Now you’re wondering what does that video of Rodney Mullen (Skater) have to with the creative process ? It’s simple how Rodney Mullen does skate tricks is how I do my editing photo tricks. When I was a teenager my heroes at the time were Rodney Mullen, Neil Blender, Jeff Kendall and Natas Kaupas. During that time all I did was skateboard, played trumpet and rode my bike all over the place. I was born and raised in San Diego, so that’s what I did all the time.
What I’m going to show you is the history of my creative and innovative editing process. One thing I can tell you is I can not keep doing the same kind of editing for a long period of time. I get bored easily doing the same type of editing over and over again. It’s important I keep mixing it up so I don’t fall into a rut and artist block. The post will be broken down in Life Chapters. People have asked me my origins of where I got my mobile editing skills, only a few people know and watched the change over time. Bare with me some of these are old scanned photos with low res output at the time. I don’t think I could find some of these prints or the actual negatives to re-scan these photos again.
Life 1: It starts with ordinary things that people pass by everyday. They don’t see it because most people are too consumed with trying to get to the next moment in their everyday lives. The top photo was taken when I walk walking with my old Canon AE-1 with a 50mm lens. I noticed this Blue Spray Paint Spot on this dried out muddy road. The blue spot caught my attention so I snapped the photo. The second photo was after it rained, I saw this newspaper tossed in the grass and beaten from the rain. I didn’t have my camera with me so I ran home, got my camera and ran back and snapped this photo. At the time I didn’t understand what conceptual was, my friend Tricia tried to explain it to me. I ended up making a conceptual series of color negatives photos of things I found on the ground that would grab my attention. You could say these things were calling my name for a photo op.
Life 2: I was taking advance color negative class. At the time I wasn’t sure what I was going to photograph or what kind of work I wanted to do for class. You just had to make a body of work with some kind of theme and an artist statement of what your work was about. Well I got these Mr. Sketch Markers, you know they have that fruity scent to them. I used those markers on top of my scratched negatives and made 11 x 14 prints. The body of work had to do with this style of process and printing. It also had to with what was going on at the time. The top photo had to do with me taking the bus everywhere from school to work and going home. I couldn’t afford a car so I took the bus and trolley all over the place. The bottom photo is when deregulation went into effect with electricity. What happened was everyone’s electric bill sky rocketed to unbelievable proportions. We had an Energy Crisis going on in California.
Life 3: Coping With Death Series is a series of photos I made during my period of advance positive processing class (slide film). I had this intense English Class and took (intro) Psychology too. What I did was tied all this work together for my photo project and English research paper. That intense English 120 class taught me how to be a better writer and how to be thorough researcher. The Intro Psychology class helped me with coping with death and behaviors. The whole series was about me coping with the death of my mom, what was going on and how I dealt with it on the day she died. I was also trying to get into a fancy art school in Chicago at the time and build work. I did the same type of process from my advance color negative class and applied it to advance color positive class. There was a fellow classmate name Gordon, big tall guy with a gentle soul. He would say; “I’m watching how you beat the negatives, so I can say I watched you (Tina) do your process before you’re famous.” I’d laugh and said; “I’m not going to be famous, maybe a photo teacher of some kind but that’s about it.”
Life 4: Art school fail, humiliation and sore spot. After messing up art school, working at Target to forget, not touching a camera for two years and reconnecting with Suda House. Suda asked, what do I want to do with myself ? Then she offered me to take two MOPA workshops and photo class of my choice again. This was the first of a few independent study classes I took. Those are self portraits of myself and I’m naked. I got the idea of being naked from my friend Tricia because she does a lot of self portraits with her being naked in them. Tricia told me I should do naked photos, I told her NO WAY !!! The work is based on my favorite painter Francis Bacon and his tortured life. I can feel his tortured soul in his painting and that’s how I felt about myself. I still struggle with this today, slowly I’m letting things go. At the end of the semester, I wrote this long artists statement of how isolated I feel in the world. I’m always looking at people’s lives as if I was looking through a window.
Life 5: Humble beginnings with Photoshop, digital manipulations and digital photography. I took a book making class and had to ween myself from the darkroom. Digital took over and film was going away. I had to find a new and creative way of expressing myself in the digital age. It started with a Canon A70 point and shoot to a Canon 40D DSLR with a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens. I did take two digital photo classes but felt cheated because all we did was Photoshop and not talked about digital cameras. My friend Christine introduced me to Flickr, that’s where I got my digital education from to fill in the gaps from the digital photo classes. I went from group to group on Flickr, read many digital discussion topics and Google became my best friend to do thorough research and information. I also figured out how HTML coding worked from My Space and Flickr.
Life 6: iPhone 4, introduction to iPhoneography, Hipstamatic 365 Project and Combo Apps. The top photo are the photo apps I started off with, those apps took me away from DSLR camera to my iPhone 4 camera. Instagram changed everything for me and showed me that mobile photography is going to change the way the world is going to do photography. It was also an introduction to Mobile Arts Movement and Photoshop is becoming a dying dinosaur. I also was doing a 365 day project with Hipstmamatic, which I completed, the second photo and taught me something about myself. That 365 project is like life. No matter what happens in your life, you will find a way to keep doing your project until it’s done. Life doesn’t stop for no one and same with a 365 project. This also taught me to keep doing my blog posts for Combo Apps. I saw that there was no one really writing blogs on mobile editing, applying or using different apps to layer on top of your photo. That’s how Combo Apps was born out of a need for people who like to do mobile app editing with mobile photos. There were and still are a lot of app review blog sites but most of them don’t even go into real details of how the app operates. I felt anyone can write a review but no one was telling you how to operate apps, the purposes of the apps, mix them for editing, finding other creative and innovative alternatives and pushing photo apps beyond their obvious capabilities.
Life 7: My huge life change, starting over and finding my way back into life. After I quit Target, I wanted to go to London to clean up a mess that’s been going on for over 8 years with a group of girls. I know everyone wants to know what happened. So this is what happened I agreed to a condition, broke the condition over love, all of the girls just stopped communicating and blocked me completely. Is it over between me and the girls, maybe…
Then I feel into depression and asked myself questions. What am I going to do with myself ? I know I don’t want to go back to Target (or any retail job), be a wedding and/or portrait photographer and unhappy. I was lost, scared and uncertain, so what do I do ? Then I found a conversation on Facebook about being ugly and not feeling pretty. A name popped up Thich Nhat Nanh which led to Oprah to Maya Angelou to Eckhart Tolle, I had to fix myself first and no one can do it but me.
Here are the steps, all of the images up above are titled and define by these steps:
Inner Being – Our inner being is so vast and huge. That our body containers can hold so much of our being inside us. What we need to do is let go of everything and just live in the now. Forget the past and don’t worry about our future. I’m beginning to understand that I’ve kept too much of myself inside, not let things go and worried about things that will not happen. I’m learning to live in the now one moment at a time.
Walking In Partial Alliance – Free will is between falling from grace to finding grace, you’re always in the middle of it all. You have the choice and only you can make that decision.
Isolation and Solicitude – The double edge sword of life. Both can give you peace of mind. Both can lead you to the edge of insanity. What’s important is find the stillness that these two places can give you. That’s when you can walk that line and not fall into despair.
My biggest problem was I live in the past, don’t live my life now and worry about things that hasn’t even happened in the future. All the over thinking I’ve done has stopped me from doing things I’ve want to the point I psych myself out. I know I can control myself and not the outcome. I had to ask myself what do I love to do ? Well, I love, taking pictures, editing photos, writing the blog posts, testing photo apps and making connections with people from all over the world. What am I doing now ? I’m finally writing my book for mobile photography and editing, watching inspiring videos, writing to companies to test out their products and write about their products. I found a site to teach me how to write coding so I can make my own photo editing app someday. The last thing is find more ways to perfect my photo editing skills like those 3 photos up above. People have asked me how do I find new ways to edit my photo ? I don’t think, tune out the world (with music) and the apps talk to me. I’ve always been curious, like to experiment and make lots of mistakes. If I add those 3 things to every moment, this will make me happy because I can always learn from those 3 things. Everyone has a story to tell, so make that into an art…the rest will follow.
Combo Apps: Mobile Extreme Editing, a group on Flickr.