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For my final project, I am thinking of focusing on close-ups, working within my apartment.  On the technical side, I am interested in investigating the compensation for the bellows extension, I am part engineer so I am really interested in exploring those mechanics and maths.  On the conceptual or idea side, I am going to be looking at and investigating everyday objects or places that we see/use everyday but overlook; things that we will forget in 1, 5, 10 years.  These small things can affect our lives in minor or major ways, yet we overlook them on a daily basis; like, I drink my tea every morning but I don’t pay close attention to my tea kettle or the knob on the stove that I turn to light the burner.  I am not sure if I want to photograph the things as they are, just left in their spaces, or if I am going to manipulate them to get a point across; this is one of the things that I am going to play and experiment with.  But overall, the project is going to be dealing with memory and documentation of passing moments and things.

I have seen Divola’s color work with the abandoned buildings, “Vandalism” or “Zuma” , but I don’t think I really understood the point of them before.  I think we build up the idea that there needs to be a concept behind our photographs or work, yet that is not always how we work, or how I personally work.  I like how Divola describes how things in his environment and his own photographs can influence his work, such as the dogs chasing his car in the desert.  He didn’t go out looking for these dogs, they just kind of found him and his camera.  I think with “Zuma”, I was trying to build up a concept behind the work, yet it was just Divola playing and experimenting with texture and color.  I sometimes find it difficult to come up with a concept and to act on and photograph that particular subject or idea. I photograph through a response to my environment; although, most photographers would probably say they work in this manner, its just a different sort of response for everyone.  

 

The excerpt “The Thing Itself” from Bill Jay’s Occam’s Razor really touched a note with me because I feel like I have been struggling with much of what he was saying about being a young photographer.  I am in my third semester of working on my senior work and I find it continuously difficult to find a subject I am interested in photographing.  His quote, “Photography has become a grade-producing chore and the thrill of visually confronting the world has lost its edge of discovery, the original reason, perhaps, why the student because a photographer,” really struck me because to some extent that is how I have been feeling; I felt as though I lost my motivation.  I really like his advice, to find those few things that really inspire or intrigue you that “a.) fire your enthusiasm b.) lend themselves to images, as opposed to words and c.) are continuously accessible.”  It is important to have that motivation to make images, it should be for you as well as your audience.  This excerpt has really helped me change the way I think about what I am photographing and what I want to be doing with my photography; just going back to the real reasons I wanted to go into photography in the first place.  The following comic I think illustrated this concept really nicely.  

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This is a project by Zander Olsen that I have stumbled across before and re-discovered while doing research for our new project.  

From his site ‘This is an ongoing series of constructed photographs rooted in the forest. These works, carried out in Surrey, Hampshire and Wales, involve site specific interventions in the landscape, ‘wrapping’ trees with white material to construct a visual relationship between tree, not-tree and the line of horizon according to the camera’s viewpoint.’  

Thought I’d share.

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Cole Rise is probably most well known for his work on Instagram, but beyond that, he is an incredible landscape photographer.  I really like the atmosphere and mood that he captures in his images, it almost makes them surreal.  I love the way he sees the world and how he uses his camera to show that; the vastness and emptiness of these landscapes (besides the occasional cow of course).  A lot of his work on Instagram has the same feeling, and you can tell he definitely has a particular style.  He has really embraced the technology and used it as a way to enhance his images.  

 

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I was really blown away by the work of Abelardo Morell; originally from Cuba, a few years after the revolution he came to America, where he took a course photography and has been practicing ever since.  Prajna Desai wrote a review for the Aperture Blog, entitled Outside In, of Morell’s retrospective on view at the Art Institute of Chicago.  It seems that the majority of this work involves combining the outside and the inside by transforming rooms into giant camera obscuras and photographing the resulting juxtaposition.  Even more recently, Morell has been using a mobile camera obscura tent to focus the landscape onto the ground. The robust landscape is distorted by the debris covering the ground, creating a very painterly and abstracted view of the landscape through photography.

But beyond these images, I also found that I really enjoy his earlier black and white work. The way he views the world is very peaceful, yet playful.  He is not afraid of the simple subject, nor should he because he seems to always capture some beauty or interest within his subjects.  He also has an extraordinary eye for light and how it interacts with its environment.  I really liked listening to him talk about his work in this interview from SCAD, especially the final 40 seconds.

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