Friday, 1 October 2010

Life's Little Adventures

To any of those that follow (or have tried to follow) this blog, my sincere apologies for not updating in some time. Been doing lots lately, but I would like to share two pieces of my latest work which I hope you'll enjoy.

Having this idea in my head for a few years now, but not having the right model or equipment put a massive delay on this project. Since learning how to think conceptually whilst in my Studio Photography class (thank you Craig!), I've really become attached to the story behind the photograph. I like a photograph that leaves the viewer asking himself questions and wondering what the story behind it is. Every time I've asked the viewer what the photo was about, I've always got a different answer - this is what intrigues me and keeps me motivated to make work like this.

Doing a project and researching Richard Avedon, I discovered that he would speak to his subjects about topics that were somewhat offbeat; topics that aren't normally discussed whilst conducting a shoot. With these topics he received some great natural reactions in his photographs (have a look at his famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe for a good example). Using the concept of natural reactions, I wanted to get some natural reactions out of my subjects, but using a different approach. I won't elaborate too much on that project since it was produced on a 5x4" format camera and the prints have yet to be scanned in digitally.

These two series catalogue mundane daily tasks that are not normally catalogued; nobody ever thinks of photographing these tasks because they're so routine. Routine is boring . . . now lets make it interesting!

Series one is titled 'Shitty Weather'. This series catalogues a man going about his daily poo, scanning the paper for a good article. Upon finding the article, he is disgusted with what he reads. Great natural reaction on this one.

Series two is titled 'Late Night Snack' and catalogues the same man, later on that night awakening to a hungry stomach in search of something to satisfy his craving. He is seen opening the refrigerator, having a look at what's inside and concludes with him making a selection.

For a look at larger (but still compressed and not quite hi-res) files, follow this public link:

Thursday, 29 July 2010


Right, so it's been about two months since this was updated and my attempt to keep a weekly blog has failed haha. Anyway, I'm finally posting the pictures from Arlene's photo-shoot that were taken in late May at various places throughout Sunderland. Since there are too many to post on here and it would take forever to upload all of them, please click on this public link to the facebook album. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Digital Illustration Projects, Fall 2009

One of my favourite classes I've taken thus far has to be the Digital Illustration class offered at WCSU. Taught by Vicki Vebell during the fall semesters, this class can be taken in place of regular, analogue illustration. Since I am concentrating on Graphic Design, my advisor and I felt that this class was more appropriate for what I'd be doing in the future. Vicki was truly a pleasure to work with and motivates her students to stretch their work into areas previously unknown to them. As of writing, she is currently trying to expand this programme into a two-parter, with Digital Illustration II to continue on the principles taught in the first part.

Throughout the class, three projects were assigned, all with varied themes. The first was an illustration to coincide with an article about water conservation. The article explained that the world's most abundant natural resource is used to make many consumer items. The surprise came when a table was displayed showing exactly how much water was used to make something so simple. For example, eight gallons of water are needed to produce just one apple. For this project, I've hand-drawn and scanned in a cartoon version of myself, eating an apple, while my stomach inflates after consuming all the water needed to make that apple. My character is set in what looks like an outdoor grocery store, with a giant food tree sprouting from the chequered floor.
The second project consisted of making a poster displaying the "Best of Connecticut." Mainly a photo collage of various places in the state I've photographed throughout the years, this project stretched the normality of a regular photo collage a bit using various filters and modes. Set driving down I-84 and entering the state in Danbury, one can see the classic New England landscape of Madison Beach to the top left and lower right corners, the quaint restaurants of Bethel on the top right, as well as the industrial feel of the factories of Shelton to the left and the outside of historic White Hall on the back of the lorry.

The third and final project consisted of designing an album cover for our favourite music artist. Set to the dimensions of a 5"x5" compact disc cover, I've designed a cover for a fictional Duran Duran Greatest Hits album, showcasing their hits of the original line-up from 1980-85. Suggesting to look like a page of a fan's scrap-book, this cover makes use of photographs of the band, shown to look like they were taken on a Polaroid 600 camera. The photographs are left floating however, as the shadows are the only indication that a Polaroid picture is there. 35mm negatives flow downward to suggest more pictures taken whilst at a concert perhaps. Various lyrics from songs are hand written in lip-stick, crayon, oil pastel and Sharpie marker and lie on top of and behind the photographs.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sunderland Book Jacket

So these last few weeks have been quite busy for me, and realising that I haven't updated this page in almost a month, I thought it was about time to get back on routine . . . until I leave for Norway this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend that is. Anyway, I figured I'd showcase a piece I've worked on for my Graphic Communications class here in Sunderland. The objective of the project was to create a book jacket which portrayed the city of Sunderland through my eyes, using only photographs of typography displayed throughout the city. Speaking of typography, this project was to be mostly typography based, but without the use of vectored typography available on the computer.

After collecting photographs throughout the city and talking with my tutor Keith Nevens (who really knows his stuff and is fantastic to work with by the way), he asked me if I liked living here. Truthfully, I do, and I don't think Sunderland's as bad as everyone makes it out to be. This negative image has come from all the visitors who hail from the surrounding cities, especially the Giordies from Newcastle who also don't like Sunderland due to the intense football rivalry. Keith suggested that it would be a greater challenge to go against my positive view of the city and create a negative piece however, and I agreed.

The photographs used in this project do not reflect on the way I think of the city of Sunderland, but I felt they were appropriate for the project.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Kristen's Autumn Shoot, 18/11/08

Going through my photography archives, I came across some of the first colour photo's I'd taken with my then new 35mm Canon Eos Elan II. Taken back in November '08, the pictures are of Kristen posing in the back of my flat. There's a beautiful little brook that runs behind the building surrounded by trees that change all sort of interesting colours in autum. We were a bit bored, so I talked her into coming out back for a few snaps. When the processing was finished, I was quite impressed with the results. The bottom picture was also an attempt at a painting (taken with a mobile phone camera) which was displayed at Building Blocks Art Gallery in Ridgefield, CT in April '09.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Surname Heritage Compositions

One of my favourite assignments from last semester's Typography class was that of using the heritage of your surname (and your first initial) to make an image. Whilst an image could be used, it had to be typography based. Since I am primarily of French heritage, I decided to choose some famous French landmarks to incorporate into my designs. Although the Statue of Liberty is synonimous as an American landmark, it is both a gift from France to the United States as well as a play on my surname which translates into English as "The Liberty."
Modelled after l'arc de triomphe

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Newcastle/Gateshead Millennium Bridge

(Top photo courtesy Anthony Burns, Bottom taken by myself)
Upon seeing this magnificent structure for the first time a few months back when I had visited the Newcastle quayside, I was immediately taken back at what a stunning design it is. For those who are unfamiliar with the bridge, this isn't just any other stereotypical bridge. Opened on 17 September 2001, the bridge is used for pedestrians and cyclists to cross over the River Tyne from Gateshead into Newcastle (or vice versa). It is visually stimulating whilst being fully functional at the same time.

"Six 45 cm (18 in) diameter Hydraulic rams (three on each side
, each powered by a 55 kW electric motor) rotate the bridge back on large bearings to allow small ships and boats (up to 25 m (82 ft) tall) to pass underneath. The bridge takes as little as 4.5 minutes to rotate through the full 40° from closed to open, depending on wind speed. Its appearance during this manoeuvre has led to it being nicknamed the "Blinking Eye Bridge". ("Tilting bridge opens eye to the world". BBC News. 2001-09-17.)