Growing up, my parents had me do different activities and sports as a way to get me thinking about what I enjoy; what things I like doing in life. I played piano for years as a little guy, and I wish I kept it up. I didn't. My parents had me try Baseball for a few years, and even though I was an appalling player, I absolutely loved it. But since it wasn't my thing, I didn't continue after elementary school. I tried basketball for a year. Sucked at that too. I was on the Nike Swim Team for a year, and while enjoyable, I didn't like the competition aspect of it. Can't I just swim without having to try to be the best? So then they had me try band. I wanted to play the drums, but my instructor made me start on a wind instrument first. So I played trombone for six months. Then the day came when I could play the snare. After three years of drumming, I had learned set, played in regular band class, marching band, and drumline, and despite being pretty good at all of that it still wasn't my thing.
While I was still learning to drum, I found out about Graphic Design. Wow! Who knew I had such a creative capacity? I took four years worth of GD in three years, and had an absolute blast! Along the way I also started learning photography with my dad, though that wasn't really my interest. Not until (And I never realized this until I wrote this post) I received my very last Graphic Design assignment. The Assignment was this: "Take something, and recreate it 25 different ways"
What? Take what and recreate it? Recreate it how? This was my only assignment for Graphic Design 4, and I had 3-4 months to complete it, but I had absolutely no idea what to do.
Then on one bored afternoon, I remembered something my friend Maddi had taught me once. She showed me how to dismantle the bottom of a lightbulb, break and remove the insides, and get an empty bulb with which you can do anything! I set to work on an unusually large bulb we had, and I was hoping to get something to use for my 30 Project.
I filled it with water and dropped some food coloring in, taking pictures as I went. Even though I wasn't yet a good photographer, I was excellent with photoshop. I tried messing around with the pictures I was taking, and viola!
I couldn't believe how good it looked. After I finished the edit, I sat back observing my work and thought: "What if I could recreate this 25 different ways?" I set to work outlining the lightbulb and its position in this photo, and used that as my stencil.
This next one I did just a day or two later, and to get it I shined a flashlight behind the bulb as it sat on a book on my stool. Nothing special.
This one was fun. I found an old book at an antique store and put it through a bandsaw. My original intention was to have the book opened to the page about lightbulbs, but after seeing it on the bandsaw table spread open like this I thought it looked much better.
This next one was really boring to make, but I love how it turned out. I shrouded the lightbulb in double-sided sticky tape, and while my family and I watched Casino Royale, I sat there wrapping this stupid thing in yarn. It took forever really.
This next one might honestly be my favorite. I had the idea while I was at school that would involve a bunch of unused boxes I had bought for no real reason. They were just sitting in the garage until today. I hurried to get home, and I then spent the next six hours making this beauty. Some of the boxes are hanging from the ceiling, but the rest are just balancing in a carefully-placed pile. I created a projection on the boxes using a flashlight and a Cheeze-It box, and in the pitch dark I traced along the flashlights' shadow with some paint. What makes this image exciting is you cannot tell it's a lightbulb from any other angle then from where I shot. To get the soft appearance, I took a 30-second exposure and swung my flashlight around in circles as it pointed at the boxes. This removed any harsh shadows that would have been.
So I finished the project near the end of the school year. A collection of my individual bulbs were featured in Sunset High School's main office, but I also created a poster featuring all 25 of them. Everyone loved it, said I should sell it, and I never did anything with it. I think I sold one or two individual pictures to my extended family, but otherwise they just sat on my hard drive for years. Until now! So I'm glad ya'll get to see these. Eventually I'll have an online store here where you can buy every picture you see on my blog as a print. Still working on it.
One evening about a year or two later, I was hanging out with my friends Ian and Cameron. Both solid guys. Cameron hadn't ever seen my Bulbacious project before, and after I showed him he told me I should continue with it. Well, since it's already done I don't have the energy to fling myself full-force into creating more. However, that doesn't mean I can't do another one now and then. I spent that night editing an older photo I took with some steel wool (See post) and got this.
A while later I decided to try another one, so I made a stencil, grabbed some spray paint, and headed out to the bridge in Banks, OR. This is my most recent one, and if I add any more I will happily update this post.
And lastly (I know, this post is long,) here is the poster I submitted for the project, as well as an assortment of behind-the-scenes pictures to go along with it.