Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Name This Plant: Cherimoya



Heidi successfully named this plant Cherimoya.

I recently came across it in the "exotic" foods display at the Whole Foods. You can see it was on a pile of kiwi.

I thought I was not familiar with the cherimoya until I started reading the Wikipedia article. The minute I saw a picture of the inside, I thought, "well that looks like a custard apple." As it turns out, as I read down in the article, that is another name for the cherimoya. So I guess I was familiar with it.



The cherimoya is mainly from Peru and Bolivia. This explains how Heidi is familiar with it, as she was a Peace Corps in both Bolivia and Peru I think.

Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, Mark Twain considers it the most delicious fruit know to man.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Photography Class: Time

So it appears my photography class will be never ending. And that is not a problem. I like having assignments. The instructor decided that the first class didn't count, and he was also out sick for one scheduled class date. So our classes have continued on past the end date.

We were given two assignments two classes ago. One was an artist statement and the other was to submit a series of photographs representing "Time."

My original Time idea was to set up at a location where I could get a 180 degree panorama. I wanted to shoot from sunrise to sundown and to assign the degrees of the pictures to the hours of the day, stitching them together to show the incremental change of time over the course of the day. I settled on the 360 Overlook and even spent some time figuring out where the sun and the moon would be.

I got to the overlook around 6:30 am, about an hour before sunrise, put the headlamp on, and dragged all the equipment up the hill. Camp chair, backpack, tripod, camera bag, and the rented lens. My wide angle was broken and in the shop, so I checked out a 14-24mm with a f/2.8 from Precision Camera. I thought that might be fun to play with. In retrospect, I could have saved $40 and gone with the 12-24 f/4 (which is the Nikon version of my off brand lens that was in for repairs). The wider aperture wasn't going to do me any good for a landscape or for a long exposure. But you know, whatever.

The night shots were great, but as the sunrise approached, things were less spectacular. It was a cloudy morning, and it was impossible to even tell if the sun was up other than the progressive lightening of the sky. Around 9:30 am, the sun peeked from behind the clouds long enough for a picture. Then the clouds returned with a vengeance and I decided to call it a day. I didn't have the 12 hours from sunrise to sunset, but I had some night, and I had some day, and I thought I had something to work with.

When I got home, I used Photoshop's panoramic merge tool with a little refining to combine several images into a sort of before and after shot that I think worked for the Time assignment.



I put off the artist statement until the morning it was due. I wasn't that interested in the artist statement, mainly because what I do isn't art. Cale, with his art background, insists that with enough art classes, I too could come up with some sort of obtuse, convoluted, complex-sounding concept behind my pictures. According to Cale, if I were to show in a coffee house, sure, I don't need an artist statement. But, if I were to have a gallery show, I would need an artist statement. It was at this point that this is not art. Cale seems to think that would be a pretty art thing to say. Just a placard of some sort declaring, "This is not art." And that would be the show.

Regardless, I do my assignments. So this is the statement I wrote:
I am inherently a storyteller who was historically unsure of her medium. A news designer fleeing a failing industry and a frustrated artist without the knack for drawing, I found the camera gave me the opportunity to tell the stories formed as images in my mind. I approach photography with a journalist’s mindset. With each image, I seek to capture an authentic moment. It is my hope that through my photographs I convey a sense of place and time, and most importantly, the emotion of the moment.
It's half honest and half crap. Which I think is probably about par for a artist statement.