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Letting the World In

Holy crap! I opened my kimono!

I didn’t realize it till I saw the project brief’s interpretation by the other 12 international female artists. Sublime. Ephemeral. Abstract.

Me?

A literal interpretation of the Worldwide WoMansion brief: curate a room of my life during Covid -19.

 

Oh well.

Here it is. What I did and how I did it – in my personal space with my favorite Pjs.

I was at a different location for the stricter first lockdown. These self-portraits combine my feelings of both locations as I go through a second restricted curfewed lockdown.

At one level, it felt like there was no need to groom. You could go all day and all night in the same clothes. On another level, there was a sense of slowing down. My chats with those near and far were more like a relaxed Sunday afternoon. From here, I could reach out to the world and curate the pieces of the world I would let in. Inevitably, there were just moments of frustration.

 

Chat, sleep, rinse, repeat.

I am calmer for the second time around. If nothing else, I get a chance to organize and edit images that have been long neglected. I could strep up to do this WoMansion project. This time around I’m by myself, moving freely within my tiny space.
Voila.

Catch me here: Carmen and Covid 

The Envelope was Handwritten

In the US, I have a dear friend that receives my mail.  Normally my mail is not exciting.

Last week was different.

She felt compelled to google “how do you do Google Hangout”  so she could contact me in real time in France.  “Can you receive texts?” arrived on my Google voice number.  I’m curious.

“You got a handwritten letter today.”

Enough said.

It was an invitation to a high school graduation from a young lady I photographed oh so long ago.

 

 

 

We made portraits when she was 4 (currently not in my digital archives) and when she made her first Holy Communion, to welcome a new brother and as part of a family Christmas card (She was Thing 1).

I am so touched.  Congratulations Rachel!

(I don’t feel old…I don’t feel old…I don’t feel old)

Coming Out of the Stone Age

A picture with some nice filters applied…what’s the big deal.

Is it the handsome man behind me?

What makes this image remarkable?

It went from my #alwaysinmypurse SONY RX100 MKIII camera via WIFI to my lowly Huawei Ascend Y300 almost smartphone.   This involved multiple menus, hot spots, passwords…AND THEN… it made its ascent to Instagram and Facebook.  Along the way I learned to use those funky filters and add some hashtags too.

I am truly dangerous now, I’ve learned to use Instagram.  A lousy camera on my phone won’t stop me now.

Thank you “The Art of Photography” for showing me what to do.

Voila!

Dave and David 3 of 8

Carmen-Blike-II-Eustace-2He wandered into my studio unannounced.
He willingly sat for my light testing. A client session would begin shortly.
It was Oct. 17, 2009.

Fast forward.

Last minute scramble to submit my assignment of a David Eustace-inspired environmental portrait. Eustace has been referred to as Scotland’s secret weapon, the only non-American invited to participate in USA Network’s Photographic Celebration of America’s Characters.  His photography is simple and clean and compelling, something to integrate into my style of “seeing”.

My son Dave’s “In From the Cold” portrait reminded me of Eustace’s style in his Greene Street Project.

Voila! Homework done.

2 Placemats and a Cheese Grater

Coolest GizmoA bit of sleight-of-hand, a little illusion, these assignments have stretched my imagination…and that’s a good thing! The assignment was to SHOOT THE COOLEST ELECTRONIC GIZMO EVER MADE – so I picked a PC board. Got this crazy idea to make it look the opening scene in the first Stars Wars movie . Do you remember the deep rumbling throughout the theater and then you saw a spaceship pass overhead? So I wanted this Stars Wars cruiser feel with stars in the background, etc.

Didn’t happen.

The making of ....behind the scenes.

Instead I managed to make a cool composite that focuses your attention on the chip – the brain inside most of our electronic devices. This board was shot upside down. Those are 2 placemats and 1 cheese grater to make the background.

Imagine this as a double page ad shot to also be used in a brochure. That means the image will be big…
Never in a million years did I think I could pull something off like this.  Today I feel I’m just a little bit better than yesterday.

That’s all we can ask for.

#project52pros #upsidedown #microchip #nofear

Environmental Portraits 1 of 8

20150922-07567-Edit_CarmenBlike_DianeArbus_Inspired_photoFirst in series of environmental portraits inspired by 8 known photographers. Commercial photographer Don Giannatti has been leading several courses for portraiture and products.

20150922-07552-Edit_CarmenBlike_DianeArbus_Inspired_photoAlthough I consider myself a lifelong student of photography, I’ve never immersed myself in an in depth study of contemporary photographers.

My friend graciously  accepted to be photographed in a style similar/inspired by the work of Diane Arbus. Ms. Arbus explored the edges of society with a marked point of view.

 

Shiny Object – Never a Dull Moment

Pro52_Assign11 Shiny Object Never a dull moment.  (groan)

Using diffused natural light helped minimizing harsh highlights or shadows being reflected in the object.   These are chrome salt and pepper shakers in a chrome bread basket.  The brushed chrome was not so reflective too.  A shallow depth of field keeps your attention on the top of the shakers.

That’s me on my balcony surrounded by ways of reflecting softly or diffusing the sunlight.

Mediterranean Moonrise

Mediterranean Moonrise

It is easy to take for granted what we frequently see.  Last night, I invited myself to photograph the evening light; if just for a short while.  Took my tripod and my wide-angle lens.  Didn’t shoot many.

I love to look at the light, to shoot it but I don’t like selecting and editing images afterward.  This time I made a point of picking one and working on it.  It has nothing to do with portraits but I like.

She Tried

Mother birthday

My Mother

Today would have been my mother’s 95th birthday.  She passed before I became a portrait photographer.  Although she was a single working mother she managed to have professional portraits made.  I have her to thank for the few childhood  images I have today.  Feliz cumpleaños Mami.

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