aunt Ju. Your love still lives on in our hearts.

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Black and White

 

Who doesn’t love photographs in black and white?

There’s something about these photographs that are timeless and instantaneously serious. As if you’ve captured a moment, frozen in time, and you can’t help but feel connected to the image in some nostalgic way. You’re immediately drawn back to an era of simpler but harder times.

I think one of the greatest gifts of photography is being able to look back into time as it was. I often joke that the kids growing up now,  the igeneration, will grow up with limitless technology that will capture every not so altruistic moment in their life. It would be the equivalent to seeing your grandpa in a silent film getting pantsed in public versus a current version of your grandmother’s “viral” video of a drunk make-up tutorial. Seriously, how funny would that be?

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to reach far back into your family’s tree and find hundreds of photos and videos of what your great great great grandfather/mother did? Even if they were embarrassing or private, all of those moments would be so real and speak of the time and generation. That’s the future we’re headed for and I plan on capturing a digital legacy of my life and hope to pass it on to future generations in my family. Hopefully, they can look back and truly feel what it was like to live in my time.

 

Huntingdon Apparel

For this week’s blog post I thought I’d share a project I worked on in the Spring.

It’s always exciting working on a new project and I was thrilled to be able to help a friend out on the launch of his new denim wear. Having worked in the denim industry for some time, his family decided to open up their own company featuring some of the latest fashion and trends in denim wear.

It was a privilege to photograph their amazing products and in breathtaking Pilot Mountain with vast blue skies and beautiful mountain scenery.

Huntingdon Apparel / Model: Lauren Crawford

Photoshoot for Huntingdon Apparel featuring denim jackets
Huntingdon Apparel / Model: Lauren Crawford
Photoshoot for Huntingdon Apparel featuring denim jackets
Huntingdon Apparel / Model: Lauren Crawford
Photoshoot for Huntingdon Apparel featuring denim jackets
Huntingdon Apparel / Model: Lauren Crawford
Photoshoot for Huntingdon Apparel featuring denim jackets
Huntingdon Apparel / Model: Lauren Crawford
Photoshoot for Huntingdon Apparel featuring denim jackets
Huntingdon Apparel / Model: Lauren Crawford
Photoshoot for Huntingdon Apparel featuring denim jackets
Huntingdon Apparel / Model: Lauren Crawford

Seek the light, find a way.

Product Lighting

“Seek the light, find a way.”

For my product lighting class we had to choose an object and shoot it using only natural light and modifiers. Honestly, it sounds easy enough until you start shooting it. You start to notice the glares and reflections and you can’t help but over analyze each shot. I love how each assignment I’m given challenges me to think like a photographer and I am grateful for my instructors who help mold us to think outside of ourselves and to always search for the light.

Wake up

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“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

-Steve Jobs

 

scan0001.jpgWhen my instructor for Design Lab I asked us to come up with ideas for our first semester final project, I immediately knew what I wanted to do. It could be the countless hours of TED talks I listen to or Tony Robins voice telling me how I need to be the greatest version of myself, but I decided to photograph people and their dreams for my final project.  Mainly because I am inspired by people and their stories.

Although being General Manager at Phoenix Asian Cuisine for scan0003.jpgthe past twelve years has been a blessing, it was never my passion. I never woke up dreaming about being a manager of an upscale restaurant, nor was it ever a childhood dream of mine to become one. Life kind of happens and you roll with it. I will say, one of the perks of working in the restaurant industry is that you get to meet so many fascinating people; employees and guests alike. I always made it a point to get to know each and every staff member and the one question that always seems to come up is; what do you want to do with your life? With guests, it was always; “So, what do you do?” Seeing their eyes light up when answering these questions is what inspired me.

scan0002.jpgMost of our staff comprised of college students so I was always inspired by the young working college student. Serving tables to support themselves while trying to reach their dreams and aspirations. In this series, each individual I photographed has one particular dream they aspire to be. My idea was to photograph them in the restaurant “After Hours”; which I titled the project. I wanted to capture each individual in a raw moment where they are alone in a restaurant after it has been closed. The spotlight on them after a long day’s work committing their time, after hours, to work on their dream job.

Blogger’s remorse?

 

Taking that first step is always the hardest part.

As I attempt to post my first blog ever, a series of questions begin to cloud my judgment, filling it with doubt.

Is anyone actually going to read this? Am I witty enough to keep anyone’s attention, let alone my own? Will people like me? Will I offend anyone? Its only in those first few words that I really begin to understand myself.

As a photography student, you go through similar questions about your value and worth with every photograph you take. The more you worry about what everyone else is thinking, the less authentic you become to yourself. As a result, your work suffers from it. Life is a series of mistakes and what most people don’t realize is; mistakes are more valuable than wins. You can’t improve unless you mess up. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my 33 years of living it’s that you can’t please everyone. You have to believe in yourself before anyone else can buy into what you’re trying to “sell.”

What am I selling? My journey. I’m in my third semester at Randolph Community College in Asheboro, NC pursuing a degree in commercial photography. Graduating from this program would be my second degree; my first being a B.S. in Finance. Why Finance to Photography, you ask? Life; simply. I have always loved photography and I’ve had many friends graduate from the same program to pursue amazing careers. Oddly enough, I’ve never seriously thought about turning photography, a hobby (or so I thought), into an actual career- until now . It’s so easy to get caught up in climbing the proverbial ladder everyone’s trying to climb that you forget why you chose to climb that ladder in the first place. Here I am, after climbing back down so many ladders I put up, to start over on a new journey. I am both excited and totally scared of what my future holds but I have trust in my journey. With each passing day, I know I’m one step closer to a dream becoming a reality.

If you want to see my progress as a photography student or read about what amazing things I’m doing next, then please click follow and enjoy my fascinating journey of failing and learning!

Thanks for reading!

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Photo credit: Sarah Sutton

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