contrast

Ethereal Light in Bushwick: Sarah Jane Shanks Collaboration [Part 2] by Amanda Liew

  This is Part 2 of my collaboration with the life-loving Sarah Jane Shanks! To see Part I please click here.

For Part 2, I'm showing you guys the photos from the incredible rooftop of this apartment we used in Bushwick! The wind was blowing hard and it was a lot colder than it looks, but we laughed our whole way through, played with the breeze as much as possible, and witnessed swatches of colors appear in the sunset behind us. I had so much fun experimenting with light out on the rooftop and in the interior shots in Part 1. It's incredible how just the slightest of movements, the tiniest of blockings, can completely change how a photo comes out. Soft hues versus sharp contrasts are all possible. While normally I would try to be editing the colors of my photos to remove any "unnatural" hues, I actually loved the shades cast on Sarah Jane as the sun set and sought to capture them even more. 20150403_0280_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0311_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0328_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0331_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0339_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0343_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0345_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0351_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0353_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0358_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0366_ALiew_SJShanks Collab20150403_0373_ALiew_SJShanks Collab

Ethereal Light in Bushwick: Sarah Jane Shanks Collaboration [Part 1] by Amanda Liew

Collaborating with other artists has become one of my favorite things to do as a photographer - whether it's working with the members of The Photograph Collective to come up with a new project or working with fashion bloggers, I love the teamwork, new ideas, reflective questions, and joint visions that go into collaborations. So when Sarah Jane Shanks reached out to me ever so sweetly with a request to collaborate for one of her upcoming projects, I jumped at the opportunity. We met up for breakfast early one morning to get to know each other better and how we could match what she wanted with how I preferred to shoot. We used a Pinterest board to brainstorm the looks we were interested in capturing, and it became clear we wanted light to play a large role in all of our photos. She came up with the brilliant idea of getting a space for us at an artist's loft in Bushwick that had unique furniture, plenty of light and an incredible rooftop. Armed with a few flowing outfits, 4 ft flower sticks, and an adventurous spirit, Sarah Jane came ready to turn our vision into a reality.

I can't even begin to describe how much fun I had during this shoot! I snapped a couple of hundred photos, moved furniture around, taped a blanket to a wall, chased the light, watched the sun set in the background, and just had the time of our lives. We tried some things that didn't work, but found other things that worked surprisingly well. I am so happy with how these photos turned out!

Another aspect of this collaboration that was quite interesting was our discussion of payment. I've been thinking about what photography means to me and how to balance the "value" of my photography. On one hand, I feel that the minute I start accepting payments for my photography, I will lose a love for it. I find so much creative refuge in shooting and blogging and don't want to have the stress of having clients & expectations on time frames for delivery. On the other hand, I don't want to devalue my time & effort for photography. For this collaboration alone, I probably spent 12-15 hours total in between meetings, brainstorming, traveling, shooting, editing, formatting, delivering, etc. Fortunately, for this time around, Sarah Jane and I found a beautiful solution that she would donate to my roommate Krista's missions trip in lieu of paying me for my services. I think that this solution addresses both of my concerns so appropriately - I'm not doing it completely for "free," but I am placing a value on my work as well!

Keep your eyes out for Part 2 of my collaboration with Sarah Jane soon!

20150403_0169_ALiew_SJShanks Collab20150403_0028_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0031_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0142_ALiew_SJShanks Collab20150403_0044_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0051_ALiew_SJShanks Collab20150403_0090_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0132_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0058_ALiew_SJShanks Collab20150403_0117_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0160_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0241_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0246_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0257_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0315_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0254_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0205_0220_Combo_ALiew_SJShanks Collab 20150403_0264_ALiew_SJShanks Collab

Reflections and hidden spaces by Amanda Liew

_DSC0491_Christmas 2013

One of the things I love about La Jolla is how diverse the different beaches are - La Jolla Shores has wide open sand and relatively calm waters, Marine Street's sand is soft but there's that crazy dip where you plunge into the ocean, Windansea has a crazy rock terrain and incredible scenery when you turn left and right, and the Cove has all these different inlets with their own mini beaches too. For the longest time, I've loved the tide pools at Marine Street and the Cove - for those of you unfamiliar, tide pools form when high tide or waves fill the crevices in rock formations with seawater. When the water pulls back, these little separate habitats live the hidden spaces. I have fond memories of poking my fingers into anemones (Finding Nemo, anyone?) and having it close onto your finger. It was really amazing getting the chance to venture out (terrified I was going to drop my camera in one of the puddles) and photograph the area for the first time on my own. At first I tried to photograph into the water, attempting to capture the life in the puddles. I became far more interested in the strong contrasts, geometrical repetitions, and reflections in the water and shifted gears partway through. The image above came out as my favorite - similar to my light, form & abstraction project in school, I loved how when the context is removed, the photograph can take on such a different meaning. In reality, it's just one of the smaller and shallower tide pools - but to the eye, it could be a lake at a distance, or a shot in a forest. The lights and darks evoke a sense of emotion - it's fleeting because of the light, yet tranquil and calm due to the water. _DSC0426_Christmas 2013 _DSC0440_Christmas 2013 _DSC0484_Christmas 2013