Monthly Archives: October 2016

Topic Seven: Toy Cars

Summary:¬†The poems “she being Branded” by e.e. cummings and “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by Phillip Levine are both beautiful pieces of literature. Both poems contain metaphors, which add to the mystique, charisma, and tone of each poem. e.e. cummings’ poem talks about the experience he had with a car. Furthermore, he describes it in a lustful, erotic way. Interestingly enough, it made me wonder whether it was meant to sound sexual or if my mind was just perverting his words. On the other hand, Phillip Levin’s poem speaks of a place that has drastically changed. As he passes through a run-down neighborhood, he stops and reminisces on times gone.

Communication Problem: The image that should accompany these poems should match the tone of each poem. For e.e. cummings’ poem, the toy car¬†be shot to be sexy. For Levin’s poem, the toy car should be shot to look old, run-down, and dirty.

Image Ideas: The idea I had for e.e. cummings’ poem is to have the car posed at a 45 degree angle from the camera while the lighting is pink, romantic, and inviting. To make things more suggestive, I can even focus on the “headlights” or back bumper. For Levin’s poem, I want the image to be sepia. Everything should seem rusted, old-fashioned, and vintage. I may rub dirt on the car to give it more of a dirty feel.

Results: I’m satisfied with how the images turned out. For “she being Brand”, I chose an image that shows a lone, red car on piece of cloth, which is supposed to represent a road. The road symbolizes the drivers intimacy with the car, considering there are no obstacles in his way and no other cars on the road. For “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968,” I’ve chosen the image of an old car with its headlights on. The car is sitting in “snow” which is essentially small pieces of crumbled looseleaf paper. Street props were used in the background to give the image a more busy, urban feel.


Summary: The two poems discusses each of the author’s experience of being in their car. While the first one discusses driving their car in a sexual way, his intimacy with his car. The other poem written by Phillip Levine emphasizes the experience¬†of driving in his car and seeing the grittiness of the winter day as he is driving. It’s more of a wilderness as he mentions “the wolverine, the northern bear, the wolf”, as he heads to work all he sees is ugliness. In my opinion, this poem is showing the consequence of driving “burning this city”, as he drives in his Cadillac, Lincoln, Chevy gray.

Problem Solve: Two different emotions while driving a car. Such as, comparing it with something men love “cars and women” or something that shows the industrialization and grittiness about life.

Images: The images will have the cars be put in different environments. One would have sensual desire in the images, there would be a lot of light. While the other might include more shadows, and more mystery. In result, the shoot was really fun. We got to play around with a deep depth of field, which gave us the sensual desire I was looking for from the first poem. While the dark room and reflection shot gave it more of a mystery.


Toy Car

“she being Brand” by e.e cummings, was a great poem, that evoked some interesting imagery. From reading the poem I get a sense of adventure, a bit of thrill, awkwardness, and a sense of a bit of lust, as the overall feeling of the poem. So in terms of photographs, my pictures would try to capture the strong feeling emitted from that poem. I would try to get little contrast in my images, as I want the photos to be well lit and a big close up shot of the toy car. Or if possible a close up of the inside of the toy car as it was mentioned numerous times within the poem.

“Coming Home, Detroit 1968” by Phillip Levine, was a more serious poem, but still quite interesting to read. This poem gave a sense of, coldness, grungy feeling, harsh, dark, and ruggedness. In terms of photography, my photos will have a lot of contrast, really dark shadows to show the mood. I may have some close ups but, I would also like to explore having a lot of negative space to give a feeling of emptiness.

Driving Shoot

Summary:¬†e.e cummings ‘ poem is a metaphorical recollection of a woman losing her virginity as told from the perspective of an awkward narrator. He uses the imagery of starting a car and enjoying a ride to frame the tone of the experience, whereas Phillip Levine’s poem is more about confronting a grim reality through passing by its unfortunate effects day after day, as one would driving to work. In Levine’s poem, the figurative person written about wonders what has become of Detroit after returning from parts elsewhere, and realizing things have taken a turn for the worse.

Communication Problem: How does one take the same toy car and impart an awkward, youthful take on it, then reverse and show something very downtrodden and depressing.

Image Ideas:¬†On the principle of tonality, brighter colors and high key lighting would best match e.e cummings’ work, while more dramatic low key lighting would fit Levine’s poem. I feel the camera angle and cropping would be closer and intimate with e.e cummings’ poem while the contrary would create a lonesome feeling for Levine.

Results: The car I brought in, a 1957 Chevrolet, had such a personality in the shoot. When going for something somber, the red paint was still vibrant where light fell on it, but it was the surroundings that really gave the image its connotation. Very rarely did the color become defused based on the settings of the camera. It was because of this, the bright positive images shined through almost literally. The photographs in shadow are strong in color contrast as well as light and dark, the red comes through in a very impactful way, and broken up by darkness, the car takes on a forlorn, lost quality, which I think lends itself to Levine’s work.

Car poems

“She being Brand” by e.e Cummings

Summary: This poem is like the first time you get a car and like the first time you make love. There are several parts where the author talks about “oh and her gears being in A 1 shape” and “I touched the accelerator and gave her the juice;good”, it was after hearing the poem that i really got the sense of the poem. this middle aged man is riding his car for the first time in a while and is describing the car like a women.

Image Ideas: Using an old time car from 1900-1940, i will prop two cars in a way so it resembles a human action. Using primarily red colors to give that sense of lust and romance between a person and their car, or between two cars.


“Coming Home, Detroit” by Phillip Levine

Summary: This poem is more dramatic in the setting and story. this talks primarily about the modernization of the city of Detroit and how the pollution of all the factories and cars are making the skies more polluted and the river reaching their end by the color of iron. The poem gives a very dramatic way of a ride through the city becoming an eye-opener for this man driving is car to work (work= everyday)

Image Ideas: Using grey color scheme I will show how cars and modern society is killing the natural environment on a daily basis.

She Being Brand & Coming Home, Detroit, 1968

Summary: “She Being Brand” by e.e. cummings is about someones first experience driving. They felt very excited. The poem itself sounds very lustful and passionate. It describes the car in a very passionate graphic way. The poem “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by Philip Levine is described as an experience while driving through the streets of Detroit. It has a lot of great adjectives¬†describing Detroit.

Communication Problem: “She Being Brand” to be fun and exciting and somewhat standout. & for “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” to be sad, destructive, emotional.

Image Ideas: For “She Being Brand” I want to have a nice beautiful car that can stand out. Make the image look exciting, just the like the poem. Having maybe a dark background, with an overhead light. For ” Coming Home, Detroit, 1968″ I want to try to have also a dark background making it very serious. I want this toy car not to be as flashy as the one I will be using for the other poem.


cars poems breakdown

“Coming Home, Detroit 1968”

this poem is referring to the downfall and burning of a dear city to the author. something familiar is suddenly terrifying and closed off. I’d like to use a car that appears to be from the era ¬†turned over on a black background with a fire burning eyes that are shut in with and nailed with boards.

“‘she being Brand’ by e.e. cummings”

This poem references being astounded by the sheer power of a vehicle and how easy it is to run it into the ground if you don’t know what you’re doing. I’d like to say that the author was joyful and enthusiastic enough to believe that he can push this vehicle to it’s limits. The idea of a vehicle hopping over a gap and mid air with typography below the car being turned while in mid air.

Topic 6: Potatoes

The article talks about how¬†certain potatoes now are registered as a Monsanto patent, which makes it illegal to grow them for more than one cycle. The¬†craziest thing about the article is how it mentions that the potatoes are registered as a pesticide. Who would want to eat a pesticide? The author also compares this altering of plant genes to changing it’s software.

Communication Problem:
For The Botany of Desire, the images should show how these GMO potatoes (and other vegetables) are not real food. It should be symbolized that they’re fake, poisonous. For the Idaho potato, the image should show something about their quality and popularity.

Image ideas:
For The Botany of Desire: This would have to involve Photoshop, but an idea could be for a photo of a potato where parts of the skin is peeled back and underneath the skin you see that it’s not real. There’s something foreign inside of it, maybe it’s blue or it’s full of weird particles (made in Photoshop). Or the potato could be cut in two, with the same concept of showing something strange and alien inside of the potato.¬†Another more typical idea would be to show a syringe needle injecting¬†something into the potato. But I don’t know if it’s realistic to be able to get hold of this as a¬†prop. Using the author’s metaphor of the genes being like software, there could also be something computer-like, maybe an USB stick, sticking into the potato. This might be the easiest approach because it’s a ready available prop.

For The Idaho Potato, it would be fun to spell out something with potato peel, or a more traditional approach of showing a potato as very organic, healthy and appetizing.

The results doesn’t totally align¬†with my initial ideas, but looking at the photos I realized that my idea of the skin being peeled back that I had for The Botany of Desire cover instead ended up worked really well for the Idaho Potato, as¬†I came up with the idea of seeing a “stamp of approval”, the official Idaho Potato stamp, being revealed under the skin of the potato. For the Botany of Desire, I wasn’t happy with how the photos turned out with the syringe and during the shoot we were able to do some very close macro photos of the potatoes. Looking at these potatoes, it reminded me of a moon landscape and I chose to use one of these¬†images because it captured the potato looking foreign and like it doesn’t belong at earth. I wish the macro photos were technically better/less blurry, but I think it captures the concept well.

Image links:
Idaho Potato
The Botany of Desire

The Botany of Desire

  1. Summary:¬†The article is about famers¬†that plan potatoes that they can eat and sell but will be illegal to replant. Also how farmers nowadays cannot naturally grow many crops without chemical fertilizers., pesticides, machinery, and fuel. This expensive “input” make the farmer’s debt greater, jeopardizes his health, erodes his soil and ruins its fertility, pollutes the groundwater, and compromises the safety of the food we eat.
  2. Communication Problem:¬†To show food nowadays are mostly genetically engineered with expensive and toxic chemicals and it isn’t good for our health.
  3. Image Ideas: Close up of hands in medical gloves holding a potato and a needle in it. Also hands in medical gloves measuring the potato. A potato in soils and the roots underneath shows chemicals and other harmful items.
  4. Results:

Whats the point of college? Utility

Before Photo shoot:
The article goes over a lot of key points on weather or not college is made for the free thinker (utopia) or the by the book everyday joe (utility). The Idea of utility is described by following the rules, going to classes everyday, business educated and follows a strong impression of everyone leaving school and getting a 9-5 job. For my take on how to show the utility of college I will attempt to capture a busy environment with students either studying or something school related. Also the color of the photo will primarily be gray or brown.

Communication Problem:How do you show school in a efficient and self sustaining view? As students this should just be an image of our everyday lives.

After Photo shoot:
I captured myself walking to school with students passing by. the primary colors are grey and blue. The lighting was natural and it was shot low angle. The main reason why I feel that this describes utility is because students go to school everyday to educate themselves on the important matters of todays society, its less personal to the student and more focused on the education system.