Introduction to Photography
The first semester of the 2013 academic year is off to a busy, exciting start for APP students. After learning basic camera functions and focusing techniques during the first couple of weeks of the course, this week, students started to learn about photographing light and shadow. One of the course mentors, Chris, projected some of his work for the class and led a lighting demonstration. During the demo, he moved a light around objects and a student volunteer, illustrating how highlights and shadows fall differently depending on the position of the light source. Students were then encouraged to photograph examples of light and shadow inside the classroom and around the Dairy Barn.
Week 3 Assignment: “Seeing Light”
This week, your photographic subject will be “Light and Shadow.” Focus your attention, and your camera, on sources of light (the sun, indoor lights, outdoor lights), and watch how their light reflects on surfaces, forming shapes, highlights, and shadows.
In this assignment, it can be helpful to look for dramatic contrasts in light and shadow. Think of the dark shadows formed on a sunny day. It can also be fun to look at the way light interacts with surfaces such as glass, mirrors, water, metal, and fabric. Don’t forget about car headlights, television sets, refrigerator lights, and other light sources that we see every day but don’t always consider as photographic subjects.
Final hint: When you take note of a light source around you, watch how it interacts with the whole environment. Are there aspects of that interaction that are visually compelling to you? How can you show the MOST interesting part of the scene using your camera?
Advanced Photography — ART WITHOUT BORDERS!
The Advanced Photographers have been hard at work brainstorming and researching ideas for this academic year. This year the advanced classes are designed to give our APP artists the opportunity and ability to share their work in the community in numerous ways, the first of which is to create a portfolio of their past work that they can continually add to based on their photographic interests. We will conclude our year with an Art Leasing Project and our artists will gain an understanding of their own artistic strengths and appropriate places to share their work.
Week 3 proved to be a valuable experience, but for means of clarification (as well as posterity) I will summarize the previous first two weeks as follows: We started the class by getting to know the artists and instructors and teaching assistants. From this dialogue we gathered ideas and what each artist was interested in photographing or would like to begin exploring through their work. We ended the first week of classes with an example of what you can use your photographs for: Instructor, Jim Korpi brought in a cake with one of his photographs on it. Each person lit a candle and placed it on the cake, representing each individuals goals and achievements for the upcoming academic year. We ended this ceremony by blowing out the candles and said, cheers, to a successful and creative year. Week 2 was about “Portfolio Categories” (i.e. still life, landscape, portrait, etc.) and we studied other artist portfolios to 1) identify the subject matter of the book 2) place them into categories and 3) discuss where the photographer came up with the title for the portfolio/book and other concepts related to the work. Through this discussion our APP photographers came away with a more concrete idea of how they were to create their own working portfolio. Basically, each APP photographer will create a working portfolio of 12 images from their past archives. These 12 images will not necessarily be a presentation of their “best” work or what they are capable of making or their “brand,” but will instead be centered around one idea, concept or theme that they would like to further explore with their photographs in the coming year.
Week 3 sought to smooth over any overwhelming anxieties about creating their own portfolios by showing them more examples and giving them an opportunity to begin serious brainstorming for their work. We ventured away from our humble and quaint abode, The Dairy Barn, and viewed the Fine Arts Special Collections at Ohio University’s Alden Library. From the special collections Jim pulled some unique and rare portfolios of photographic works and we spent roughly an hour browsing through the portfolios and discussing artist intent and craft. Portfolios we viewed and were quite fond of included, Waterfalls by Pat Steir where the images in the portfolio were arranged accordion-style so that the portfolio cascaded just like the images it housed; The Little People of America 1971 by Les Krims, a limited edition of 20; Photographs of Paintings by Richard Misrach; a Japanese-style woodblock box and folded paper; and a mutoscope “inspired by Michel Foucault” called, The Order of Things by Norbert Schoerner. The goals this week were:
-How does the design/presentation of the portfolio work with the content?
-What categories does the portfolio fall under? Where would your work fall?
-Where did the photographer get the title for their portfolio/book?
-What one thing would you use in this photographic book in your own work or presentation of your work?
-All these examples are ways that you could potentially show your work (affordable, manageable, efficient, etc. based on your concept and work–be creative)
As week four approaches, the artists will be thinking about: what images from the past would they like to use in their portfolios and what set of images would they like to add to with future work?
Also, congratulations to APP artist, Stephen Rounthwaite, for having his photograph featured in The Athens News: http://www.athensnews.com/ohio/article-40692-my-sisters-paws-offers-aid-to-pets-of-domestic-violence-victims.html