Friday, May 10, 2013


Rodent Skull in Hair LandscapeFlower BraidI Am Hair CaterpillarCrystal WebOfferingSelf-Portrait

______At times, life can be an immense burden.

______Just when you think,"Ah, at long last, I am home in my dorm and able to go pants-less for the night!", you simultaneously realize you have forgotten your iPhone in the Photography room, most likely on the glass table where you usually set it down while you're slaving away in the darkroom, splashing yourself with chemicals occasionally and having a bit of a nostalgic dance party with your colleagues, one kindled by the 90s Pop Hits Pandora station.  None of you knew each other as children, but the music made it seem otherwise.  You left your phone on the table because as you waited for your prints to wash, you were deep into A Game of Thrones.


 ______After you left your prints to dry, you walked out the door reading the book, your mind focused on remembering the households and the characters and their relationships. There were so many names to remember, but you had a good hang on them, and that made you feel somewhat successful.

Sparkle and FaceGlass and FaceMother

______It is the first day of summer break, and this is the last time you will have to return to that room.  You are forced to trudge a whole six minutes back to retrieve your electronic device that is so vital to your daily existence.  It's there (thankfully).  A girl looks up from her binder and cocks her head at you like you're some criminal scurrying out of there with something that isn't yours.  She has never reacted well to your presence, and you've never been sure why.  You never liked her cropped pants, the ones with the white stripes snaking down the sides like day-old toothpaste.

Light Hands

______And once you're out of the room, you skip down the first two stairs, walk down the rest, and are happy that your phone was there, and happy that you are on your way back.  The walk there wasn't long.  The walk back would be shorter.  You decide to stop by the world's largest Starbucks on campus to order something warm to drink on the way because it has gotten cooler.  It is wedged perfectly between the photography room and your living space, and they know you by name there because you order the same thing each time--a Venti Passion tea, piping hot, unsweetened.

Tiny Bison

______Sometimes, they will draw a heart on the "i" in your name, or maybe rush a smiley face, or say, "The usual?" and it makes you feel a little bit classy, a little bit known, a little bit like you belong somewhere.    Two of them even know you by name.  One knows that your last name is Norwegian.  There is a certain pause at this moment, one that makes you forget how you forgot your phone in the first place.  You're enjoying this little detour, but you won't admit it.  You won't admit how convenient things are for you, and how much you like being able to feel like there's kind of place you belong, at least in the nooks and crannies where there are less people who are more important.  You are not in the mass, and probably never will be, but that is okay.


______You walk back to your conveniently located dorm on campus.  The sun is setting and casting orange light against the buildings, and blue shadows are opposite to them like ghosts with outstretched arms, and there is the smell of spiced flowers in the air.  Things are greener, warmer now.  There are no flowers sprouting eagerly from their buds, no set name for this day that should make it feel any different than the others, but there is the right feeling, the one that seems as if everything has awoken from its hibernation, and is now full of vigor and an honest brightness.  And it is rather serene, the scene which nature has so kindly painted.

Dealership Body ShopLight Mimic

______And that is when you realize that life isn't really such an immense burden, and you wonder why you could have ever imagined such a thing in the first place.  It is the first day of summer break, and you are leaving your pleasant burdens behind.

Spring 2013, Photography I, 35mm film


Cindi said...

Amazing and inspirational photos! :)


LyddieGal said...

your black and white photos are stunning ali! so many awesome shots, and I am a tiny bit jealous!

love your little prose... sounds like you are enjoying all the little things in life.
Chic on the Cheap

Jodie said...

Love the photography but mostly the little world you painted for me. (I hope you imagine the I were dotted with hearts :) )


Really lovely post. I adore these black and white artful images. xx/Madison Happy weekend.

Francesca Giusti said...

love this photos and also your blog! It's so nice!!! I follow you!
Pass to my blog and if it likes you follow me too, I will be so glad :D

Ivana Džidić said...

great writing:) and the photos go so well with it...

this text reminds me of Ibsen... Supposedly once his friend told him "What a beautiful day" and he agreed. His friend went on and said "What a beautiful world " and Ibsen replied " I wouldn't go so far!"

ok, that can sound a bit depressive but that story always makes me think how we should find the beauty we can and make it our resting place...even if this world is full of problems...and enjoy those days when we feel life isn't such a paint in the ass.

Jen Hsieh said...

You have a way with painting your words so we can experience those simple and magical moments of your every day life with you. You're not only amazing with your artwork (I adore how creative you got while developing your film) but with your writing.

Keep sharing your creations because I can't get enough of them. <3


E said...

These photos are absolutely stunning. You are truly talented! This makes me want to take a class and learn the real deal techniques!

Jacqueline said...

1) these photos are very very amazing!!
2) the words & story you just painted were inspirational! (i felt very similar yesterday when i was at festival and loving hanoi and wondering why sometimes i get so negative when everything is truly pretty awesome!)

Linda Greaves said...'re my girl crush, I swear. Seriously, you EVOKE art in whatever you do! Fashion, photography, drawing, painting, writing...
You're amazing! ^^
These photos are beautiful, dreamy, and something I want framed in my room. I remember when you first wrote about this class and how you were having a hard time learning the new techniques and what not. And now look at you. I'm so proud of you friend, and can't wait to see what else you'll be doing. :)
Ah, and as for the writing you did...I sat down and read through it like a book. I felt like I was right there with you bounding down the stairs and into Starbucks. Haha, its always a nice, lovely feeling to think you belong somewhere, huh?

Trendy Teal

Hina Naz said...

great post :)

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Joyce said...

I love the dream-like feel of this post. Like everything is just a memory. It's so beautifully written and really makes me think about how life can sometimes be burdensome but that it's not really because of all the good things in it too. Happy first day of summer break!

These photos are AMAZING. I think you said in a past post how you were having trouble learning to photograph with a film camera but you did it! I love love love how you overlapped pictures, the effect is so cool. I especially love that last one with the eye.

Ashley said...

Wow. Ali, you have left me speechless.

Amazing photography and beautiful words.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing.

xo Ashley

Debra said...

Ali, I really like your photos! :) some are very beautiful sweetie. Congrats on a job well done this semester. Enjoy your break lovely! :) xo