nano shoots video

Red, blue, black, green, yellow, orange, purple, silver, hot pink, the iPod Nano can be any color of the rainbow. In this short, feel good advertisement Apple tunes into what it feels like to listen to music and how to get viewers to want their product to jam out.

With a simple, clean white background each dancer pops, their color coordinated outfits and gyrating bodies bring out the life in music and the product itself. A short, 30-second clip allows the viewer to feel as if high-tech is simple, that all an iPod is your dancing feet and your music.

The new iPod Nano features a recording device, which this advertisement is entirely based upon. Perspective wise, a white background pops brightly clothed dancers dancing to a simple song as a large thumb holds a brightly colored iPod Nano in the forefront of the view recording each individual dancer. The brightly colored iPod Nano quickly is pulled off of the screen and another brightly colored Nano reappears, this time recording a different dancer in clothing that matches the Nano itself.

Clean-cut and crisp this advertisement appeals to any viewer’s eyes. It is young and fresh while exciting and effective. The words quickly appear: “nano shoots video,” and closes with: “iPod Nano,” simple, effective, and to the point, just as the visuals are.

It would be difficult to not understand the concept of this advertisement even with the absence of the text, it is very clear; you have brightly colored iPod Nano’s, people dancing to music, and a iPod Nano recording the people dancing.

I chose this commercial because iPod commercials, let alone all Apple commercials, always catch my eye. They are enjoyable and you can’t help but want to dance. I also like the simplicity of it; everything is very clean and concise. I wouldn’t change anything about this commercial and that is why I chose it, for this is the kind of visuals I enjoy, clean, simple, while still effective.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

cigarette photo essay


My photo essay is the process of smoking a cigarette. I was originally planning to simply do the process of smoking a cigarette with my friend as the only model, taking the cigarette out of the pack, smoking, tinting, and then putting the cigarette out with his foot.

It seemed simple enough until I began taking the photographs. You don’t realize how long it takes to smoke a cigarette until you’re behind a camera and every detail matters. I ended up with a total of almost a hundred snap shots and when I arrived home to select the photos the ten frames seemed overwhelming.

So, I spiced it up a bit. It took a lot of thought and eye for detail but I realized that as my friend was smoking the cigarette the ash grew longer and longer, so I took matters into my own hands. I decided that I would take a single cigarette, light it, and watch it burn, have the ash build up and create some contrast to the portrait like shots I originally took.

When my friend was modeling I put my camera into the manual setting to experiment, everything looked so much more rich and crisp, I liked it. So, when I arrived home to experiment with the single burning cigarette I placed my camera into the manual setting again, zooming closely in on the cigarette to make it appear larger than life. The ash was so defined, the creases in the bottom of the cigarette captured the light, and it was a success.

I decided to separate the images of my friend smoking a cigarette with the larger than life close ups for I felt it added a feeling of passing of time. Each close up of the burning cigarette showed a marked difference in the quantity of ash, as to show my friend inhaling that much smoke.

On the walk to my apartment I spotted red brick staircases, I immediately thought of this project and thought the contrast would work perfectly. The setting of where my friend is smoking and the black background of the larger than life cigarette is intentional.  I wanted to show a marked difference in not only setting but time. Due to the constant theme of the cigarette I don’t believe that the difference in color or setting is too harsh to digest.

As a whole I am satisfied with the outcome of my project. I think I illustrated not only the process of smoking a cigarette but the time that passes during the action.


Filed under Uncategorized

gordon gahan

50 ft wall gordon gahanheracles gordon gahangordon-gahan-silhouetted-moai-seen-at-duskgordon-gahan-the-remains-of-hadrians-gate-at-ephesus

For this review I chose a photographer who has played a major role in my life. He is a man I’ve never known but has always been a household name, he is a man who has inspired me to investigate the field of photography, he is a man who taught me that you can speak through a lens. Gordon Gahan and my mother were engaged to marry; she went with him on shoots and traveled the world. My mother attended his last shoot in the Virgin Islands where he passed away before her eyes in a helicopter accident in 1984. Despite having never met Gordon Gahan, I feel a connection to his work and an appreciation for it.

Gordon Gahan was a photographer for the Society and National Geographic as well as co-founded Prism Photography. Gahan is best known for his work in National Geographic. For this assignment I chose various photographs published throughout his short-lived career with National Geographic.

In my apartment in New York my mother has old film slides of all of Gahan’s unpublished work, unfortunately I was not able to get my hands on the unknown pieces but the one thing I can say about every single photo I have seen that Gahan has taken is that every photo captures the light perfectly. Every single object, despite perspective, focus, and frame has this indescribable lighting, it’s as if every object in his photographs is glowing.

The detail of Gahan’s work alone is fascinating. Every photograph is taken in another country, specifically positioned to show even the most well known architecture in a different perspective. Gahan’s work embodies what I am interested in: travel, history, and the beauty of the world around us. Every photograph is beautiful; every photograph is fine tuned to be the best it can be.

My mother always said that when Gahan was working the world around him did not exist, entirely his camera and his self. His goal in life, according to my mother, was to express the beauty of the world around us in the most truthful form possible. A book was published by Gahan about the voyages of Captain Cook, according to my mother this was the work that changed his life forever. Unfortunately I was unable to find any photographs from the book, but I plan on continuing to hunt so I can post them on this blog at somepoint.

I chose Gordon Gahan for personal reasons along with a true admiration for his work. As a whole National Geographic photography, to me, encompasses some of the more jaw dropping images I have ever seen before, I believe Gahan’s work backs up this claim.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


power genevieve holmes

In my mind a clenched fist symbolizes power. It illustrates strength, control, and influence. Power can be seen in many different ways; authority, physical endurance, control, command, sway, dominion. I believe that a clenched fist symbolizes all of the possibilities of power; this is why my photograph is of a clenched fist.

Aiming for a dramatic effect I placed a spot light on the clenched fist, taking the photo in the macro setting of my camera as to clearly focus and define the creases in the hand. I placed the fist at an upright angle as to show the person whose fist was clenched was in the air. Edited in black and white, I darkened the hue of the photograph as to define the fist as well as contrast it to the white background.

If given more opportunity and subjects I would have placed the fist in front of a crowd of people, blurred, all raising their fists as well to show power over people and authority. I am satisfied with the photograph yet believe that there was more that I could have done, hopefully in the future I will be able to enhance my skills making my photos more powerful, no pun intended.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Kevin Carter

On March 26, 1993 the New York Times published Kevin Carter’s photograph bringing world awareness to Africa’s agony. An emaciated Sudanese child was crawling to a feeding center as a vulture examining his prey sat patiently behind. Carter stumbled upon this tragic scene and waited, what was said to be 20 minutes, for the vulture to spread its wings, as it did not Carter proceeded to snap photos of the horrific sight. Carter won a Pulitzer Prize a year later for this feature photograph, yet with the praise came the criticism. Judged for not aiding the starving child, Carter committed suicide 3 months after receiving the Pulitzer Prize.

There are reasons for why I choose this photograph to critique. I must quickly state that I am not interested in discussing the controversy over whether it was morally right to have aided the child or not, I am here to discuss the image not the politics of it.

In essence, this photo encompasses the idea of visual literacy. A story is told; a human being is now the prey of an animal. The focus so clearly rests on the starving child, the sunken skin shadows her rib cage, her head hung in anguish, limbs crunched, as she struggles for the bare necessities.  Behind the struggling child lingers a vulture, clear to its stereotype awaiting the death of the child to feast on. The barren, sandy earth backdrops the eerie contrast of a plump, feeding vulture and emaciated, hungry child. The lighting in this photograph extenuates a slumped skeleton body in desperation.

This image sends a very clear message. It visually showed the world what was going on in Africa at the time, the aid that was needed, the children that were dying, and the famine that existed. Factual in its truth, the image evokes emotion in the viewer; it speaks a thousand words in a nanosecond of time. Help was needed, and this photograph screams it.

Carter died as a messenger, a messenger of the truth. This photo speaks the truth visually, a truth much of the western world did not want to see. Carter may not have helped this single child in particular, but he brought about awareness to a cause that was kept quietly in the shadows during that time. I praise Carter for the power of this photograph and the story it spoke to thousands.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

he loves me, he loves me not

trident: a little piece of happy.

Contrasted with a clean, simple white background a piece of trident gum sits quietly on your computer screen. A little girl innocently reciting, “he loves me, he loves me not” marks the beginning of a charmingly quaint commercial. A soft, upbeat melody backdrops the young girls eager voice as the small piece of trident gum unravels itself to reveal the young girl in a canary dress plucking exaggerated white petals off of a bright pink flower. Standing in a lush green park, the background stands unfocused while the young girl and the summer breeze appear exceptionally sharp. Tiny fingers pluck off the last petal as the young girl falls on “he loves me not,” seemingly disappointed the bright pink flower tightens and then grows an extra white petal. Giggling, the little girl in the canary dress gasps in excitement and exclaims, “He loves me!” Catching her smile the frame of the ad folds up into another piece of trident gum once again contrasted with a clean, simple white background and reads: “A Little Piece of Happy.”

In this fifteen second long commercial a few striking signs of originality shine through. The commercial blatantly appeals to the eye, being that the advertisement is based on clean and clear visuals, as to complement the purpose of their chewing gum, the simplicity of not only the concept but color scheme, perspective, and blunt advertising makes the ad easy to remember and comprehend. The originality of the piece of trident gum unraveling itself to unfold an experience of happy, innocent childhood memories and then fold back up hits a soft spot in every viewers heart, not that the cute little girl didn’t help. The camera angles that were used in this advertisement were unique as well. While watching the piece of gum unfold itself the camera angles it in a fashion where it is as if the viewer is unwrapping the piece of gum to place into their mouth. When the camera unfolds the experience, possibly implying that the experience of chewing trident gum is similar to the experience viewed, the viewer watches the little girl as if they were walking up to her. The angles the camera hits are soft and subtle yet close in on the girl as if the viewer were walking up to her and then leaning over her to look at the flower, see her excitement, and then quickly fold up the piece of trident gum and place it in front of them again to hear, “Trident a Little Piece of Happy.”

This advertisement works well in a variety of ways; the colors, the music, the focus, the angles, the casting of the little girl, and the setting as a whole are complementary to a simplistic, clean, and heartwarming commercial. To me, the most eye-catching portion of this advertisement was the beginning and the end. I truly appreciated the originality of the opening of the trident gum as well as the re-folding up of it. Despite it being aesthetically pleasing I felt that it was as well a very smart advertising technique, unique yet straight to the point, the viewer knew they were watching an advertisement for trident gum. The only aspect of the commercial that I would alter would be the color and size of the flower. I liked the exaggerated effect of the petals, yet I would have done it slightly differently. I agree with the color choice of a pink flower, yet I do not agree with the size of the flower or the choice for the exaggerated petals to be white. I think that if the young girl were to be wearing a pink dress, going off of the color composition of the flower, and the flower were to have been white, the color of trident gum, and yet extremely exaggerated the aim towards a clean-cut commercial would have better established. The image I see is the young girl in a bright pink dress holding a large daisy, larger than real life but not so large that it would take away from the scene, the commercial would have been more effective than it already is.

Originally I was on my computer and this little girl popped up on my screen and my heart sunk to the innocence of the short clip. Yet after doing this assignment I appreciated this commercial for more than just the darling nature of the ad, but for the visuals. I believe that this commercial is representative of a well thought out, aesthetically pleasing Internet commercial.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized