I just wanted to say that for a first experience in the world of photography I found the surrounding of the WWU photo lab very supportive and stimulating! 

I learned so much seeing all your work grow and develop through the quarter! I also would like to extend my gratitude to all the more advanced photography students (especially TA’s) who were very nice about explaining techniques and processes! Also thank you Garth, full of information and many wise-cracks…I greatly enjoyed your class and hope to work with you and your student following in the future! 

Good luck to everyone with all future adventures!


Holga Handout Response..ideas..

Im excited to see what mistakes and imperfections occur with the holga…I want to see what it looks like if I do relief printing (plexi-glass ink print) on top of a holga print. I think the gain and distortion could work really well with ink wash and line work. I also really want to try shooting a continuous roll of film. When I bought my holga the guy in quicksilver told me one of the coolest uses of a holga he’d seen was this kid who shoot a series of train cars on a continuous roll of holga film. He was able to wind it just so that the images lined up flush with each other. I want to try doing a series of faces some blurring into each other, some other lapping, etc. Im sooo excited to work more creatively with photography and mix mediasss!!!

Reading Response

Theory 3: Copying, Capturing, & Reproducing (pg 171-215)

Photography involves different stages of reproduction- starting with capturing the original subject, then production of a negative, to printing the positive image. Photographic images possess the presence of the original subject, Susan Sontag goes on then to explain that a photograph is not just an image (like a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something real like a footprint. Photographs present us with traces of the past…I love this concept. They also can provide a kind of portal into the past, but Trachtenberg warns that when a viewer becomes consumed (transported to the time and place of the photo) he/she might unconsciously assume the perspective of the photographer and his/her cultural, economic, and political biases. I think this is interesting, there is this danger (that the viewer might assume knowledge due to inclusionary nature of a photograph) but I think this kind of transportation can also be extremely powerful (like images of war can make the violence and grief of those thousands of miles away a reality to viewers sitting at home).

Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin is a different kind of photographer who takes powerful photos. Her work seems to give the viewer a peek into the intimate lives of her subjects (mostly her friends and family), exhibiting themes like love, gender, domesticity, and sexuality almost always shot with available light (natural lighting). The lighting adds to the intimate feeling behind her photos, also giving them a cohesive feel.

Her work is very intriguing to me. Perhaps because her images seem to elude to a somewhat dark background story.

Reading Response

Practice 2: Light & Shadows (Tools, Materials, and Processes pg 137-163)

The basis of photography is the transformation of light into an image. Both light and image are fluid fluctuating forms. Super cool to learn the origin of photography (or at least its foundational concept) and painting came about when a woman dew the outline of her lover’s shadow… first act of fixing light into image. Photography has everything to do with the manipulation of light (which is proving to be a tricky thing to master!). Path of light is determined by choices of level and direction. Light can be manipulated to flatten or shape objects and/or people; this can influence the visibility, mood, point of focus, distraction, provide sense of time, season, and/or era. Objects within a scene (called terminal points) also provide opportunities to play with light- they can influence the pathway of light, creating shadows, mirrors, texture, contrast, texture and whatever else one might achieve. The direction of the light source can have a great impact on depiction of the subject and/or the objects within a shot (how they appear, texture, contrast, etc.). This depends on the light source is directed at the subject and the location of the viewer or camera watching the scene. I found the discussion on The Path of Light: Color of Light (pg 147) particularly interesting. Objects appear to be certain colors due to their own coloring AND the color of the light falling on them. Light color varies depending on source and colors light must pass through before reaching its destination (color temp. of light measured using Kelvin scale). I didn’t know that ‘standard daylight’ refers to the sun at noon, a cool blue light (measuring around 5500K). I would assume that this changes due to season as well as geographical location. I wonder if there is an ideal location on the globe for photographers…a place where every season brings different, contrasting qualities of natural light to work with.

Reading Response

Theory 2: Light & Shadow (pg 109-136)

I like Plato’s metaphor a lot: the shadow as a metaphor for the incomplete, and (according to Plato) therefore flawed, nature of human knowledge. I never considered the significance of shadows before, yes they do provide us with information about the world (or information we infer) and I suppose they are somewhat ‘suspicious entities’, but I think they only keep us from the truth if we don’t ponder or attempt to see what’s making the shadow. Shadows foster fear only if we are ignorant of their origin…fear fosters ignorance. Why are most humans inherently afraid of the dark? I do agree with Bloom, that “Plato’s parable continues to inform human consciousness in its struggle with objectivity- in discriminating between appearance and significance.” (pg 110) Light and darkness have many connotations, appearing as metaphors and symbols in cultures around the world. It’s interesting to consider how human association with light and dark have changed, accompanying us throughout history…gives me a lot to think about as I try to fix light into an image.