Friday, November 30, 2012
Men & Women. A superb mixture of photographic styles, photographer Tom Wood has created a wonderful exhibition within the Photographers' Gallery. The room is neatly divided in half between diverse snapshots of men and women, each photograph reaching out to tell its own unique story. As I circled the room, I searched for the meaning behind each subject, their setting, their personality, and what Mr. Wood may have been trying to show through his images.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
Photography and Death- what an interesting photo assignment. I have always seen photography as an infinite effort to capture the life which exists in a fleeting moment, yet there is still history and information that can be photographed within a cemetery. This afternoon I spent hours wandering around the Cemetery of Piere-Lachaise, in awe of how beautiful it actually was. I did get lost by myself most of the time searching for the tombstone of Felix Nadar as he was one of the founding fathers of photography, but had no luck. This cemetery is so much bigger and lovelier than I could have ever fathomed, with light moss accenting the tombstones of literally hundreds of people along endless cobblestone pathways. I could not help but wonder about the lives each of these people had led before finding their final resting place here. There is a particularly wonderful scene in the film "Paris, Je'Taime" where an American mailwoman from Denver visits the Cemetery of Piere-Lachaise and in endearingly horrible French reflects on visiting the tombstone of a Mexican dictator. She sat in front of it for quite some time, thinking about how this man had once held so much power, but now he could not move or talk as she could. It was a haunting thought, but touching as it reminded me to never take for granted even the basic functions life affords me. There was so much rich history within that one cemetery as there are famous artists, intellects, and political figures all around.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
This photography course has attracted a diverse and wonderful group of people and it has been a pleasure gradually learning a little bit about each of their unique backgrounds. Very few of us are actually art majors, but all of us are here to improve our skill level with photography, whatever level it may be at. The portraits I have selected from today’s photographs are of Roddy (our hilarious and irreplaceable instructor), Anna (one of our three brave freshmen), Janna (my roommate with an impressive background in art history), and Breanna (who comes up with some of the most creative poses I have ever seen).
Due to the constant interaction with my fellow classmates/travelers I feel like I could write an excerpt about each of them. At the moment, the two individuals I have spent the most time around have been Janna and Breanna Janna is a very lovely and serene person to be around which has made her the ideal roommate. She is an art history major, so naturally she has been putting my little historical knowledge to shame in places like the Louvre Museum. She is a fourth year student as well, and did her study abroad in France, which has definitely made me feel comfortable traveling with her as she understands French culture on a different level. I believe that the photographs I took of her were able to capture her sweet nature and how at ease she is with her surroundings.
Then there’s Breanna whose personality could never be fully captured by my words. An absolute riot, yet down-to-earth girl, I have definitely enjoyed getting to know her. She is a sophomore who has already started her own photography company, “Shredded Elements”, which I find very impressive as that is something I have always dreamed of doing. Her enthusiasm throughout the trip is wonderful, and has definitely been a reminder to enjoy every second we have in Paris and London as it is going by so fast.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Today, my photography was primarily focused on a combination of how to interpret “A Sense of Place” within the Palace of Versailles and simply making sure to get as many photos as possible to remember every detail. I can honestly say it was a success. The Palace of Versailles is an awe-inspiring place full of such a rich history I could not believe I was walking across the same grounds as royals had. Versailles is a location I had heard about in far off stories and movies, but I could not believe that was actually it. Place is simply a term of reference to one’s identity and can be interpreted in many ways. I was able to reflect on how my physical place was Versailles, yet my place in the grand scheme of life would be much more difficult to pinpoint. The royals who resided at the Palace of Versailles were obviously in a very entitled position, and I found it incredulous there were people starving in the streets of France with such an abuse of wealth on blatant display in a place like Versaille. While it is undoubtedly a beautiful museum, I could envision myself being outraged by so few being able to enjoy such luxury. This place had an aura of history In order to reflect how dream-like the entire experience was I edited many of my photos to give them an ethereal and darker effect. While the exterior of the entire setting is beautiful, there is a much more negative aspect to the historical gross misdistribution of wealth which I felt could not be ignored. The following are several of the images taken from this exploration of Versailles, but please check out the flickr page for more photographs: http://www.flickr.com/groups/2069577@N25/
Friday, November 23, 2012
What an unbelievable 24 hours. This is something that goes beyond the limitations of a writing assignment; I wish I could express this experience in more than words. This is often how traveling experiences go as I struggle to show people through my photographs and messages how much each moment has the potential to change my perspective and who I am as an individual. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to study abroad in Australia and do some traveling through Southeast Asia, which has taught me two very important lessons: prepare to pay the consequences if you do not pack lightly, and try not to have any expectations.
I have been particularly looking forward to this journey to Paris and London as I knew I would be able to meet up with some amazing friends I made in Australia while simultaneously taking a great photography course. I was honestly a bit nervous because so much time has passed since I have seen them, but it was absolutely incredible how natural the entire situation was and how completely at ease I was in their company again. We had each come a long way from our time in Australia and I have personally felt that that was an entirely different life experienced by someone else. Yet, I felt strangely at home with them, but also had a hard time believing it was not a dream.
One of my biggest difficulties when traveling is actually fully feeling like I am living in that moment. I am frustrated with the idea of not being mentally present or as fully appreciative as I could be in a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Luckily, I feel like I have really been embracing this trip to London and Paris. Despite a 12-hour journey via plane and a rugged 2 and a half hour journey navigating the tube, I was so keen to catch up with my friends and enjoy every possible moment. I believe this is actually a result of learning and maturation from previous travelling, which I am so grateful for. I was able to have an absolutely lovely time with my friends making dinner, chatting the night away, seeing the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, finally seeing Big Ben, the London Eye, and Trafalgar Square, while simultaneously taking ridiculous amounts of photographs to capture every moment. The typical tourist sites were awesome, but the best part for me was spending time with these people who mean so much to me. There is no doubt that I am obsessed with traveling as it reveals so much about who I am, good or bad, and I am able to grow in a psychological sense as I physically experience these incredible locations. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of this journey brings.
(This post is an expanded and updated version of my previous post entitled “History of Photography Survey”)