Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Finishing Up with Blurb

Alright, kiddos, the time has arrived! I've got all but one of my images color-corrected, I've added all the text except for the index that I'm finishing up for the back of the book, and I've decided on the visual rhythm of the pages. I'm really pleased with the two-page spreads I've included from my more figural series of photographs, since they add variety from the portrait busts that dominate the rest of the book.

Once I finish the index explaining the characteristics of the people in the book, I'll be ready to send it off to print at Blurb. Finally! After the book is done, I'll begin selecting photos to enlarge and print so I can include them in the Senior Exhibition in May!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vanessa Beecroft: She Should Have Been a Cat Lady

Vanessa Beecroft or, as I like to call her, "that crazy lady that tried to essentially steal two Sudanese orphans because she's secretly fixated on Africa," was certainly an interesting artist to research. In terms of liking her, I'm sure you can look at the title of this post and my catchy nickname for her and get the impression that I don't really like her at all. And you'd be right. That doesn't make her art bad or offensive, but she's the type of artist that repels my personality.
VB45 by Vanessa Beecroft
While garnering attention for her semi-controversial installations, Beecroft's overall artistic stance and mental state have reached such a degree of dereliction that her art fails to be impactful. In the context of Relational Aesthetics, Beecroft attempts to turn art into a social institution by implying viewers into a normally awkward interstice between people at different stages and in different modes of dressing. By making the viewer feel out of place, she succeeds in making the audience uncomfortable but fails to leave a lasting impression due to her overarching obsession with fashionable female forms.
From Point to Artist by Vanessa Beecroft

Beecroft's work is not as controversial as she would have perhaps only the blind believe, but that does not make it unsuccessful in terms of Relational Aesthetics. I think she if she is a part of that movement, it's almost of utmost importance to make the splash she's trying to make, but all the same I interpret the movement as more nuanced than that. It is unsuccessful because the interactions and interstices should not have to be contrived in such a way that they are abundantly and instantly clear as Art with a capital A.

HillMarie's Photostream

Self Portrait #1Self Portrait #2Self Portrait #3Door #1Door #2Door #3
Gate of the GuggenheimDoor #4Going UpStairway to HeavenThe Form of the ForumSenatus Populusque Romanus
ColosseumIserniaAnam ShahidColin & HillaryMelody & AaronMelody

Hey everyone! My Flickr gadget decided to kick the bucket, but if you're interested in any of my other photos that aren't in my Imperatum series, check out my Flickr Photostream!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Imperatum: Color Correction and Layouts

The printers are warming up and it's getting to be that time! I'll be sending my book in for printing within the next 2 weeks, so the crunch has begun to get all the details in place. After spending many continuous hours fiddling with color corrections and lighting adjustments, I feel that my photos are starting to reach a level of cohesion that will work really well within my book. Whether or not this is the final stage before making final prints, I'll have to see in the future.

Cover Photo © Hillary Rogers

Caligula © Hillary Rogers

After my one-on-one critique with our guest lecturer, Nick Olson, I feel that my photo series makes sense but could still do with some refinement. He suggested that I experiment a little further with my figural-focused works and push the saturation down even further within the portraitesque pieces. I feel that at this point I really need to decide what place the figure studies have within my body of work and within the book before I go ahead and sent the book in to print. In addition to all the color correction I've been able to complete, I've decided on text layouts and am in the process of adding an appendix that includes brief descriptions of the characters featured. At this moment, I'm getting a lot of satisfaction from the personalities I'm able to bring out through the portraits and will focus on those for the book. I'll still continue to shoot both portraits and strictly physical forms and decide in time which pieces will make it to my senior exhibition in May.

Nick Olson and the Role of Technology

The Water by Nick Olson from his Camp Tintype series
This past Monday I had the pleasure of hearing Nick Olson, a 2008 Lawrence University graduate, speak about his sojourn in tintype photography. I found it fascinating that there are still artists that can fully commit to a new lifestyle in order to immerse themselves in their art. Inspired by Thoreau's Walden, Olson has embarked on many endeavors, the most recent of which is entitled Mildred's Lane, that examine the way in which people interact with their environments both now and in the past.
Portrait 7 by Nick Olson

Koré by Hillary Rogers
Since I work so closely with (almost tethered to, if I'm honest) my computer for everything I do with my own photography, I was interested and surprised to find that there were certain parallels between Nick's goals and my own. He, too, searches for the beauty that is present in the simplicity of life in the past. My work focuses more on the similarities between past outrageous characters and present day celebrities, but to an extent I do strive to capture an essence of archaic forms of beauty in my aesthetic. Since Olson did a critical series of photographs focused on his contemporaries and how much time they spend at their computers, I'll be interested to see what he has to say about my process and products!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


More time passes and more progress! I've changed the title of my digital photography collection and book from Personae to Imperatum. Imperatum translates to "command" and "order", which are the two main personality traits of the characters I'm capturing for my project. My book has made considerable progress especially in the way of adding new photos that I've been able to take this term. Other than the inclusion of text, I feel that the visual rhythm of the book is almost exactly where I want it to be for printing. I've been including older images with white backgrounds that I believe I'll be removing for the final print. Overall they disrupt the intimate feel that's achieved by using the close-cropping and black background that are present in my newer photos. I'll post a thumbnail of my page layout and some of my new images. I'll be enlarging some prints for my senior show, but am unsure about which to choose for printing and framing. I foresee much color-correction in my future and look forward to making the adjustments that have been suggested to me so far.
Current page layout for my book, Imperatum © Hillary Rogers
©Hillary Rogers Pericles

© Hillary Rogers Julia

© Hillary Rogers Cleopatra