Here are some interesting images from the street assignment. Basically, it requires the photographer to have an experience going out and finding images without any preconceived ideas. Just going somewhere and responding with your camera. It can be meditative or stressful depending on where you go and what you encounter.
The first is an architectural and line study by Ruka Poon.
The second is a recording of beautiful light and softness by Katarzyna Chodakauskas.
The next is some dappled lighting by Drew Thompson.
The next is a moment caught by Stephanie Gilmore.
And the last two have beautiful symmetry by Peter Im.
Still life photography is the depiction of inanimate subject matter, most typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, flowers, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on). Still life photography, more so than other types of photography, such as landscape and portraiture, gives the photographer more leeway in the arrangement of design elements within a composition. A still life doesn’t move, so it is easier for a beginning photographer to spend more time with camera controls. This work is by Olivia Parker who has been involved in still life as an art form for many years. She continually finds ways to stretch the genre to include new and innovative approaches. Hopefully, you find them inspiring.
It is springtime and perfect for digging out that old 35-millimeter film camera that your mother used. This is a class where you will learn about all things related to film, so not digital. I know it is easy to use your phone but now you will have more control and will start to “see” in black and white. You will learn your camera controls and begin the process of mastering printing skills. There are many good examples of photographs taken in this class during Winter 2013 but I just chose a few that happen to be self-portraits. The first is Kathreen Absuelo (her cat is making the best motion blur), the second is Patrick Whitaker (a double exposure) and the third is Ran Ro (so creative). You will be led through a variety of assignments one of which is the self-portrait. So, start thinking how you want others to see you!
I just returned from the SPE conference in Chicago (Society for Photographic Educators). One of the speakers was Mona Kuhn, who I am now captivated by. These photographs are from her book called “Native.” In this series, she returned to her homeland Brazil. The work is about a mood, it is about Brazil, about a bird returning to a nest in the forest. Her visual journey fuses together photographs of nature and people in a highly personal portrait of a place seen through her eyes and imagination. The subjects are real, contemporary people, part of her generation. Her nudes are caught in a pensive and quiet state that she achieved patiently working to establish a genuine relationship of trust. She avoided using a tripod—or any other artificial props—and being assisted during the shooting in order to make people feel comfortable and naturally at ease with her. They are luminous and beautiful.
The merging of typography and photography can be seen in the work of Lorna Simpson. Lorna is a photographer whose work is represented in the current BC gallery show called Color(ing) Within the Lines: Graphic Works by African American Artists. Lorna Simpson first became well-known in the mid-1980s for her large-scale photograph and text works that confront and challenge narrow, conventional views of gender, identity, culture, history and memory. Here are a few of her photographic works that are not shown in the gallery. Make sure to see the show!
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
Piecing together Vivian Maier’s life can easily evoke Churchill’s famous quote about the vast land of Tsars and commissars that lay to the east. A person who fit the stereotypical European sensibilities of an independent liberated woman, accent and all, yet born in New York City. Someone who was intensely guarded and private, Vivian could be counted on to feistily preach her own very liberal worldview to anyone who cared to listen, or didn’t. Decidedly unmaterialistic, Vivian would come to amass a group of storage lockers stuffed to the brim with found items, art books, newspaper clippings, home films, as well as political tchotchkes and knick-knacks.
The story of this nanny who has now wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century is seemingly beyond belief. —www.vivianmaier.com/about
These images are a few of her self-portraits where she documented herself in shadows and reflective surfaces. I hope this inspires my students with their current project of portraiture/self-portraiture. Vivian Maier’s work is on view now in Seattle at the Photographic Center Northwest (www.pcnw.org).