Unveil the beauty of the deep blue, discover the intricate species, and marvel at the wonders of nature~
I want the audience to appreciate the beauty of nature that surrounds us. I am going to realize this aspiration by taking photographs of something that I personally admire and that has always intrigued me with its beauty: ocean life.
For as long as I can remember, I always had the desire to create an illustration of some sort that revolved around marine creatures and the sea in general. As a child, the ocean was a place where I spent a lot of my time. I marveled at the incredible colors of the fish, conceptualized the project I would hopefully get the chance to do in the future and created paintings of the intricate shapes of the coral reefs. When this project and the trip to Barbados came up, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to create such an illustration!
While trying to capture the marine life and shipwreck in the Caribbean Ocean off the coast of Barbados, I managed to photograph certain fish and animals as I had planned. However, I encountered a couple of technical problems when it came to photographing the shipwreck and the coral reefs. But all in all, and in spite of the adversity I faced, I think that I did a pretty good job.
My inspiration for this project came largely from the beautiful and brilliant photographs exhibited at the National Geographic and on their website. To be more specific, the collection that made the biggest single impact upon me and inspired me to attempt to achieve the same magnificence and exceptional composition, is the Coral Reefs photo collection. These images convey the true sense of beauty in nature and the photographers that took them demonstrated excellent skill. The different angles of the coral reef photos portray a variety of the elements and principles of design. The zoomed in images illustrate detailed textures, patterns and shapes in one group of coral as well as depicting the contrast in value between dark and light spaces that serves to emphasize the brightness of the coral itself. In contrast to this, the distant images (that were not zoomed in), make the viewer’s eye wander from the sharp movement of the waves above to the variety of colors and shapes at the focal point, the coral.
In all of their collections the photographers manage to tell a story whilst keeping the audience hungry for more. In my project, I know I will have achieved what I aspired to do when my personal story of the wonders of the ocean keeps those who have seen it wanting more. When people see my work, I would like them to marvel at the surprises that lie within the ocean and be as awestruck as I was by its remarkable flora and fauna.
Before I began to execute my project, I researched the local Barbados area in detail to make sure that I had a variety of species and objects that I could capture. I faced slight difficulties because did not find as much information as I wanted to and the weather forecast kept changing. These uncertainties and random elements meant that I didn’t know what to expect. However, I did make backup plans in case I couldn’t do what I wanted that had a similar theme and objective. The only downside was that these would have to be done in DC, which meant no shipwreck.
The production period took nine days in total. Five days were spent on researching the area and creating and researching back up plans, two days on producing my original plan and the final two days to incorporate some of the backup plan when my original concept did not work out as I had thought. Nevertheless, I did use some of the images I took from the first concept.
Due to my camera’s limitation of only working 10 feet underwater, I had to use a disposable camera to capture the shipwreck, which was about 12-15 feet underwater. Not being able to see the images on the disposable camera, I had to wait and see how they turned out after the film was developed which didn’t leave me as many options as using a digital camera.
Another issue that affected my first concept was the weather forecast in Barbados. The small island had been expecting some storms during Thanksgiving break, which is when I had planned to do my project. It was due to this factor that was entirely beyond my control that my photos were affected adversely. The water whilst scuba diving to take the pictures wasn’t as clear as I had hoped it would be and all the shipwreck and coral were covered with sand. Nevertheless, I still took as many pictures as I could and made sure I had the time and resources to accomplish my backup plan just in case the quality of the pictures on the disposable camera were not as I had wished.
After returning to DC and developing the pictures, my fears came true, as the photos didn’t come out as clear as I had expected and with the quality that I had needed for the assignment. Instead, I decided to use the images that did work, the ones I had taken on my digital camera, and replace the ones that did not work with images that I had captured at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. In retrospect, the execution of the objects I wanted to cover in my original idea worked but in a different way than I had previously envisaged. I had originally wanted the common theme to be the diversity of the ocean, and figured that with or without the shipwreck I was able to accomplish and execute my goal accurately by illustrating the variety of species and creatures living in the sea. The photo essay was not that different from my initial idea. I just had to adjust the subjects being photographed according to my predicament. The only major change was not using the shipwreck that I originally planned on using.
My biggest personal disillusionment was not being able to depict the stunning and fascinating shipwreck that I saw. Ironically, I believe that my biggest success came out of this disappointment. If it wasn’t for the setback I faced after seeing the disposable camera pictures, I wouldn’t have been able to portray the beautiful colors, patterns and textures of the coral and fish I saw at the National Aquarium and that would have been something that my audience would have missed out on. It is through this experience of trial and error I learned that with art, no matter what medium you are using, there will always be a bright side. Even if you strongly dislike the first outcome, there is always the possibility of trying again and you just have to be creative and imaginative. In addition to that, I learned that for everything you do, you should always consider a backup plan just in case things don’t go according to your original idea and to work with what you have to convey something spectacular.
I am confident that I was able to visually convey the wonders and beauty of ocean life. I also believe that after viewing this project, some, if not most, of the viewers would be interested in further exploring ocean life, or just appreciating and marveling at the beauty of marine life and nature. In conclusion, if I had the chance to do the project differently to improve my work, I would use a different camera, a digital one that allowed me to go deeper into the depths of the ocean. Other than that, I don’t think I would make any changes because I believe I have created something unique and simple that I am very proud to present in its current form. This journey has made me eager to explore different oceans and take advantage of the chances and opportunities that life has given me. I can’t wait to explore the beauty of the world we live in, starting out small and making a bigger change every day.
1.I do what I do to tell my story. I got involved in the arts scene, mostly painting, as a child. Watching my mother tell stories through her paintings, creating a new imaginary world of her own and depicting her emotions in one sweep of a brush was something that I had always aspired to achieve. I know my work is going well when people look at my work and can see a story. Even though they might all have different stories, my work acted as a starting point for them to create a world or a tale of their own. My favorite thing about my work is when people get inspired to do something or pursue their passion after seeing some of my pieces.
3. a. Blank Canvas, because I can embark on a new journey every time and start out on a new page.
b. Paint, because I can always create something new, a new color to fit my mood, to fit my story or even just to please my eye.
c. I can express myself freely, without limitations, borders or restrictions. Just my painting tools and me.
d. It conveys a story of some sort, makes someone happy or inspired someone to make a change.
e.I always tend to be slight philosophical when it comes to my art work. There always must be a story behind everything I do and all the colors, patterns and shapes of the piece must contribute to the story in some way.
f. I was taught to be free when it came to art, therefore I don’t do anything different.
g.Blue- calmness, truth and importance.
5. Inspire-fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.
Creative-relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work
6. When I work with my imagination I am reminded that there are new worlds to discover.
I begin a piece by mapping out the story.
I know a piece is done when it illustrates the emotion that I was feeling or tells a story.
When my work is going well, I am filled with a sense of pride.
When people see my work, I’d like them to be inspired.
I do my work to inspire people. I want to achieve greatness in the world someday and I believe that in order to do so a starting point is required. My starting point comes in the form of art, I portray my story through my art, I raise awareness through my art and I will change the world through my art. My goal is to inspire people to find something they’re truly passionate about and share their passion with the world. I firmly believe that everybody in life has a purpose, a purpose to share their knowledge with one another, a purpose to discover different passions, or a purpose to just sharing their story and through my art, I hope to inspire people to do the same and share a part of their world.
When it comes to making decisions in the course of my work, I plan out the story I plan to tell before making it permanent with paint or whichever medium I plan to use. I am usually inspired by my own stories and passions however sometimes I am inspired to tell the story of someone else. Based on the story I want to tell or the passion I want to illustrate, I search for a theme that would be a suitable fit. After finding the overall theme, I imagine the different ways I could portray it, then I sketch out my top three ideas and then decide which techniques I want to use. Lastly, after analyzing or planning out the three ideas, one usually fits the criteria of the overall theme and story, and then I commence on a new journey!
Most of my current work revolves around my personal stories and emotions. In all of my last pieces I am exploring the end of a chapter in life, graduating high school and leaving my hometown and the beginning of a new chapter, starting college and settling in a new and completely different place. Through my work I am attempting to work with new mediums such as photography and film, as well as challenging myself to take risks and work outside of the invisible lines of my comfort zone.
For my final project I’m using seven to nine colored photos to display a cohesive theme of “Ocean Wonders”. As a child, I was always fascinated by marine creatures and the infinite number of permutations that exist in the watery world that most of us remain blissfully unaware of. When I grew up I became increasingly aware of how my interest in this field had never dwindled and I wanted to continue my studies in the field of Shipwreck Archeology, perhaps because of the allure that the story of Titanic had for many people my age.
However, during a visit to the National Geographic magazine, I stumbled upon a collection of underwater photographs and was in awe of the sheer variety and intricacy of these beautiful creatures that I didn’t even know existed. It was then I realized that I wanted to create an underwater photo essay myself in the hope that people would appreciate the natural wonders of the ocean. Therefore when I read the guidelines of the final project, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try and create a photo essay that would hopefully have the same effect on people as it did on me. Inspired by the collection of underwater photographs that had been such an eye opener for me, the theme of “Ocean Wonders” is what I plan on illustrating.
As I was preparing for a trip to Barbados for Thanksgiving break, I thought that this would provide the perfect opportunity for research and implementation of my chosen theme. Whilst I explored the scenic island, I came across three specific areas of interest that I wanted to focus upon and share with a wider audience. One was the beautiful marine life that takes up most of the island’s surrounding ocean, the second was the chance to swim with the islands famous sea turtles and the last was the once in a lifetime opportunity to discover and explore shipwreck artifacts hidden in the turquoise sea. My plan is to illustrate what I see and share this vision with a wider audience thereby captivating them into embarking on their own journey of exploration and discovery. The main concept of the photo essay is to portray the hidden wonders of the ocean therefore I plan on focusing on detailed and focused photos of certain objects or creatures as well as wider shots.
Equipped with the main idea and certain elements that I wanted to portray in the photo essay, I arrived in Barbados with a clear mind hoping to be inspired by the actual ocean. Nevertheless, before arriving I knew for certain that I wanted to include images of the actual fish, focusing on their distinct patterns and colors, coral of some sort, the turtles and most importantly the shipwreck. However, how many pictures of each I’m going to use is something that I plan on deciding after I view all the images taken underwater and this will be determined by many factors.
With regards to the layout or format of the photos I plan on trying to cover as many elements and principles of design as possible. However, there are certain more specific elements that I am aiming to capture such as color, pattern, texture and shape. In the wide spectrum that exists within the ocean, even without the shipwreck artifacts, there is a vast variety of elements that I will endeavor to highlight in this project. Whenever I look at underwater pictures there are specific elements that usually stand out the most and in this photo essay I intend to make the viewer’s eye wander all around in search of all the obvious and not so obvious elements depicted in the image. I plan on taking full advantage of this extensive range of unusual, beautiful and unique creatures or artifacts and illustrate a combination of simple and complex images to create a flowing yet interesting visual story.
There is no specified audience for this photo essay; it is more of a general audience. The reason behind not specifying a certain demographic group is because I believe that the beauty that we have on earth is taken for granted. We live in a world where the future generation is disinterested in anything that doesn’t revolve around modern day technology, and are not inspired or motivated by what nature has to offer. Consequently, I hope that after viewing the collection of photos I’m displaying at least some of the audience will be inspired by me, in much the same manner that I was by the National Geographic, and decide to see what the earth’s natural diversity and beauty has to offer. All in all, I hope that the audience is filled with a sense of motivation and desire to explore what I have experienced in even everyday elements of nature and try to awe people with what they have learned. I want to encourage them to seek out reality and its wondrous presence all around us and that there is more to life than a computer screen. I really hope that my work inspires people from all walks of life to step out of their comfort zone and discover the world for what a truly beautiful and awe inspiring place it is.
PHOTO (inspired by National Geographic’s underwater photo exhibit).
My idea continues on from the photo essay’s theme of diversity. However, instead of capturing obvious diversity such as race, different ethnicity or culture, I’ll be focusing on a specific subject, the ocean. I want to capture the diversity underwater, which includes shapes, colors and sizes, as I introduce the viewers to a “whole new world”*.
* Reference to The Little Mermaid.
The overall mood I want to convey in the film is awe. I plan on doing that by capturing the beautiful and unusual creatures of the ocean. My main goal is to captivate and enthrall the audience by the picturesque beauty of the ocean and the sounds of the ocean.
Focusing on the ocean, my idea is to create a poster that raises awareness of saving the marine life. The poster would capture several marine animals dried up on land (almost dead) with a caption that sends out a message of “look at what you have done” (in different words).