While the other students have been fine-tuning their darkroom techniques and such, I have moved on to other projects, primarily the text-photos, and the time has afforded me some distance from the photos I made for the module. I returned to the files today to have another look and make the final cuts for George to look at.
George and I have corresponded some this past week, mostly so that I might have some direction on how to proceed. He suggested that I send him up to forty images. I laughed. I knew I did not have that many images that I felt were worthy. I wrote, "closer to four." However, when I began going through the images, I was surprised at the number I actually did like. Furthermore, some images I initially thought were the best no longer had the same appeal, and those I thought were iffy were now seen in a more favorable light.
Now, dear reader, I ask your indulgence. Below you will find my final selection. If you are so inclined to look at all of them, I'd ask that you also try to determine which one or two you find most appealing, and leave a comment as to why. I know that this request will involve a bit of your time, yet I hope that at least one moves you to a degree that you are inclined to remark.
I thank you.
These first three photos are from the first assignment for the module. We were to photograph a stranger and I chose to ask a woman who works at the local liquor store. She is not a complete stranger to me as I have a penchant for cheap scotch; yet, neither of us knew the others' name, nor had we spoken more than necessary to complete a transaction with my credit card, so I hoped she would qualify as a stranger.
The next assignment, appropriately enough, was to photograph people we knew, or, as Jonathan put it, members of our tribe, which is a reference to a phrase used by the photographer Nan Goldin. I chose two women who farm up the road from us. These women are in many ways an exercise in contrasts, yet both equally loved by DW and I. While I like several of the photos I have of them, I chose the two below to perhaps best depict their different natures.
The next assignment, "Nude vs Naked," found me in a bit of a quandary. Aside from myself, I had little idea of whom I might ask to be my model. Yet, after an inquiry to a local gallerist, I had a name, and soon thereafter, a person willing to disrobe in 50°F weather for a modest fee.
"But you don't know what I look like." was her only hesitation.
"I don't care." was my response. She had experience as a life drawing model, which would be a good start, but the one thing I knew I didn't want to do was do what I see as the fairly stereotypical nude photo of the lithe female with her back arched "just so," suggesting availability no matter the setting.
It would makes sense, no? that the following assignment would involve the clothed body. I tried, but I'm afraid that this assignment did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I have one photo that I think works half-way decent, and that is "Résumé Photo."
As I mentioned, I could have used myself as a model for a series of nudes, and in fact I did, although I don't know if you could call them nudes, per se. The final assignment (there are several embedded links to different days of blog posts about this assignment) for the class centered around the topic of aging, so, as a man who can no longer take his age, multiply it times two and hope to reach that sum, I am certainly aware of my own aging process, and made me a suitable model.
This assignment was by far the hardest for me; yet, as I look back on it, I took more time considering an approach than with the previous sessions, and in today's selection process, I found more photos that I thought had potential from this final assignment than all of the others combined. Furthermore, the distance from the time I took the photos until now has made some of the photos I felt were too unflattering more palatable to my vanity.
Fear of Irrelevance