Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Assignment Probably #6

Fish Out of Water

And now, for a bit of reflection....

I can work really hard, and I can work really fast. Which is good.

The reason I can do this is because I'm perpetually late. Which is bad.

I liked what I shot once I got it shot. Which is good.

It took me forever to get shooting, because I'm crazy indecisive, crazy busy, crazy procrastinating, and crazy. Which is bad.

In the end, I was really pleased with this project. My dead fish image is interesting (and I love the focus). The one with the hose is grainy, but funny. The staircase, self portrait, and the lettuce I could give or take, but in comparison with, say, my eighth grade body of work, they're stellar. Yay improvement!

The biggest problem I had with this project was shooting. When pressed, I can print like nobody's business. But shooting...meh.

I don't know what to shoot. Then I know what to shoot, and I shoot it wrong. Then I know what I want to shoot, even though it's not what I need to shoot, and even though it's underwater in Fiji. Then I start shooting, and I want to rip my hair out, then I love my camera more than life, then I get kicked out of Whole Foods and my relationship with authority figures is turned on its head and I don't know what to shoot.

Rinse and repeat.

It just takes a lot for me to load the camera, walk around a bit, and shoot. I lack momentum. That's something I really ought to fix before AP next year. But it's more than that - it's that I just don't know what to shoot unless I have it planned out perfectly.

With this project, the way I FINALLY got around to shooting was to take the assignment literally. I shot dead fish and fish furniture - they weren't in water. After I walked around Market Street Grill for a bit, taking LITERAL pictures, I moved on to very controlled images - like the lettuce in the McDonald's bag. And finally, I managed to pull myself together a bit and shoot people. I don't like to shoot people. Portraits and I have a love/hate relationship. I do love to look at and shoot beautiful portraits that have something about them that goes deeper than a facebook pic level. But it's hard to get that. And people I can't control. I see the exact expression I want on their face in my head, but I can't describe it. Even if I could, I don't know if they could even do what I asked - "arch your eyebrows to a forty-three degree angle, soften your lower eyelid, and convey years of pent up emotion with your eyes" just won't work. I guess "people photos" are really just a series of compromises, and after a while you get something beautiful.

This journal makes me sound like a psychopath.

1 comment:

Mr. Patteson said...

I disagree with this last.

I think your journals are fantastic. Honest, searching, insightful, funny.

Planning things out perfectly is great. And of course there's a kind of discovery that happens even within a highly structured plan. But try to -- on occasion -- leave room for chance, or serendipity. This approach (which is overdone by many students and perhaps underdone by you) is also helpful for overcoming that dreaded inertia. And maybe it saves you time and energy for a wicked plan on the next assignment that comes along.