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Thursday // Alumni Feature – Gonzales Sisters

Angelina Gonzales

 

Our name, Asterisk Photography, was inspired by the punctuation, the asterisk. The definition of an Asterisk is a reference or footnote to something greater, it is our goal at Asterisk Photography to capture genuine, sincere life. We aim to be that footnote in all of our clients life, capturing sincere expression and emotions. Whether that be at a wedding, a family session, or an engagement. It is our goal to capture real moments of real life. Our name is also a constant reminder to us that this life here on earth is a footnote to something greater: eternity. It helps us to daily check our actions and motives in light of God’s Word.
Our website is currently down due to some new exciting changes we’re making which will be released the first week of December! But you can check out our Facebook page today!

 

The biggest asset of IPS is the teaching through the perspective of Christ and God’s Word. It is a place to deepen that relationship between photography and our Saviour.

Angelina attended PWP 1 & 2 in Spring 2010 San Antonio, Texas instructors Sarah Bradshaw and Rob Bennett, and  went knowing absolutely NOTHING about photography! At those 2 workshops I was given practical tools and systems to shoot correctly, edit with a system, and maintain my gear equipment. The biggest help to me in those classes was HOW they taught, one day it would be only classroom, the next it would be go out and DO what they taught the day before, it helped me translate all the head knowledge into actual skill. Biggest benefit of my photography career was started at IPS.

 

Anntonette attended Portraiture &
Lighting in Fall 2011 Manitou Springs, Colorado, where she learned how to use flash. When she came home, she was able to explain how to use flash with ease, which was always a struggle for both me and Anntonette, but flash is so crucial, especially in wedding photography, not for portraits necessarily, but for reception shots, and I can say 100% that her skill in lighting has saved us many times! Also, after coming back from IPS she had a fresh perspective on posing.
Anntonette is an entrepreneur and has her own Esty store! She combines her creative gifts by making awesome accessories and then uses her photography skills to further her business by having great photos!
We also wanted to let you all know about a GIVEAWAY happening next week November 27th-29th! Jocelyn Gillson at ALittleRojoBlog is running a promotion of cool stuff Homemade by Anntonette. Enter the giveaway and win!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Macroevolution Movement in Art

Student in Digital Photography 1 explore the concepts of Purpose and Meaning in art. They do this through IPS lectures and their own research, culminating in a paper on Purpose in Photography from a Christian worldview perspective. Yesterday, I read one of the most thoughtful discourses on the subject I have ever encountered. Today I am very pleased to share Alexis Johnson’s work with you.

R

Alexis T. Johnson
IPS – Paper: Purpose in Photography

The Macroevolution Movement in Art

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In modern science, there are two categories of evolution: macroevolution and microevolution. Macroevolution is defined as a “major evolutionary change. The term applies mainly to the evolution of whole taxonomic groups over long periods of time.”i In other words, macroevolution is a change from one species to another, in a time too long to observe with the human eye. On the other hand, microevolution is observable. It is defined as an “evolutionary change within a species or small group of organisms, especially over a short period of time.”ii Microevolution is a series of small changes or adjustments that a species may take to adapt to a different habitat, which can be recorded and even predicted. Although micro-­‐ and macroevolution are terms used to describe a scientific process, they can also describe the evolution of art. Art is constantly changing, altering its face to correspond to its habitat and culture—this is microevolution. But over the course of art’s history, art has never faced macroevolution quite like what artists are experiencing now. In the face of post-­‐modernism, art’s purpose has been challenged as never before. What actually is art? they ask. Who has the right to define what is and isn’t good art? Christians, however, can rely on the example given to them by God to prove that art—good art—must have a purpose and a meaning, and if an image, painting, or film has a purpose, we are obliged as purposeful beings to assess its value.

Today, twenty-­‐first century artists are facing the issues of postmodernism and its effects on the arts. Postmodernism, in its simplest form, is a style which seeks to be no style at all because, according to postmodernists, there are no aesthetic, moral, or religious absolutes.iii As Gene Veith says, “[Postmodernist] art does not take itself too seriously…. [Postmodernists] play with their art, are blatantly commercial, and make no pretense of truth. …In fact, according to postmodernist ideology, everything is fiction; all truth is an illusion created by social conventions. Postmodernist artists attempt to heighten awareness of the conventions by blurring the boundaries between truth and fiction. They do so by playing with the conventions of art.”iv If universal or cultural standards do not exist for which to determine values, art exists only as a means to an end; artwork—the means—is used to find the viewers own interpretation of the piece—the end. The viewer, therefore, puts meaning into the artwork, rather than the artist putting his own meaning into the art.v This process doesn’t actually create artwork since artwork, in its barest sense, is meant to be an expression of the artist himself. Artwork, however, has lost a reflection of its creator. Fortunately for Christians, we can revive art’s purpose and meaning by bearing in mind the example that was set for us since the creation of the world.

Pre-­Fall, God called creation “good.” Post‐Fall, the “good” in creation was tainted, morphed, and disfigured. These are obvious facts documented in the first chapter of Genesis. Christians, however, skim over one simple fact: God declared His creation “good” before anyone used it.vi He called light “good” before humans were given sight. He called His plants “good” before humans could smell and taste them. God declared the animals, the heavens, the waters, the moon, sun, and stars all “good,” even before humans could stand in awe of their splendor and the majesty of their Creator. God declared creation “good,” not because it was necessarily useful, but because it reflected its Creator and brought glory to Him.vii Not only that, the “goodness” of creation did not depend upon its viewers interpretation of its value. The Creator placed His value and purpose on His creation, and we accept it as such. Postmodernist art gave up art’s intrinsic purpose—that very same intrinsic purpose found at the beginning of creation.

Belief in a Creator, therefore, affects one’s view of purposeviii and meaningix because God Himself puts purpose and meaning into all things which He has created. Are Christian photographers called to imitate God’s creative process by putting their own purpose and meaning into their images? Ned Bustard, one of the authors of It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, answers, “For those called to truly be imitators of the Creator, the answer is yes—they need to be good, do good and make good. That precedent is clearly set in Genesis 1 in the activity of the Maker of Heaven and Earth. So for believers making art to the glory of God, goodness is not merely something to strive for in their morality, it is also something that should permeate their aesthetic efforts.”x Alternatively, the absence of a belief in a Divine Creator would place the artist in a quandary; he must come to the conclusion that since he was not created but is a product of chance, he has no real purpose or meaning. Purpose and meaning, therefore, have no significance; he cannot, by nature, create artwork with purpose and meaning since he cannot understand those essential concepts in his own life.

As a result, Christian photographers have a duty to present purpose and meaning before, during, and after the creative process. Every snap of the camera ought to have more dimensions than just its surface. Purpose adds layers to an otherwise useless artwork, and to create “just to create” is shallow and literally meaningless. Nonetheless, if a piece of artwork was created with purpose and meaning, it is the Christian duty to test it and prove it worthy of our attention.xi Francis Schaeffer says, “We should realize that if something untrue or immoral is stated in great art it can be far more destructive and devastating than if it is expressed in poor art or prosaic statement. Much of the crude art… is laden with destructive messages, but the art is so poor that is does not have much force. But the greater the artistic expression, the more important is it to consciously bring it and its world view under the judgment of Christ and the Bible.”xii To put it simply, if a piece of artwork was created with purpose, then we are obliged as purposeful beings to put a value on it. Conversely, if a piece has no purpose, then we need not waste our time evaluating something that is valueless.

Although change is not necessarily evil, when a society begins to doubt the intrinsic attributes of art, the results are destructive. Even Barnett Newman laments, “The impulse of modern art is the desire to destroy beauty.”xiii Art is always in a state of change, but post-­‐modernists are pushing for more than microevolution. They want macroevolution. Art will become the Frankenstein of postmodernists—a twisted, deformed creature, no longer recognizable for what it once was. Art will have no meaning and it will cease to be the species we have come to know and love. In this day and age, Christians must pursue excellence in all aspects of their lives— including the arts. It is the duty of all Christian photographers to prove to the world through their images that we are not a product of chance; that things can have purpose and meaning; that we can evaluate images based on their purpose and meaning; and that we are obliged as purposeful beings to assess purposeful images.

End Notes
i As defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary.
ii ibid.
iii Gene Edward Veith, Jr., Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture, pg.95
iv ibid.
v Gene Veith argues, “Minimizing the role of the artist places a greater emphasis on the audience. According to the new ideology, a work has no single authoritative meaning determined by the artist or by anyone else. Since “there are no absolutes,” meaning is subjective and relative. …Since there are no absolutes, there are no aesthetic standards.”
vi God also claimed His creation to be good during its use; it was when sin entered the world that creation lost its “goodness.” The sake of the premise is not to argue when creation lost its goodness, or even to question if a useful creation is not “good,” but that while creation was not necessarily useful it was still “good.”
vii Charlie Peacock states, “Creation is useful because it is good. It is not good just because it is useful,” in At the Crossroads: An Insiders Look at the Past, Present, and Future of Contemporary Christian Music.
viii Defined as “the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists,” by the New Oxford American Dictionary.
ix Defined as “what is meant by a word, text, concept, or action; implied or explicit significance; important or worthwhile quality; purpose,” by the New Oxford American Dictionary.
x Ned Bustard, It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, pg. 17
xi “Worth of our attention” according to Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
xii Francis A. Schaeffer, Art and the Bible, pg. 66
xiii Barnett Newman, “The Sublime is Now,” Tiger’s Eye Vol. 1, no 6, Dec. 1948, pg. 52

Bibliography
Bustard, Ned. It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God, Square Halo Books, (c) 2006, pg. 17
Newman, Barnett. “The Sublime is Now,” Tiger’s Eye Vol. 1, no. 6, Dec. 1948, pg. 52
New Oxford American Dictionary. Computer Application, (c) 2005- 2009, Apple Inc.
Peacock, Charlie. At the Crossroads: An Insiders Look at the Past, Present, and Future of Contemporary Christian Music, B&H Publishing group, (c) March 1999
Schaeffer, Francis. Art and the Bible, L’Abri Fellowship, (c) 1973, pg. 66
Veith, Gene Edward, Jr. Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture, Crossway Books, (c)1994, pg. 95

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Thursday // Alumni Feature – Instagrammers

Do you use Instagram? Here are some IPS students who are rocking the Instagram world. Follow them.

Jon Courville – joncourville

 

Jacob Bechtol – lylphoto

 

Tori Watson – marvelousphoto

 

Jeff Worthington – worthingtonmedia

 

Angelina Gonzales – asteriskphoto

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Feature Friday // The Empowered Traditionalist

What is an empowered traditionalist?  

Find cool ideas on this great blog. Our friend, Christa Taylor, writes about fashion, beauty, DIY ideas, and femininity. Get some ideas or just be encouraged. It’s a fun Friday type thing to do.

I totally agree with this article. Probably because I love being productive.

Because I live in Portland I know this is true.

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Thursday // Alumni Feature – Josh Brabo

Josh Brabo

Bright. Natural. Vibrant.

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I can confidently say that IPS was the best thing to happen to me in my photographic journey.

Not only did the students and teachers immediately welcome me like family, but through them I was able to grow into establishing a photography business that allows me to do one of my favorite things in the world, on-location portrait photography! In Spring of 2013, I created Foli Images, my personal photographic brand. Since then I have gone on to work with seniors, couples and families, and have also done weddings and other events. I continue to enjoy doing spontaneous shoots, and I definitely still enjoy learning and growing with my work.

Interested in being featured here on the IPS blog? We want to feature you!

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