Day 21?

10/19/2011

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Day 21 took place over a number of days, as I've been sick with a nasty cold recently and haven't always had the energy I needed to do all my work.  But I chipped away at it and this is the result.  The information I am presenting is not in the order that I did it, but rather the order I can keep it all straight in my head.

My warm-up was to "listen to what nature was telling me".  The book even suggested that I consult a book about nature omens. Now, I don't actually believe that there is a such thing as a nature omen, so I had to make of it what I would.  It did occur to me that I don't spend a lot of time just observing nature and appreciating it.  The book suggested that I do a visual journal entry about it, but I didn't even know where to begin, so I decided to go out with my camera.  I figure that photography can be a kind of a journal, and I am eager to improve my photography.  So I went for a walk with my camera and took pictures of nature changing for fall.  I particularly liked the red red leaves and the squirrels that were so happy with their acorns.

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Autumn fruit.
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So red!
I watched a fantastic podcast about the Jawaja leather workers of India.  They were doing a presentation via Skype, with a translator.  Theirs was a very inspiring story.  Thirty years ago, they were so low-caste that they weren't allowed to draw water from most of the wells.  The traditional way of leather working in India is to scavenge for dead cows, as you're not allowed to kill a cow.  So this was a despised profession.  The leather workers were very poor.  Their elders decided to ban the scavenging of dead cows and work on shoes (feet are kind of taboo in India) in order to raise their status.  This had the unintended effect of making it even more difficult financially for the leather workers, as they had to buy processed leather, and couldn't sell as much.  Eventually, they decided that they had had enough and began to work with design schools and craft councils.  They helped develop products that could be marketed overseas.  They began to sell to Maiwa and made enough money that they could eat twice a day (they were eating once every two days before that) and own houses.  Since the presentation, customers have been so interested in the leather work that they have had to carry extra stock.  Their bags and purses are very popular and they always have a large selection on their website.  I was very happy to hear about the improvement of their lives and I hope they become even more prosperous.  Their social standing in the village has also improved and now they are allowed to draw from all the wells.


I have been working on a drawing of crumpled paper.  This is going to take me a few days., I think.  It requires a lot of concentration and patience.  So far, I think it looks like cloth, but we will see how it looks when I am finished.  I will post pictures as I have them.

I watched more podcasts on the Art of Photography.  The first one I watched was about scanning negatives, and it reminded me of my first full-time job as a digital scanner.  It was a good refresher, and I learned about adjusting the histogram more finely than I did at work to improve detail in the photo.  The next one I watched was on dynamic range, which is the range of values in a photo.  Ideally there should be a wide range of values in order to show the most detail, unless you are doing high contrast on purpose.  You can adjust the values in the computer to improve the range.  The next one I watched was pretty cool, on tethered shooting.  This is where you set up your camera to load pictures directly onto the computer so you can tell if they are exactly as you want them (it can be hard to tell on that little screen).  That way you can adjust your settings to tweak the photo.  This technique is used especially for catalogue photos.  The final one that I watched was on time-lapse photography.  It's very interesting because you have to set your camera up to take these photos at set intervals and then not touch it.  You can't adjust the lighting levels or anything or it will look strange.  There are programs that you can get for your computer that will play the time-lapse and you can make a little video.

In my design book, I reviewed the chapters on shape and texture.

In surface design, I am proud to say that I have my bolt of cloth!  I have spent the last couple of days preparing the cloth and have cut the pieces for the order for my brother.  I have also been working on dyeing some other pieces that I was experimenting on, and I am washing out those pieces now.  It doesn't sound like I've done a lot but preparing an entire bolt of cloth takes a long time!
 


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