Friday, January 31, 2014

Exploring the Perspective Angles in Clase de Snapshots

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting to have to deal with photos of myself in my First Year Seminar class "Snapshots." Except there was nothing wrong with hoping that I wouldn't have to, but of course the first assignment involved bringing in eight photos of myself. The second second assignment, yours truly this very blog, where I was required to allow myself to be taken photos of. There is nothing wrong with the photos, these two in particular I liked, therefore I think the photographer did a good job. I just felt really shy and awkward, feelings that I am glad the photographer was able to capture within the photos. 
In photo one, she took this photo from a particular angle called the Bird's eye view, which is probably the first time I have seen myself from this angle. Gotta say, I am really glad I decided to get highlights 7 months ago because the whole ombre effect is kicking in nicely. Also, this photo does not show my face; which I'm relieved about because the whole entire time I had no idea what facial expression I should have had on my face. However, if an observer wanted to guess, perhaps they would speculate that I am bored. After all, it is quite a universal position where one may will have an elbow up on the table and their head propped in their hand when they are often bored or tired.

As for this second photo, to the left of this article, taken from a Worm's eye of view. I strongly believe that a worm has never seen me type on computer in general, but it would have an interesting angle. This is another angle I have never seen myself, but I liked this one as well from the variety of photos that had to be taken of me at different angles. In comparison to the first photo, to a viewer, I look more industrious as I am leaning forward with both my hands on the keyboard; typing out something on the screen.

I cannot really say that the perspective of these photos change the way I see myself though. My face is not showing at all so there is no self analysis I can do on my emotions other than body language, which I had already pointed out, displayed signs of discomfort (Face turned away in the first photo, legs crossed over beneath the desk).  

Blogging Pics on the Go

A Snapshot Analysis Assignment on Olympia

Manet, Edouard. Olympia. 1863. Oil Paint. Musee D'Orsay, Paris, France.


In 1863, Edouard Manet created an intriguing oil painting titled "Olympia," that I have recently been analyzing in my college photography class. The painting portrays a nude woman laying on a bed with a dark skinned person holding flowers in the background and a black cat. One of the questions that we speculated in class was who the woman in the painting could be, in general. I believe that the woman commands a certain status of wealth or power because of her body language and the objects of luxury depicted within the painting.

First off, the woman is nude and physically exposed; which could be looked as being open and vulnerable. However, her body language says other wise because she appears relaxed and reclined upon a bed with huge pillows. The woman's legs are crossed over each other, a sign that can be interpreted as discomfort or insecurity, yet her facial expression appears almost bored. If anything, the woman appears at ease with her nudity and her eyes appear to see right over my head, as if my discomfort at her appearance is of no concern. I have also recently been getting a sense of sadness from the thought that she may also be simply looking over my head out to the distance, lost in a troubling thought that she cannot be helped in. Also, her eyes just show dark pupils as if her lids were hooded; a body sign that people often have if they are tired or sad [seriously, how many sad or tired people are often wide awake, showing the whites of their eyes or light reflecting off of them?]. If I am correct to presume that she holds wealth or power, people of that status often had carried secrets and burdens alone, and she could be no exception. Other than her body language, there are also objects within the oil painting that could allude to her wealth or power.

There is a large bouquet of flowers,a white bed with large white pillows, and a blanket with golden tassels. Starting with the flowers, they are not simply within a vase but are in the hands of a dark skinned person; who appear to be offering them to her. The act that these flowers could be an offering show a display of giving a gift to another person that is deemed worthy, important, or powerful in comparison to the person giving the flowers. Then the bed and large pillows, are signs of some wealth, because back in the 1800's the average commoner may not have had access to such comfort items. I have also analyzed that bed and pillows are both white, a symbol of purity, as well as a show of cleanliness. Cleanliness back in the 1800's would have been difficult without washing machines as they would be hand washed; thus needing a cleaning product as well as access to clean water that the average person may not have afforded to have at their expense. A blanket with designs and golden tassels had to also be an object of wealth because of the amount of effort and material that would have gone into creating it. Again, I am going to say, that the average commoner in the later 1800's probably could not afford to have this item either.

While analyzing this painting, or any painting, I strongly believe it is important to keep either the time period that the art was completed or the artist's intended time period, in mind. There are always going to be some sort of social classes or power rankings in all civilizations and in the painting "Olympia," I strongly believe the woman held a status of power or wealth. I am aware of the speculated fact that Edouard intended the portrayed woman to be a prostitute. Even if she was a prostitute, she had to have some connections or power that entitles her to be surrounded by such objects of wealth. Overall, I believe her body language is the most important because she exhibits confidence with herself lying nude and airs superiority; if not command. A person can buy and surround themselves with riches and wealth, but a true person of power is able to exhibit it through their body language and actions.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Online Photography

There are only a couple of ways that I have participated through online photography and that is through Facebook and Instagram. Both of these sites I have used primarily for socializing and keeping up with friends, especially now that I am out of high school. Therefore during high school, I often posted up photos, which I think were good for sentimentality reasons and memories. The same goes for when I am going through my news feed, I am able to look at the photos that my friends posted up of their lives at college. Although I keep in touch with a lot of my best friends, it is nice to see that my other friends from high school are enjoying their lives. How I participate with photography in Facebook is basically the same reason for why I have an Instagram, although I personally find Instagram more fun. I love playing around with the filters or seeing how cool or pretty other people's photos will look. Of course there are hash tags; that are both amusing and obnoxious.

 For sentimentalness and memories, I think photography on social networks can be important to remind the users and their friends of the good times they have had. In general online photography is beneficial because people are able to see places they have never seen, people they have never met, or look at things in a different perspective. After all, there are many breath taking and stunning photos people take of their travels around the world or explorations in nature. Then there are people you hear of in the news, people you have never met, but there is often a photo of them included in the article that allows you to see who they are. One of my favorite parts of online photography is when people choose to take and post pictures that have been taken at an artsy angle or had been filtered maybe a certain way; a reason why I spend a lot of time on Instagram. Overall, online photography is beneficial because people are able to see what they do know or could not have expected.

There are certainly downfalls in online photography though because if someone posts up a photo, that photo is always floating around there in cyberspace, even if they delete it from the online site. Online photography can be regrettable later on in life because it may seem harmless at first, but someone else can take it as inappropriate or offensive; this someone else could be a potential future work boss. In some regrettable cases, the photography could be cruelly made fun, and is often shared. One alarming aspect I personally find about the internet, is how quickly a photo can get around even if it is just a harmless meme of grumpy cat. The sad concept of this, is that there are people who commit suicide because of photos that have been posted up online, whether they chose to post them or not.