Friday, December 26, 2008
Final Project- Portraits
For the final project, I chose to photograph what I truly wished to photograph- my friends. In a previous project, the criticism that I received that concerned me the most was that it was hard to see the subjects’ personalities in the images. It upset me because I think of my friends as wonderful and humorous individuals, with a very interesting dynamic. Thus, in each of these portraits, I wanted to make sure that the relationship between the individuals in the pictures was emphasized, while also accentuating their individual personalities and the correspondence in their senses of humor. I made the portraits as simple as possible to focus attention solely on the people, and directed them very little. They came up with the specifics on their own, each person posing with the other based on jokes or nuances they had in their particular relationship. This created a genuine comical effect, and captured the essence of who I feel my friends are.
Persona Project- Teenage Recklessness
For my persona project, I wanted to capture teenage recklessness. However, even at the age of eighteen, social pressures can hinder one’s willingness to show their “true” selves. Thus, I wanted to show them stripped of those inhibitions, and did so by documenting my friends’ experience taking acid.
Their insecurities melted away and the parts of their personalities they might have been afraid to expose came out. They were sillier, laughed more, messed around with each other, and had a good time. They talked, play-fought in the woods, skipped stones, and just sat around. Some of this was due to the distortive quality of the drug, but much of it was an aspect of their personality that I could have guessed they possessed but had never really shown.
This provokes the question: when it comes to teens, is it about the drugs, or is it about the feeling of being freer? And when it comes to feeling freer, are they actually more open, or just open with themselves and more closed off to the rest of society?
Emulation Project- Merry Alpern
For this project, I chose to emulate Merry Alpern, and her series “Dirty Windows,” shots looking into a strip club bathroom window by Wall Street. To capture the grittiness of the images themselves, I used 3200 ASA film and a telephoto lens. In these shots, I tried to emphasize the juxtaposition between the clothing of the men, who in the series worked Downtown and on Wall Street, and the women. Their manner of dress is contrasting, and the men’s actions do not match the suits that they wear, yet they still seem to fit right into the picture. In addition, I tried place focus on the women’s lack of interest towards the situations they find themselves in with the men. Although everything seems to consensual on the surface level, there is still a strong underlying feeling of the women being forced into this, not necessarily with physical force, but with the arguably stronger force of needing money. In all, I tried to make these shots emulate as much of the sordidness of Alpern’s “Dirty Windows” as possible.
Mapping Project- The Body As A Work Of Art
For the mapping project, I chose to map the body. In terms of the physical, our bodies are the most intimate and closest physical part of us. They are with us all the time, they are familiar, but they are also something that we must learn to be comfortable with. Like any other part of nature that is captured as art, the body is a work of art due to its organic qualities. The perfection of imperfections, and the personal nature and closeness of the body make it a familiar but powerful image.
The reason I chose to photograph this particular friend was because of the tattoos and piercings that she has. She, like many other people, has taken a whole other meaning to the idea of the body as a work of art. She has chosen to place works of art on her body and decorate it, and that act in and of itself makes her body an integral piece of the art itself. Her body is now an interesting and unique piece of art all on its own.