Monday, 26 May 2014

pink hair and syrup

Once upon a time it was a surprisingly sunny Sunday, and what did I do on that particular Sunday? I sat on a lump of cloth, played with honey, flour and face paints, and used those to dye my hair pink with my best friend. Unfortunately it's quite easy to guess that we did all that for a photo shoot.

This is another photo I created for the photo series describing an event, the first one presented in the previous post. I would never have succeeded without help: the syrup was unbelievably sticky and extraordinarily eww.
Whereas the first photo was about the dull despair of the endless amount of the stuff I'd have to study and learn, this photo describes an emotional roller coaster: the week wasn't just dull despair, it was also very active despair and frustration as well as hysteria (in a kind of a positive way) and joy.

I felt this to be a more challenging photo, as my plan required quite a bit more of manipulation than just of the crop and the colours. Also, I'd have to manage to try to express emotions in an exaggerated but not overly pretentious way.
When we started, I had no clear picture of what I was aiming for and absolutely no knowledge about how the face paint and honey (with flour) with work on my hair. Well, for starters, the flour and the honey were a catastrophe. Overall it was hilarious. Because I had not planned the facial expressions very carefully, I tried all kinds of things with the majority being just for fun. And we did have fun. At some point I laughed almost so hard that I thought that I'd die. I mean, I laughed so hard that it actually became uncomfortable, but I couldn't stop. It was hysterical, just like it should have been to get the right kind of photos.

I was quite pleased with the result, though it required many hours of work and some accidents to guide me. This process was clearly out of my comfort zone, and because it is also not conforming to my style, the photo feels rather distant to me. The colours are not what I'm used to, similarly to the strong facial expressions. These are not necessarily bad things, but still, this photo feels like a good idea that is only half way there in the execution.
Here are a couple of photos that have not been touched with Lightroom or Gimp, reflecting the situation, though from these you can't feel how yucky and funny it felt when the syrup was slowly running down my face and neck.
Try it. I can guarantee a new and exciting experience. Please don't put it in your eyes. I'd say mouth is okay.


Sunday, 18 May 2014

one and one is more than their sum

Quite a while back I applied for a photography degree in a university that asked me to send them a series of photographs describing an event of my own choosing. The time I chose to create the series was a holiday week that was dedicated for studying for the mock exams of our IB2 year, and there weren't too many events that I had planned to take part in during that week... except the week itself. As I actually didn't spend the holiday at home, and it was the most relevant thing in my life at that time, that week became my event.
The activities to which I engaged to during the week were simply boring: eating, sleeping, crying (fortunately that's exaggerating), studying, procrastinating and doing something relaxing to let go of all the stress. The emotions we (or I) felt during that week were another thing completely, much more interesting: excitement, frustration, exhaustion, anxiety, despair and so on. So that's what I started to build my series on, emotions.

It was both a challenge and a refreshing experience to try to plan everything beforehand. Usually I have an idea without a goal, and now I had a goal without ideas. First I came up with all kinds of frustratingly obvious things, but after all I came up with three components; one very simple for its documentary nature and two that needed a lot of preparation.

The night Aino and I took this one, we tried to create the two bigger concepts, but the first didn't work out, at all. (It would have been awesome to have a photo about the game nature of IB, but actually my idea for portraying it wasn't a good one so it's good that it didn't work.)
This one was a tricky one at first, too, because it was very clear to me that I wanted to portray the endless amount of studying that was needed and the dull despair of that by positioning to mirrors face to face. Executing that was more difficult than I first thought, but in the end it worked perfectly with Aino simply sitting her back against a bigger mirror and holding a smaller one.
I'm very happy with this photo; it ended up reflecting the emotion I planned it to. I also had dreamed of using mirrors for quite a long time, and I was very happy for succeeding in using them at the first try.

As I was there taking the photo myself, I can't say if it's easy or difficult to comprehend the setting from the actual finished photo, so here's a kind of a BTS photo that only reflects the camera through one mirror.

Two more final exams to go and then I'm FREE

Saturday, 3 May 2014

anni of pine cones

Hello again! Life has been quite hectic recently, and that's still not going to change until a couple of weeks from now when the final exams of IB diploma programme end. (I'll have my first exam on Monday.)
It's totally weird to be so excited and afraid of the near future. I'm so happy to let go of the source of endless anxiety for just a while even, but before that I really have to take part in the exams and ace everything. And to be honest, right now I don't feel like acing math and physics.

Nearly a month ago I was asked a question: "What kind of novels would you choose if somebody were to buy them for you?" I knew what I wanted to give as an answer, and that's what I told them, but I also had to say that I can't remember when I last touched a book that didn't have anything to do with school.
That's when I again realised that I have given up a lot of things for school, not just novels but also sports, photography, blogging, hanging out with friends and enjoying things in general. Now it feels liberating, exciting and also weird to be soon able to slowly start living again.

To celebrate my hibernation (or rather its coming-to-an-end) I am presenting photos that were taken during the last days of last year.

Even though it's been a while since taking these, I still haven't quite figured out why I'm not confident about these photos. I like the elements of the setting and Anni performed beautifully in spite of my messy and poor guidance. However, the photos were taken in a poor lighting (I really should stop using reading lamps) and the ended up being flat. I'm just not yet sure what I should have done better, which is why I feel weird about these.

I really do like the setting; the pine cones, the golden whatever-they-are and Anni's gaze, for that matter. Maybe it would be good practice to try to recreate the setting with some essential improvements to the execution.