Author Archives: annacksmith

Lewis.

I’ve been struggling with finding words to express my thoughts and feelings about Lewis. Now of course feels a little late, though I feel it would do good to say something.

I really only knew Lewis during our shared time at Goldmine, so it is hard for me to consider myself a true friend of his; yet I, like many, feel his loss deeply. He is one of the only surviving memories I have from Goldmine that sticks out. Of course there are the many times during that week that his name was called out like a battle cry, and his easy going crooked smile would spread across his flushed face, but something else sticks out during our last day. I remember as we were packing up and leaving Lewis just standing alone, something rare during Goldmine. I walked over to his side and asked him how he was and if he needed any help. I don’t remember exactly what he said-I was incredibly sleep deprived at the time and it has been about six years-but the jist of what he told me was that he felt like he should’ve done more, said more, and felt like he didn’t really belong there. I simply told him,

You did this. You were the common ground that helped bond everyone together in the beginning. If anyone truly belonged it would be you. We literally scream your name out all the time because we all value your presence that much. You may not have said everything or done everything you wanted, but what you did say and do everyone held their breath for.

And I get the feeling that he continued to make that kind of impact throughout his life.


Philadelphia

I recently got a chance to go to Philadelphia. While I was there I tried to remember to take photos, but got swept up in the city most of the time instead. I did however get a chance to take a few photos from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rodin Museum.


Exercise in Self Portraits

Recently I had to take some self portraits for a class. Like most photographers I rather be behind the camera then in front of it and this time was no different. I struggled a lot with the notion of taking my own photo and then having to judge it as a client. It was an exercise of both my patience and self-esteem as a photographer and a person. I did have creative control and got to boss around my friend who helped me stage the photos which made the process a little easier. But I still didn’t relish in the idea of taking my own photo in a professional matter. I did get a chance to play with the canon remote view app which was fun and something I’ll definitely start using more regularly, but probably not for any more self portraits. ASmith_StagedASmith_DocumentaryASmith_Headshot

By: Anna Smith

 


The only single friend

I had many first ideas for this project and made a couple treatments before I ultimately decided that it would be best to stick with my first idea, what it’s like to be single in a group of friends who aren’t. From there I brainstormed things I have experienced and heard as a single amongst couples. I asked eight couples to help with the project and ended up getting six of them to do it. The filming took place in three different houses and one park over a weekend in Corvallis. The editing was the most time consuming part of the process. I had to do about four rounds of edits for each video before putting them together. First to take out the excess giggling and takes, then figure out which phrases/takes were the best, then edit them so they made a little more sense and cut down for time, and then started putting them together. As I put them together I organized them into the four categories that appear in the video and added the music, by Scott Holmes, found on http://freemusicarchive.org/.

 

It was a bit of a headache getting through the whole process, but it was good to go through the whole process start to finish. It was really fun to shoot with my friends and more than a couple times I heard, ‘what the heck I say this stuff to you all the time!’ I learned a lot about what it takes to commit to making a video start to finish and the unexpected miniature disasters you have to deal with throughout the process. I feel I could’ve done better while filming making sure the environment was in optimum conditions for recording, as well as directing the talent to speak up a little louder and more clearly and not glance down so much during takes. But for what I had to work with I think I had a pretty successful outcome and I enjoyed making it. 

By: Anna Smith


The Five Basic Tastes

This project stumped me at first and I admittedly didn’t really have an idea of how I wanted it to look until after I started putting the different pieces together. I landed on the idea of the five basic tastes while talking to my dad about a tasting lab he integrates in one of his food science classes. I have always been sensitive to tastes and the idea of stripping taste down to the basics was appealing to me. I initially was going to use my sister as talent, but she backed out at the last second and my mom stepped in instead. I filmed the parts with her at her house and the footage of the raw ingredients at my home. The voiceover was recorded with one of the snowball microphones and the music is a song called Old Photos by Ben Fehr; both were combined and edited down in audacity. When I began putting the project together in premier I had to slow down the footage to 24 frames per second because the footage of the food looked better and less shakey. Other than that the editing process was intuitive to learn and pretty simple.

This video is the first I have ever created and I realize that the outcome is far from perfect, the focus especially, but it was a good process to learn from and I understand more about the entirety of making video content. Next time I will definitely double check the focus on a larger screen while I shoot and take extra footage as a backup.  At the very least I hope that the video is interesting enough to watch all the way through.

By: Anna Smith


A Day in Sound

With this sound project I ultimately wanted to accomplish a sense of time moving in an isolated frame of mind and invoke a feeling of ordinary and humble. Nothing spectacular, nothing dramatic-just everyday life. When people listen to this, I urge them to think less about what might happen and to focus more on what is happening.

When we first got this assignment and I was playing in Audacity, I started to think about what it would be like to follow someone during a day in 5ish second sound clips so I choose to make my assignment a digital story of just that. I started with the main background music which I found on newgrounds by an artist named 15thDimension. I then thought about and found the majority of recognizable sounds that would go along with the story on the SFX library on the school server. I personally recorded three things for the project; the sound of me asking for help, the sound of the TV while eating, and the sound of my roommates laughing and having a good time. It was not the easiest thing to do, but I think I did a pretty decent job of getting the message across.

By: Anna Smith


Shooting Film, a blog for analogue photography

As you may have gathered I am a great admirer of photography, especially in analogue format. I took my first analogue photography class as an elective in high school and immediately fell in love with the art form. The creative hands-on process of shooting, and then printing your own photos is something that I find wonderfully unique. The blog Shooting Film celebrates this craft. The blog is five years old and has two main writers from the Philippines as well as additional contributors from around the globe. It is on the smaller side, but has a lot of helpful information and potential to grow.

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Main page of the blog

One of the main features, and what initially drew me to the blog, is the ongoing project ‘5 things I love about film’. The project hosts analog photographers work from around the world as well as a short post about why they choose to still shoot film when there are more accessible digital options out there. Along with this there are other collections such as ‘woman at war,’ ‘first roll of film ever,’ ‘posing for the camera,’ and more. There are also a variety of posts that offer tips and detailed how-to instructions on their site. For example, this post is about different good medium format cameras, and this one has detailed instructions on making pinhole cameras.

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Infographic about camera settings

The site is relatively small and the number of posts that have tips and tricks has decreased in the last couple years favoring focus on the series ‘5 things I love about film.’ However the blog is a good resource for finding analog photographers and the content offering help is good in quality and unique to the blog. For instance, this post (also pictured above) is one of the best, most succinct, and helpful infographics I’ve ever seen that explains the effects of changing aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Recent technological advances has made this art form near obsolete, but this blog is evidence that analogue photography is very much still alive and thriving in niche communities.

By: Anna Smith