For the Art Department’s annual theme show, the game (in our medium) seems to be all about scale, and relationships. Some of the pictures may create a seemless illusion, but there is something also to the idea of revealing one’s methods and intentions as one goes.

One scenario: blow up 20 or so balloons, and present the record of it all as salmon roe on top of sushi. Sounds lame, I know, but this is not the medium. The first concern is how it looks.

Today’s example was to photograph a toy marble with a canteloupe. They can be shown one in front of the other, overlapping, or side by side. The lens could be at table-top level in order to compare the orbs’ height. The frame might be placed so tightly that the entire melon does not fit into the frame (implying a kind of enormity). Strong sidelight, directed just so, could cast an elongated shadow from the marble. All of these strategies would simply come across as exercises until you push the situation to a new extreme.

Allen Ginsburg was fond of saying “First thought, best thought.” That’s a good intuitive approach for a poet; a version of that applies to our way of getting into a situation, but it’s in the shooting session that ideas evolve rather than executing whatever notes one jotted ahead of time.

Don’t discount the role of titles & captions, either. This is Atget’s “Fete du Trone,” at the Art Institute.

Audience Feedback

Who is your audence, your clientele? Whom do you wish to engage, or to impress?

Your friends? Your teacher? Your best friend, or your potential best friend?

Who, or what, inhibits your work? What pictures would you make if you knew certain people would not see them?

Who gets to be your primary critic?

Who Said This?

“I believe that the alchemy of light on film informs a kind of content that is not remotely duplicated by electronic imaging systems. These systems transfer information with great precision but a silver gelatin photograph transcends the subject and leads one into much higher levels of content. For this reason the photograph per se remains firmly positioned in the social aesthetic matrix.

“The exact same is true of the photography book. Issues such as tactility, luminosity and rhythm on the printed page are not in any way equaled by the image on the digital display.”

Anyone, anyone? Here’s a clue:

AIC Be Free

…for all of February! Don’t forget: the major William Eggleston exhibit will be open the last weekend of the month.