September 30, 2008

Photographer’s Body of Work Review: Andy Goldsworthy

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — rebeccaprowler @ 10:39 pm


Andy Goldsworthy


Andy Goldsworthy is a nature installation photographer.  His artwork focuses on abstract photography.  In his photos, the visual look matters more than the emotion felt by the viewer.  The objects in his photographs are always found in nature, never manmade.

Goldsworthy pays great attention to detail.  Classic artistic elements such as line, color, shape, space, value, texture, and symmetry are present.  This can be demonstrated in individual photographs from Goldsworthy’s body of work






This photo wouldn’t be successful without the line in the snow.  It would simply be a picture of snow with a relatively flat color scheme and nothing of interest.  The line leads the viewer’s eye through the photograph.








This photo displays how Goldsworthy uses color.  If the leaves were a similar shade to the rocks and the water, the photograph wouldn’t be as interesting.  The red is a direct complement to the neutral grey rocks.







Without the circle of colored stones, this photograph wouldn’t make sense.  The circular shape in the center draws the viewer’s eye into the photo and makes it visually intriguing.






The negative space is what makes this photograph.  Without the opening in the largest ring, the smaller ring wouldn’t be visible and the photo wouldn’t be as compelling.  However, the photograph is very monochromatic; it could use a bit more contrast between the color of the snow and the color of the sky.







The warm color gradient in this photograph demonstrates how Goldsworthy uses value in his work.  The exact selection and arrangement of leaves creates a seamless gradient.







In comparison to the previous photograph, the gradient of the colors in this one isn’t as gradual, so the texture of the stones is evident.






The concentric circles in this photograph demonstrate the symmetry in many of Goldsworthy’s works.  In this case, the similar coloring works to make the symmetry more obvious.


September 23, 2008

Photo Essay: Letters


Photo Essay


It took me a while to come up with a topic for this assignment.  I wanted something that would look cohesive, but the photos were connected in a more abstract, not-so-obvious way.  At first glance, the subject is not easy to distinguish, but it becomes apparent after looking through all of the photographs.

I walked around campus and my dorm room looking for letters of any kind, and I attempted to capture them in a unique way: from a different angle, zoomed-in, etc.

September 22, 2008

Photo Review: Dovima with elephants by Richard Avedon

Dovima with elephants, evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, August 1955

Dovima with elephants, evening dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, August 1955

This photo by Richard Avedon is well-known for a reason.  At the time, the contrast between the dirty elephants and the clean, elegant model was unheard of.  Nowadays, this is not as jarring.  Artists constantly push the boundaries, and society as a whole is not as conservative as we were in the 1950s.

What really makes the photograph unique is the textures: the rough elephant skin and the smooth fabric of the dress.  There is also a contrast between the tones, which is further emphasized because the photo isn’t in color.  The elephants are grey while the model in her dress is black and white.

If I had to reshoot this photo, I would correct two things.  There is a definite balance of symmetry from left to right except for the third elephant on the right side.  Also, I like that the model is imitating the elephants lifting their trunks, but I wish the dress flowed out or she stuck her leg out away from her body or something similar to copy the way the elephants are lifting their right legs.

September 15, 2008

Ad Review: Orville Redenbacher

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — rebeccaprowler @ 9:44 pm
Orville Redenbacher Ad

Orville Redenbacher Ad

This ad is extremely strong because I can immediately tell what Orville Redenbacher is trying to say: that their hundred calories is much larger and more filling than other hundred calorie foods. Visually, the colors and the sizes of the objects are significant. The neutral popcorn is in direct contrast to the red background, which is also one of Orville Redenbacher’s colors.  The crackers stand out against the background as well, but not as much as the popcorn does.

This ad requires a bit of cultural understanding because the viewer must recognize that this is a play on a Pac-man video game. The popcorn is the Pac-man and the crackers are the Pac-dots. The Pac-man is so much bigger than the Pac-dots, so there’s a lot more popcorn in one hundred calories.

The ad is simplistic; there’s only a single line of text.  The graphics manage to get the point across fairly well, the text is only necessary to explain that the food shown is one hundred calories.  Orville Redenbacher with his box of popcorn is a recognizable logo, so there’s no need to write “ORVILLE REDENBACHER” in large text on the ad.

There really isn’t anything I would change about this ad, I think it’s very well done.  The only problem I have is that it doesn’t make me very hungry; I like my popcorn movie theatre style with butter.

September 14, 2008

Illustrate a Word: Repetition


American Apparel T-shirts

American Apparel T-shirts

While I was in Georgetown this weekend, I saw this row of tshirts in the window of the American Apparel store on M street. The store was closed so I couldn’t go inside, but I decided to take a picture through the window anyway and see how it came out. Luckily, I was able to focus it well, and the lights reflected in the window make the photo more interesting.

The photograph demonstrates repetition without being boring because the different colored tshirts make the visual more appealing. The lighting underneath the rack of shirts makes them seem to glow.

September 9, 2008

YouTube Review: The [title of show] Show – Episode 6

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — rebeccaprowler @ 9:44 pm

The first thing that comes to mind when I watch this video is how much prior knowledge is necessary to understand the humor and what is going on. Since this video is about a Broadway show, the viewer must understand a bit about that industry with regards to the “tossability board,” “Antoinette Perry Awards” as opposed to just the “Tony Awards, etc. Most of the actors and actresses who make cameos can only be seen on Broadway, so few of them would be recognizable to people who only watch movies or TV. However, there is some broader knowledge, such as the “writer’s strike” (or streak, in Hunter’s case.) Even a knowledge of viral videos and internet fads is necessary to see the humor in the “leave Larry Pressgrove alone” section, a play off of the “leave Britney alone” video.

This video is edited like a normal TV show would be set up. There is a “last time on,” a teaser, opening credits, several scenes, closing credits, and a final teaser. However, it doesn’t look like a show that you would watch on television, it’s a bit more rough around the edges. The video is shot in someone’s apartment and the actors are wearing normal clothes, not costumes. The color schemes are not particularly interesting except for the tshirts that Hunter and Jeff are wearing; they’re very bright and a sharp contrast to the neutral background. There isn’t very much obvious symmetry; the whole video looks unplanned. The dialogue comes off as very unscripted, but there is a clear plot. It looks homemade, but it’s still well thought out and put together. At the end when a camera shoots the entire scene, the viewer can see that there are lights and a camera crew set up. The video may not be as low-budget as we’ve been thinking, but then you can also see that the actors simply jump out of the frame instead of using some high tech special effects.

Some of the gimmicks come off as obvious. When the camera zooms in on one of the actors, you can guess what is coming next… a new actor is going to appear on screen! This gets old quickly, but it is still exciting to the viewer to see which actor it will be.

The video manages to do a good job making fun of itself and other cultural cliches. The show is interrupted several times for “news bulletins,” and no viral video is ever complete without a “zombie scene.” My favorite part is the roughly filmed “Hunter’s Chart of Jeff’s Charts.” The “important message” is written on a sheet of paper and torn up post it notes are used for the chart, as opposed to the uber-organized tossability board.

The ending is just perfect. The final scene gives the main actors a chance to explain themselves and also concludes the story. I’m not sure what the jingle at the end is, but I’m assuming that it’s from the show that David Hyde Pierce starred in, Fraiser.


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