Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just Lacks.... Something

All photos are accurate. None of them is the truth.
-Richard Avedon

I love photography. Amusingly though my own curiosity with the medium has begun to focus less on imagery, less on depicting a place or moment, and more concentrate on what's lacking from that moment or place that photographs record.

Take the image shown here, we see a person reading a menu at a table with red and orange lights painting the scene. Yet, I can't express through this image the smell of smoke that filled the air from an open fire, the brief smells of food cooking, can't express the sounds of the pool players, sounds of dishes clattering, can't express the smooth finish of the dark wooden table we sat at. I can't even guarantee the authenticity of this image - I could have easily grabbed the menu from another place because I liked the name, and brought it to this location because it was visually more appealing (I didn't, but it's an amusing prospect). The idea of photographs as truth is another concept I like to play with.

But how to represent these smells, sounds, or tactile stimuli? Well, text does the trick nicely but is also lacking, but text can help guide the idea, and that is what I like to work and play with: memory.

With a little text I can trigger someone's imagination. With my own work, at times, providing so little actual visual information the majority of what the viewer has to rely on is text, forcing them to rely on their own experiences, their own memories to complete the picture.

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don't be bitter because you can't record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hey, Some New Work

These images came about from a semi long period of photographers block I had a relatively short while ago. Struggling to conceive of any form of imagery or concept I turned to my moderate sized library of photo books to look for inspiration. Upon looking through the second or third book it dawned on me how odd it was that I was looking through texts to find some form of insight. Instead of looking to past experiences, or even my own previous work, I went to the books, and it was this act that compelled me to create this piece, this amusing idea of learning to create a "perfect" photograph.

The idea just tickles me funny, that I'm learning to create art by reading these books and old notes, that the entire process of making this "perfect" photograph is equivalent to studying for a quiz. Rather than going out and experiencing life, or getting some practical experience by going out and actually taking photographs, one just needs to read books to create that "perfect photograph".

Certainly being a student influenced this piece, this overwhelming amount of information and paper. For the shot I piled up every photography book I have, including old notes and film. The flame in the third image is open for interpretation, I have my own reason for it, but I'll leave it open for now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Guess I'm Gonna Stick Around

Almost been a year since I posted anything, but I was told today that images from this blog are being used for this years Digital photography class at the U of O, so I've taken this as a decent reason as any to start posting again.

So, had my first BFA review today, that's Bachelor of Fine Arts (in photography in my case), it was a 3 hour get-together of us photo BFA's (there's 5 of us in the program, unless I'm missing someone) discussing our ideas and images, basically trying to convey what we're hoping to accomplish for the year. Some truly great work being produced, as for myself..... Well, not my most solid production. My concept itself is solid - no problem there - the images however simply didn't work, which is fine; not much point for me to be in the BFA program if I'm already able to "get it right." The reaction against the images really wasn't all that surprising actually; the photo's were experiments, and because of their experimental nature I didn't play it safe. Which, to be honest, is kinda fun from time to time, and a lot more helpful I feel. I got some quirky ideas I wanted to try with the photographs, I tried them out, they didn't work. Bit disappointing, but not too much, its far more liberating, and far less nagging at the mind in the long run to at least try. I suppose that's rather clichéd, but hey its one thing to say, another to actually do.... hmmm thats also rather clichéd.

So instead of posting those failed images, here are some recent "successful" pictures from my conceptual photography class. Currently entitled, "Guiding Water With Some Helpful Directions."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Final: Sense of Place

This project.... Well, it started as a piece of portraiture of my grandma. She despises having her picture taken, so naturally I followed her around for a week taking thousands of pictures of her, capturing her various routines and movements through the house. Even trying to capture her hatred for cooking. I eventually evolved the series to include images of the past - overlaying images from photo albums to show what areas of the house used to look like, showing moments that occurred in those spaces. Due to time I was only able to apply this "effect" into a few of the photographs. In one image, in my grandparents living room, there is an older picture of me (in my cuter days) and my cousin Emily when we were little kids - this picture is imposed over what the living room looks like now. Another picture shows what the kitchen used to look like, and the last image shows what the exterior of the house looked like when my grandparents first bought the house.

I wish I had the time to apply this past-present look to more of the photos, I found it interesting to see how much work my grandparents put into this house over the years.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Critical Mass: Art of The UO

I actually got this idea last year but never did anything with it, and actually completely forgot about it until last Thursday when I was looking at a drawing of a skull-thing in a bathroom stall. Basically looking at various visual quirks of the University, and not so much at what I suppose would be called "legitimate" art, such as some of the painted murals around campus.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Initially the idea that arose from this image was that of being lost: imagery blending together; familiar signs, road markers, telephone wires, all a blur. There's no sense of what's coming, of what's around the corner, only fragmented images of where you've been. In the end this became an image of being lost not necessarily in terms of physical location, but of a person who's trying to remember where he's been, trying to put the pieces together.

With this thought of the image being that of a memory, I took on this idea that the telephone wires were reminiscent of synapses in the brain; thousands of wires connected together. I could imagine the wires all pulling at each other, pulling the various elements in this picture together, but becoming lost in the fog.

When I began working on this image I didn't have any clear idea of what I wanted out of it, where I wanted it to go, I simply started randomly putting pieces together. In the end I find that an appropriate work method for this picture: no clear idea of where your going, or where your at, no sense of conclusion.