Artist Statement Final Portfolio
My intention was to attempt to create a world with my images that gave the illusion of a large scale landscape while using small places that are often overlooked. In this work I believe that for the most part the viewer can gain a glimpse of surreal environments that are normally seen in dreams and movies. While some are more fanciful than others the point remains that the world we live in has its own tiny worlds that we rarely see which raises the point of how big or small is our own world around us?
The task of capturing the images was as unique as the images themselves. One cannot simply stroll around and expect to come across many of the same shots that I have done for this Nature Photography class because the worlds I try to create are often under brush and require the willingness to crawl on the ground and look for the nooks and crannies of the world we live in.
At its best the project is best used to convey the fact that we are all part of this world that we rarely see. It contains more than we shall ever be able to witness in ten lifetimes. But in that tragic fact we find the beauty of the world being that so much is possible and available to everyone who lives upon this rock that is drifting at 66,500 miles per hour through emptiness.
With regard to many others who use macro or miniature work in their photos I feel that the function though crucial in work of this nature is always outweighed by the form of how each set can be very unique while essentially using the same methods to convey a message to a viewer.
The bus trips to and from our destinations shaped my work as much as the environments we found ourselves exploring throughout this semester. On long bus rides where many were asleep the whole time my work seemed to reflect the quiet that was constant on the trip. While others where people were active I found myself shoot more active scenes like at Ohiopyle.
The environment was the biggest factor obviously as most were brisk and had overcast. This impacted everything as it is impossible to haul a studio around in the rugged state parks of Pennsylvania. This led to exciting challenges and discoveries of using the available light to craft my images.
In the end all things came down to pushing what I could do with what I had available to me on each trip. I felt that many in the class grew together in a way that would only of occurred had everyone been friends who went out together a lot. A way that suggest that most people are essentially willing to be around each other and be friendly but social norms dictate all who have not been introduced to by an intermediary are strangers and off limits. That was better than the images that I had taken personally. I enjoy the interactions of others far more than much else in life which is what the project is at its base is about. The connections of the world that we rarely see.
The abandoned turnpike trip was more of a day out exploring than the other classes that we have had. A few of us crawled into the vent room and the adjoining offices that were in the front of the tunnel. As almost any photographer I enjoy crawling around abandoned lots to see if there is anything neat inside. It is something I have done since I was a young child. While less often I still find time for it but with a more of a thought behind the risks involved.
As for the rest of the day, I thought the cook out was a success as far as one could of been on a tiny road in the middle of no where. It was a fitting end to the time spent together and a moment to reflect on the semester of outdoor adventures we all embarked on together yet took our own path with our approach and each producing a unique view of the world we all shared.
Mt Davis was a short trip but in all a good experience but there was not much diversity in the work I produced. There was little there but in all I had a good time and the lunch was nice since we all sat down together for the first time really. The tower was an amazing view that should of been seen by all. Miles and miles of trees can be seen from atop the observation deck. Like a sea of green that is only kept at bay by the encroaching towns and cities in the distance. Pennsylvania has many gems like this to offer and I wish more would just venture out a little more just so they can appreciate what there is just a few miles away.
The Pittsburgh Zoo was a great time even though the work doesn’t fit in with my overall theme. I enjoy going so much I often make excuses to go. Many of the animals were not being exhibited at the time we went. I was struggling to make shots that were in the indoor exhibits that weren’t overly grainy. I like the two of the ray for a piece of my project. But besides that the rest are all extra as far as I am concerned.
I think the next time I go I will wait at a single exhibit to get a better shot instead of rushing to get as many animals as I could. That I think was my short coming on this project but as a hole it was a good experience and being able to see a little of the of behind the scenes action was pretty informative and would like for the chance to do that again.
The end of the year is wrapping up and I found myself behind and unable to find what I was exactly looking for in my images with the time allotted. I walked around point park for a good while even through a little rain that sputtered off and on again.
I spent the last three days before this set was shot running around Washington DC trying to cover a million stories and events at once. All of them were urban and left little room for work for this project. Though the environments themselves weren’t helping.
I kind of took a break from everything and just took photos without the hyper-criticism I normally applies when I release the shutter. It was that shooting purely for aesthetics that I found nice one this adventure rather than the images themselves. Sometimes it is nice to just play around and see what comes your way. Call it what you will but I enjoyed my walking around aimlessly and feel the little tweaks I was playing with brought out some decent images.
The day started early and ended early. I was concerned I hadn’t gotten enough work done that I felt was presentable. I got back and forth on how I feel about this set of images as I have only had a two days to decide what I liked from the set. Ohio Pyle is a place I have always enjoyed visiting but never took any pictures while there before St. Patrick’s day. The day was crisp in the morning and pleasantly warm after noon. Just the right weather for hiking. The only down side was the fog was too heavy at the start though I worked with it in the sepia trees image. But before we had gotten to our second destination at the boat rental in town the fog had all but cleared, forcing my hand to not use the fog as I had intended entering the trip. I felt stressed about the inability to find anything I wanted to shoot for about three weeks. Three weeks of every frame being garbage at best wore on me in a way that could only be described as infinitely infuriating. But here things just clicked from the start where I saw what my images looked like in my mind as the shutter released. I just was in the zone, maybe because I started away from the group and when able I do perform better than when in a pack. I assume because of my constant worry of ruining someone else’s frame as I haphazardly wonder around the woods. Being able to get out on the 17th was exactly what jump start my work needed. I enjoyed the early breeze that carried the woodsy musk that I love and have many memories tied to. When I am away from urban environments I find the peace and clarity that clouds my thought process, once again a reason I took this class. I find that the requirement to get out just a bit more than I would on my own has had plenty of benefits for my work and myself. I started taking a different approach to this project as a whole. I was having great difficulty getting the micro-landscapes I needed naturally and as I didn’t was to fabricate or alter what I found. In Ohio Pyle I used the tilt-shift lens on some images to bring the mini to me in a sense. Next best thing to the shrink ray for what I am trying to achieve. I still focused on the core elements of my other mini’s by trying to use rich colors and having texture that draws the eye to the subject, which I hope often makes the image interesting as a whole but also at the level of the smallest details. Enjoy
I enjoyed the trip to McConnell’s Mill quite a bit, though I was struggling to keep up with my back being a constant issue. I failed to get many micro-landscapes this time around mainly because I was having nothing to do with laying on ground and getting up and down constantly. Though I missed a great location that I was told about after the face I found that just playing with light in the dark can be as amusing as it needs to be.
These shots are my least favorite except the first cave shot. Hint: It’s the better one. I wish the area was a little more open for exploration but the roads and the strip mine seem to have the mill itself squished in the valley.
I am looking forward to the next installment to redeem my short comings here. So expect big things in a couple weeks as spring break starts Friday and I will be posting but not sure when.
The trip to Trough Creek State park was enjoyable and I enjoyed the brisk air and snowfall. Though I spent most of the day wet from the creek, my socks were dry and my imagination running wild.
While I got some images that I liked I felt I didn’t have enough time to get what I wanted. I found the an overhang that was covered in icicles teeming with all sorts of small plants and fungi that looked awesome. I had spent the day walking mostly without thinking of where I was going for the most part. Just searching with my eyes until I felt I had something to work with.
All in all I had a good time except the rope bridge incident. I think as the class moves on I will find more ways to expand on the idea of micro-landscapes I am trying to achieve in the majority of my shots. This set is lacking for the reason of too much snow made it difficult to find unique shots that were not essentially white on white.
Hope you enjoy and feedback is always nice.
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