Many students had interesting narrative projects. Some were linear and told a traditional story while others were more poetic and reflective in nature. I would like to showcase several student’s work. The first is Michael Bala. Michael’s narrative, When You Sleep, is a study of how artificial light can be absorbed to describe different types of nighttime scenarios. Through these images, Michael wanted to address the feeling of loneliness. He is fascinated with how light can influence the mood of the subject. Here are his photographs.
The next body of work is by Alexis Leader. The following is her narrative. My story starts with a solitary figure dressed in black. The black clothing represents the sadness and inner turmoil that this person is facing.
She is trying to decide whether to leave everything behind in order to follow an urge that she has inside. An urge that tells her she must leave civilization behind; that the trees and the forests are her true home.
She lays down in the woods and listens to what the forest is trying to say while she contemplates what to do.
Eventually, she decides that she must go because sitting still has become too painful. She has become too restless. Her destiny is to wander amongst nature in order to learn the ancient knowledge nature contains. Only those who are quiet enough are able to hear the language of the trees, the language of the rivers, of the plants and of the animals.
She switches to wearing a white dress in order to indicate that she is at peace with her destiny.
She leaves behind everything she has in order to be able to focus and learn. Her shoes and socks and her loved ones are left behind.
She has found her place in this world and she is happy.
During this time, she wanders through the woods and learns everything she can.
Eventually, it is time for her to make the final transition, to move on to the next level of knowledge.
The ghost-like photographs represent her leaving this Earth and entering enlightenment. It is time for her to go higher, to go home and not even her body could tie her down and keep her from leaving.
Unlike other types of photography, such as landscape and portraiture, the point of narrative photography is to tell a story or suggest a sequence. The story/sequence can be fictitious or documentary in format. It can be linear or consist of flashbacks or montages of events. It should have a structure of some kind in order for the narrative to unfold and be understood. The images should relate to each other on a conceptual level or a formal (structural) level or both. Students will be taking lots of color film for this assignment. The idea is to be personal with the narrative. The following images are from Nancy Grace Horton’s Ms. Behavior series.
The following students had excellent photographs illustrating all four elements: color, light, texture and shape/space. The first photographer is Michael Bala. Michael has a unique aesthetic that reminds me of William Eggleston. Here is Michael’s color photograph.
The next is his light photograph.
The next is texture.
And, the last is space.
The next photographer is Edward Wang. Here is his subtle color photograph.
Here is his light photograph.
The next photograph is texture.
And, the last is space.
The last photographer is Shibo Nie. Here is his color photograph.
The next is his light photograph.
The following is texture.
And, lastly, space.
I would also like to add Abby Goemmer’s photograph for color. It has such a beautiful asymmetry.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. — Dorothea Lange
Seeing the ordinary world clearly is a source of raw material and inspiration when you work with your camera. The purpose of the assignment is to help students connect with the visual world and express that experience photographically. Students deconstruct the world of form into its basic elements: color, light, texture and shape/space. The end result is one print for each of the four sections. The following photographs illustrate light as an element. The first photograph is by Yu Wen Yu.
The next photograph is by Megan Chang.
The next is by Takuto Nakamura.
The next is by Abby Goemmer.
The next is by Alexis Leader.
The next is by Logan Stone.
The next is by Seewon Kim.
The next is by Senglong Ngor.
The next is by Vicky Yan.
The last is by Jihee Jeon.
Students got to use the scanner as a light source to create some interesting compositions. Unlike black and white photograms that are done in the darkroom, you can keep previewing your composition and tweak it until you like what you see. They also got to scan in their negative pinholes and create digital positives. This was a great introduction to the digital darkroom. They worked in groups with various items each person brought from home and a few things that I had brought in. Also, scannergrams can be in color!
The last one was of their pinholes!
The pinhole camera is a great introduction to more sophisticated cameras. It has an aperture (pinhole) and shutter speed (length of time the pinhole is uncovered). Students had fun constructing their cameras which varied greatly in size and shape. After they processed their negative pinholes, they made a positive contact print in the darkroom which introduced them to the photographic concept of negative to positive process and latent image. The first utilizes the architecture of Bellevue College by Jihee Jeon.
The next figurative pinhole is by Edward Wang.
Vicki Yan did one with a Bellevue College sculpture.
Audrey Deluca’s pinhole is very mysterious.
And finally, Michael Bala. Look for the ghostly figure!
Welcome Photo One students! Photograms are a great way to begin your photographic explorations. Photograms deal with light, latent image, positive/negative space, photographic chemistry and the enlarger. Students were to be mindful of elements of composition such as: unity, balance, emphasis, repetition, direction/movement, contrast, rhythm, and space as well as elements of design: line, shape, pattern, figure/ground relationship and value. The first is by Senglong Ngor. I love the touch of nature he placed by the headphones and the use of the shell.
The next is by Megan Chang. The sense of movement/direction is obvious in this one!
Shinna Zhu did the next one. I love all the ribbon!
The next is by Jihee Jeon. It is more complex and has a nice sense of asymmetry.
Sergey Kruse did the next one and it is a clear example of symmetry.
Yun-Hsin Laing did the next photogram and I love the unity and completeness of it.
The next one is by Patty Lin. She explored pattern with newsprint cutouts.
This one is by Guy Everett. It has a sense of playfulness and rhythm.
All in all, it is a great start to the quarter! Stay tuned for the next assignment.