Thursday, October 30, 2008

HZ-14: Positive/Negative





The basic idea behind my pages was essentially that positive doesn't always equate good, and negative doesn't always equate bad. For the positive page, the image is a digital photo of a section of a CT scan my Dad had done last fall when he went into the hospital. This test was the one where we found out he had new tumors. To achieve the right look of the scan, I photographed the film while it was positioned on a lightbox. I then black barred the information I wanted kept private. Originally I had the "My Dad" text positioned in the upper left corner, but due to the binding I moved it to the right to make sure it would not be obscured once the HZ was assembled.

For the negative page, I used negative ions as my focus for the page. Any serious waterfaller knows about the phenomenon that absorbing the air around waterfalls can give you a positive feeling. But for those who don't, I included a bit of background information about them. I chose to use a portion of a macro waterfall photo to showcase the flow of the water, as well as to not distract the viewer from the ions floating about the page. I tried to create simplistic looking ions that I could easily play with, and overlap...changing the opacity about the page.

The other reason this page felt good in conjunction with the other page, is more of a personal reason than a visual one. Last fall I spent so much time in hospitals while my Dad was sick, that being outdoors and photographing waterfalls was the only thing that kept me sane. Ironically, the last day he was home (October 31st), was probably one of the best days I had, in terms of weather, fall foliage, and the shots I got. As if almost by design, it all started with the scan...and ended with waterfalls.

To view the rest of HZ-14, you can check out the set on Flickr.

Monday, July 21, 2008

HZ-13: Phobias

The theme for HZ-13 was Phobias. For those who don't know, the HOWiezine is a limited edition, handmade collaborative book project created by HOW forum members, also known as HOWies. There is a theme and participants create two pages based on their interpretation of that theme. Only the participants are guaranteed a copy of the book, which makes it all the more special.


If you haven't already guessed, I have a fear of needles. That was the source behind my first page. I did some extensive searching online and found a hypodermic needle rubber stamp. I used some of my paint for the initial stamp mark, which I then scanned and brought into photoshop. The background was created by painting the palm of my hand and pressing it onto a sheet of paper a few times, which was then crumpled up, re-flattened and then scanned. I combined these two in photoshop, first altering the tone of the background. I was angling more more of a subdued tone, since my intention was for some of the red to be bright.

I experimented with the angle and number of needles quite a bit, ending on a group that I saw as a small army...that are coming to to get you. Then I used some kbowman PS brushes to get the final bloody effect that you see. I wanted a variety in intensity, size, shade...like if you were walking onto a crime scene.



My second phobia is tornadoes. Initially, I had attempted to start out this page using the same techniques. I had found a storm cloud/lightning stamp...but when I tried it out, I wasn't satisfied with the result. Though I was using stamp(s) I didn't want it be be apparent. So I was sitting around trying to draw a tornado with my wacom, but again, I wasn't satisfied with the result. Out of frustration, I started scribbling all over one of my reference photos with a black gel pen. About halfway through my scribbling, I thought it was actually starting to look like something....so I kept going. Pretty soon I had covered the entire thing. Out of curiosity, I scanned it.

I attempted to throw it onto the same background, but it wasn't working. So I dug through my photos and found one of my cloud shots I had taken last fall. I liked how even though they weren't storm clouds, they were akin to the type of clouds you would see accompanying a severe weather outbreak. They had just enough of a bubble effect to look like the underside of a supercell. I made a back layer of clouds red and some blood-red rain, to try and tie in with the first page. Also lost into the background, is a somewhat hidden explanation of when my fear of tornadoes began, but only those who look closely will be able to find it.

These images will be added soon to imagekind, as part of my HZ Gallery.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Seen the Zine? ---> HZ-12!



What a reward it was to see the end result from the contributors to the 12th edition of the HOWie Zine. For those who don't know, the HOWiezine is a limited edition, handmade collaborative book project created by HOW forum members, also known as HOWies. There is a theme and participants create two pages based on their interpretation of that theme. Only the participants are guaranteed a copy of the book, which makes it all the more special.

As you may have seen in my previous post, I chose a mixed media route for my submission this time around. For a more in depth look at the inside of HZ-12, I've created a special gallery on Flickr, so everyone can see the top-notch work submitted by all the HOWies who participated.

Once again, the assembly crew did a fantastic job on the chain link (yes I said chain link!) binding, and added little extra spooky goodies for each HZ-12 participant. Also check out cover designer's Nicholas J. Nawroth blog, NSQUARED DESIGN, where he explains the making of the covers for HZ-12, Nightmares & Dreamscapes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

HZ-12: Nightmares & Dreamscapes

The theme for HZ-12 was Nightmares and Dreamscapes. For those who don't know, the HOWiezine is a limited edition, handmade collaborative book project created by HOW forum members, also known as HOWies. There is a theme and participants create two pages based on their interpretation of that theme. Only the participants are guaranteed a copy of the book, which makes it all the more special.

I had a few options (recurrent dream-wise) this time around, but after some thought I knew what I wanted to do. I created the pages using a collage with a acrylic paint overlay to get the effect I desired. Then the scanned the images and brought them into illustrator to add the type. Underneath each photo you can read the type, which gives the explanation into the dreams that inspired the images.


Six years later, there's a nightmare I haven't forgot. One time I had a nightmare where I looked out the front windo and saw a small fire burning on the front lawn. Afraid it was going to spread I threw on my old sneakers and ran out the door with a pail of water. Put it out. A few minutes later there was yet another out there and after I put that one out I just stared at the spot sizzling on the ground. After I had the nightmare I found out that dreaming of fire is generally seen as an omen of impending trouble. To observe a house or building that is on fire forecasts an urgent appeal for help from a close friend or relative. To dream of putting out a fire or escaping from one predicts ultimate success over all obstacles. A dream of setting fire to a house, building, or anything of value is telling you to control your temper or be prepared for serious consequences. A roaring fire (contained in a grate) signifies new hope after a time of discouragement.



Some dreams are so real you feel part of them even after you're awake. Shortly after my Dad died, I had this dream where I was outside walking around my house during the winter. When I turned the corner into the backyard, I suddenly was face to face with a white owl. It was quiet, almost noble looking. I remember feeling calm as it turned it's head and looked me square in the eye. A breeze came along and ruffled the feathers under his chin. This is the image that stands out in my mind. According to Indian customs, a dream featuring a white owl is considered a companion of the goddess of wealth and therefore a harbinger of prosperity. Many sources also claim that white owls signify wisdom and clarity.

I applied a feather to each of the owl pages to bring a sense of movement to the page, and recreate that moment of the dream. In addition to my pages, I also made a funky little bookmark to be passed on to all the participants. Each was cut in a different haphazard manner, so they had a bit of a unfinished flair to them. All my work for the Howiezine is now available for purchase online, in the HZ Gallery.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Recent Work

On Saturday May 24th, I photographed the wedding of Jennifer Karlinski & Benjamin Pearce. The wedding was held inside the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, with photos at several locations afterwards. Here are some of my favorites from the day.

Walking through the Gardens


Dress detail


On the steps at City Hall


City Hall


Candlelit bouquets

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Featured in JPG Mag Blog



About a month or two ago I sent the people of JPG Mag a link to my HZ-11 cover design and Flickr set to see if it could be put on their "Brave New Photography Blog." Well I just got an email saying they mentioned the HOWie Zine in one of their blog posts this week: Projects and Exhibitions.

They wrote: "jroz was recently part of a collaborative book arts project, the HOWie Zine. jroz was selected to create the cover of the 11th edition and you can see her photographic work, and find out more about her book project on the HOW Blog."

I wish they had written *the* book project rather than *my* project since Ms. Patti is the leader on the 'zine and it takes alot of HOWies to get one done...but I was glad to see they used the links I provided so everyone can see what the HOWie Zine is, and take them to the HOW Blog. In the email they sent me they noted that my photo set on Flickr looked pretty amazing and it was awesome to see such a great collaborative project. [:D]

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

HOW Toot'n Good!

My 'zine covers have been spotted over on the HOW Blog!
Thanks, Bryn!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seen the Zine? ---> HZ11!

What a reward it was to see the end result from the contributors to the 11th edition of the HOWie Zine. For those who don't know, the HOWiezine is a limited edition, handmade collaborative book project created by HOW forum members, also known as HOWies. There is a theme and participants create two pages based on their interpretation of that theme. Only the participants are guaranteed a copy of the book, which makes it all the more special.

As you may have read in my previous post, I was in charge of creating the cover design for the 11th HOWie Zine, for which the assigned theme was the Alphabet. When I opened mine up today, there was such an amazing array of work that I knew right away that a single blog post with a few photos would not be able to do it justice! For a more in depth look at the inside of HZ-11, I've created a special gallery on Flickr, so everyone can see the top-notch work submitted by all the HOWies who participated.

Huge props have to go Pad Thai (zine creator!) and to the following HOWies who made the assembly line for HZ-11 run oh-so-smooth: ksavage, LadyLuck and HowKom. This crew did a fantastic job on the binding, and added little personal touches for each HZ-11 participant. When I opened my zine today, it was clear that this crew worked hard to custom tailor the packaging to each HOWie...and several little gems were included throughout. Each zine was carefully wrapped in Braille paper from the latest edition of Harry Potter, and secured with a sticker for each HOWie's first and last initial. One special HOWie will even find their zine wrapped in the HP cover! And then wrapped up, were two pins...featuring the A and Z photos from my cover design. (And yes, Zoey is excited at her new found social status!)




More surprises laid beneath the Braille paper, as there were box letter beads attached to the binding that would spell out each HOWie's name. The binding was a very effective choice, as it made all the pages easy to view (plus photograph!) and allowed the book to lie flat during viewing.


Here's a glimpse of my pages playing their starring role...



Here's some of the inside pages featuring work by HOWies Christian, darcylea, aikohead, SAW, fantomas, Delineate and creative bean....



HOWie Zine creator Pad Thai and assembly woman ksavage took their pages up a notch and created a Collaborative Music Book, which came accompanied by a special 2 disc cd-set. The cd's were HOWsed in a specially designed disc jacket complete with a little HZ-11 beads and tassle. Within the book, Pad Thai covered the first half of the Alphabet, and ksavage covered the second half of the Alphabet.

The far left photo is one of Halftone Dot's pages, which had a black envelope attached containing a cryptogram, and a tool to help solve it. Once the crytogram is solved, it directs you to a hidden location online where you may retrieve a reward.



All the work by the HOWies was so diverse in style and interpretation, that I hope everyone checks out the rest of the photos over on Flickr.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Photographic Alphabet!

ABCDEFG....



I had so much fun with the Robots HOWiezine, that I signed to create the cover design for the 11th edition of the HOWiezine. The theme this time was the Alphabet, and right away I had a fair idea of what I wanted to do. Right away I thought of doing something similar to this photography project from when I was in college. Unfortunately, a death in my family and the rapidly declining weather forced me to put a bit of a different spin on my idea...which ultimately wound up being a bit more challenging, as well as pay homage to my father who passed away in December.

Instead of finding letters within objects, I decided to find objects around the house that started with each letter of the alphabet, kind of along the whole ABC's book we all had as children. All the objects chosen were photographed with a DSLR, with an aim towards more macro shots, and then thumbnails were created of each letter and arranged along a grid in AI to form a "from A to Z " photographic cover. The extra space in the center of the grid was filled with a special shot that I composed, featuring some of the most basic tools a designer uses (especially at the start of their career) and included the HZ edition number.

HZ-11 Center shot


The front and rear cover designs were essentially the same, with the only difference besides the orientation was that the center shot on the front, which also represented the letter "H" (for HOW, of course!) was replaced by the photo for "Q" on the back, so that my grid would be effective...and to poke a bit of fun and make everyone think and flip back and forth between the covers to (hopefully!) notice the subtle difference.

Without further adieu, let's take a look at the front and back covers:

Front Cover of HZ-11

Back Cover of HZ-11


I wanted to have a variety of shapes, colors and textures across the covers so a few images were scrapped along the way to include one's that were more visually appealing and working in the overall appearance. The photos went as follows:

A - Apple
B - Bear
C- Candle
D - Dishes
E - Eraser
F - Film
G - Grass
H - HOW
I - iPod
J - Jeans
K - Keys
L - Lamp
M - Markers
N - Newsprint Paper
O - Orchid
P - Paintbrush
Q - Q-tips
R - Rollerskate
S - Saw
T - Tacks
U - Umbrella
V - Velvet
W - Wrench
X - X-acto
Y - Yashica Camera
Z - Zoey

As mentioned earlier, several of these items paid homage to my Dad. The bear was one of the few that kept him company while he was in the hospital after surgeries. The keys were his. The ladder is the paintbrush photo was passed on to me when I started painting murals. The saw is one he bought me a few years ago to add to my toolbox. The umbrella is from my grade school years, with my name carved in the handle by my Dad. The wrench was one of his favorite tools, and he helped me pick Zoey out from the pet store last summer.

I decided to keep the interior of the covers tied in to the exterior by picking two of the thumbnails, and showcasing them at their full size. I labeled each photo with their description in Helvetica, taking into consideration that Helvetica is one of the first fonts a designer uses when starting their education. I liked the texture in the "G" grass photo and the combination of color and composition in the "U" umbrella photos the best, so they were my choices for the interior.

Interior front of HZ-11

Interior back of HZ-11