Limbs, an intriguing and eerie performance by Erica Gressman at the Krannert Art Museum
Written by: Bill Xun
When I first arrived at the Krannert Art Museum, I had no idea what to expect. The gallery was packed, with people and lights surrounding a strange metal tripod with some sort of sculpture of a figure hanging underneath. The figure was an unmoving combination of limbs in white. What could it mean?
Assignment 2 was all about the photo essay. I was pretty eager to start this assignment and hear the criteria for it. It seemed like it was going to be a fair, interesting, and thought-provoking assignment, but then Professor Collins added another twist to the assignment. She challenged us to add themes of fear, afraid, hopeful, and excitement. When this part of the assignment was added, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I started thinking and had a few ideas. The one I chose to go with was nature-filled and I even got more ideas along the way, which was good.
I had to use my Plan B on this assignment. Plan A was to shoot pictures in a restaurant with unique cuisine but the local korean joints seemed very hesitant to let me shoot there. Instead, I took pictures of some students playing soccer. I learned quick within the first couple of photos that I took that I needed to be in a different mode for the photos to look good. The blur was taken care of in sport mode. I also learned that realized that because I was shooting a sport, I would need to continuously take pictures, and that the money shot would be the one in many. Shortlisting 12 photos from over 200 was a task but also fun. Recording audio was also challenging because the players were constantly moving closer and farther from the mike so I had to quietly shuffle along to grad good audio. Putting it together was straightforward because the photos were not required to be edited and neither the audio. Working in premier pro is like putting a simple collage together because of how smooth the interface makes it. I definitely enjoyed this assignment.
The photoessay assignment was awesome! I am starting to really feel comfortable using my camera and handling etc. Editing is still very new and a bit of a struggle, but I still managed to accomplish everything. I was at my apartment last week when my roommate (James) and I discovered a beautiful rainbow right outside. In order to make the essay powerful, I later got a few more stills of the set up for why James would be taking photos of the rainbow later in the photoessay. I also could and should have had more sound bites in order to add effect to James’s solo shots.
This photoessay documents the story of my roommate James and a change of environment radiating a change within James. James is cooped up inside, lonely, questioning and daydreaming of what could be outside. He then peaks through the window and sees a beautiful rainbow. He then goes outside and documents several images of the beauty outside and the nature and the rainbow itself. At first the images outside are behind the metal fence with raindrops which demonstrates James’s breakthrough to the beautiful sites right in front of him. My video without sound can be found here, and my video with sound can be found here! ENJOY! 🙂
For our second assignment we had put together a photo essay that had a constant theme and told a story.
On Sunday, I decided to take my camera to the beach because I knew there would probably be a lot going on there given that it was Labor Day weekend. I wanted to show how people were enjoying one of the last weekends of summer. I was really happy with the shots I got. I ended up taking over 200 photos. Narrowing down my shots down to the 12 that told the story the best was the hardest part.
In my first video there is no audio, then I added some audio to the second video. The sound I added helped to capture the atmosphere of the beach. It was very windy so a lot of the sound is of the strong blowing winds. The wind overpowered much of the other natural sounds. However, I did also get some great audio of the water hitting the shore.
You can see my photo essay without sound here. You can see my photo essay with sound here.
My story was on Bid Day, a loud and exciting night for sororities across the University of Illinois campus who are welcoming new members into their homes. This story details what happens after girls receive their bid and run from Foellinger to their chapter houses. From an outsiders perspective, Bid Day is made up of taking cute pictures outside their homes with their new sisters. What people usually don’t see is the dinner and entertainment that happens after. To see the video with sound, click here. To view the video without sound, click here.
For this assignment, I chose to take pictures of Grange Grove, which is located outside of Memorial Stadium. I really enjoyed this assignment. The subject itself, Grange Grove, was something I am very familiar with and something I have experienced both on game days and on off days. For this reason, I think it was easier for me to fully engage my self in the photography. Since I chose a big area for my subject, it made it easier to get different angles and camera shots.
The only real issue I had with this assignment was exporting the video itself in order to upload it onto YouTube. However, Dr. Collins assisted me with this process, and the problem was easily solved.
This assignment was much less stressful than the first assignment was, and I have some nice photos as memories of one of my favorite places on campus as a result! I can already tell that I am really going to enjoy this class. The assignments are more than just homework, but things that I can really build off of and use to my advantage to build a great portfolio.
I specifically liked completing this project because it allowed me to test out what I learned from the first assignment. I was listening to this song by The Shins called “Simple Song” and it made me think of waking up and just getting through my day in a way that would impact others somehow. With that in mind, I decided to capture every day moments from waking up to going to class to ending the day with just staring at the night sky as it fades to black.