Friday, December 30, 2011

Project 365: getting oh so close ...

The other night I was trying to take a photo of myself to send to the maker of the felted scarf I was wearing.  I make jewelry and I seldom get to see how the pieces look on the wearer, so I wanted Anneke to see how lovely her gifted scarf looked worn.

I clicked my ol' iPhone camera a few times and I looked at one of the images that was blurred. It was like there were two sets of eyes or eye glasses. It struck me that I liked that image the best. I've included it unedited here. I've since played with different effect filters, but they all seemed to shortchange the dual reality of the image.

Ironic that later that same evening I watched a documentary on PBS about American photographer Francesca Woodman (Apr 3, 1958-Jan 19, 1981.) Many of her 800 mostly black and white images were of nude models or of herself. I learned that those photographs where she had staged a scene, weren't self-portraits, but she stated she knew exactly what she was trying to convey. She had a good deal of photography background for her young age, and although her images were ahead of their time, she used a medium format camera and most of her prints are 8" x 10", which "works to produce an intimate experience between viewer and photograph."

In many of Woodman's photographs the women are blurred, due to movement and long exposure times, and appear to be merging with their surroundings, or whose faces are obscured. Some are somewhat unsettling, all provoke a response.

Francesca Woodman's body of work has an identifiable look about it. She was driven to tell a story, to stage the photograph to illustrate a point of view. I, on the other hand, simply capture a moment ... a snapshot.

I realized--yet again--that I am a snap shooter, not a conveyor of a story. It's not to late to change, if I wanted to illustrate a viewpoint. I regret that my photographs don't provoke an emotional response, other than, "Oh, isn't that lovely." Hmmm, maybe something to explore in 2012.

Anyway, I heartily recommend you do a little research into the photography of Francesca Woodman, who accomplished so much in her 22 years of living. A book Francesca Woodman, was published this year, and I'm sure PBS will repeat their documentary. I understand Francesca's work is garnering critical acclaim and interest.

To return to the subject of Project 365 and today's photograph upload, here I am ...

"Reality Shift"
(unedited iPhoto)

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