Saturday, March 26, 2011

My final B&W Photography project

I've been holding back this post since December - everything had been scanned, but I wasn't content with the quality. I've rescanned them, and still feel that the quality isn't what it could be. It's enough to get the prints the way you want them in the darkroom, but then to have software try to *correct* those prints is quite frustrating.

Some notes on the images:

1. This image was chosen by the instructor for the college art show. I didn't/won't attend because, well, it's a photo of a ceiling.

2. This image had some fun burning to get the ceiling in.

8. This was by far the most difficult print of not only this set, but any print I've done. It was such a dark image, and I couldn't convince myself that it should be that way. I have 20-30 prints of this image sitting in a folder that were too light, The details were difficult to get out while keeping it dark. The instructor seemed happy with it, telling my peers that it may look dark, but that it's exactly the way it should look.

This set of images was to represent something that was significant to me, if it isn't obvious, libraries. I shot once at the Eden Prairie Public Library (1,7), and twice at the university library with Caroline and Heather. I am very thankful for their willingness to work with me. Shooting with them was a blast - they, if anything else, helped me shoot with more variation than I might normally (4). I regret that our first shoot didn't turn out because of an accident in the darkroom, but was very fortunate that both models were able to work with me again for a second shoot. I am very grateful to them both.

I enjoyed the course, to sum up the semester. The instructor was good humored and tasteful in his work. He suggested that we continue onto another course in film that would be almost the same - so I did.

B&W Photo II was drastically different in what content we were to produce, trying to convey emotion rather than solely composition. I find that I'm not attracted to modern art, so this was a large turn off. I tried pushing through the course despite my better judgement. I ended up dropping 4 weeks in because I couldn't for the life of me think of how to convey "regret." I've told this to people, and it's always been rationalized that it was an easy assignment and that *they* would have enjoyed it. I enjoyed the techniques we were learning in the darkroom, for framing, different papers and film formats. The content, however, was on my mind night and day. I simply don't express emotion in this manner - and I've never felt a need or desire to be a social vigilante with my work. Photography for me is trying to capture beauty. The world has so many harsh truths and ugly facts, stepping away from that in a captured moment is something I try to do.

We were also to present a small number of photos that represented our work. I found this be be an enormous undertaking. How does one simply present hundreds, maybe even thousands of hours of work with one or two photos? I flipped between about ten images that I knew for sure, but wanted to include others. As I narrowed them down, I became increasingly critical of what I had chosen to represent myself to the point that I hated it all. When it came time to present to my peers, no one else used colour, or even digital for that matter. I felt silly presenting the images, and trying to explain what it was that I did with my work. I didn't hear much of what was said, aside from my own words being echoed back to me "you've captured a moment in time, something that will never happen again." I sat down, humiliated - not primarily because of what they may have said, but because of my frustration with my own work. In a nutshell, there was a rift in my view of the philosophy of art with what was being taught in that class. I really haven't done much since December with a camera. When spring rolls around and it warms up a bit, I hope to change that to some measure, though.

1 comment:

Melissa Joy said...

Hello Dan,

Just wanted to let you know that I truly liked the perspective of the bird's eye view shot. It was capturing because no one ever looks at someone pursuing a bookshelf from above, but whenever I am at the library I always ponder what I might do differently if someone did. Hmmm...we should also talk more about the philosophy of art...and life sometime. I miss doing that!