Assignment 5: Everyday Life (Final Draft)


Final Draft:

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Artist Statement:

My life is very scattered. I do not exactly go by plan – something unexpected always comes up. These pictures are, in a sense, random, because my day-to-day life consists of fairly odd and different things. Nevertheless, they are in the same series because my series is theme-based. It is my “Everyday Life” despite the fact that each day consists of something  a tad bit different than the previous day.

I knew what my starting point was going to be right off the bat: my homecoming. That is my favorite time of day. There is nothing better than coming home after hours of being in class to a crazy house consisting of an upset mom, jolly sister, and two very loud brothers. Therefore, I began shooting photos of my life post class first. I shot through the night and began again in the morning, so it was not too chronological.

I purposefully took very close-up photographs. I want viewers to zoom into the photo with both their mind and eyes. I would hope that the close detail of the photograph would make them consider all of the ways as to how the subject of the photo can be incorporated into my everyday life. I guess I want the viewer to imagine how my life encompasses the subjects, items, and locations of my photos. I want them to create a story.

These photos were brainstormed before they were taken. Even if I did not plan on taking the photo originally, when I did decide to take it, I brainstormed how it would look best. I then edited the images. In a sense, they are pretty. I do not want my viewers to get the impression that everything in my life is pleasant and pretty.

Lastly, I changed all of my images to black and white, primarily because I want the viewer to focus more on the encompassing of the photo into my life rather than the look of the object itself. I was also inspired by the photographer Nicholas Nixon.

Assignment 5: Everyday Life (Brainstorming)



I never got the chance to document my day. It’s my first year in college, and I just recently realized that my life is quite different than it was last year. It took me only two minutes to realize what I wanted to take photos of: a typical day. I logged onto my Tumblr to find some inspiration or to simply be reminded of what my days usually consist of:food kola train watch

Nicholas Nixon Research

Nicholas Nixon is a man that works according to his heart. In an interview included in the book Family Pictures (Photographers at Work), he stated that his projects have to do with what he is interested in emotionally and artistically. Therefore, he does not need a lot of time to make his pictures, as he acts on emotion.

A picture typically takes him ten to fifteen seconds to capture. The equipment that he uses is light as possible, and he is as fast as can be with it. He has never stopped using a 8 x 10 view camera, for he is always after “the specific description of detail and space.” He does not talk to his subjects until after that photo, though he always aims for collaboration, for they cannot be heard anyway, at least not verbally. I first thought that his lack of color in his photos made them very quiet, serious, and dull. But after the first glance, I saw something new each time, as does Nixon.

These black and white photographs that he takes thrill him. He has no specific reason for making all of them black and white except for his love of the final product. Therefore, he works exclusively in black and white even though he sees a lack of life in black and white photography. Color pictures look more realistic to him, but less interesting. He works based on emotions, though, so interesting beats real.

Nixon works on series of one subject until he gets tired of it. There is a lot of physical contact between his subjects, particularly between his wife and children in this Family Series. He says, “It seems inexhaustible, and connected to other aspects of  culture and history that matter to me.” Aging, too, is a major theme in his work. He is interested in things that are ephemeral – the feeling that everybody is mortal. Nixon’s love for this theme is probably best depicted by the ongoing portrait that he has been taking of the Brown sisters, his wife and her sisters, every year since 1975.

This particular series that I focused on consists only of photographs of his family. When his daughter Clementine was born, he began taking photos of her, his wife, and his son Sam. Clementine was most interesting to him because he does not have any sisters, so he saw wonder in her. There is a lot of nudity in his photographs due to the beauty that he found in his children’s “fresh and wonderful” skin.

Two photographs in the book Family Pictures (Photographers at Work) held my eye for just about the same amount of time. I looked at both of them for quite a while on a few different occasions. The very first photograph in the book is my favorite. Eighty percent of the photo is the bare chest of Nixon’s wife, Bebe. Her skin in not in color, rather black in white like all of his images, but her imperfections are clearly depicted. She has freckles and wrinkles on her skin, birthmarks and moles. Behind her is a wall with a few imperfections, too. It is not smooth. Her hair is not perfect, either. Some is over her shoulder and some is behind it, but it is frizzy and wavy. The only smooth part of the picture is their baby’s hand. It is little and new, compared to her large scale body and age. In the second photograph that I greatly admire, there is only a corner of the picture that does not consist of skin. There is so much purity in the image. A new mother with new responsibilities (she is feeding the baby in the photo) and a baby, a new one, with a new look onto the world and new, clear, smooth, pure skin.


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Space is the most important element that Nixon uses. Space is the area between and surrounding the objects in an image. It can be used to draw attention to the subject, and it most definitely does in Nixon’s photographs. The space is filled with human flesh. How does one think of anything except the two humans, mother and child, in the image? The space isolates detail and establishes meaning.

Color, too, is vital to Nixon’s work. The lack of color makes you focus on the dominant color between the black and white. Bebe’s skin in the first photograph is not pure white, but it is much lighter compared to her hair, for example. With so little colors to choose from, the dominant color stresses the focus of the photograph.

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Nicholas Nixon decided that he wanted to become a photographer in his senior year of college. He received his BA in American Literature from the University of Michigan and a MFA from the University of New Mexico. Besides this family series, he has a “front-porch” series (groups of people photographed outdoors), portraits of people in nursing homes, and a series of people dying from AIDS virus.

His photos are contact prints, which means that he exposes a negative after placing it in direct contact with a sheet of positive paper, rather than by enlarging it. He processes his film himself and does all of his own printing, meaning that he has earned all the awards and prizes on his very own.

He was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Photographer’s Fellowship a couple of times, as well as one National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist’s Fellowship in 1987, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1977 and 1986.

This genius teaches at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.




Assignment 2 – World of Shadows and Blurred Lines

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This series of five images consists of photos that belong to the world of shadows and blurred lines. As I was shooting, I kept coming across shadows, and it was not at all intentional. The very first picture that I took was one to fulfill the prompt, “Take a picture that everyone takes but in your own way.” I looked around my room and saw roses. Everybody takes pictures of flowers. How can I make it my own? Flip the flower upside down. My intention was to fulfill the prompt with the flipped flower, as it was for the remainder of the assignment. However, I ended up fulfilling this theme of shadows and blurred lines. So many images that I took ended up with a shadow of some sort.

I went through the images a number of times, trying to look for ones that were similar in content, like images with bright colors, images taken outside, or images that seemed abstract. I could not find any five images that looked as though they belonged in a series together. I went through all the photos that I took one more time and examined them very carefully, which is when I realized how many of them consisted of some round object, a shadow, or lines.

Following the photo of the rose, I found myself looking at bricks in awe. I am not sure why I like the photo so much, but it most perfectly fits this category of “blurred lines” that came to mind. The next photo is probably the ideal photo for this particular theme that I used for my series. I walked into my sister’s room looking for parallel lines – nothing more, nothing less. I found a pair of black and white shorts that worked perfectly for the prompt. But, when creating the series, every aspect of the theme was depicted in the photo. For one, it was made up of black and whites stripes – lines. Second, I purposefully did not line up all of the black and white stripes perfectly. Rather, I let them fall into their own place, leaving not-so-crisp, blurred lines. I had also placed the shorts on the ground, under a window. So, the shadow of the blinds fell onto the the cloth.

Though I chose not to include it in the series, one of the prompts asked for a picture of the world. I figured that everything I took a picture of is a part of my world. However, I also thought of a globe right away and wanted to use it in a photo. Instead, I decided to use something else that is round: a soccer ball. No shadow is present in the picture of my little brother hovering over the soccer ball, but most of the background is all blurry. Blurred lines. Lastly, I took a photo of my absolute favorite plaid shirt. The blur was entirely unintentional, but it ended up being the perfect fifth image to the series of a World of Shadows and Blurred Lines.

Assignment 1

f/3.2 1/60 ISO 80 Exposure Value: -2
f/4.0 1/100 ISO 80 Exposure Value: +1.33 
f/4.0 1/160 ISO 80 Exposure Value: +0.67
f/3.5 1/60 ISO 80 Tungsten
f/4.0 1/60 ISO 80 Fluorescent H
f/4.0 1/60 ISO 80 Flash
f/4.0 1/60 ISO 80 Automatic White Balance
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Bracketed Images