Wow, what a week. For a first week back, the past few days have been unbelievably intense and wonderful.
Mom and I went back to Fredericton via our usual route on Monday, which was closed due to the flooding when I went home at the end of last term.
At NBCCD, the first week of term is mostly an intro to how the rest of the term will go down. So not much happens until the second week. Which is why I was rather overwhelmed this week--in a good way. And part of that wasn't due to schoolwork: it was because for some reason it seemed like the students and teachers in my studio had reached an unspoken agreement to go all-out and demonstrate how awesome and cool and funny we Photogs are (there are a lot of jokes shared in the studio).
Here's how the week went down:
Tuesday: Lighting: Professional Lighting Studio: This semester we'll be learning how to use the big studio flashes (Alien Bees, and the more powerful White Lightnings, both by Paul C. Buff, Inc.--a lot of NBCCD photography grads get these flashes after finishing college because they're high-quality and affordable--and it's what they use while at school). Although I think the flashes are really cool and awesome and will be fun to use, I don't expect to be a full convert by the end of the year--there's something to be said for really awesome natural light.
Photo History: People: Here's where things start to get really interesting and fun. This course is all about photographing people, including strangers. Yes, really. There's even an assignment where we have to go out and photograph ten strangers. This week's assignment, though, was about window light. We could either do self-portraits or find someone to photograph. I did the latter. And you'll never guess who my model was (it wasn't a student).
Wednesday: Re-Presenting Ideas: I have a feeling that Wednesdays are going to be one of the highlights of the second semester. For one thing, we have Peter ALL DAY!!!!!! And he's one of the coolest, awesomest people in the whole school. This course is more or less an extension of Creativity in Photography. As was the case last year, each assignment is in two parts: we do part one, which is due the following week. That part is critiqued, and then we do the second part, which is due the week after. This week, we were each given a couple of targets like what the police use. And we can do whatever the heck we want with said targets. The only catch is that the targets have to be in the photos (even if it's just a reflection). We have to do two different concepts--I did my first one this week and will do the second one this weekend--maybe after I finish this blog post.
Professional Practice: Let's face it: the world of photography is huge and there are so many different things you can do with the medium. Everything from photojournalism to portraiture, and back again to weddings and product photography. Thanks to the awesomeness of Skype, Peter will be bringing in photographers to talk about their work. He used to actually have photographers visit the studio, but it just got too expensive for the college. Noel Chenier (a photographer for the Saint John Telegraph-Journal and an NBCCD grad) will be the first person. He'll skype with us next week.
I also saw WhiteFeather for the first time since this Spring. Although she teaches in the Fibre Arts studio, WhiteFeather has been in Chicago, studying for her MFA. She gave me a big hug, and we chatted for a bit--she didn't know that I'm now a Photography major. She's currently teaching on Wednesdays only.
That evening I met with a couple of my classmates and we did the studio flash assignment together, which was a ton of fun--except that I just about froze in the process (in addition to photographing in the old elevator, we did some stuff outside--brrrrrrr).
Thursday: Lab Techniques: Although I believe there'll be assignments (there was a reading handed out this week), Karen described the class as a "glorified work period."
After class I worked on my first photos for Peter's assignment (I still have a tiny bit of gouache--from the set I bought at the beginning of FVA year--around my fingernails), as well as Karen's assignment. I originally planned to get a student to pose for me, but just as I was about to ask, Peter noticed me. And here's the thing about Peter: he's one of those people who can always tell when something's up. So he asked me if I had a question. I told him that I was looking for someone to pose for Karen's window-light assignment--and he volunteered! I couldn't believe it. But there were some perks: since he's one of my teachers, he offered a few tips--we even went through the manual, which I have on my flash drive, when neither of us could find a live view magnifier on my camera--no luck (I googled it this afternoon: nothing).
Friday: Although I had class in the afternoon, I didn't have anything in the morning. However, that could change in a couple of weeks: due to the humongous size of the Friday afternoon class, they're looking for students for a Tuesday evening class (five to eight AST). Some students (including me) also expressed interest in a Friday morning class. However, that won't take effect for a couple of weeks.
But although I didn't have class in the morning, I still rolled out of bed, took a shower, and was at school by ten past nine. I reshot Peter's assignment (the photos from the first shoot weren't in focus), which was interesting: I got a lot of students looking at said target. I shot both sets in the basement, where the ceramics students, and a lot of the FVAs, have their lockers, so the looks don't surprise me. And I didn't mind one bit.
I also went through my photos from Rod's and Karen's assignments, and deleted the photos that didn't turn out. I also chose a couple of photos of Peter to consider for printing. I'm going to print one of the photos and put it on my bulletin board below the one of Adam (I developed one that I intended to use for burning and dodging, but I was happy with it right from the start, so I kept it). As a personal assignment, I'm going to see how many of my favourite teachers (including WhiteFeather) I can round up and take photos of. The photos will make up a "Wall of NBCCD Awesomeness."
Design: Shaping Space: after all that, I had class in the afternoon. I have a feeling that Shaping Space will be more fun than either 2D or 3D Design, which is good. For one thing, I have a different teacher (Greg Charlton). However, we had Jane Geurts yesterday. Gosh, that woman's a character: she's about as energetic as Denise, but in a different way. She's not as in-your-face as Denise, for one thing (Denise is also one of the teachers that I want to photograph).
After class I went to the library (which is across the hall from the design studio), with the intent of checking out Launching the Imagination. I have the book--but it's about an hour-and-a-half away, at home. Only thing was, all the copies that could be checked out, were. But they have a couple of copies in the reference section, so I sat down and did the week's reading right there. The reading was the first twelve pages of the 3D design part of the textbook, so it was more of a refresher than anything else.
By the way, when I got the course outline I immediately went to the end to see if there would be a test like there was last year. There won't be. YA-HOOOOO!!!!!! **happy dance**
On my way home I stopped in at Ingrid Mueller Art + Concepts. The gallery used to be on York St., across from the Shoppers Drugmart, but it moved to Regent St. and is now next door to the Blue Door restaurant. The new location is more intriguing, and as soon as I stepped in I stopped dead in my tracks, I was so overwhelmed. It's got more nooks and crannies to explore, and I have no idea how long I was there: I wanted to see everything (which was a daunting task because there's so much to explore). There were some of Adam's pieces, and as soon as I saw them I looked away: since Adam is one of my favourite artists, and I love his work about as much as I love the BSO's violin section, I wanted to save his stuff for last. Once I'd seen everything else, I permitted myself to be swept up by Adam's work. When I look at his work, it's like entering a weird, wonderful world. A world that won't let you leave until you have seen every. single. thing. Like Hieronymus Bosch--except without the depictions of Hell (though Adam's work can be almost as jarring and fantastical sometimes). And I'm also a Bosch fan.
While I was soaking it all in, I met Ingrid Mueller herself. When I told her that I love Adam's work, she said that he'll be having another show this coming spring. YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!