The point of Ginebra’s art is found in the images

By Emma Stokes , Round Table Reporter

A picture used to be just a memory captured in a single moment, something that you would cherish forever. Now, though, a picture is so much more: an expression of emotion, a symbol, a question or a way to get people to feel something. What used to be only a glossy piece of paper pasted into an album that would go unnoticed for 20 years; now photographs can be an exquisite piece of art.

Middletown High School certainly has some talented artists in its midst, but one who stands out among the crowd is senior Olivia Ginebra, who’s somewhat twisted and undoubtedly unique pictures are both amazing and captivating.

Using her Canon Rebel T-3I, which she refers to as “her love,” Ginebra takes pictures and edits them using Adobe Photoshop software to get to the level of creepiness she strives to achieve.

Her love for picture-taking began taking shape in middle school when her dad, a camera man, showed her how to use Adobe Photoshop, and the rest is history.

“I got into it because of my dad,” she says, “and what I do now is conceptual photography.”

Conceptual photography is defined as the art of creating photographs that illustrate ideas. Be it an illustration of a story, a dramatic moment or even just some simple things in life that would make a person smile, a good conceptual portrait should leave the mind reeling.

Ginebra says that upon seeing her pictures, people should feel “…whatever they get from it; they can be read as different things.”

Some pictures are meant to evoke feelings of happiness, anger or sadness; however, Ginebra wants to “get you thinking” when looking at her photos and for people to be able to “look at it for a while and think of a bunch of different things.”

When asked how she would describe her style of photography, she answers, “I don’t know; it’s pretty dark…creepy.”

Some artists try many different things to feel or to get inspired to make their art, but Ginebra relies mostly on thoughts from herself (“just thinking of them”) or if she’s in need of a little push for an idea, she turns to Tumblr, a blogging platform in which members can create pages, design them however they choose and fill them with pictures or text posts at their leisure.

The backdrop to a picture is very important and greatly influences the way the image is viewed. For instance, if there’s a picture of a smiling clown and the background is carnival setting on a sunny day, the image may be trying to convey innocent adolescence. However, if behind the smiling clown is a dark, crumbling hospital-looking hallway, it’s clear the photographer wanted the picture to be construed as a fearful nightmare. Ginebra prefers to use more natural setting in her pictures.

“I used to use the stand of a green screen I have in my basement and put a white sheet over it, but I also use cool places in downtown Frederick with interesting atmospheres and they’re mostly outside.”

“I do like using brick, but I want to do a cool, empty field with nothing around,” she says. “And the woods, anything outside is better because of the natural light.”

She also mostly uses her close friends as the models in her pictures: seniors Claire Pugh, Nick Friend and Julia Kingsbury are featured in most.

Art is meant to be a form of self-expression, a way to get out all of a person’s inner-most thoughts and feelings free of judgment; often, though, that isn’t the case. At MHS, students’ artwork is decorates the halls; however a few of Ginebra’s pieces have been taken down due to the darker content of her photos. In one case, a photo that is particularly tenebrous led administrators to worry for Ginebra’s mental state. But that’s the kind of thing she strives to achieve: a picture that makes others wonder not only about what the artist’s message is, but how it is perceived.