Boid Particle Flows

This project was a lot of fun. I wanted to simulate painting, and to give the work itself some say in the way things would go. After a lot of experimenting with various techniques, I decided to work with boid particles, and dynamic paint using particle systems to generate brush strokes.

The boids needed some motivation in order to achieve the sort of aesthetic that I was going for. I generated to groups of particles, assigned each one a color, and made them mortal enemies. Boids operate on a set of very basic rules, and by manipulating the variables for each particle system and sculpting the terrain on which the face off in battle, I could control the outcome of work to a degree without interfering in the actual composition.

These images were printed to duratrans and backlit for display at the 2016 Idaho State University College of Arts and Letters New Years Gala.

The original prints are now available for sale.

A Blank Canvas (Assignment #7)

For this assignment we are required to shoot a photo essay. I decided to tell the story of a blank canvas becoming a work of art. Karen Lei has been drawing for ten years, and recently decided to take up painting. I enjoy her artwork so I decided to focus on one of her paintings for this assignment. Karen started the process with a sheet of masonite. She coated the masonite in gesso, and let it dry before continuing. She begins with a single brush stroke, and then her idea starts to take shape. It was cool working with an artist for this assignment. The painting studio where Karen made this painting had nice even light. The room is lit by skylights and windows on every wall. Between my 50mm f/1.8 and my 18-270 f/3.5, it was easy shooting.

Feature Assignment

This assignment was to take a feature photo. I decided to interview Geran Call with Robotics and Communication Systems Engineering Technology program at Idaho State University College of Technology. Geran gave me a tour of the 3d printing and robotics labs. This was a great experience. First he introduced me to the 3d printed R2D2 (from the movie Star Wars). This radio controlled droid is fully functional and life sized. It has motorized accessory ports, the head rotates, it drives around, and it can even talk in the classic R2D2 style. Geran teaches his students to design and build functional robotic systems using 3d printed and laser cut parts. The team also built a fuctional Wall-E robot from the Disney Pixar Movie Wall-E. We explored the 3d printing lab and Geran demonstrated how the big 3d printer can blend plastic and rubber to achieve custom physical properties in the resulting printed material. There are so many cool things in the robotics lab I had to struggle to stay focused. A robotic guitar caught my attention. The guitar has one string and a computer that controls the amount of tension applied to the string. There is also a robotic strumming mechanism that holds guitar picks. The computer controls the tension and strumming to create music notes and ultimately guitar music. The last stop on the tour was in the robot lab where Geran showed me the 3d printed robot arm. The arm moves ping pong balls around and plays beer pong. This tour was awesome, and Geran is an interesting person. I really enjoyed this assignment. It was hard to decide on a single image for my assignment, and I am glad I can put the whole story up here. I hope you enjoy and get inspired to make something cool!

Assignment #3 News Shot

The Boy’s 3200 Meter Race at the 2015 Simplot Games was a close match between Elijah Armstrong of Pocatello, Idaho and Levi Thomet of Kodiak, Alaska. Levi pushed Elijah the entire race, and the two of them left the pack behind. The energy in the Holt Arena during that final lap was at a very high intensity level. Elijah came in first with Levi right behind him; just one second from a national record. This was my first experience with shooting a live sports event. I found it to be a fun and challenging project. I was also shooting video footage of the race while covering the story for this assignment. I had a great time.

Street Portraits

This week our assignment was to shoot street portraits. We were to use a theme throughout the series of portraits, I decided to shoot portraits of musicians. I started out at the Fine Arts Building at ISU, and then made my way to the Student Union Building, and finally down to Old Town. I met some cool Musicians while shooting this assignment, I wish I had more time to shoot.