Wednesday, September 2, 2015

:on assignment:

In retrospect, I feel that one of the good things about art school was given challenges (better known as "homework" back then) to create images both in the assigned way and adding your own touches to them. I recall a bigger challenge was giving the work from many different classes equal attention, and sometimes it felt to me that some teachers assumed that theirs was your only class, to judge from the expectations.

I've had very few "clients" in my time, partially from having a less-than-marketable style, I suppose, and also very little training in how to find said clients. Paying ones, that is. Though I've heard and read plenty of horror stories, about constantly changing design requests, or just the plain inability to describe what is actually wanted. Which is presumably why people hire artists/designers in the first place, to get a visual message across that they themselves can't create. That's ideally how it should work, of course.

In the absence of clients, and being a bit stuck currently, I've taken to trying to create for themes in gallery shows, or, I guess what you'd call contests. Through Instagram this past weekend I attempted two such assignments. One is a local Boston Instagram group that regularly assigns a subject or more accurately a place to photograph. I went to a meetup for that at MIT recently - got a few good shots from that -

- and this past weekend they asked people to go around Charlestown, which I did for an afternoon. And it was a challenge, because frankly I found very little there worthy of capture. One of the main tourist draws, the USS Constitution, is currently undergoing some sort of renovations and is surrounded in scaffolding. I settled for another tourist spot, one which I've never been to, the Bunker Hill monument. Since it's basically just a large obelisk, and there's only so many angles that one can take of that, I at least tried to show the scale of it, by the tourists at the base of it.

Another contest was from Instagram's own blog, they do a "weekend hashtag project," and this weekend's was supposed to be of one's personal oasis. I often end up in Hull, MA and arrived this day just in time for a glorious sunset. One good thing that one can say about this summer (other than it's not winter) is that we've had quite a few amazing ones.

I didn't win either of them, but for all that I find annoying about "hashtags," they certainly get your posts viewed more than if you don't use them.

Sometimes my family has been a "client," and my sister has asked me for a few things to work on. One was a photo of someone for a memorial, to try and enhance it somehow. The original was a bit low-res and dully-colored, so I had to fix that first.

She wanted a more interesting beach scene in the background, so thankfully I had plenty to choose from, seeing as how it's a favorite place of mine. I gave up trying to save the railing in the original photo. You can see more of the beach without it anyway.

Next week I'm taking a much-needed and long overdue trip out of town, to Montreal, so it may be the first time in many years without a weekly blog entry from me, unless I find a way to post while I'm up there. I'm sure you'll understand if I don't stress out about it.