Monday, 25 June 2012

Exploring familiar subjects

the Goldilocks chair

As I have always had a fondness for photographing chairs and benches my immediate response to this brief was 'chair'. I have a small digital repertoire but my interest was founded in the days of film. But with a lack of immediate subject material, I dismissed the idea and turned my energy elsewhere. As the week evolved however, my luck changed and quite by accident, suddenly the perfect chair was in my sights. I feel compelled to share the 'acquisition of the chair' story before I delve into the process of capturing it.

Late on Saturday afternoon I popped across to the shops to pick up some desperately needed groceries. (I need to admit right here that since enrolling in this course I have dropped the ball a little on the domestic front.) By the side of the road, I noticed a waiting pile of discarded dilapidated chairs. My eyes lit up and excitement erupted in my chest, I knew they were waiting to be rescued by me. I raced home and reurned with our roomier car to comfortably escort my new friends home. I felt elated on a number of fronts; I had found a suitable subject for this brief, the chairs oozed charisma and character and the link between rickety broken chairs and my newly coined phrase 'Goldilocks images' seemed ‘just right’. I could not believe my luck; I actually had my very own broken 'Goldilocks chair' to work with.

I turn my narrative to photographing the 'Goldilocks chair'. On arrival home my excitement continued as I made decisions about where to sit her for the photo shoot. As the winter light was slowly fading I knew my time with her would be short but the shadowy magic of late afternoon sun added to the atmosphere. I took a sequence of photographs focussing on her seat before exploring her legs and back. At one point during the shoot I had to move her fragile frame causing her to further unhinge, this was a source of frustration as she became a wooden puzzle to be pieced together rather than a subject to be framed.

Photographing her, reinforced how important it is to feel connected with the subject at hand. Even though I had just met the 'Goldilocks chair' I had immediately established a bond. I felt I owed her the respect of taking my time to explore what she had to offer, to hear what she wanted to say. Today, she stands a broken old woman, irreparable and discarded but her history intrigues me. What past conversations has she overheard? Who has taken rest in her arms? Whose laughter has she shared and tears suffered? What quiet moments has she encountered?

Did capturing the 'Goldilocks chair’ meet my expectations and did I do her justice? I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity of photographing a subject with intent. The image I thought I would use during the shoot was not the image I eventually chose to display here. In the end I was drawn to this particular image, not for its technical prowess or clarity but in order to preserve her dignity, to heighten her charm and beauty and to disguise her aches and broken bones.

This experience of taking photos of a subject with intent has helped me realise that understanding the purpose behind taking and creating an image is just as valuable as the finished result. In addition to the; who, what, when and how (technical) the ‘why’ is an essential element to consider when deciding which of your images becomes a favourite. I discovered that judging a photo only on its aesthetic merits may not always be enough. Exploring the intention behind taking an image and its conveyed meaning or message needs to be savoured.


 kat eye view

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Why Photography?

time will last forever
I felt I needed more time than I actually had to contemplate the question of 'why'. For inspiration I turned to the image above where time feels as though it will last forever. Why do I take photographs? What are my motivations? What keeps me excited and interested?

I photograph for pleasure. I feel satisfied, excited, challenged and rejuvenated when I am able to spend time with camera in hand. The excitement of waiting for a film to be processed has now been replaced with the thrill of uploading memory sticks but the zing is still the same. The goal of mastering, what I call "Goldilocks images" ie "just right images" drives me to continue. Primarily, I take two distinct types of photographs; The first being, of  people I love and appreciate and the second are images I create to love and appreciate.

My dad was an avid photographer and took many pictures of our family growing up. Being fortunate to have such gorgeous photos from my childhood inspired me to capture memories of my own family. I have a heartfelt desire to freeze frame the people I love. I am motivated to capture moments in time which enable me to later bask in memories that reignite emotion and love. I value old photographs of my grandparents from early last century as precious historical artefacts that document their life in times gone by.

The second type of photograph I take, can not be chronicled or time-lined, they are timeless images that are expressions of my creativity. They are images that through my eyes are aesthetically pleasing. I greatly value others' opinions of my work but intrinsically create them to satisfy my own desires. It is not a perfect world we share but I feel compelled to capture its' perspectives regardless.

To help identify what motivates me to create such images I formulated a string of 'I' statements, as follows:
I thrive on experimenting with composition.
I feel passionate about using depth of field to focus on fine detail.
I am prompted to turn everyday objects into creative art works.
I relish in vibrant colours, especially the hues autumn has to offer.
I am challenged to find irony and oxymorons.
I am driven to see things beyond what they appear to be.
I get excited to first get close then get closer.
I aim to be original, unique and less predictable.
I love the fortune of opportune moments. 
I am impulsive about grabbing candid moments.
I am addicted to making the next shot even better. 
I feel empowered when I press the shutter at just the right moment.
I am passionate about repetitive elements.
I desire meaningful connections with the subjects I capture.
I celebrate the beauty in nature.
I crave balanced compositions.
I am drawn to the stillness of inanimate objects.
I believe we view the world we share through different perspectives, each should be valued and respected.
I am perplexed as to whether the craft of photography happens in the taking or the editing of an image.
To conclude, ultimately I pursue photography as an interest because I find the feeling of "stilling life" rewarding, it enables me to document my life and allows me to express myself and be challenged by how I see the word we share. Thank you Kat at  kat eye studio for giving me the opportunity to mull my photographic purpose.

grandmother 1915
#1 people I love

#2 images to love

kat eye view

Friday, 15 June 2012

Find Your Eye - Starting the Journey

I could really have called this post title, "Restarting the journey"... a few years ago I was so compelled to photograph everything, that I took my camera on all my journeys, big and small. Somewhere along the way I fatigued and lost my focus. Now sadly, I  regularly leave the house without my camera, but things are about to change. I have enrolled in a course called, "Find Your Eye - Starting the Journey" so tomorrow I plan to find my eye and refocus by restarting the journey under the watchful eye of, Kat at kat eye studio.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

10 on 10 June 2012

 ten on ten button
The past couple of winter days have been masquerading as sunny sparkling friends. Today, however, would have us believe that it really is WINTER! Wet overnight, a dull morning followed by more of the same. Let's see if we can add some zing into this Sunday's June 10 on 10.

Goal of the Day
Sort, fold and iron the washing.

The past couple of beautiful days have made me a slave to hanging washing, today I pay the price of sorting, folding and ironing.

Heading to Church proved a challenge as I discovered the car had a flat battery. Quick response from the NRMA meant I was "good to go".

I teach Sunday School, although they call it Cornerstone at our Church. The little people in my care are so enthusiastic.

Nick heading to a party. Hurry and write on the card honey, your lift will be here any minute. (Please note the mountain of washing in the background is still not done.)

Time to stop for lunch - a winter warmer of zucchini and leek soup.

Laura was working on an English Assignment about representing gender in print media.

 Rachel was working on an English assignment 'Whose Life is it anyway?'

Tim was working on reports so that left me with a little free time to start a new book. 'The book Thief ', a little strange to begin with but I will hang in there. I am missing Katniss from the 'Hunger Games', my last read.

Hot chocolates all round

"A grey old day indeed", said the magpie to no one in particular...

And I know you are wondering if I achieved today's goal of finishing the washing.....
Well of course I did, I had the pressure of an audience. (I seem to be missing the photographic evidence though)