It might have been a while since I last wrote, but that doesn’t mean that photography on my part has been any less intense, or that I’m enjoying not enjoying it anymore!
Our class is well past our second critique, and fast approaching our third and final one; one that will bring together all we’ve done this semester, now in a slideshow with sound and effects.
What is photography to me now? So much more than a class, than something I’m doing to get my credits over with. I see it everywhere now; it’s quite amusing sometimes, how I’ll look at something in terms of photographic potential as opposed to just its face value. Trash cans are artistic in a way that they weren’t before. The path I never noticed before? It’s suddenly beautiful.
Here’s an album that’s taken a long time coming; yes, I know it’s on facebook, but it’s there!!
This week our class is having our first critique; mine was yesterday, and went really well! After all that work, it was rewarding having people appreciate it, and made all those hours in the lab completely worth it!
So turns out that there is quite a bit of work in between taking a picture and looking at the final prints! I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy photography as much as before when I was in the lab for around six hours last Wednesday night… but then I found myself going back the next night. And the next. And everyday since.
There’s something rather relaxing about sitting in the lab in the middle of the night when most people you know are in their dorm rooms, having just put your prints to dry, and reading for another class. Or listening to music, and talking to your friends who’re giving you company. Or being in the wet lab with minimal lighting, just focusing on your pictures and being aware of every second that’s passing by.
Imagine that you’ve never seen a picture before. Imagine that you lived way back in the 19th century when photography was just coming “into the picture” so to speak. Now imagine that you saw a picture of the sun, or the moon, or some unknown exotic destination to which you’d never been before….
Mind blowing, isn’t it?
We can see things that happened in the past; our ancestors, historical battles, important stages in the development of the world.
These are some of the things our professor told us to think about in our Friday morning class. He encouraged us to look at photography like we were doing it for the very first time, and that point of view has literally made photography even more meaningful for me. In recent times, we’ve all learnt to appreciate photographs that are magnificent. Colourful. Planned. And more often than not, extremely photoshopped!
We went on to see a couple of pictures that had been taken in the 19th century, and in the early 20th century. If you look at them from a modern perspective, then they aren’t very spectacular; they’re rather boring actually. But if you wipe your mind of all the photographical preconceptions you have, then you’ll recognise them for what they are; extremely amazing pieces of art!
This week, go out and rediscover what photography really is!
The 2nd of September this year has my parents celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary, and my grandfather, his 87th birthday! Wish I could be there to take your pictures with my awesome new camera… oh well, one day! Have a great, great day!!
When I was younger, photography was mainly about smiling lots on birthdays and other special occasions. Then, my dad would take the film to some guy who magically transferred tiny little negatives into startlingly amazing impressions of all of us. I think eventually I realised that there was more to photography than standing in front of the camera, and that was probably the moment that a spark of interest in photography came alive.
Later on, when I decided to start taking my own pictures, all you could see were fingers, and lens caps, and (what seemed like great shots at the time) lone wild animals faintly visible in the distance of the wilderness. Luckily, I wasn’t discouraged, and continued on, and thankfully my picture taking was made much easier by the invention of (or introduction into Kenya of) digital cameras. Now I could take tens, hundreds of photos, once, twice, thrice, as many times as needed, until I finally got it right.
After a while though, this got monotonous. There were only so many times that I could get people around me to be subjects, or take the same old pictures of the same old things. I’d look at some of the ones that other people had taken, and they all seemed to tell a story of some sort. Mine, however, were just pictures.
Fortunately, I guess my destiny took pity on me, and I came to Sewanee, where I was assigned a job where I was doing quite a bit of photography, and editing pictures. Then, I met Pradip (my photography professor), and before I knew it, I was (or still am) a sophomore taking her first photography class.
Having taken two rolls worth of pictures, and after spending a couple of hours developing them, I am now FINALLY the proud owner (right word?) of two rolls of negatives of pictures I took myself. They’re screaming “AMATEUR!” at me right now, but I love ’em!