Monday, March 3, 2014
The thing I like the most about the 20 Time project is the fact that it has encouraged and allowed me to accomplish things that I didn't realize I was capable of, and never would have dreamed of doing on my own. I have already learned a lot from the project so far, and am continuing to set new goals along the way. The only thing I dislike about the 20 Time project is the frequency of the blog post due dates, as I feel that I don't always have new things to share every week, and new occurrences don't necessarily happen in time for every Monday. If I could change anything I would simply make blog posts due possibly every other week, or maybe just on any day of every week, as I feel that a more flexible due date would be easier to work with.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
After visiting the DIA for the Scholastics Art Awards ceremony, I realized that the other photographs that won awards often appeared to use photoshop or other forms of editing. Afterwards, I decided to experiment with some photo editing as well, and ended up doing some contrast and sharpness boosting on the Old Man picture I had taken earlier. The rise in contrast has really deepened the many lines in the man's face, and I think it has improved the photo a lot. I plan to continue doing edits such as this one on other pictures I take, as well as trying out other photoshop software. I have downloaded Lightroom, a photoshop program, and am excited to try it out on the photos I have taken and will take.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Although I haven't taken any new photos for my project this month, I entered a few of the other ones in the Scholastics Art Awards, and found out last week that I won three awards for the three different portraits I took at Eastern Market in the fall. Later this month I get to go to the DIA for the awards ceremony, and my three pieces will be displayed there until the end of March. I hope to go back to Eastern Market at least once this month, and maybe back to Finney high school. Also last week, I found an article in the newspaper for a photography tour around Detroit, which my Dad and I plan to sign up for. I think that this will be an amazing opportunity, as it will allow for me to visit new parts of the city, as well as improve the safety of the expedition (safety in numbers). I will include the three winning portraits below, which specifically won a silver key and two honourable mentions.
Eastern Market Man - Honourable Mention
The Old Man - Silver Key
Rudy - Honourable Mention
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
In the fall I viewed blogs of a few photographers that take pictures around Detroit, and was interested by one in particular who had a lot of photographs of some of the murals around the city. Luckily the photographer had an address for each picture that he took, and as quite a few of the locations were nearby I wrote down the addresses and had my father take me to photograph them. It was easy to stumble across artwork that we hadn't originally intended on finding, as many buildings in Detroit are covered in them. It seemed to me that many of the graffiti and murals covering the sides of abandoned buildings added a much needed vibrance and life to otherwise gloomy structures. I think that the artwork is truly a greater expression of the city's culture rather than the overgrown lots and ramshackle structures that they are located on. Oftentimes you must search for some of the best artwork, as not all of these dynamic murals are in the most obvious or visible places - you have to really explore the city. I took these photos in late fall, before the first snowfall, and have included five of them below.
Artwork on a garage door, near a parking lot in a Detroit neighbourhood
Two contrasting artworks on an abandoned building
A smaller part of a larger mural on the side of a building
A vibrant mural covering the walls of a building on the outskirts of Detroit
Many examples of different graffiti on a single building
I realize that I have forgotten to attach photos to my post about going to Finney High School, so I will include four of them here.
The former indoor swimming pool of the high school
The main hallway on the ground floor of the building
A sign outside of the school building
The outer windows of the high school
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Last weekend, my father and I drove to an abandoned high school in Detroit to explore and photograph it. We had discovered the location of the school a few weeks ago, when we were driving home from the Heidelburg Project. We had seen the school's towers from a distance, and decided to get a closer look. The school is located in a dilapidated neighborhood that appears to be almost completely abandoned, with overgrown lots, boarded up houses, and no sign of any people around. The school itself was a grand old stone building, and at a first glance we could tell that it would have been very beautiful in better days. All of the classroom windows had been smashed out, so it was easy to peer inside at the empty rooms. There were still chalkboards on the walls, and tall cabinets built into the walls, though the wooden doors had been torn off. The floors were covered in smashed debris, broken glass and pieces of old chairs and doors. This past weekend when we returned to the school to photograph it, we couldn't help but enter the building in search of good photo opportunities. Since the doors were all open or torn off, it was easy to do so. I had never been in a school so silent, and the situation was very eerie. The hallway we entered had rows of lockers on the walls, though the doors had been removed. It was dark and the floors were scattered with glass, papers, wood, and metal scraps. Right off the main door there was an old auditorium, lit by the sun streaming through the floor length windows. There was an empty stage in front of which was a sea of smashed wooden chairs, a perfect photography opportunity. In general the inside parts of the school were very hard to photograph, as the place was such a mess it was hard to set up a photograph with understandable subject matter and good lighting. We then drove around to the other side of the school, where we were able to walk right into what was once the school's indoor swimming pool. The pool was empty of all it's water yet full of graffiti and other artwork, and my best shots of the school were of the pool area, since the lighting was better than most parts and the right angles were easier to achieve. Things got much eerier when we heard the sounds of footsteps and someone smashing things around from upstairs. We heard footsteps outside as well, and realized that we weren't alone. We left immediately, and decided that if we were to come back we would come in a larger group, for safety purposes. Although I regretfully didn't manage to take as many good photos as I had hoped, exploring the school was one of the most interesting things I have experienced since starting my photography expeditions in Detroit, and I hope to return to it. Although the school has faced so much damage, there were parts of it that still seemed frozen in time, such as one of the classrooms where there was still a history lesson written out on the scarred chalkboard.It was very sad to see just how devastating bankruptcy has been on places like schools and neighborhoods that had once been so prosperous, yet now face abandonment and defacing.