Sunday, February 13, 2011

here's to a better week

Oh. My. Gosh. What a week. I'd say that this week was the second most stressful week this semester (the title of "Most Stressful Week" goes to the week of January twenty-sixth, when I was applying for the scholarship). It all boiled down to that wonderful (and important) thing known as TIME MANAGEMENT. And getting enough sleep: from Tuesday until Thursday I was very sleep deprived--and when I get less than eight hours a night you really don't want to be in my shoes--it ain't pretty.

Monday: Mondays being Mondays, I was thrilled to actually be awake that day. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday: Here's where things started to go downhill. However, there was a bright spot: in a little while we'll be doing self-portraits for History. I both love and hate selfies, though: I love looking at them, but I kind of hate doing them, mostly because I don't own a wireless remote. Yet. (I don't mind being in front of the camera.)

Wednesday: This was a rather exciting day: one of the things we're going to do in Re-Presenting Ideas is independent projects. Mine will be on alternative processes (developing photos with coffee, doing in-camera cyanotypes, trying different ways of transferring images--to fabric and/or paper--etc.).

Every year the photography studio does a display in Westminster Books as part of Freedom to Read. I'd somehow forgotten about it until Peter mentioned it this week. I immediately started coming up with ideas and did the shoot this morning (after trying out a couple of different ideas, I ended up giving Nineteen Eighty-Four some serious love).

That evening we went to the Bridgestone photo contest awards ceremony at the Crowne Plaza hotel. This was the first time that the awards ceremony was held in Fredericton, and the first time that NBCCD actually showed up. Yes, really. My classmate Jessica Pattison won both first place for the college and the national honourable mention. There was an article about her in Friday's Daily Gleaner. Click here to see all of this year's winners. Some are really good, but others make me go, "why the heck did that one win?" A couple of examples: the photo that won first place for the Western Academy of Photography (when I saw it at the awards ceremony, I noticed that the lighting on the tire/engagement ring was coming from the wrong direction), and Algonquin College's third place winner (the light is going in different directions on each of the tires that make up the inukshuk).

Thursday: That day I finally started to catch up and make sense of the homework pile, thanks to the fact that I didn't have class (we officially have Lab Techniques in the morning, but it's pretty much a free study period). Later, I did the first of three (count 'em) re-shoots for a lighting assignment that I messed up.

Friday: Usually design classes are held in the Design Studio on the third floor of the school, but this time we had class at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Greg (who works at the BAG in addition to teaching at NBCCD) talked about designing shows and even took us "backstage" to the part of the gallery that the average visitor never sees. That part of the class was unbelievably cool: we got to see the crate that the Santiago el Grande was packed in when it toured for six months last year, and Greg showed us where and how all the paintings are stored (they're hung on metal walls that kind of look like chain link and that can be wheeled out when a painting is needed). He also talked about the cataloguing system that the BAG uses, and even took a request from one of the students to find a portrait of Wayne Gretzky by Andy Warhol. He then brought out a portrait of Karen Kain, also by Warhol.

I'd lugged my serial planes project to the gallery, which was a big mistake: thanks to the wind, that thing acted like a sail. The fact that I'd used pushpins to hold down the pieces of foamcore that I'd cut didn't help matters: they're too short for the job, and a couple of pieces fell off (I stuffed them in my coat pocket). However, because I'd brought it to the gallery, I was able to discuss a problem that I had with the assignment: trimming the bottom of the shapes on an angle. I'd tried it, but the results were so crappy that I threw them out.

Originally the assignment was due this coming week, but Greg pushed the deadline to the following week: this week we're to finish cutting out the shapes--and I'm to leave the bottoms of mine alone: Greg will help me to cut the angles.

After class I went back to the college. I decided on my independent project (alternative processes), did the second re-shoot for the assignment that I'd messed up (using myself as the model this time), and did my Tuesday assignment and one of the ones that's due on Wednesday (at the same time--I'll just divide the photos among the two classes).

Saturday: I'd planned to get a lot done yesterday, but somehow that didn't happen. However, I did start the research for my independent study project, and I did the third and final re-shoot for the assignment that I messed up. And I listened to the Met Opera (Nixon in China, composed and conducted by John Adams--one of only a handful of times where a composer has conducted their own work at the Met).

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