Saturday, June 4, 2011

Prompt #3

#11 Memory of a Place: Try to imagine a place from your past. Do you have pictures of this place? Describe this place as you remember it. What might a photograph look like of this place if you were to go back and photograph it? What would it look like in the past? What would it look like to you today? Where are you standing in this place? What other items are in this place? What colors do you see? Are there other people or are you alone? Make a “written photograph” of this place using words/description.
      The place that I remember the most is my grandparent's house old house in Walled Lake. I do have pictures of this place, because we spent a lot of time there and I have a lot of memories there. It was a two story house with a basement, in a subdivision. It was cozy and my idea of what home is. My grandma collects honey pots with bees on them, and there were a lot on display. My dad's old room and my aunt Jane's old room were still there, with some of their old toys. If I went back and to photograph this place, I might just do it from the outside. The outside probably looks similar, but not exactly the same. I go back once a year to the subdivision for a fourth of July parade and games. I think it might be too weird to photograph the inside, it would be very hard to see how different it is and how another family has decorated it and made it their own. I mean, it would be interesting. But I want to remember it the way it was when my grandparents lived there. In the past it would look similar, but with different furniture, some different decorations, my dad and aunt might be still living there, the outside siding was a different color, trees have come and gone. If I had to choose where I would be in the house, I would choose either the kitchen or the living room. The kitchen was mostly white, and we could look out the sliding door to the deck and backyard. My grandma's bee jars were in the kitchen. So was the refrigerator with the alphabet magnets. We would often do art projects in there, on the kitchen table. There was almost always other people with me -- my sister, my cousins, or grandparents. It is a place I will never forget!

#12 Memory of a Photograph: Which photograph from your past do you remember most? Describe this photograph. Describe how it makes you feel when you remember/think about this photograph. How have you changed? How has the place in this photograph changed? What would a reenactment of this photograph look like? Would you act or look differently if you reenacted this scene today?
   The photograph from my past that I remember the most are probably the ones of my sister and I when we were little. These include us together, and some with our friend Jess. There are some where we are sitting together, early portraits. There are some candid ones of us playing, and on our first day of school. These photographs make me feel nostalgic, happy. I have changed a lot -- I am about 15-20 years older then I was in those pictures! The various places in the photographs have changed, as do most things 15-20 years old. I no longer play with necklaces or wear a little mermaid bathing suit. If I could reenact one of these photographs, it would be my sister and I. It would look different because we are older, and as we have grown older, we have changed. My sister and I are twins. We still look similar, but you can tell we have grown to be our own people. In the early pictures we look a lot of like, but I can still ALWAYS tell us apart. 

#13 Human-Made Space: In the past, photographers who were interested in how humans impacted the natural landscape grouped together to form the New Topographics. “"New Topographics" signaled the emergence of a new photographic approach to landscape: romanticization gave way to cooler appraisal, focused on the everyday built environment and more attuned to conceptual concerns of the broader art field.”
In addition, at the same time in history artists created (and still do create) “land art” in which they use materials found in the landscape to make sculptures that remain in the landscape. Many of these works now only exist as video recordings and photographic documents.
Pay attention to the number of ways in which you encounter humans’ interaction with nature and the physical land. Write these down. Using these as inspiration, describe an idea for a piece of “land art” that you might create that would be documented by a photograph. Describe an idea for a piece of “land art” that you might make in a man-made landscape that would be documented by a photograph.
     Humans interact with nature and the physical land on a daily basis, consciously and unconsciously. Whether it is photographing nature, sketching, doing an outdoor activity such as running, biking, swimming, etc or on an unconscious level -- walking to class, listening to birds, using an umbrella. Nature is unavoidable and it is such a large part of who we are as humans, and makes our lives possible. Humans also have daily interactions with nature in negative ways, such as littering and destruction. My idea for a piece of land art might be a rock sculpture. Because rocks are usually accessible -- they do not have to be huge. Also, it is something I can leave behind that can be added to, or even taken apart and reworked. In a man made landscape I think it would be interesting to make land art out of litter -- things that humans have left behind due to their activities and creations that were not part of nature originally.   

#14 Unknown vs. Familiar Space: When photography was invented, it became a way to document and reveal the specific aspects of both familiar and faraway places. Imagine a familiar place. Imagine a faraway place. How would you use photographs to convey the difference? Can you imagine any places that have been “touched” very little by humans? How might you photograph them?
     I would use photographs to convey a familiar place by somehow conveying an intimate or maybe a not widely known part of what is familiar to me. Or I would try and capture a familiar place in a different way to challenge myself to learn something new about it. As for a faraway place, I would try and capture something that is unique or different from what I am familiar with. What makes it so different that I want to photograph it? What is something that sparks interest, that I can learn from, or makes others interested in this location? There are very little places that are untouched. I imagine maybe parts of the artic, deep parts of the rainforest. If I was there to photograph them, I would try and find unique things about them. Things that make them interesting and important as places that are untouched. I would not want my photographs to spark so much interest that they are destinations that would cause developments and changes, if they are beautiful as untouched locations. 

#15  In-Camera Collage: Collage brings together two or more items that were previously separate. The resulting piece usually visually references the fact that they were once separate entities. Imagine an important place in your past. Imagine an important place in your present. Imagine who you were in both of these past and present places. Describe how you might use a slow shutter speed and/or double exposure to capture two moments in one image that tell a new narrative about these important places and how they relate to who you are and were.
     I might use a slow shutter speed or double exposure to capture two moments in one image by comparing my old activities of sports -- caught with a slow shutter speed to convey movement and activity -- with some pictures of my artwork. I think if they were to meld together they would convey what my focuses have changed to, but also speak a lot about who I am. They would combine to show a flurry of activity, which is still true, because making art is a very busy process, but in a different way. 

#16 “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer—and often the supreme disappointment.” ~Ansel Adams
     I agree with this quote, because I like to take pictures of monuments and nature, and I have found it to be the most challenging subject matter. If you get a good shot, it can be the most rewarding. But sometimes it is hard to take pictures of a landscape because there are so many different choices. It can be a disappointment, too, if it does not turn out the way you want. I think a lot of nature photography is about chance, too. Photographing a place in certain conditions, after a disaster, before a disaster, during  a storm, etc. 

#17 “Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.” Arnold Newman

     This can be true to some extent, because as photographers, we are making conscious decisions about what we are taking pictures of. How we see these locations and subjects may be different from how someone else sees them. Also, it is a print, projection, or light image. We can not reach into the picture and touch sand, waves, or a tree, even though we may look at it and feel like we are there, or feel an emotion -- relaxed, nostalgic, etc. 

#18“Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.” Berenice Abbott
     This is true, as photography is such a great way of preserving the past and learning about the past, seeing what has changed. This is always true, because when I look back at a photograph, it is something that I HAVE taken a picture of. It really is something that has happened in the past. The picture can represent something current, something that happened yesterday, but it is only a matter of time before that piece of clothing is outdated, worn, a fad. What I love the most about photography is its ability to record, to tell a story, to educate us about the past. 

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