If most digital photographs represent 1/60-1/100 of a second in a person's life, then pinhole photography consumes the most time. Over the course of the spring semester I have conducted an independent study of alternative photography, exploring processes such as Polaroids, cyanotypes, and pinhole cameras. The self-portrait above is one of the first images I made in the study, and it is one of my most successful photographs from that experimentation. There are a variety of other subjects as well, such as buildings, abstractions, and a few somewhat successful attempts at overnight exposures. I also lent the camera to a few of my friends, and with minimal instruction they were able to create images.
Overall I would say letting go of my control over the camera was the biggest challenge, but in the end it taught me a lesson in patience. Part of that lesson involved realizing that I do not need to spend every second guarding the camera (which is somewhat anxiety-inducing). As I sequestered myself in Goodyear for a large portion of the semester while I worked on both of my theses I had the opportunity to be in close proximity to my camera but not have it on my mind at all times. That is where the mobile app Pinhole Assist became quite useful. Not only does it tell you what exposure time you need based on aperture, ISO, and the sensitivity of the paper, but it also acts as a timer for the exposure, allowing one to go about their other assignments, chores, etc. until the photograph has been fully exposed.
The independent study was also a good chance to reestablish a darkroom practice, which acts as a closed off creative spaced that has been sometimes likened to a womb (I'm unsure as to how I feel about that, but let's roll with it for now). While this means my practice at Dickinson is coming to a close I am fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to explore a variety of photographic processes. I've moved beyond my college career, so I'll be somewhat lacking in terms of a studio space, and while that may mean mediums such as pinhole and analog photography will be a bit more difficult to come by, but I can still take photographs every day. Art is a lifelong career and I don't plan to stop any time soon.
You can see more of my photography from the independent series here.
Until next time!
Open your mind, be brave, and be kind.
Well, here I am! It's been quite a while since my last post (since the elec- let's not talk about that), but I've been keeping myself busy with school. Graduation is just around the corner and I'm unsure as to what the future holds, and part of me will always look forward to endless possibilities. Unfortunately, reality has a bit of a bite at times. Don't get me wrong, pessimism is not one of my strong suits, but everyone has moments when they feel clouded and lost, almost cast out to sea wearing nothing but last year's swimsuit. I may be a Pisces and a former competitive swimmer, but I ain't a fish. Leaving college makes me feel as if I have floaties on, or at least should have a pair. I've been in academic institutions since preschool, almost 20 years of education, it's all I and my peers have known.
However, I'm sure that everything will be alright. Yes, there will be challenges, but the next few years will be a transformative experience full of uncertainty. Dickinson, even with its extensive education, can only prepare you so much. Initially I wanted to stay in Carlisle another year working as a post-baccalaureate artist in residence, but part of me knew that it was just to be safe, because I doubted myself. Within my thesis seminar I grew immensely as both a writer and person, cultivating a stronger sense of self-confidence in my voice, but I know that doubt will always be a struggle. But at least I will be better equipped to deal with it. All I can do now is be kind, to myself and others, the former being especially important, and continue to look forward to what the future holds.
On that note, entering into the adult world as a hopefully artist is a tricky situation, but thankfully my education has been, as Dickinson would put it, a "useful liberal arts education" and very "interdisciplinary." Right now I'm just trying to find ways to combine my passions of writing and art with helping others. Social justice, arts advocacy, etc. All are wonderful and worthwhile careers, and maybe those paths will intersect throughout my life. Where those paths lead? Who can say? Philadelphia and D.C. appear to be my next destinations, so I will seek out opportunity there (Aren't I the wayward traveler? "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, both need some serious landscaping."). In any case, we'll see what the future will bring. All we can do now is live out our lives in honesty, kindness, and whatever clichéd, but still valid virtues we humans might possess. Hopefully, there will is still a time and place to make things right. Until then, I feel it best to end this post with a quote from Leonard Bernstein's Candide: "We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good, we'll do the best we know. We'll build our house, and chop our wood, and make our garden grow."
Good luck. Until next time.
Open your mind, be brave, and be kind.
To See With One's Body and Soul
This blog documents all of my adventures, as well as my development into an artist, writer, and a better person.