Sunday, April 17, 2011
So, March was a fast and furious month of shooting and exploring the subject of water in my studio. As April approached, I started to focus more on production and less on creating imagery but I have been shooting albeit with less frequency. My goal, by the time I'm done with this residency, is to have an exhibition ready to go. Thanks to Dick Blick, I got a really good deal on a bulk of frames and board and I have been using my own printer as well as the Prairie Center's big printer to create some hard impressions of these images. In the spirit of "catching up," I'm posting a bunch of new images.
Monday, March 21, 2011
As I went to bed this evening (morning), I looked out the window one last time to see if I could see the moon. As I spotted the moon, it appeared as though it blinked at me. It took me a second of standing there before I realized that there was lightning nearby. Some clouds had just brushed past the moon and the lightning was coming from there. It was odd because it didn't look like the clouds were substantial enough to produce lightning. It was eerie looking but as the clouds quickly moved to the east I could see the storm a little better. After wasting precious time being dumbfounded, I grabbed my camera and took these shots. Very cool to watch a moonlit thunderstorm from my window!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
To help myself deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed by the events in Japan and the multiple challenges I am working on in the studio, I did do some work to distract myself this past week. With the weather turning warmer, it was nice to get outside in the fresh air and do something different.
My failed experiment from the previous week helped me to really consider how I was approaching one particular technique. While I don't think I resolved those issues yet, it did spur me to play and I did get another idea. That idea was to create a mobile set-up that would allow me to go out in to the environs of Peoria and utilize some of the lighting that exists there. This shoot occurred at Para-Dice Casino. This is on the way home to the residence house and thought it would be a good place to start since there was such an abundance of neon on their sign at the front of the property. I was really pleased with the results despite being hassled by two security guards towards the end.
In addition to shooting photographically, I've also been trying to draw in the studio. Notice I said trying! I love the way drawings look but have been having trouble with my process and what I'm looking for in terms of a finished product. The exercise of drawing has helped me quite a bit creatively and I think that I have sorted through some issues in terms of the materials I am using and how I am approaching the work. My endeavors in drawing, which are inspired by my photographic work, are developing nicely and have spurred many other ideas. I will post some of that work later after it has been more fully developed. the images from this shoot kind of reflect some photographic ideas about drawing and the kinds of marks in which I'm interested.
You'll notice that my shooting schedule has slowed. Part of this is because I am in the process of exhausting my ideas and am challenged to really think about what I'm doing and the types of images I want to create. I'm also trying to avoid any redundancy, which is very hard to do. I have also been really affected by the events in Japan and how closely tied to water those events are. The tsunami grabbed my attention at first but then watching the developments with the Fukushima nuclear plant, I have been fascinated with the role of water there. From being used as a cooling agent in pools and the reactors (and somewhat of a lifeline) to being vented off as steam and becoming a vehicle of radioactivity, I have been captivated. These events have been stirring in my mind while I have been pursuing this subject and this project and, frankly, I've been a bit overwhelmed. I'm hoping that I've caught up with myself and can back on to a regular schedule.
Okay...so the first shoot for March 10 was awful. I had an idea of working with the idea of long exposures and flowing water, much like the somewhat cliché technique that I have used out doors. I built a model of a river and had some assistance from the Prairie Center's intern but I just wasn't getting anything I was happy with. The pictures I'm posting here are from my "second shoot," which occurred while we were in the process of dumping the tub that we had filled. While I would term the first set-up as a failure it did spark some other ideas that I'll share in a later post.
Monday, March 14, 2011
|Tsunami, 2011 (shot in the studio 3-13, printed 3-15)|
Excerpts from "From a Wave Into a Weapon," by Kenneth Chang
The New York Times, Sunday Opinion Section, March 13, 2011
Water, usually thought of as soothing and caressing, is surprisingly heavy – surprisingly destructive.
A typical bathtub holds 40 gallons or so of water. That is 330 pounds. A cubic yard of it, filling what at first glance seems a modest volume of 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet, weighs nearly 1,700 pounds, as much as the Smart micro car.
And when water is moving at 30 or 40 miles per hour, like the tsunami that inundated Japan on Friday, the heaviness of water turns deadly. Imagine 1,700 pounds hitting you at speed, and each cubic yard of water as another 1,700 pounds bearing down on you.
Water does not act quite the same way as speeding cars. As a fluid, it can slip around some objects like round columns, while slamming full force when a large wall is in its way. It also gathers debris – dirt, cars, trees – as it flows. Those added projectiles can create more destruction as they crash into other objects. Even if the wave only comes up to the knees, the force is enough to knock a person down.