Tuesday, November 22, 2011

donor


transplant recipient

Without help from Bradley's mum this series would not have gotten very far.
I had major trouble getting in touch with people who have had a transplant because privicy laws stop me getting people contact info.
Katie put me intouch with the right people as she is very connected to the transplant community both in Canberra and Sydney!

Big thank you kaite

donor


This is my little brother Patch and he has known to people of the transplant list. First me and then his dad. Patch really wanted to be apart of this project because his dad died waiting for a kidney. Patch is my inspiration on strength!

Transplant recipient


Donor


Burkey = Scott
Dylan = Kieran
Swapped them around to better match there ages!
Thanks burkey for being a part of it!

Transplant recipient


Dylan suffers from CF like me. He had a double lung transplant a couple of years ago. It was amazing to see the change in him, I haven't seen him since before he had his transplant and to see the change. Well that thought is now my happy place. Seeing Dylan again and hearing his story made me what to include text to accompany the images. In the end I chose to leave it out. Each person shared their story with me, and that gave me something and pushed me to go further with the project. I wanted to keep that special and see if the images could stand alone!

Donor

CHIRS IS MY BOSS!!!
HARD TO PHOTOGRAPH!!!
HOPE I'M NOT GETTING FIRED!!!

transplant recipient

I don't know if it is me or not but Robert looks yellow or at least his skin does.
I know that my home monitor is not calibrated so when I went to do the final edits I did it on a school monitor but then had to transfer them back to mine to send to the printers.
When the image came back he was still yellow!

Always check that the printer you send final images has a calibration so this doesn't happen!!!
My mums favourite is the head shot of robert she thinks it really connects with the viewer!!

Donor


This was altogether one of the worst shoots.
I found Peter through another class mate and he was kind enough to do it at last min. I found because Peter only had a short amount of time the shoot was to rushed. He doesn't look relaxed at all, and what is more disappointing is that Peter pair was frizt the guy from the last shoot. Who's photos are amazing.
When I was editing these images Peter was the one that I stuffed most up on. I had to mask out the back ground and hair. On peters left hand shoulder you can see where I came into close with the ajustment brush.
Also I think the colour of his shirt is all wrong and makes his skin look a funny colour.

Taking everything away, all I would want from this is to make peter look more relaxed.

Transplant recipient


Donor

This is Alf the nicest guy you will ever meet! He is the husband of my boss, and agreed to the shoot while we were out to dinner. Alf was a natural behind the camera I didn't really have to give him any direction at the shoot was completed in under 20 mins. Alf = Tim


Transplant recipient



This guys name is Tim and he had a heart transplant in August of this year.

Tims shoot was really easy he was a great guy who was easy to talk to! I always found it really hard to talk to total strangers and then to ask them to take their clothes off!
I find the face/head shot to be a little under exposed. Which may be due to that fact the camera was further away in that shot. Other then that the camera settings always stayed the same.

Monday, October 10, 2011

book

My other part of assessment is made up of this book which is a collabration of last semesters 30 days project and the blog posts that accompany it. At first the book was going to include everything all the blog posts and then the 300 photos. But after alot of talking through with my fellow 3rd years and of course the my wise teachers. I have decied that it would be to over wellheming, it worked as an isterlation because each of the photographs had there place and the scale of the piece was impacting, but I feel that it would be to much looking at page after page. The reader will get bored. So I am going for short and sweet with huge impact!

I have selected around 15 blog posts, but I am still waiting to here what others think. Yes this is our 3rd year and really we should be decieding this all for ourselves, but I feel that this project was put out into the world and I was overwhlemed by how many people resonded to it. I really would love people to feel apart of it because it was made to show people who I really am.

The 5 I really want to include for sure are:

1) BEEN OFFLINE!

Hey guys sorry that I haven't been posting for awhile! I have just moved house, so if any of you out there have ever moved house you will know what I am taking about! It's a bitch! On Sunday alone I had to work, come home move my stuff and then clean the old house for inspection! And right now the new house is still a mess! Oh and also my Internet has been playing up!

So day 14! YAY! I made it 2 weeks which is amazing for me let me tell you! As I said in my last post I find it really hard to take everything! And it gets to the point where if I don't do it, it then becomes a punishment thing and I keep going downwards! Then it's 3 months later and I haven't taken anything and I feel like shit and hate myself! It's a fucking cycles that I hate! but I don't know if I have enough strength in my to keep doing this for the rest of my life!
I just want a day off, and even if I don't take my meds all day I feel so guiltily about not taking them that I never get a break!

But think of it this way..... You have the most exhausting day (eg. moving house) then you have to save that last bit of energy to take you meds and put more effort into a life that sucks!
Sorry I feel like this blog has just become a place where I can vent! Next blog I promise more of the transplant story! I off to do a nasal wash out!

2) I SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today was shit! I was shit and I hate doing this so much! I keep beating myself up if I don't do everything right and today was the worst! I was running so late that I forgot my creon when I went to work for the full day, which I have to have everytime I eat! And then I felt so bad about that I totally went out and ate as much sugar as I could get my hands on! And didn't do my blood sugar because I didn't want to look at the truth of what I had done! And because I sucked at this I totally did something wrong a work! FUCKING KARMA!!!!!!

This is my biggest problem sticking my head in the sand! I don't want to know or face the truth because it will hurt and being me back to this SHIT LIFE THAT I LIVE! And if I find out the truth then those people around me will and I will hurt them! I'm the protector I protect people from the truth because I don't want to hurt them!!!!!

I hate this disease and I am sick of thinking about death all the time! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!
I can't do this!

3) FOR MY MUM

This blog post is for my mum. She is the beautiful lady that you see in two of the photos below.
She is my inspiration to life, she is hard working, loving, funny, warm, truthful, kind and most of all supportive. She has been there for me even when I have let her down and she is the voice in my head telling me I can do better. She has been on the CF association almost all my life and has found great friends amongst the other parents. And when I lost a friend to CF she was at his bedside for the both of us until he passed away.

Thank you mum I would not be here without you.

4) THE SPIDER BOY

People often ask me how I deal with everything. And to be honest I don't really know. I know that I have the most amazing and supportive family who have been by my side through everything, even when I have been self destructive. And if I am being honest I am not the most, what do the doctors call it "Compliant" patient. Also having beautiful friends who I count as family, all of these people give me hope and laughed.

But in the end the biggest copping tool that I have is my humor. The ability to laugh at yourself and to laugh at the situations mean to me that there is always something to hold on to and some thing to reach out for. I trust my humor. It's my strength.

Also one more thing that helps me deal is the spider boy.
About 10 years ago my auntie went to India and there she met this boy who was begging the tourists for money. This boy had, had his arms and legs broken so that he now walked like a spider. One of the tour guides told my auntie that the people who owned the boy had broken his arms and legs like that so that he would get more money from the tourists.
So when she came back she told us all the story of the spider boy, and from that day on my mum has never let me forget it! Every time I cry or complain she says to me 'your not the spider boy!' And while after ten years it has turned into a huge joke between me and my mum, it does help to remember that I have great things in my life and I have been able to do great things and there are people who wont. The best way to get over yourself is to help others!

5) THE REAL REASON BEHIND THE PHOTOS

1o years ago to this date I underwent a liver transplant. This is one of the biggest operations that a person can undergo, I was on the table for 14 hours and my recovery took 3 months.

The reason why I wanted to take these photos of myself was because I have fallen off the path, my health is just not something I want to put first. This in turn makes me feel like a bad person. Why did I deserve this chance when I was not giving myself anything. When I was a child and I new that I hadn't taken my medication right, and I had hidden it from everyone. I would think, I can't wait to be an adult. Everything will just happen right and I will take my medication. I was wrong it is just as hard then as it is now.

I have gotten so good a fooling everyone or maybe they like me have been fooling themselves, I don't take my medication most days. I wake up promising myself that tomorrow will be the day, that I will become this good person. But I fail and then I punish myself, and the cycle never seems to end no matter what. Hospital, doctors, parents and friends nothing brakes it.

So I came to the conclusion that if I had to keep record then I would have to become accountable. And that is the real reason behind the blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art therapy

“Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication. It is practised by qualified, registered Art Therapists who work with children, young people, adults and the elderly.[2] Clients who can use art therapy may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include, for example, emotional, behavioral or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, brain-injury or neurological conditions and physical illness. Art therapy may be provided for groups, or for individuals, depending on clients’ needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.” British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT),

I have been researching ideas based around art therapy, because I consider my work to be based around this idea. Art is a form of self expression so in many ways all artist use art therapy on themselves. I specially was born with a life threatening illness that has caused me to have a lot of trials in my life time. One of the ways that I have learnt to deal with this is through photography, my work last semester was a really big step in where I want to head as a photographer but it was also a really big step in helping me deal with my illness. I love the idea that people who are suffering because of something they can't control being able to produce something that is powerful and honest. I often feel that true honesty comes out of suffering.

My work this semester was influenced by an art therapy idea that I had read online. It is called transformational self portrait and the idea behind it was that each person goes through many life changes and some of these can transform us as a person, this task is all about self refection. In the first part you are asked to think of a past experience that still has a negative impact on you life to date, then think of what you would like to change about yourself as a result of that negative experience.
The second part is where you will create a transformational self portrait based on the experience that negatively impacted your life and cause a negative transformation or life change to your self. It is important to remember that you are creating this self portrait around the past self how you felt about that experience, it can be based around one aspect or can be based around the experience as a whole, it is a refection.
The third part is creating another self portrait but this time you are going to create a more traditional self portrait that reflects the self you are today. This piece should really be about where you are at in the present moment, has anything changed or have you stayed in the same mind.
The last part of this creation is a look towards the future. This self portrait asks that you step outside yourself and think about how you want to be, about how you want your life to be, and how you want to make that change. Think about how you are going to see yourself in the future after you have transformed and create a self portrait based around these ideas of yourself.

The way that I viewed and adapted this idea into my own folio was that I took the ideas of self portraits and the ideas past, present and future self's and changed that into the concept of organ donation. In the past these people have a horrible time/illness then the present comes where they are forever changed by have the transplant and when you take a look that the people who are donating the organs they are the future for patients on the waiting list. Each portrait is a self discovery.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Inpirations: Rineke Dijkstra

I believe I love Rineke Dijkstra as a photographer because of her choice of subjects. Her photographs are not amazing lit and don't show ground breaking photoshop techniques, instead they show to me almost a diary entry into someones life.
People ask the question if you can really capture a person soul through photography, and I believe that the Rineke does a hell of a job doing just that. Does a photograph really have to have all the bells and whistles, do the lighting or the props really demonstrate who we are as a person? I believe because her photographs are so simple, that they are a better representation of the person. Once you add other elements to the photograph people then begin to change, they play up to the camera instead of being who they really are.

With my series on organ donation I want to emulate what Rineke does in her photographs shot people as they really are and let them tell you their story. One of Rineke's series called Israel was based around photographing teens before they were sent away for national service, then photographing them under the same conditions 20 months later. The same person just on a very different path. I believe that my series on organ donation, has very similar elements about it. The pairing up of images, the minimal lighting techniques, minimal background, basic human representation, working in a series but most of all the way we want to share a story. She asks the question where will the youths be? I ask the question if one person will become part of the other.

Other notable series of Rineke's that I love are were her series on mother's after the birth of their children, and her beach portraits the compositional style is very similar with both of these series, but the concept and context are very different. I think between the two I connect more with the series on the mother's because it shows the strength of women, and the basics of human life. And because this series gives me hope and ideas of where I want to head as a documentary photographer.






Monday, September 19, 2011

Inspirations: Tracy Chapman

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know they're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

Poor people are gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people are gonna rise up
And take what's theirs

Don't you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don't you know you're talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

And finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no
Talking about a revolution oh no

Drafts








Sunday, September 18, 2011

Change

This semester I decide to do three main pieces of work for my main folio that I would present at the end of year exhibition. These three folios were based around areas of interest for me as a emerging photographer.

The first piece of work was to be a continuation of last semesters work where I am going to use the images and the blog posts around last semester documentary work of my illness and turn it into a book. I would create a mock up book, for the end of semester and then send it away to publishers in the hope that it would get published as my story.

The second piece of work was a folio called The women in my life. This folio was design to be based around the women that I find inspiring in my life. I was going to photograph them based on important images of women throughout history I thought related to their character. I have deiced not to continue on with this folio for two main reasons. Firstly because I felt that, while portraiture is a wonderful area of photography it is not really where I want to be heading. If this is the work I will be showing to prospective client/employers I want to be able to show where my heart truly lies. I feel this folio was more an idea of fun then a labor of love. Secondly I want to be able to focus on the other folio, I feel the idea and focus of the other major folio is what I really want to focus on. I want to be able to present a beautiful folio rather then two sub-par folios.

The third folio has developed into an even greater idea then I ever thought possible! When I was coming up with the concept of this folio I was thinking to complex because I thought that I had to say everything I ever wanted through these photographs. But I have found that the simpler the concept the bigger the impact. The folio first started out being a series of photographs around organ donation from the prospective of the organ recipient. But while I was composing these photos the concept changed and grew in a different direction which I really want to follow! What the concept stands at now is I want to photograph organ recipients and people on the Australian organ doner registry. The photographs will be in pairs, so that I am taking almost the same shot of two different people, I will match these people up in age (up to five years defence) and gender. So that it is almost the same person just with totally different paths. I want this series to connect people, for people to understand the concept of fortune, and give a greater sense of the meaning of community and humanity.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Never Let Me Go

I guess this semester I am trying to understand transplantation for myself and this comes through my Three Times series. What I am trying to get out of the series is a better understanding of random selection. I call it that because I truly believe that life is a totally random set of events that together to make a whole.

Transplantation is one of these moments in life when random acts come together to make something whole. To fix and to build. What makes someone sick? What makes someone die? What makes a family give? And what makes someone whole again. I thought for me the best way to show this was to photograph three man around the same age and from the same city. Each with something to give and something to gain. One doner, one waiting and one received.

Through all of this I am not wanting to offend anyone especially the donor families, because there part in this is bigger then anyone would ever imagine. What I am trying to do is discover for myself what transplantation means to me. Why I was chosen and what I am supposed to do next?

Photographer: Henry Horenstein

I found this photographer when I was look for inspiration on how to photograph the Three Times series. I was looking specifically on interesting ways of photographing the body, and I came across this American photographer Henry Horenstein.

His photographs about the human body are not the direction in which I want to head, but the quality of the prints which were all based in film, are alluring. It is almost as if each photograph is teaching us something new about the human body but at the same time is an alien form that does not belong to the human body. When I look at these photos it is like looking upon a naked form for the first time, with eyes that have been born again.



















Mystery and a curious disorientation is a first reaction upon viewing the most recent manifestation of Henry Horenstein's photographic art. By all accounts, this should not be the case. His subject matter is the human body of which we all have intimate knowledge, albeit at least with our own. The strangeness of Horenstein's imagery is that he has concentrated on the extreme close-up scrutiny of the human body, turning it from the outer layers of distinct personalities and individuals into universal landscapes with flesh substituting for soil and hair acting as foliage. This visual test of our sensibilities has a basis for explanation. We are so used to our own bodies that we see, but don't really observe ourselves. Except for noting something out of the ordinary, such as the appearance of a bruise or blemish, we see through ourselves as we go about the private activities of dressing, bathing, and seeing our reflection in the mirror. We gaze on the bodies of others in admiration, envy, or eros, but rarely with the dispassionate intensity of these photographs........
—Robert Flynn Johnson
Curator-in-Charge
Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

As I have said this is not the direction I really want to go with my body shots in the Three Times series. This is because I feel I want to the photos look more clinical because the intent of the work is based around the body as a medical shell that we don't own. This photographs have a feeling of beauty the beholds them. The lighting, the depth of field and the soft focus all contribute to this feeling.

http://www.humansbook.com/foreword.html