Saturday, February 27, 2016


Good Saturday Morning, Kiddos!

Many, many years ago I received a fabulous graduation gift from my brother and his wife: a Holga camera. For those of you that aren't familiar with this camera, let me explain it to you. It's called a "toy camera" and is lumped into the "lomography" genre of photography. You have to load the film into the camera in the dark, and manually wind the film after each shot. There is no light meter, so you must truly understand exposure to get the images to turn out properly exposed. Light leaks and imperfections create really interesting photographs.

This summer my daughter Maya took an interest in photography. She was my assistant at a wedding, and took some beautiful shots. For Christmas, I gave her a black Holga of her own, along with a six pack of Kodak Portra film. We have both been using her camera with varying results. Some rolls have turned out fantastically, and others, um, not so much. That's part of the learning process though! With film, and the costs of developing it, you do want to "get it right" as much as possible. It pushes you to think about not only a balanced exposure and composition, but also about "is this worthy"? In other words, is this image, this scene, this moment in time, worthy of a shot? With a roll of 12 or 16 exposures, you really take that into consideration.

Okay, okay, so now I'll get to the point. I wasn't feeling very inspired for a while. But I decided to get out there with a camera and shoot. The more I did so, the more inspired I became. Now I feel that I can't get enough photography time. So, if you are feeling unmotivated or that you have "photographer's block", just get out there! See what beauty you can find in the world!

All images copyrighted 2016 by Melanie Rapp and Artiste Photography. No reproductions allowed.

Student Work!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Be More Dog!

Alright AP Kiddos, this one is for you! I know it's tough to keep things rolling, but ya just gotta push forward! As this cute video says, "Be more dog"! "Carpe Diem" and grab that camera!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Innovative Artists

How have artists taken risks and changed the art world? How have artists changed the world? Did you know that prior to the invention of photography, art was mainly used to document events and important people? Once photography came along, it freed up artists to be more creative, and to try new things. Change can be difficult though. Here are some videos explaining more about art history. There is so much more than what I am including here! I highly recommend taking an art history class, or researching for yourself. You never know what you may find!

Essential Question: How have artists in the past taken risks to create new techniques and concepts?

Enduring Understanding: New ideas are often the result of risk-taking.

Arts and Culture during the Industrial Revolution

Landmarks of Western Art Documentary: Impressionism and Post Impressionism

Mad about Monet

Pablo Picasso

Pop Art


Judy Chicago (Women and Art)

Guerilla Girls (Women and Art)

BBC: This is Modern Art

TED TALK: The power of photography to change the world

Photo Transfer Fun!

Alright, Kiddos! Are you ready? You are ready!
We will be working on photo transfers for our next project. I'm going to be showing you different techniques. YOU will choose what techniques to use, and YOU will decide how to create a meaningful work of art. How will you experiment?

Here are some helpful tutorials.

Canvas Photo Transfer:

Wood Photo Transfer:

Charpak Blender Marker Transfer:

NOTE: When you burnish, do NOT use your hand! Use a spoon.

What other transfer methods can you try? How can you "go beyond" a basic transfer technique?

Essential Question: How does process impact the quality of work?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Plants (Stop-motion)

Plants (Stop-motion) from kellianderson on Vimeo.

A BIG Thank You to Scott McCormick!

Scott McCormick visited us again at Castle View High School. This man is super busy and hopping all over doing amazing things, so we really appreciate the time he give us!

Whenever we have professional development days, we are asked what our "take-aways" are. I think that it's a good reflection for all of us, but here is what I have:

* If you get stuck on a problem, you will never find a solution. You have to let go of what the difficulty is, and problem-solve until you find your way through it (or around it).

* Resilience: He had everything stacked against him at one time. He never gave up. He knew what he wanted, and did everything he could to learn and work harder. He was passionate about photography, so that is all he did day and night. What would your photography look like if you took pictures constantly? How would your concepts improve?

* He learns from others. He seeks like-minded individuals and asks for their thoughts and expertise. Humility is beneficial in education. When you know that you don't know everything, and that others have something to offer, the world opens up to you.

* Collaborate! Seeking information from others is great, working with others is even better.

* Try new things! Shoot images in reflections, tape a mirror to your lens, shoot with film, try multiple exposures, play in Photoshop: always seek new ideas.

* Build it yourself. Be unique. Be you.

* I think the most touching thing he said all day was at the beginning. In this time and place, we are barraged with images. It seems that everything has been done, that everything has been said. This is absolutely not true. YOU are the only YOU in this world. YOUR VOICE matters. YOU matter. There is no telling where your influence will end. This is why I want you to pursue your passion and make images that are meaningful to you. I know you hear it from me over and over, day in and day out, but it is true.

I can't thank Scott enough for visiting us. I'll try though. THANK YOU SCOTT!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Saul Leiter

Pioneer or color photography! The images are as intriguing as his story.

Read the article and watch a video on CNN:

All photos by Saul Leiter