Project Responses (September 15, 2019)
Reading #1: At first when I began reading our textbook for the class I was highly skeptical. I am not a photographer and I thought I would immediately be overwhelmed with all kinds of technical “mumbo jumbo”. However, after reading the introduction I was excited to begin taking photos as it really gave me more confidence. For this reading I used a photo I took while camping a the first week of class (the picture of my friend sliding along a glacier). Reading the exposure section of the textbook really helped me with this picture as it is clearly an action shot, and I had to adjust the shutter speed to capture it properly.
Reading #2: I found this reading extremely beneficial, especially the section about the leading lines and the composition section. As in experienced photographer these concepts were completely new to me, however I think they helped me quite a bit when taking my photo for the week (the picture of my friend working on his computer from behind).
Reading #3: These readings I found to be very inspirational, especially the article about Bryan Schutmaat. His landscape shots were so well captured and had such a nostalgic feel to them it made me want to attempt the same. You can see his influence on my pictures I took of the lake while camping. I edited the picture in post to try to add to the nostalgia of the photo.
Reading #4: The article about Lauren Greenfield really resonated with me. The fact that she would attempt to tell a persons story just with her pictures was something I found to be very enlightening. I attempted to capture more than just the scene while photographing my friends fishing. I don’t think I was fully successful in capturing my friends full stories like Greenfield however I do think the pictures have a little more depth than they would have without me reading the article.
Project Responses (September 22, 2019)
The reading that really stood out to me this week was the article about Stephen Mayes and the role of the documentary photographer in the modern era. The statement that “We’ve got to stop thinking about ourselves as photographers. We’re publishers.” Resonated with me a lot and made me reexamine the practice of photography as a whole. I’ve always thought of photography as the practice of taking pictures, but with constant mobile phone access and social media, those who are taking photos and uploading them to these platforms are just as much publishers as they are photographers. Having read this I really made an effort to try to do more than take a picture and instead to also portray a narrative, theme, or some sort of deeper meaning that the photo carries when shared via some sort of platform like social media.
My Project Responses (September 29, 2019)
The reading that really stood out to me this week was the article about Robert Adams and his landscape photography. Unfortunately, I went up camping a few days before I had fully read this article, however I think that this article still directly relates to the images I captured and the images I hope to capture in the future when photographing landscapes. A large aspect of the significance of Robert Adams’ photography is that he captured landscapes not for their beauty but to show the impact humans have had on that environment. This creates a consistent theme and make his images more than standalone pieces. Instead his pieces are grouped as a collection due to the commonality they all share. This impacts the significance of the images drastically as they are great and powerful on their own, but when viewed together they really paint a picture of how humans are impacting the environment. All in all his art is very thematically based and through this it conveys very powerful messages that would not exist if not shot in the way Robert Adams shot them. My images do not share this attempt to show the impact humans are having on the environment (or at least do not intentionally) however looking back now I see many ways that I could have made my series of images more powerful as a collection by sticking to a common theme like Robert Adams, and next time I will definitely attempt to do so. I also experimented quite a bit with editing using saturation and other tools (possibly a little too much).
My Project Responses (October 4, 2019)
The reading that impacted me the most this week was the article written about Doug DuBois and his book, My Last Days at Seventeen. The article goes on to discuss DuBois’ process and how he went about putting together the book/capturing the photos. What stood out to me about his process were several things. First of all the level of immersion and that DuBois underwent with his subjects in Ireland really impressed/inspired me. DuBois goes out and gets to know his subjects and lives with them, and follows them for an extended period of time, frequently revisiting them over the creation of the piece. This is something I’d really like to work on implementing into my photographic process as I feel the cohesiveness of my photographic projects is currently lacking along with the depth of content captured and themes illustrated in my photography. This is where I feel my skills really need to improve and as a result I feel my photography would reach a new level. With this week’s photos I made a conscious effort to implement this technique of long term immersion with my subjects in order to create a more cohesive piece. The second aspect of his process that struck me while reading this article has to do with the fact that DuBois was able to work collaboratively with other artists which resulted in the creation of a multimedia art piece. This multi media based aspect of her work makes it more unique, interactive, and less of an ephemeral experience for the consumer. This is another aspect which I’d definitely like to include in my work. Collaborating with other artists who specialize in areas different from mine and can bring new perspectives/ideas to the table seems not only like it would be a more enjoyable process but it would also likely result in a higher quality and more expansive piece.