Archives for 4040 Project

Week 34: Warholesque

Week 34: Warholesque Since the beginning of the project, I’ve been toying around with trying something in this style. Not because I like it particularly, but because it is such an iconic style. I toyed around with the levels and left in a few more shades of gray – as opposed to how Warhol did it. The resulting extra colors kind of make it a bit more abstract, but I felt the need to change it up at least a little bit. If anyone wants a 5 foot poster of this to put in their home, just let me know!
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Fellow Forty – Lexi

I knew that Lexi was expecting her third child, but had absolutely no idea she was forty. When I found out – I knew she needed to be included in the 40@Forty Project. We wanted to create something cool that wasn’t the traditional maternity portrait that you see every day. It occurred to me that my abstract profile concept – which I used for my self portrait a few weeks back – would be a perfect way to show off her pregnancy. We went with soft colors – with a dominant pink- then added a soft, whimsical pattern to give it a little depth. I ended up cropping it much looser than my self portrait. I wanted it to still have an abstract feel, but still be very clearly a maternity portrait. I love the way it turned out!
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Week 33: Vanishing

Week 33: Vanishing Years ago, my friend and mentor Gail Nogle created an image of her mentor – Jay Stock – bent over a camera with his white hair suspended above the viewfinder. That image has always stuck in my mind and I decided to try and put my own spin on the concept. I wanted a scene that was almost totally dark – with the main light source coming from inside the camera – illuminating my face. I had to toy around with several different ways of achieving this – but finally figured it out. It had a very old-time feel to it, so I went with that. I added some cloudy texture and a warm tone – along with some grain. To me, the image seems to be fading away – much like the film camera. This is one of the images that makes the 4040 project fun: trying something I’ve never done before and actually pulling it off.
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Week 32: Red

Heather was flipping through a Richard Avedon book this weekend and was pointing out some of the images. There were quite a few where the subject was blurred and had crazy colors – very sixties-looking. Since following Heather’s suggestions is always a good idea, I had worked up an image in this psychedelic style. I took several images – all with me moving around to create blur – then I tried playing with the different colors. I finally came up with an ok image and started deciding how to crop it. I accidentally double-clicked on the face, causing the image to zoom in and crop very, very tight – much closer than I would have ever attempted. Strangely enough, I thought it was kind of cool. It almost has the abstract feel of the Week 26 image.
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Week 31

It is hard to believe that I am down to the final ten weeks of the 40@Forty Project. The year is flying by – but I guess that is what happens when you get old! This weekend I was browsing through my iTunes library and I came across a Paul Simon album cover that caught my attention. It was a very stark – almost geometric – portrait. I decided to take the basic concept and create something for this week’s portrait. It took a few attempts to get the light how I wanted it, but I finally got it. I loved the high contrast black and white look, along with the drama created by all the negative space. It was tough for me to crop it so tightly- because it isn’t what I’m used to – but I think it really helped the composition. I loved the graphic, black & white feel – which was quite a departure from the images of the past few weeks.
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Heather

Of all the portraits I have done this year, this has to be one of the ones I am most proud of! When I started working on my Masters of Photography degree several years ago, I decided I would try and get it with at least one image of each person in my family. After a few years of competition, I had gotten merit prints of myself, my two boys and even our dog Annie. The only one I had to go was Heather. The problem with doing Heather’s portrait was that I was too worried about coming up with the “perfect” image. I would come up with an idea, then set it aside – waiting for a better idea to come along. When I started on the 4040 project this spring, I knew I would have to come up with a grand concept to use for Heather. After months of thinking about it – I finally came up with the concept while watching Heather get ready at her vanity. I am a big fan of a painter named Pino who does these extraordinary paintings of somewhat everyday scenes. We put everything together, painted it with a very impressionistic, loose
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Week 30: The Formal Portrait

Week 30: Formal Painting After last week’s high-tech look, I decided to go the opposite direction with this image. I wanted to create a very antique – almost Old Master- look with a strong, directional light and a limited color palette. I tried to be very aggressive with the brushstrokes, getting increasingly loose as I moved away from the center of the image. The final image has a dramatic, but subdued look – which I liked.
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Week 29: Snapshots

I had this idea pop into my head, but was having trouble sorting out the logistics. How could I chop up the image in different ways and still retain a somewhat visable photographic image? After toying around in Photoshop for a while, I came up with a system and started working. I took 16 pieces of the same image, kept the size consistent, then pieced them back together in the exact location where they belonged . It ended up being a fun project – once I figured out how to make it happen.
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Annie, Age 40 (sort of)

I was unpacking my camera bag in the studio this week and noticed my faithful sidekick, Annie, sitting by the door watching me. Not sure what made me think of this, but it occurred to me that she turned 6 last month. Some quick calculations and I realized that she had hit the big 40 this year – if you went by “dog years.” I figured that was a good enough reason to include her in my little project! When Annie was only a couple of months old, I photographed her on a white backdrop and created an image that would become my first PPA Loan Print. I thought it was only fitting to recreate this historic image with the older, wiser, over-the-hill Annie. How cool is that!!??
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The Latest 4040s

The 40@Forty Project is doing well, but I’ve fallen a bit behind on posting them on the blog. Gotta work on that! For those of you who are not on Facebook, this should bring you up to speed. Week 27 was an experiment with light. Instead of using studio lights or even sunshine, I decided to try a portrait entirely lit by candlelight. It presented quite a few technical challenges, but I was happy with the overall look and feel of the image. The next week, I went in a totally different direction – with a highly-processed, studio shot. I took the iconic look of Apple’s iPod ads and put a bit of a spin on it. Since I’ve been focusing on painting for the past several months, I wanted to incorporate my graphics tablet and pen into the story. Here is what I came up with…
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