Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Aaaannnnnddddd....Some newer stuff

Some Prior Images

Asia Term Critique

Today, sometime around 4:30, I will be presenting some of my images from this semester, and having something of a critique/mini-show.
I feel like this will be different from a usual Advanced Art critique because A) There is not an Art major to be found here, and B) This group is, to my knowledge, not familiar with how I usually shoot. Normally I would dig my heels in and insist I am a digital artist as well, but I learned pretty fast that I would have an easier time carving "digital art" into a mountain face than to make GIMP work on this computer, so this semester is strictly digital photos with minimal editing. *Shudder* (*Shutter??* I need puns right now. Sorry.)

I figured I would show some photos that are fairly exemplary of my work thus far, and then present the new stuff to the group. This, too, is going to be an uphill battle because I don't have anything from the last two semesters on my laptop, and I seem to have given up on uploading anything in that time either. So, I am basically going to say- "Here is a representation of my usual work...which doesn't actually represent my work anymore."

I will make it a separate post, but I will move up some examples from this blog and Flickr to use today. Any input would be helpful (or, like, bonus points to you if you have access to a computer at Coe and can send me some of my images. Wishful thinking).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What makes a good photograph?

So, I decided to Google the phrase "What makes a good photograph?"
I am looking for trouble.
I decided to do this because I am [constantly] concerned with whether or not my photos are actually good, or just strange/interesting/shocking(?) enough that actual quality is overlooked. The bane of my existence (currently) is the fact that my best work since the start of the semester has all been nude self portraits.
I feel like my reasoning is simple enough- I am tackling ideas about identity, so the logical place to start is my self, (ostensibly) stripped of identifying materials (ha. Stripped. I have the sense of humor of a third-grader...).
But I do seriously question whether my images are "good" enough to take the plunge and present such personal work; the things that make these images meaningful to me might not be readily apparent, and there may be a secondary reading that is inaccessible to me as the artist, too (case in point- explaining the background behind most of my portraits for the junior review, and ultimately accepting that my peers and professors preferred to see an otherwise well-planned cosplay photograph as a bizarre social document of running clowns). Accepting that the viewer interpretation is mostly out of my control is going to be especially hard when it's my own body- beyond just the discomfort of sharing something so personal, it's kind of nerve-wracking to think that I may not be controlling the message it sends.

Here are some pictures that I am considering for the critique; I do a lot of concealed-identity portraits (ie blurred or with the face obscured), so I don't know how much of this is censorship instead of personal taste. I am, however, intentionally putting up obscured shots here because I don't want my blog to get taken down by the powers that be...
[criticism would be much appreciated]

Saturday, September 7, 2013

From my Journal, 8/31/13

It's really, really hard to find meaningful results while researching the themes I want to address in my photography.
I came into this knowing I'd have a hell of a time with the concept of identity [a college student? exploring her identity through self-portraits?? Who's ever heard of such a thing?!?], but it's somehow managed to be even tougher than I'd thought. Slowing the process is the fact that key search words like "Identity," "Self," "Exploration," and "Perception" are all apparently common names for businesses! [go ahead. Google "Perception Photography." Or "Identity Photography." It's frustrating.]
I have found some good information, though.
I keep coming across off-handed references to the idea that models tend to act as "vessels for self-portraits" in photography (and other media).
Anyone who's ever read Stephen King knows that authors are guilty of this, too (author goes crazy and attacks his family; author gets kidnapped by an adoring/crazy fan, etc etc etc).
In fact, in reading about an exhibition of Van Gogh work, I found an Oscar Wilde quote that sums it up perfectly: "Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not the sitter."
I feel like this idea must be so fundamental/common, because I've only seen it mentioned off-handedly, and there seems to be no in-depth article that Google can get it's little hands on for me. It's like the way no one feels compelled to stop and explain gravity to their friends when they complain about being fat. [I have an insatiable compulsion to make really bad analogies. I imagine more will come up as I post excerpts from my photography journal. I am so sorry :P ]
Still, I'd like to explore this concept further in my portraits, at least in one or two projects. Maybe I could interpret it literally and make my models look like me (I looked at a lot of Nikki S. Lee and someone else while thinking about this). Or maybe I could just write about how my influence colors each portrait I take to reflect my own identity (consciously or unconsciously). But would that be as fun? :P
The internet regularly shows me helpful things...
The Manual Photography Cheat Sheet (LifeHacker)