5. Online Community?


Often, I have fun playing with the context in which work is viewed. This is the premise of the name, question context, I encourage viewers to question the way they think; be conscious of how they view what I post, inquire what context the work I post was intended to be viewed and imagine alternative perspectives of the subjects. This conceptual framework is based on my observations, I believe that contextual frameworks are critical in establishing an argument, basically, I am excited by the varied views held about any particular art piece – the work does not change but the interpretation changes the meaning and experience of it.

Additionally, I believe that the reproduction of visual art often facilitates the disassociation of work with its context. An example is that a statue of a political leader in the Philippines may only have an aesthetic appeal seen on a website and obviously different meanings for a national, an individual familiar with the individual represented and observing the piece directly (it is three dimensional).

I post anything that interest me, often that is art or design related, my blog features photographs, videos and music from local and foreign cultures.

There are numerous reasons I'm on the tumblr network. Definitely it's because the design is smooth with a simple interface, the dashboard displays the content of the blogs I follow big and finding cool blogs to follow is easy. Posting is a breeze and honestly the blogs I follow have the visuals in pop culture I love to absorb.


4. Websites?

Many people familiar with me may have assumed a website would be my obvious design project choice. The reality is that before I settled on this final year project, I wanted to make patriotic toys, an environmentally conscious social campaign and brand a company. I had not considered creating website for this project, but I found irony and humour in how I transposed elements from my previous ideas to this solution. This solution eliminates use of paper and inks from the process of disseminating information, focuses on positive cultural aspects in Trinidad and Tobago and allows me to create a distinct Internet identity.

As expected, I've been analysing websites; looking for innovations in web experience that are appropriate for my project. Here is a list of website designs that possess qualities I may incorporate in my solution.

[1. www.somewhere-lefilm.com]

[2. www.tommygakenwan.com]

[3. www.iflymagazine.com]

Designs [1 - 3] feature content appropriate images that fill the browser display and navigation and information fields that become invisible. Harmony is a striking consideration in the experience. I am definitely paying attention to the use of colour, typography and juxtaposition.

[4. www.horizontalwp.com]

[5. Kim Høltermand Portfolio]

[6. www.sagmeister.com]

[7. phootcamp.com]

[8. www.sparkcapital.com]

Designs [4 - 8] feature horizontal scrolling, a quality I found appropriate for my solution. This left to right (and vice versa) movement is similar to experiencing a book or photo albums and it is noticeably a deviation from the design of the local sites featuring Trinbagonian culture that I have observed.


2. Pictures?

Portraits are a staple in a photographer's life, it's usually the likeliest type of image that one would get paid to do (unless you have established another niche clientele), but honestly, people are compelled to have and love images of themselves and others. Mass media facilitates the constant interaction of people with images of people and technologies like Facebook makes one a broadcaster of one's self. These ideas are further discussed in my thesis.

This image has elements I love, vibrant dual colours, a focal, lovely contrast within a fog and some moody attitude. This is a self-portrait by Peter Bosch - there is an energy to his portraits I love. His images are similar to celebrity photographer Terry Richardson's work, particularly this image below.


I'm in love with this local photographer's approach to the human, primarily female form, I describe him as "young and dangerous". Mark Gellineau is his name, he's from my home town Belmont and shows an amazing attention to tones, often using very controlled colour and contrast in skin textures, clever direction and freezen action. Though much of his work can fall into the category of beauty and fashion, it is easy for me to see his work transcending to other subject matters "cuz he got skillz".

Gellineau also creates beautifully clever nudes and black and whites.


Tim Navis often capture images that have me in awe, his work harnesses beauty in natural light. His skill of placing colours throughout tonal ranges, bringing moods to man-made and natural environments is often envy inducing.

In this cityscape, Navis created an effect called a tilt-shift, though he digitally created his, traditionally it was made by using a special lens that has a hinge so it can be shifted linearly or laterally, essentially blurring areas outside of the focal plane. Often this effect makes actual landscapes look like photographed miniatures, this is because the appearance of a shallow depth of field would only be obvious when photographing small subjects.

Though Navis also has a wealth of model portraits I chose to focus on his warm landscapes.


Tommy Ga-Ken Wan's work is probably single-handedly responsible for my investment in capturing urban nightlife. Similarly, Wan and myself are nocturnal partygoers who avoid using flash for additional lighting. This often results in light hunting. Pretty much anyone familiar with photography should know, "no light no photograph" because photography is essentially capturing light, the expression "taking an exposure" is from exposing light sensitive material (traditionally film) to light.

In many instances flash isn't practical or possible, like during theatrical performances, in museums even for exhibitions and just because a bust of bright light in peoples eye ain't cool. This lead to my and possibly Wan's investment in capturing images in low light situations, there are draw backs of course, but I consider it a challenge, because under these conditions, making a good photograph is harder.

Tommy Ga-Ken Wan enhances the beauty in the low light available to him and captures great moments. He has a plethora of amazing portraits with intelligent use of mixed lighting, depth of field and motion blur. When he includes a caption it's often an informative complimentary great read.


One of my favourite times of day is sunset when the atmospheric light is unmatched. Theo Gosselin's images have a textured feel I want to live in. Texture; it's in the little grain that permeates his images, it's where he photographs, it's who he photographs, it's in the manner he treats colour and it's in the lens flares. Many of his images feel and reflect California hipster culture and I love it.

The mood in his images appeal to me (again, I love sunsets) and my momentary regret is the limit I put on how many photographs of each of my references I will post, but the images are linked to each photographer's Internet presence, so please explore. Honestly, if I hadn't limited myself this post would be entire portfolios.

My design degree projects all address some aspect of photography. My becoming interested and working as a photographer was not a life long plan. It is during my time at UWI that I really uncovered and explored my interests. Now I have developed a drive to photograph what I see. I consider many of the projects I have undertaken as boot camp, drilling myself to improve my skills every time I shoot.

I love going to electronic dance music events (some may call them raves, though they all are not) and live music performances along with attending an exhibition here and there. It is at these events I got my feet wet shooting in public where as before I was experimenting around my house and avoiding public displays. It is truly ironic that now I'm writing a thesis and creating a website about my new passion, one analysing and the other displaying aspects of photography.

I spend a lot of time on the Internet, much of that time I am looking at images and relentlessly learning. I look at the techniques, use of colour, attention to textures, trying to expand my approach to movement, mood, angle, composition etc etc etc. I always want to improve my techniques and "stay fresh", not get lazy but always be excited and create challenges with what I'm doing.

For now I wanted to show you photographs from bodies of work that have captured my attention, each has influenced and influences the images I produce.


1. What projects?

For both my thesis and final design projects I am focusing on photography. My thesis explores some of the social and technological aspects in Trinidad that shape event photography. While my final year project creates a virtual environment for viewers to be immersed in images of Trinidad and Tobago while acquiring knowledge on Trinidadian culture.

Bold colours are among my current obsessions and so events where these are showcased hold my attention, below is a series of images from Phagwa last year that I shot which are among the inspirations for my design project.

Phagwa celebrations at Aranguez Savannah in Trinidad 2010.


I'm taking a crack at this again

I've not been the largest fan of blogging, I've valued it and I have friends who've been at it for years... I guess I just don't like talking a lot about myself. However I think it's about time I stop avoiding this and tackle it head on.

I have been doing another blog for a little while called
undefined that functions as a display for my bookmarks more or less, it was the taste I needed to get my feet wet.


This is getting long so I'm gonna bail.

I am Arnaldo J joining the blogger nation *peace*