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Photo Journal No. 4 - ‘Literally Speaking’

May 4th Online Class

This image was taken in 1990 by Ian Tilton. I found it on another photo-blogging website that I am a fan of. I would say that just about any photo is “worth” a thousand words. Every person that views an image has their own personal perception and interpretation of an image. This image is interesting to me for many reasons, but mostly because Nirvana is one of my favorite bands. This picture focuses on an interesting moment in Kurt Cobain’s life because he is crying, but not for any reason that many people would first perceive. The photographer states that Kurt was upset after a show in Seattle because he broke his “gear” on stage. He simply came off, sat down, and started crying. I first thought that Kurt was crying due to an unsettled emotional state caused by drug use. He could have been upset over just about any other event in his life, but it was interesting that he was so upset over breaking his gear. This really shows how much Kurt cared about his music. This was a time in his life when he was much “healthier” than towards the end of his time. This photograph really captures the grunge scene that Nirvana exemplified. I also like the fact that he is pictured here in a Sepia sort of way. Most photographs are either straight black and white or color.

Museum of Photographic Arts “Streetwise” Extra Credit

Ironically enough, Photography within the exhibit is prohibited. I almost got us kicked out.

Photo Journal No. 3 ‘The Performing I’

The Nerd

The Hunter

The Moto Head

The Hick

I believe that most everyone has multiple personas depending on situations. The true ‘self’ that we all have does not usually show when we are in the company of others’ views and opinions. These personas are usually created to mask what we don’t want others to see or show them what we want them to see. On a daily basis, there are definitely times when I am more my ‘self’ than others. In public I try to cover up some of who I really am. I have a certain look and attitude that I might not need to use around close friends or family. Certain behaviors are not acceptable with other members of society or situations. I am much more my self when I get to hang with my friends because I know that there are few boundaries to what is said and done. I would be acting more if I were at our usual Easter brunch at the La Jolla Country Club because of the expectations. Although I might seem much different in a situation like that, my ‘acting’ is not necessarily a false representation of my personality, but more so a proper public image. I have all of these characteristics, but I pull them out depending on the situation. I do not feel that I am constantly performing in front of others and would say that I rarely do. I try to be myself around people and if they don’t like what they are getting than I don’t care to be around them. Roles that I play run across a broad spectrum. On one side I am a very proper, studious young man and on the other I am almost white trash. The proper side comes from how I want to be treated, viewed and wanting success. The white trash side comes from my hobbies such as hunting, motorcycle riding and off-roading. I chose to photograph me ‘performing’ my hobbies because these are the exaggerated aspects of who I am. If I had to choose a way of living this is what I would pick. My roles support each other to make a balanced personality. I know when to turn it on and when to shut it off. The two extremes keep me from losing the perfect balance. I would say that 60% of my identity is physically defined and 30% is socially constructed. I try to stay true to who I really feel I am without pushing it too far.

Photo Journal No. 2 ‘Bearing Witness’

In photography, timing is of the essence. Photographs are documents of information. The relay of this information depends on when an event or object is photographed. This timing can change what mood it will evoke from the viewer. The question is where does truth resides in photography? There are three main parts of an event that can play into this change in recording which are the before, during, and after effects. I believe that the question is open ended because it is the photographer’s decision in documenting what they choose to. This can vary the truth if a photograph is the only proof that we have. My pictures are of a motorcycle riding event that I attended over break in Caliente, Nevada. I chose to photograph the before moment of this event. They are shots of the prep and safety talk before we were all sent out on our own into the mountains. All of the participants were huddled up under a Red Bull tent to avoid the snow. There was a series of questions and answers along with serious anticipation masked with jovial moods. There was not much leading up to this moment other than preparation. The most interesting part is the ride that came after this anxious pre-moment. Everybody came out for a full weekend of riding, but the weather turned out badly. Despite the weather, most everyone went out to get battered by the mud, water, trees and snow because motorcycle riding is their passion and it was an adventure. By showing people these photographs, viewers would have to speculate what is occurring. The event that took place is not very obvious in my photographs to the casual observer causing them to make assumptions. There are clues to aid the viewer in comprehending and understanding the photographs. I chose to take pictures of the before because it was a very anxious moment that was left open to question and opinion. The during would have revealed the purpose of the before and put it into context, but it would not have had as much of an impact. The after would have shown dirty riders that were exhausted, but satisfied because they accomplished a difficult ride. I think that there is objectivity in the process of showing pictures of an event before, during or after unless the pictures are selected or composed in a way to manipulate the viewer. This ties to Renais’s film, Night and Fog because Nazi death camps were shown during their use and after the war. This evoked a deeper meaning in the after effect pictures because it showed the true horror of these camps. Objectivity matters a great deal in the end because  the whole story can be changed or viewed differently depending on how and when an event is photographed.

Photo Journal No. 1- Sublimation

This old Spanish style home has many beautiful features not visible at first glance. The classic Spanish arches and textured walls are few of the interesting features, but one has to slow down to appreciate these features. I do wonder if people notice these on a daily basis as they pass by. What I like about the house is that there are many things that seem simplistic, but upon closer examination there is a beauty in the simplicity. The geometry, color, and texture are magnificent. I notice these due to the fact that I see photographically. Since I see things this way I am able to observe things in a different way. The lack of crown molding and monochromatic colored walls force me to appreciate the texture in the hand-trowelled walls. The short film Gasman, directed by Lynne Ramsay causes the viewer to have a different relationship with the subjects because their identities are not released until a few minutes into the film. The viewer is drawn to objects normally seen as mundane which promotes inspection of something most commonly overlooked. I experience this on a daily basis while viewing the world around me. I change scenes to realize how it can be looked at in another way. There is beauty in so many things around us. We just have to observe objects more closely. More often than not I find myself wishing that I have my camera with me so that I can elevate something by photographing it in such a way that another person can appreciate it. This shift in vision occurred soon after my own camera was put into my hands during my early teen years. I began taking more pictures than my memory card could hold in one trip. I would always be importing them and examining them slowly, one by one. This made me see things with a sense for angles, textures and lighting. Other than my Dad, I would say that I am alone in this seeing if I count people close to me. I think that this way of viewing is beneficial because it opened up my mind to finding beauty in the strangest things.