Looking at (my) Photographs (1)

As mentioned yesterday, before I started looking for my photographic intent, I printed out 20 photographs, and after I found my photographic intent, I looked back at those 20 and made some comments. That exercise is reproduced here, with some additional commentary.I selected these 20 from my output in the last year or so, and I consciously selected images film-based images. I opened a grid view in Capture One and scrolled through it. As images caught my eye, I threw them in an album. I made 2 or 3 passes through the main folder, then looked at the album of primary selects. I grouped those into rough categories and selected 20 favorites.

I don’t remember how many selects I started with, but it probably wasn’t more than 30 or 40. I’m very critical, and tend to shoot a bunch of lazy junk. Hence, this exercise and these training programs I’m going through.

So. I photograph to encourage thought. What does that mean to my practice? Well, a brief quote from my freewriting exercise may help. (As some background, I hold a BA in Visual Arts and Philosophy, and an MA in Art History & Criticism (and Cultural Studies).)

With my photographs I hope for 1) ooo’s and ahh’s, sure, but really would prefer to 2) introduce some philosophical, reflection, some thought to viewers, while keeping with/referencing Art History, with a critical eye on my self/culture/society, and exploring the various cultures I interact with, showing another view of American, Muslim, other. So that’s my intent: get viewers to think, reflect, consider.

Let’s see if that’s reflected in any way in these images…

-color, light, shape, etc. Appreciate the beauty, the softness, flavor, scent, texture. Ooo. Ahh. Etc.

-Ooo. Ahh. Technical stuff, happy accidents. This is somewhat vapid, nothing else really going on, and nothing needs to, unless this is all I do. -Maybe use as a bridge, coda, epilogue, aside;break up the heady stuff; exclamation point; breather.

-more stimulating, thanks to simplified palate and more realized composition; still vapid, but less so, more stimulating maybe; similar use as bridge/breather, connective tissue; also as static, glitch.

-almost Egglestonian, maybe, but needs more work on color palate, point of view, angle, framing; the empty chair may suggest something more, a story, a broader context.

-color, light; perhaps some kind of story, something that contributes to a broader, overall theme: looking fondly at the prison bars, how the beautiful light and color outside beautify the prison, sort of.

-light, color, shape; the empty sofa could be evocative, but needs more to tell a story: evidence of life/occupancy; (the plant is much bigger now… another picture could express passage of time, darkness to light; this one, the dense fog of memory, due to the underexposure; another later to show moving into/arriving into the present.

-needs a better angle; the orange/brown color, like after some kind of apocalypse; if an empty swing suggests something, what does the movement say?

This is probably enough for now. I’m about halfway through, and the rest of the pictures have much more human involvement and so more potential, perhaps.

So do any of these speak to you? Encourage you to think? Do you have an aesthetic response? Do you start making up stories or wonder about what I might be trying to say?

I would really appreciate any comments you have. Thank you in advance!

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