Thursday, December 13, 2012

Relationships, Obsessions, and Pictures...

I think that before this class, I was a little oblivious to how much there really is to photography. ISO, shutter speed, aperture... Pre-class, "auto" was my friend. And my favorite setting on my camera. Nothing against auto, or those who use it, but I got irritated with it after a while in this class when I wanted to do certain things. Like light tricks at night. The auto set flash ceased being my friend at that point. But really, that's my relationship to a camera, and let's face it: that's a roller coaster anyway.
My relationship to photography has changed, and it also hasn't. I still love it, and taking pictures just fills me with glee. But I think that I appreciate it as an art now in a way I didn't before (Thank you, Octopus Tattoo.) My subject matter has changed a lot, too. I was, in all honesty, a creeper, taking pictures of complete stranger's children. But now I know that's what I like. I said it before and I'll say it again: they are so happy and they have a boundless energy and innocence that I find intoxicating. I feel like my style is some odd combination of people--- preferably candid or very deliberate (like Octopus Tattoo... I can't get over it) and scenery, flowers, and the occasional total tourist shot. So probably like a lot of people. Apparently I haven't gotten over my addiction to pretty, but I think that my perception of beauty has changed. With that, I'm going to go find some beauty and photograph it.

Okay, one last flickr set. This one is Brighton, where I will definitely be living someday. For the rest of my life.


So... this is a little out of order. I was overly excited about Octopus Tattoo. Pretend that you read this blog before the last two. :)
I feel very historical, having visited Lacock Abbey.
I am supposed to write a letter to Henry Fox Talbot, regarding my own relationship to photography. So first, let me say,
Thank You, Henry. You're a champ. I greatly appreciate the knowledge and improvements you brought to photography. Seriously, though, even though that sounds really corny. I mean it. Considering that photography over the years has gone from a hobby to a passion to what I want to do with my life as a career, I feel like I owe you big time (and, of course all of the others who added to this marvelous technology and art form.) That's really all I can say. I love photography, and you helped to make it what it is.

Moving on, the title of this blog says it all. Stonehenge. It might be one of the coolest things ever. I thought I was prepared for it, but it made me feel... nope. I don't have a word. It just made me feel. It was so massive and powerful, but majestic. It is legitimately breath taking.

Check out more photos on flickr!

Seduced by Art (and Octopuses.)

The name of the exhibition at the National Gallery was "Seduced by Art: Photography Past & Present." That name was quite appropriate, and let me tell you, I have been seduced. Art can take me now.
The point of this blog is supposed to be comparing painting and photography when the subject is the same, and I promise, I'll get there. First, though, I'm going to talk about how exactly art has seduced me so completely and quickly. Its name is "Man with Octopus Tattoo II." And it is my new love. Like seriously, I have been FREAKING OUT about this exhibit since we got to London because the exhibition posters in the tubes and elsewhere feature this photo. And it is exactly what it says: a lovely nude portrait of a man with a tattoo of an octopus covering a large portion of his torso. I can't even say what it is about this photo that I'm so obsessed with. I just can't stop looking at it. I'm in love. I think it's just a little bit of mystique-- the subject is facing away from the camera, so I don't know what his face looks like, which is interesting enough, but then there's also the lingering question, in my mind, anyway, of why an octopus? and why there? and why so enormous? Also, the subject's posture, with his arms wrapped around himself and his head bowed a little bit, indicate to me a little vulnerability, but the tattoo seems to defy that, being so strong and almost fierce looking, or maybe protective. I could go on for a long time, because I seriously love this picture. But, since I really do have to get to the point of this assignment, I'll just say that when I grow up, or maybe tomorrow (you never know) I would like to take a photograph that makes someone fall so completely in love with it the way this one has captured me, mind, soul, and spirit. Okay. Now I'm done with that. Mostly. The picture here is of the poster right outside the exhibition in the gallery, and it does not do it justice. But if you should be seduced by it, back off, it's mine. Just kidding (mostly.)

Okay, now I'm really going to move on to the real assignment for this blog.
I'm supposed to compare psychological differences between the same subject, Painted and Photographed. My first thought was to say that a painting is more intimate, particularly if the subject is a person. I figured that for a painted portrait, the artist probably had to be with the subject for far longer, and that made me think that there would be a more personal bond. But then I considered the octopus tattoo guy, and I feel like there is a level of intimacy there that is most definitely not in some painted portraits I've seen, nudity aside. I guess my new answer would be that it depends, like so many things do, on the subject, the artist, and, most importantly, the audience. So ask yourself: what seduces you?

I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the beloved Octopus man, other than the one I took of the exhibition poster (which I was then chastised for) so here's the link to the flickr gallery/ museum set.


Well... I must say that I am a big fan of the geniuses who came up with the existential photography exhibit at the photographers gallery. I am also a big fan of the woman who managed to get her photo taken by cameras triggered by shooting a bull's eye. It may because I was SO CLOSE and missed it by literally a hair (and thus must go through training before joining the zombie apocalypse survival team... but that's another problem), but I think it's impressive that, first of all, she was committed enough to do it that many times, and that she was successful that many times. Or maybe I am just easily impressed. Actually, that sounds pretty likely. This photo is just one wall of this woman's bull's eye portraits. There were two others. And let me just say again, that's A LOT of bulls eyes.
The whole SHOOT exhibition was actually really cool, now that I'm done raving about one woman and her accuracy. I actually really loved the photos that were taken by shooting the camera. While I don't think I could live with myself if I ever shot my camera, I liked the concept. And the photos were fascinating.

I'm sorry to say, I was lazy or something today. So the flickr set is for both days we spent in galleries.