3/31 Progress Post

For this week, I was editing down the photographs the most of the time. While doing so, I also realized that I never went back to edit the Twinkies series. I shot them the week before the presentation and sort of forgotten about it since then. So, I decided to take some time to examine Twinkies series, and see if it is worth including in the project. Here are the better shots I found:

As you can see from the photographs, I simply placed pieces of Twinkies in various shape. The first couple ones only consist of Twinkies. I think the Twinkies’ pastry part plays nice long the skin color, and the cream creates an interesting texture that is inviting to eat. At the same time though, the cake part stands out too much from the skin. Many other series appear as if the sugary product is embedded in the skin (or rather melting into the skin, becoming part of it). Here, I don’t feel like the Twinkies are cooperating to achieve that image. Even in the ones with colored sprinkles, it just doesn’t have that kind of luminosity that others sugary products has.

So maybe I can move on from Twinkies, and experiment more with the colored sprinkles. At least that way, the colors are going to stay much more consistent with the bright rainbow colors from other products. Wetting the sprinkles might also help to achieve the digestive system look that the jolly rancher has. Or…should I just jump on to M&M’s/Skittles? I’m nearly running out of time for the last shoot, so I might as well begin working on those two.

Also, printed postcard size photographs are going to have to happen next week. And it will.

3/17 Progress Post

With all the feedbacks and reflections from last week, I decided to wrap up gummy bear section of the project. The past experiments with gummy bear didn’t quite fit in with others. Chopped up gummy bears felt too separated from the skin, but I liked the curves of the gummy parts that were still recognizable. On the other hand, the melted ones had an interesting texture that sort of resonated with digestive acid. Despite that, the colors were too vibrant on its own (especially the red and orange). This time, I mixed these two up to see whether it can balance the textures.

Since melted gummy bears dry pretty quickly, I melted all analogous colors (red, orange and yellow) together. I also melted purple ones right after in a separate batch so that it doesn’t make the reds darker. Here are the photographs:

I do like these much, much better than the previous gummy bears. The way the melted gummy bears stream across the skin pretty much sums up the repulsive part, but the those still in shape relfects off highlights that illuminates its texture. The only thing that is bothering me is the vibrancy of the melted orange gummy bears. I might include more purple or just melt orange and yellow to lessen its intensity.

Meanwhile, after I get back from spring break, I plan to print out some photographs to determine which is actually the best or not.

One on One Reflection

It’s always good to have feedbacks from other people when you’ve looked at the same thing for the longest time. So far, I’m heading into the right direction and is also on track with time. Let’s keep it up till the end of the semester!

Couple things to note for the sour candy series though. I need to be aware of color in the composition. In particular, the red sour candy is so vibrant compared to others. It’s just very loud and overwhelming when placed next to other colors. Julie pointed this out and I do agree a lot. Since I can lay out the sour candy by my hand, perhaps putting the analogous colors – orange, yellow, green, and white – first and then adding red and purple might help compositionally.

Another thing to remember is keeping balance between the skin exposure and the sour candy (or gummy bear in the next week). Too much candy on the hand changes the subject of the photograph. The hand is completely hidden and only candies are seen. On the other hand, too less candy and too much skin rather loose interest in relation between dominant and sub-dominant structure of the photograph. This will be hard to tackle at one try. I just have to keep shooting variations till I get to the ‘one’.

Here are two photographs we all thought was the most successful in the sour candy/gummy bear series:

By the way, I shot couple more shots with sour candy and newer shots of gummy bear. I might as well put them here before I begin re-shoot next week with these materials. The first 7 photos are sour candy melted in the same way as the purple one from previous week. The last 4 photos are gummy bears. I was going to lay the bears out just like sour candy at first, but the inside isn’t sticky at all. So, I decided to chop them finely to see how it turns out. They look interesting so far.

Side note: I forgot to check-out 100mm macro lens, which I usually use. The ratio and the size of candies might be a little different compared to last week.

And I must go to Luck’s on High St. for candies. And of course it’s going to be props. I mean, what else do you do with candies?

Project Process 2/19

So, I’m officially ending the jolly rancher series. I feel pretty confident about this particular series of photos; the colors, the texture, the lighting, and above all, the concept came out nicely. Now, moving on to the next sugary food: chocolate.

Since Valentine’s day/season hit its highest peak last week, I went ahead and bought some cheap boxes of chocolate. I basically followed the same method as I did in jolly rancher. Chocolates were cracked open and crushed into tiny bits and pieces, and was applied to the surface of the hand by using egg white as adhesive. Here are few of the shots:

I’m not very proud of these photographs. Actually, I am not at all. Nothing appears appetizing, pretty, cute, nor seductive. Instead they just look like…something else that is way more disgusting. And this pretty much falls from what I am striving for. It was so much more difficult than I thought it was going to be. So, I’ve decided to continue experimenting with chocolate till the end. Hopefully the end product will elevate its aesthetic.

Another set of photographs I did this week is the sugar clusters. I photographed these similarly to the mineral-looking jolly rancher: black background, slight reflection, small aperture, and macro shot. There weren’t too much light reflected off of the sugar, but here they are:

Just like the chocolate, I wasn’t very excited about these when I viewed the final image. Each sugar cluster looks weirdly placed in the space. They even seem to be trying too hard to look like something else. Perhaps it’s the shape of the cluster. It doesn’t resemble crystal and minerals very much (although I’m sure I’ve seen something like this before in the museum). Additionally, like Julie said, the composition can also be the reason why it’s not quite fitting. There were more negative space/background shown in the jolly rancher.

I plan to shoot these sugar cluster again. I feel like I can make it way better pretty quickly. There are couple of things I can do next time. Rather than letting the cluster form naturally, I mass produce them like cookie, or even put them in a mold. During the shoot, the sugar on the surface can be wiped away since they are distracting the dominant object. Also, I could add some moisture to the surface of the cluster, so that the highlight of each sugar particle can be emphasized more.

Overall, it was a good week to make mistakes and learn from them.


Project Process 2/12

This week, I continued editing photographs of jolly ranchers from last week. There are so many that I needed to go back more than once to see which was compositionally and visually better than others. In addition to images from the last previous, here are some more of the photographs that I found evoking:

Just like I mentioned a little in the previous post, the visual style is very different. Just by looking at the images, it is obvious that the wet surfaced version appear more gross than others. The egg white on the hand especially helps the aesthetic through its thick jelly-like texture. On top of that, the jelly ranchers literally melts in there, breaking apart into goos.

The overall images reminds me of the chemicals found in human digestive system. More specifically, I keep imagining the stomach and how everything dissolves into simple elements. Not only are the chemicals sucking energy out of the jolly rancher, but it seems to be slowly dissolving the hand, as well. In the context of sugar consumption, I feel this style is different from the first series, but still sticks to the overarching theme of sugar consumption. And what if I change the background progressively through the series? That might be something I will consider later.

On the other hand, the images with the drier surface with tiny bits of jolly rancher are rather pretty and cute. The colors of jolly rancher are pastel, and this is what mostly gives a party-like, happy tonality. They are eye-catching on their own, but I have to say they don’t fit very well with the other photos because of its aesthetic. The candies doesn’t emerge out of the skin, and furthermore appear more like glass pieces. I don’t think this stye is going to work.

I also shot jolly rancher like the world’s most expensive mineral.  These candies are bigger chunks of smashed jolly rancher which I was unable to minimize them further. I suddenly realized that they could be seen as minerals in a way, so I simply decided to shoot some. This was definitely a quick inspirational activity, but I thought I leave the result here:

Surprisingly, the jolly rancher look very much like minerals! I showed these images to several people from different majors, and they all were amazed to discover the true identity of these gems. The black background especially present the jolly ranchers as luxurious rare material that are housed in museums, while the white background presents them like a high quality diamond. I’m not sure where this is going to lead, but I think it has some potential.