Brain Goop / Eclectic Crap

a Miniature Cactus, Bipolar Medication, and Lessons from the Grocery Store.

My into photography class final:


  1. The Produce Section

Before taking this photo, I was terrified I’d be kicked out of the grocery store. I knew exactly what shot I wanted to take, where I would have to stand, the settings I’d have to set the camera to, etc. I was just plain scared and hesitated to go through with it. But in a sudden rush of adrenaline, I just went for it. And nobody even stopped me! So the huge thing I learned through taking this photo is to take risks, even silly ones. Take photos places that make you scared, take photos in weird places, just be adventurous with it. I’ve also learned about how messy photoshop copies can be. I kept accidentally editing from the most recent edit, going back steps and re-doing things, and after copies of copies it got really pixelated. Unfortunately, this one is a copy of a copy of a copy but I love it- it’s just that if I wanted it any bigger I’d absolutely have to go back and find the original. I’m working on photoshop, and this just shows that work in progress. This picture, as mentioned in the assignment, shows the average shopper. It shows the beauty in organization – the composition reflects that in it’s strict centering and the black framing. I brought out the color of the veggies, which I love.


  1. Julius the Miniature Cactus

This is a portrait of the tiniest, most beautiful cactus I have ever seen. My mom was about to throw him away, because she thought he was dying. So I stopped her and practiced in macro mode to take his picture. The beautiful thing is that after taking the picture, I left him in a corner and we forgot to give him any drops of water and he came back to life! All he needed was a little recognition. But enough with the backstory. This photo has so many beautiful deep colors, accentuated by the shallow depth of field and macro mode that forces you to look at the tiniest of details, appreciate the nuances of color and white spikes that you would never have noticed if you were passing by. It required basically no editing, the colors were naturally vibrant and breathtaking. It was an experiment in depth-of-field for me, though, because I realized that I had to have it just right in order to keep particular branches in focus while still blurring the background.


  1. Pills

I don’t think I fully understood the concept of expressing yourself through photography until I did this little project. I wrote about it in detail in the 6th assignment, but I’ll quickly summarize it here. This photo mimics the “perfectly organized” life that bloggers so often document by showing something shockingly intimate about myself, something imperfect. Juxtaposed with organization, my mental health issues are a bit of an oxymoron. (a book about a character struggling with bipolar like I do, the handpainted box I made in the hospital that carried my diary written with crappy pencils on paper the nurses with me and reminds me of the friends I made, my hospital bracelet representing me finally taking charge, my eye mask and headphones to cope with insomnia, my many medications etc) This was an exploration of self, a cathartic experience. It allowed me to see the beauty in the mess of my mind. I love how the earphone cord wraps around and how the pills carry the theme of imperfection throughout, but the colors and layout of it all is calming and beautiful. It’s strange and beautiful and I’m so proud of it that I almost feel like it’s too special to show anyone. I suspect this is how art is supposed to feel.


  1. Shadow

This photo was fun to take. I was experimenting with flash and long exposure in the dark, and I ended up taking this portrait of my dad. It has sharp contrast, one side of his face is completely dark while the other is illuminated. I’ve always loved pictures like this, they seem to imply a sort of mystery – the people we think we know are sometimes filled with things we’d never expect. This lighting, the flash at that angle, brought out so many details in his face – whiskers, wrinkles, tiny hairs. I also love how his face is light with a dark background on one side, and the opposite on the other. It feels like a painting. The black and white give it a timeless feel, and the flash’s lighting contrast drive the theme – people around us are half mystery, and half who they present to others.


  1. Bekah

There are a lot of things going on in this picture that drive your eyes to her face – the main focus of the picture. The layers of trees and mountains all point to her smile, the path at the bottom leads up to her body, and the triangles of grass sweep up to her shoulders. This photo combined my love of chaotic color, spontaneous moments, and natural poses/movements with a typical portrait. We chose the location, the outfit, the time of day. But these all lined up to express the purpose of the shoot, which was to take a picture that brought out Bekah’s personality. She loves borrowing vintage, quirky clothes – so she borrowed my DI overshirt. She loves laughing, making jokes, she’s outgoing – so for this picture she fake laughed while I look the picture. (That’s awkward to admit, but I guess that’s how behind the scenes feels.) She has a vibrant, happy personality – so we shot it in the morning when the light was bright and colors off the blossoming trees and grass complimented her face and outfit. But there’s so much more to her, so much more complex and beneath the surface, than this carefree person that everyone else sees- so she’s wearing sunglasses, and she’s alone. It’s colorful and bright and to me, captures how complex and un-boring Bekah is, without being posed.


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