Cal State San Marcos

My Photography

Tagxedo Logo

This is a stylistic word cloud made using the website .  I used the most common words found on my blog to create a word cloud of my shark logo.

Ash Thorp

Last week in class we were visited by Ash Thorp, a graphic designer who graduated from Cal State San Marcos and has gone on to do some amazing work for the design company Prologue.  He talked to us about what to expect after we graduate and how it is being an artist in the working world.  Much of the stuff he talked about was very inspirational, but a lot of it was intimidating as well. We learned how it is very hard to be successful in the art world and there is plenty of competition.

Ash brought some examples of his work with him and I was immediately blown away.  The photo manipulations and design concepts he showed us were incredible.  Some of the projects he worked on while with prologue included, Thor, The Tourist, Iron Man 2, AT&T commercials, and numerous other big name companies and franchises.  Ash said that many of his projects were turned down and not accepted by the people above him, and I was very surprised by this.  His stuff was so good that it is crazy to believe that these people were looking for something better.  He uses lots and lots of masking while he works on his images in photoshop.  About 80% of his work is done in photoshop while the other 20% is done in programs like Illustrator.

Ash talked about how working at prologue became to much for him and he wanted to spend more time with his family.  He recently decided to leave his position as a creative director at Prologue in Los Angeles and move back down to San Diego. After listening to his presentation I was very inspired and happy to learn more about the field I would would like to get into.  The advice he gave us was to always do our best and keep going.  I was glad that Ash came back to Cal State and hopefully one day I’ll have have a good enough reputation to be invited back as well. Here is a short documentary about Ash.

<p><a href=”″>A LOOK INTO THE ART OF ASH THORP (DOCUMENTARY)</a> from <a href=”″>Kimberly M</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Linda Zacks: Book Artist

Linda Zacks is a book artist who has influenced my Artist’s book project greatly this semester.  Her main website has the words art and typography in the heading, two things that I are very interested in as anyone who has seen my blog can tell you.  Her combination of different media just as pain and pictures is what really got me interested

The one particular thing about her books that inspired me was the layout of her book pages.  In one of her books she puts photographs on a page and then paints over them, sometimes using words and stencils.  I used this same kind of idea with my own book, but it is done all digitally on a computer using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. I used pictures I have taken and used vector paint splashes instead of real paint.

I am also a big fan of her typography work as well.  I recently became interested in typography last year after one of my graphic design classes introduced it to me.  On typography picture she has is for the Newport Film Festival and it looks like it is done with long exposure photography.  It is really amazing too look at.  Here are a few examples of her work…

20 pages

Here are 20 pages laid out as 10 spreads for my artist’s books class.

ARTIST BOOK 20 pages

Poster #1 & #2

Posters made from my book in progress. Each is a double page spread.  I used a combination of Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.




Kim Stringfellow

In our last class meeting we went to a presentation given by the artist Kim Stringfellow.  The main focus of her work, besides working as a Professor at  San Diego State University, is researching environmental issues and documenting them through photography, digital media, video, and much more.

In this particular presentation given by professor Stringfellow, she talked about three of her research projects.  The first was about the Jackrabbit homestead which is both a book and web presentation about a Small Tract Act in the Morongo Basin region close to Joshua Tree National Park.  There was also a car audio tour that she showed the audience.  Many of the stories on the audio track were told by locals from the area, and even artists who have chosen to live in the Jackrabbit Homestead in cabins, and use the area to inspire their artwork.

The next project she showed us was about the little known Salton Sea.  The Salton Sea is California’s largest inland body of water, yet many Californian’s have never even heard of it.  I must confess that I am on of them.  That’s what made this presentation even more interesting.  A book was passed around with stunning images from the Salton Sea.  Professor Stringfellow showed us images of decayed fish and bird carcasses that have fallen victim to the dried up areas of the sea.  These pictures were disturbing but beautiful as well.

The last project that was shown was called “Safe as Mother’s Milk: The Hanford Project.”  This was about a area in southeastern Washington state that over a course of 40 years had been exposed to radioactive materials without the knowledge of the people who lived there.   The project was accompanied by many black and white photos from Hanford, and it is sad to see that this was allowed to go on for so long without alerting the people who lived around that are, especially downwind.  Afterwards there was a Q and A and students asked Professor Stringfellow about her research. Here is slideshow of some pictures from Professor Stringfellow’s projects.

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Book Progress








Caitlin Fisher “Augmented Reality”

Tonight we attended an “Augmented Reality” show given by the artist Caitlin Fisher.  Is was a cool experience and was something that I had never seen before.  Its like a virtual book that pops up.  The way it works is there are a series of random black and white squares that function sort of lie placeholders for certain images.  Whatever image you want to pop up you place it on on the the black and white square markers.  When a camera or webcam sees these black and white markers, it begins to play whatever audio you may may have assigned to it, as well as making  the images you chose appear to be 3D.

Caitlin Fisher claims that this is the future of art and that it was originally a military program.  I think that it is a very interesting new form of art that could shape the way we tell and read stories to younger generations.  Here are a few picture examples of Caitlin and the Augmented Reality art she does.



1000 Journals

The video we watched about the 1000 Journals project was very interesting.  I thought it was such a great idea to leave random journals around the world for people to pick up and contribute their own drawings, paintings, photography, writings, etc.  It was also cool to see some of the people who had contributed to the journals and hear their stories about how they came across them.   There was one story that was particularly touching about a woman who was trying to find a journal that her recently deceased brother had worked on.  It’s amazing to see how many lives have been touched and changed by this one man’s idea.  It would of been really cool to of been a part of this project.

I was happy to hear that we in our Artist’s books class would be passing around a journal of our own. Each student will get the opportunity to contribute their own art in these journals and then pass it along to the next student, until the entire journal is filled.  I’m excited to get the chance to experience what its like to be part of the 1000 journal project. Here are a few examples of some journal entries from the 1000 journals project.

First Day of Artist Books Class

Created with wordle.


Downtown Night Shots

Some night shots for the documentary project.







Triptych Photos

Three photos I chose for my Triptych assignment

Viva la Revolucion: A Dialogue with the Urban Landscape

The murals that have been painted downtown are incredible.  Because my documentary subject requires me to be downtown more often then I usually am, I have had the opportunity to see many of the artworks that have been made.  Viva La Revolucion brings together 10 different artists from around the world and is an exhibition of their street art in downtown San Diego.  There’s everything from video game characters painted on the side of buildings,  to plaster and brick portraits, to even a video installation.  One of my favorite pieces was a mural done my Shepard Fairey.  Is artwork is pretty hard to miss.  He did a mural in his trademark style in Hillcrest.  It really makes you think differently about street art.  Whether you think its art or vandalism, after seeing these artworks you have to agree its something special.  It makes me think about how cool it’d be if an entire city commissioned famous artists to create murals year round.  By the time the year was over the whole city could be considered a museum.  This exhibit has gotent me more interested in street art and the work of Shepard Fairey.

Ordover Gallery

I trip I took to the Ordover gallery was a great experience, especially because of the exhibit that was showing.  I have always loved rainy stormy whether, so I was glad to see that there is a photographer who is able to capture them on film beautifully.  The photographer’s name is Mitch Dobrowner and he takes awesome black and white photos of storms and deserts.  The amount of contrast that Dobrowner is able to get into his images is incredible. I have tried many times to capture stormy weather on camera, but I haven’t been able to capture it like Mitch Dobrowner does. At least not yet.  You have to have a lot of patience to do what Dobrowner does.  Especially when it comes to photographing lighting.  You have to be quick on the trigger to capture lighting on your camera, and he has done it many times.  I was disappointed that I missed the meet and greet because I would of liked to know more about the locations that Dobrowner goes to to take his photos.  Overall it was a great visit to the Ordover gallery and the fact that it was landscape photography was a huge plus for me.


Art of Photography Exhibition

The Art of Photography Exhibition was a really great chance to see the work of many talented photographers.  I had been outside the Lyceum Theater many times but had never been inside.  It was a really nice museum and I was surprised at the amount of photos were.  What I liked most about the visit was finding out that anyone could enter the contest they held for best picture.  The entry fee was really small, and the grand prize was two thousand dollars.  It was very interesting to see such diverse work from many different artists in one gallery.  I have always liked landscape photography, and there was plenty of them there.  But my favorite images at the gallery weren’t landscape though.  My favorite images  from that night were very different.  The first was called “Ramon and Toto at Home. Chino, Barcelona 1996,” by Jukka Male.  It was a black and white photo featuring a man playing with his pet dog and cat.  The second image was called “Seventy Flights in Ninety Minutes,”  by Byron Darby.  This was a incredible picture of about 20 or more airplanes in extremely crowded skies all headed for an airport.  The visit to the Lyceum was great and I’m sure I’ll be back soon.

MOPA Balboa

The exhibition that was going on during my visit to Balboa Park was New Realities: by Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor.  I had never been to an exhibit quite like this one before.  It involved two separate artists with two different styles, both with their own take on photo-montage.  Photo-montage is when you take two different pictures and combine them to make one image.  Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor are both seen as pioneers of photo-montage, which made the exhibit much more interesting.  The main difference between the two is the way they create their pictures.  Maggie Taylor is more technological, using a scanner and computers to create her photo-montages, while Jerry Uelsmann does all his work in dark rooms, doing it the old fashioned way.  Another main difference is Taylor’s use of vibrant color versus Uelsmann’s black and white photos.  I found myself trying to decide which photographer I liked better.  I tended to lean more towards Uelsmann’s because I’m a fan of black and white landscapes.  But I also enjoyed plenty of Maggie Taylor’s photos.  It’s amazing what these artists are able to do with their pictures, especially Jerry Uelsmann.  Its hard to believe he does all his work in dark rooms, they are all pretty incredible.


Andrew Prokos

A photographer that has inspired me for my architecture documentary subject is Andrew Prokos.  He is a New York based photographer who has had much of his work published in magazines and in some printed product lines.  He specializes in architectural, location, and fine art photography.  He has on of the largest archives of color and black & white photos of New York City.   His ability to capture a city that has been photographed a billion times and still make it interesting is what inspires me the most.  I also love taking panoramas when I shoot, and he has plenty of those. Andrew has went to great lengths to get the picture he wants, even if that means hanging from the Manhattan Bridge at night, shooting in ankle-deep water in the East River, or dodging oncoming traffic at night to capture the perfect long-exposure light trails. Some corporate collections his pictures are included in are Anheuser-Busch, Cisco Systems, and Merrill Lynch & Co.  I hope to photograph San Diego and do justice to it, showing why its named America’s Finest city.  Here is a slideshow of Andrew Prokos and some of his images.

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Class Photoshoot

Here are some photos I took today at our class portrait photoshoot

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Here are some recent photos I’ve taken for our documentary project.

Documentary Subject Change

Tom and I have decided to go in a different direction for our documentary subject after deciding that our first subject just wasn’t for us.  We are now documenting the architecture of downtown San Diego.  It is a subject that we are both very interested in.  By working together we will be able to capture more of the city and the areas surrounding it.  It will also give our final project two different perspectives.  We are still hoping to make a book and a slideshow by the end of the semester.  More information will be coming soon.

Manufactured Landscapes by Edward Burtynsky

Tonight in class we watched some scenes from the film Manufactured Landscapes by Edward Burtynsky.  The movie answers the unasked question of where all of our recycled things go.  Burtynsky takes landscape pictures of these places that have been changed by human activity. The video follows him to China where there are these landscapes that entirely full of recycled metal and the people who work at the nearby factories.  Its amazing how much metal he captures in one single area.

We also watched a slideshow with commentary by Burtynsky.  In the slideshow he says that he was inspired to do the work he does now after getting lost.  He was originally in a city in Pennsylvania to do some normal landscape photography, but after going off the trail and getting lost, he came across an area that had been changed by man’s interaction with it.  And since then he has photographed these “manufactured landscapes.”  Its unreal how he can make these somewhat ugly areas look beautiful with the photos he takes. Here is a slideshow of Edward Burtynsky and some of his images.

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Art Wolfe

Photographer Art Wolfe’s work caught my eye because I am interested in wildlife and landscape photography.  Over his career of 30 years, Art Wolfe has photographed landscapes, animals and native cultures on every continent on earth.  He has published over 60 books, including some award winners.  Wolfe spends 9 months a year researching and scouting areas where he will will take his photographs.  He also has won countless awards and medals for his work including the Photographic Society of America’s Progress Medal. He also hosted a show on ESPN in the early 90’s called American Photo’s Safari. He also has a show that debuted in 2007 titled Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge. On his website he has a quote about him from actor Robert Redford, “Art Wolfe’s work tells a story that is overwhelming, breathtaking, and vast.”  Some of the images in his site are simply amazing.  Everything from his photos of animals to his landscape photos are incredible.  Here is a picture of Art Wolfe and a few of my favorite images of his.

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Documentary Subject

For our documentary subject I will be collaborating with my classmate Tom McKenzie on a project that will document profiles of the homeless in downtown San Diego.  We hope to get their story, and give a voice to the people who live on the streets.  One idea we have is to give them a disposable camera and let them snap some photos.  When we are done shooting, we are deciding on how we will document.  We might go with the idea of Tom taking the photographs and creating a slideshow of everything we have, while I create a book of of our images and stories on  We’ll have updates on the project as it progresses.

Annie Leibovitz

We watched the second half of the Annie Leibovitz movie in class tonight.  After working for Rolling Stone, Annie moved on and worked for Vanity Fair and Vogue Magazine.   The film described the relationship that Leibovitz had with her close friend Susan Sontag, and many of the people interviewed i the film said they they complimented each other very well.  Susan knew how to describe Annie’s work , she was the more verbal person, while Annie was the more Visual f the two.

It also talked about the deaths of her father and her friend Susan.  It was a very somber part of the film and there were parts where Annie would break into tears.  Photography is a way that Annie escapes from the sadness.  The film included more amazinf images that Annie took.  I have to admit that I wasn’t really aware of who Annie Leibovitz was, but now after watching this film, I can say that she is one the greatest photographers I have ever seen.  I only hope to be as successful and happy with my career as Annie Leibovitz is.