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.
Went out to McTucker Pond with X Finney to shoot landscapes for an upcoming series. Here is one of my favorites from the session. I was shooting handheld so i am pretty happy with the level of clarity in the shot.
For this assignment we had to look through our archives and find a universal theme in our previous work. Then, take a weekend and shoot 15 shots specifically planned out to represent or comment on the chosen theme. It was hard to look at my photos through this filter at first, but I eventually started to see a theme emerging. The theme was isolation. I decided to shoot the assignment in the Idaho desert where I go to seek isolation. The following shots are some of my favorites from the weekend shoot.
This image represents the independence of an isolated subject. The Big Southern Butte stands alone in the Idaho desert. The Butte single handedly supports a diverse ecosystem in the middle of an arid landscape.
This image represents the resilience it takes to remain in isolation. Here is a deep well which is used to draw water up from the Snake River Aquifer to water sheep, horses, and cattle.
This image represents the view seen from Isolation Summit. When one seeks the refuge of isolation this is the reward.
This image represents isolation and what it takes to truly achieve it. I find that in out modern world, it is difficult to be physically isolated. We tend to stay digitally isolated; confined to a internet bubble or videogame world. This image represents the spirit of an independent adventurer overcoming obstacles to find his or herself alone in the wilderness where one can heal from the inside out.
From the high vantage point, this image emphasizes the level of isolation experienced through this project.
This image represents isolation by showing this tattered flag posted at the summit of Big Southern Butte. The butte is located all alone in the Idaho desert, and this flag stands alone in the ripping wind that perpetually rakes this cliff face. This is a popular location for hang glider pilots to jump.
This image represents the unique nature of an isolated subject. Isolation nurtures novelty since solutions must be found out through experience.
This mysterious grouping of boxcars represents the decay that comes with prolonged isolation. There were row after row of these old boxcars lined up in the middle of the desert. I have no idea what they are for, and I didn’t stick around too long to find out either.
I went out Saturday night at midnight to shoot the lightning. The view through my viewfinder was pitch black, making things challenging. I set the focus to infinity and started playing with exposure settings. I wanted to keep the clouds as sharp as possible with out getting too much ISO noise. I settled on 5 second exposures. I set up Trigger Trap to fire every 7 seconds, giving me a 2 second interval between frames. It worked pretty well, and some lightning actually struck right where I wanted it a few times. This was a fun shoot.
This great strike hit right where I wanted it too.
This assignment was to find the essence of a place. That place was Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. We set out in search of the DNA of this area. I started out walking around town, and spotted the Lava Hot Springs History Museum. I spoke with the staff of the museum and learned that most of the historic buildings in town were destroyed in a fire, and then a flood. I explored the museum and took a couple shots there. I decided to find out what the modern town had to offer. The next stop was the water slide sign at the entrance to town. This sign pretty much says it all. Visitors to Lava drive under this water slide as they get off the highway and pass the Olympic size pool. Next I wandered up stream along Main Street. I found the Royal Bar, the oldest building still standing in town. Today it is a pizza parlor. I continued up stream to the Sunken Gardens Grotto. This location offered a great vantage point to photograph the hot pools. These hot pools are the main draw for visitors to the area, and have been since the town was settled in the 1800’s. After taking a moment to soak in the ambiance of the grotto, I followed the river back downtown. I came across a pile of tubes for rent and it hits that from end to end, and all through the heart of it, Lava Hot Springs is all about water recreation. The warm waters that flows through the basalt foundations of this town are the true essence of this area. The last thing I decided to do was to zoom up above the town with my UAV and shoot a panorama. I wanted to establish the spatial relationship of the town, the buildings, the river, and the water attractions to the highway, mountains, and railway. This project was challenging and rewarding. I would recommend that any photographer go out and tackle this sort of project next time you are in need of some inspiration.
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.