Thursday, January 14, 2010

Final Project - Onomatopoeia

I love the idea that a photograph is more than a picture. It's more than texture, than color, than focus and light. I want it to be more than that. I want it to make people feel something.

I think I suceeded fairly well with that first goal. I've had the experience of people looking at my photos, and not being able to resist saying the sounds out loud, which makes me happy. It makes me feel like I did the first half of my job well - I've made an image that's more than something you look at.

For the second one - wanting people to feel something - I'm not sure how I did. I certainly got some reactions (from "awesome!" to "grosssssss!"), and I think that means that some of my photographs were at least memorable. I did have a few people laugh (especially with "clink"), but no one cried. I wasn't trying to make anyone cry with them, but still, it might have been nice, as it would have been a clear indicator of whether or not anyone actually got something emotional out of my photography.

If I got anything out of my photography is a different question. And the answer is complicated.

Some of it I love. Some of it I hate. It changes. Right now, though, I'm not super happy with it. I feel like its all the same. Literally - all of my pictures look the same to me.

I have a very easy shooting process (at least, easy for me). I plan my shots out very carefully, but fairly quickly. I know exactly what my photo is going to look like before I even shoot it. In fact, shooting, which I feel like should be a beginning, is usually the ending. And I wish I'd pushed myself out of my comfort zone more. I wish I'd experimented more with light, focus, composition, because all of my photographs feel the same to me, and it drives me insane - they're all close up, macro focus, studio lighting. And while that's really worked for me, I'm done. For one thing, macro focus is being violently ripped away for me. For another, I think that a good photographer (or a good artist in general) ought to be able to make something beautiful out of something unfamiliar, and even frightening, not just something they feel like they know well.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think this was a good project. The images are sound (a couple white balance issues, but nothing too horrible). Some sounds are more effective than others, but I think all work fairly well. My favorite is clink - I think its whimsical and fun and really me. Power of the beta fish. Silence is probably my least favorite - I like the idea, but I don't think that I conveyed it so well.

And in an attempt to add on a more positive note, I look forward to darkroom photography. I think it'll really push me into trying things wildly different than what I've done in this class, which is why I love our photo program so much - it's so diverse. Kind of yin and yang-y. I get to try some of everything.