Sunday, March 8, 2015

Instagram - Vivian Maier Photo Assignment

Vivian Maier
This Ain't Art School
Photo Assignment


Vivian Maier
American Street Photographer

"This Ain't Art School is back with a new round of assignments! Starting tomorrow, we'll make the jump across the Atlantic to feature the American street photographer Vian Maier (1926-2009.) @vivianmaier was besotted with taking pictures and carried a camera around with her most of her adult life. She left more than 100,000 images behind, though she rarely shared any of her photos, let alone exhibited them.  When her possessions were auctioned off in 2007, the real estate agent John Maloof purchased a box of 30,000 negatives and some other belongings of Maier.  He was intrigued and began to try to find out more about the story of the woman behind - and often featuring in - the shots.

Vivian Maier worked mostly as a nanny, a job that allowed her some control over the way she spent her days. She often took the children in her care on photowalks in New York City and the suburbs, later in Chicago. Though she was an obsessively private person, she was deeply interested in people and the life unfolding around her.  With her Rollei around her neck, she captured images of children, workers, pedestrians and the homeless, but also of the rich and famous who visited the city.  She took portraits and photographed street scenes in her hometown and abroad. And then there were the photos of newspapers, featuring big headlines and small bylines. ...

We'll post a few articles on our Facebook page (link in our profile) in case you'd like to learn more.

The #VivianMaierAssignment will start tomorrow, so keep an eye out for the six tasks we have in store for you! (Photo: @berlinstagram , text @gert_pauly , @hypercatalecta )"

instagram @thisaintartschool 5w (5 weeks ago)

"As we announced yesterday, our new assignment reflects the work of Vivian Maier.  Please post your (new!) photos between Feb 1 - 22 and use the hashtag #vivianmaierassignment

JUNKYARD TREASURES: Maier was fascinated by what others might consider junk. So its ironic that her work was only discovered when John Maloof bought a box of photos at a flea market auction. Go find that hidden treasure that is usually overlooked - be it at the bottom of a bin, a local flea market or an estate sale."

"I'M SORT OF A SPY (x2): Meander through the streets of your hometown and look - really LOOK. What catches your eye? An interesting outfit or posture? A group of people waiting for a bus? A couple holding hands at a street light? The legs of a mother and child in a shop? We're sure you'll come up with an excellent shot. No wait - make that two! It's the VM classic, after all."

note: although it looks like I could be spying into the bookstore window
when I took this I was still in search of a newspaper, of someone reading a newspaper, of a newspaper stand... and I couldn't find any... I saw this man in the bookstore reading his phone & thought that's what so many folks do, they read news from their phone or watch TV... I couldn't find a newspaper in the bookshop, nor a few other places either & when I went in search of old magazine/newspaper shops they were gone or one had been turned into a just snacks or drinks shop... neither I nor my neighbors get a newspaper delivered & even in the grocery store I couldn't find a stand--though sometimes on Sunday's you'll see the thick weekly newspaper... so I may have called this an out take or a fill in until I found the real thing, it was as elusive as the Find a Duck photo assignment from the first This Ain't Art School assignment I tried on Instagram

and another out take, that I didn't realize was all blurry until I walked away from the coffeeshop to look see if the newspaper over the handmade rack had come out & funny to find it was The Arts section LoL
but no headline in view

"IN THE NEWS: Vivian Maier was fascinated by the news - especially when they highlighted the folly of humanity. She also hoarded newspapers. For this assignment, set up a photo that has a newspaper or headline of sorts in it."

"MANGLED MANNEQUIN: Next time you go window-shopping ignore the clothes and look at the mannequins. Lop-sided? Disassembled? Naked? You've got your shot."

found not in a shop window
but behind the scenes at the theatre I was volunteering for over the weekend during this assignment
he deff said mangled mannequin to me

"MIRROR MIRROR: The classic VM selfie. Come on, we couldn't do a Vivian Maier assignment and not have this one in there. Find something shiny and let us see a reflection of you and your camera. Shadow and smile optional."

"BONUS ASSIGNMENT: A picture that no one will see: Take it, have it developed, don't show it to anyone. Stash it away in a box. Post a photo of the box."

so inside a match box is a printed out photo I took
then I thought it should go into a bigger box
but when I saw this jar I thought better
it reminded me of burial jars, so with the idea of nobody ever seeing it--this looked a good place
I was also born under the Sign of the Fish, this jar relates, covered in underwater sea creatures
here two sweet seahorses (which only reminded me I had not found any couple on the streets holding hands, I had found two toy dolls in the antique mart facing each other as if kissing & then this, during the time of the photo assignment, so left it at that)

last of the instructions from @ThisAintArtSchool

"Please be kind and respectful when doing street photography. Vivian Maier was not just an exceptional photographer - she has also been described as 'imposting and rude.' Don't be inspired by that.

Remember: Only post new (mobile) photos, and only tag one per assignment. You can tag your outtakes with #vivianmaierassignment_outtake , though.

By the way - We're not checking if you finish all 6 assignments, so don't be discouraged if you can't finish. The main thing is to start playing and have fun!"

Finding Vivian Maier - Documentary - Oscar Nominated 2015...

IMDb 2013...

Wiki link...

Vivian Dorothea Maier... "she was like a real, live Mary Poppins"

You Tube - Finding Vivian Maier - Documentary Trailer...

You Tube - The Art of  Photography - Ted Forbes...

Vivian Maier 8mm home movie...

"Published on May 23, 2014 This is one of Vivian Maier's 8mm films. Some of this was used in the documentary, Finding Vivian Maier. This was not edited by us. This is Maier's in-camera editing with multiple film rolls joined together. This was all filmed in Chicago."

note: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), Catch 22 (1970) & Without a Stitch (1968, 69, 70) movies showing up on the marquees... no sound, no commentary, not even a note on any dates on the film - so looked up the movies to get an idea of the timeframe of the city street scenes...

stills taken from the TV screen watching the documentary - Finding Vivian Maier - Sho Woman - Showtime...


Photography Assignment Out takes - the shots I didn't use for Instagram...
(but still fun to go along the way in finding the ones that I did end up using)

the vintage typewriter series...
all found at the one Antique Mall, along with the one mask shot I used for the Junkyard Treasure

shiny car - selfie - shadow series...
not the one I ended up using, wanted to find something other than a mirror for the reflection
all taken in a parking lot at a nearby grocery store, in walking in the sun to the entrance, saw the carts reflected in a shiny new car body so tried to capture that as a selfie

looking over the cameras, find a basket of black & white prints
wondered who would want to take one of someone's behind
and then keep it - I'd like to think it was a joke pose & they thought it was funny
(note: shared with a friend who enjoys collecting folks old photos & especially likes to try & track down who the folks are in the photos or their friends and family... all as part of her continued genealogy searches... I knew she'd think this one was funny & I almost bought it for her, tho she's not in Texas but Louisiana)

vintage camera series - did consider that box camera, the Brownie Hawkie, at what I think was $65
but then there would be film & learning how to use it, if it was working & developing film again
left it to daydreaming about taking black & white photos all the day long

and around a corner the strangest TV I've ever spotted
made me think of old SciFi movies really
after searching online images found the details...
Model #4654 1959 "Barber Pole" Philco Predicta - "space age" styling

the vintage toy series - cute to creepy
I think of the two riding elephants, who needs a rocking horse or a bike, that with a windup it's trunk must rise up & down... (I've never seen such antique riding toy animals like these, a horse maybe but elephants)

old comic books - little Orphan Annie - "Clank!!! Clank!!! Clank!!!" "Leapin' Lizards!)
old vinyl / record albums - Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy - 1973 - $25.00 (surprised it's twenty-five dollars?! from $10.00 over on

an embellished guitar - is it a wise craft idea - would someone pay money for it
so what to do with all those bits & bobs or buttons you may have collected
even the scrabble letters: m a y b e are a fun added touch
I'm hoping it's an old guitar with no strings & of no use except to glue all over
really I'm not a fan of trashing old instruments - hurts me even more to see painted violins

runner up Junkyard Treasure
as it's the oddest window display/ring holder I've ever seen
almost like a religious object for a temple maybe
again, have never seen one of these

and a day at the gianormous antique mart does not disappoint
I think I've always found something I was not looking for
something I don't remember ever seeing before
I can see the attraction to rummaging thru such places
me, I'm there for the photo op's

something in a case that I didn't expect to see
something I thought maybe to use as the Junkyard Treasure
this face, if it's a painting or a photo that's been painted is just so sweet & lovely
it makes me sad, wondering who could give it up, put it in a antique mart case to sell
you'd think it should be framed & passed on down the family
(the puppet, like many on strings, I don't like - even Disney's Pinocchio - & would never have one in my home - this goes from the cute to creepy once again)


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