|| Photography 109: Photo I ||

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. . . .
It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.

Aaron Siskind
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In spring semester 2009, my partner and I took an introductory photography class together. The photos below are the projects that I completed for the course. I have provided longer notes to certain sets that were more meaningful to me and deserve explanation. For a further artist statement about the class, please click here.

You can leave comments on my photographs here if you have an account for my gallery or you can E-mail me. To see his photographs, click here to visit his website gallery.

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Self Portrait

A somewhat terrifying adventure in self portraiture.

Subjective vs. Objective and Exposure Bracketing

Dubbed the "Chairs Assignment." We had to take subjective and objective photos of a chair at under, normal, and over exposures. I was about 1 stop off on all the exposures. I was still learning, so I didn't adjust basic BEF (ISO 100, 1/100 seconds, F/16 when outdoors on a clear, sunny day) to the actual lighting conditions.

Rules and Breaking Them

Following the rules, top row, left to right: leading line, simplicity, texture (and contrast), framing.
Breaking the Rules, bottom row, left to right: breaking the rule of thirds, breaking leading lines.

Fear with Humor

How can a slow (or fast) shutter speed affect the impact of a photograph?

Photo Story: The Great Escape

A non-fiction account of Sam, a delightful cat, escaping a local animal shelter. He took great pleasure in defying the volunteers, but once he got outside he'd wait for someone to come get him -- then escape again.

Family as Inanimate Objects

We had to represent at least two family members and ourselves as an inanimate object, then photograph it at 3 different depths of field (I picked the best of each set). I decided to photograph the three most important men in my life. The coffee bean photo is called "Robust" and represents my father. The tequila "Sunrise" suggests Vernon. Ted is a "Sweetened" tall glass of water. The third photo, "Spillage," intimates how I felt about my life and self at the moment - choatic and at a crossroad with time slipping away, yet somehow cohesive and beautiful.

Famous Photographer: Robert Mapplethorpe

This assignment asked us to write a paper about a famous photography and to replicate one of their images. I chose Robert Mapplethorpe, and a portrait he made of Phillip Prioleau (see the first picture, above). The idea was to replicate the look and feel of the original image -- and, most importantly, the light. Stylistically I chose to invert the black-and-white. [read accompanying essay]

Alphabet Assignment

I had to take the third letter of my last name and pick three compelling words to make into photographs with especially interesting angles and light. I chose garter, grain, and grip. I also worked in grayscale to add to the "G"-ness of this set. I chose to take a rather erotic set of photographs because I hadn't done anything like them and my classmates who chose to recreate erotic photographs for "Famous Photographer" negated the erotic content from their photographs. My annoyance with that self-censoring and my realization that I've never done intimate portraiture of any kind spurred these photographs. I really enjoyed doing these photos, but "grip" isn't as dynamic as it could have been and "garter" has two problems: the top leg is blown out and the image is generally way too dark. Contrast was something I wanted to create and use, but I should have used better lighting in "grip" (done outside at dusk in a shaded backyard) and "garter" (three halogen lights in odd places). Next time I will make the photographs grayscale on the computer instead of having the camera photograph in grayscale, which was probably one of my big problems in "garter."

Final Portfolio

The theme of my final portfolio is "displacement." I focused generally on saturated colors and wide apertures for the portfolio. The sunbleached soda can reminds me of the landscape of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. My father used to take me to the bus stop on the bike featured in the first photograph. I found the moth in an insect graveyard (a chandelier). Throughout the semester I considered objects and subjects that have been misplaced, tossed aside, left behind, forgotten, or simply do not belong in their current environment. The stories behind these objects intrigue me: how did they get here? who put them there? what are their implications? I am especially interested in deritus, debris, and garbage though not all the photographs depict these things.

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