We Review II

We went where we said we would go ( https://photodevoto.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/apft/), and as we did last year (https://photodevoto.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/we-review/), we wrote about it.

“Spending the day in the city exploring exhibits is a new experience to me, one that I greatly enjoyed. I think it is important to see photos in a museum rather than online or in a book because you are able to see the work as the artist wanted you to see it. The artist spent a large amount of time mounting their work and planning the exhibit. If you see their work in a museum, you are able to take in the whole effect. Also being right in front of it, you are able to notice more details and really appreciate the work.”

“I had heard a lot about Vivian Maier and what she did, but it was still awesome to see her work in person. I thought it was really cool to see her cameras and letters, one being from Central Camera. All of her work was fantastic and it was amazing to see someone who was self-taught with that much talent. I don’t know how much the people printing her work now edit her pictures, but they were done absolutely perfectly.

I absolutely loved the Odyssey exhibit at Columbia. It’s just amazing to think of how much time and work went into those themed photos. I don’t exactly know how they did it, but the pictures were all super interesting and felt really real. My favorite was the panorama (not the main one, the one to the left when you first walked in). I really liked all the placement of the people and how they used the smoke from the rockets. It created a really awesome alternate universe almost and I really liked it.”

“When at the Vivian Maier showcase, I saw the perspective that she took the photos in. The angle, lighting, subject matter, and frame can change the whole meaning of the photo. And when looking at it for a second time or even looking at it from a different angle, you can see something that you didn’t before or can change the meaning of the picture.”

“The benefit of seeing other photographers’ portfolios was that it gave me more examples of a complete body of work. Whereas I have several prints with a loose theme, seeing a group of pictures with a strong theme that connects them all together gave me a better idea of how to make my portfolio.”

“What I took out of the gallery at the [Harold Washington] Public Library was that what you take in from a photo changes as you look at it from different distances. Some of the photos in the set didn’t really excite me (they were all very well taken and very crisp); however, I didn’t really like them until a got a lot closer to the photo. After studying one picture for a while and realizing that there were kayakers in the water, I enjoyed the picture much more than when I stepped back and looked at the picture from a distance.”

“I thought the Apollo Prophesies exhibit at Columbia was very neat. My favorite photos were the ones on the far wall that looked vintage with the lighting the photographer chose and the tone of the paper that was warm rather than pure white.”

“I overall enjoyed looking at how different people’s perspectives are, and how some photos take a lot of planning, like the Apollo Prophesies, and how some take no planning at all, like Vivian Maier’s, and both turn out so well.”

“When I talked to other individuals on the field trip about a photograph I didn’t really enjoy, they were able to point out things I did not notice about it before; I was able to something in the photograph. Then I was able to like it.”

“I noticed about [Vivian Maier’s] pictures that she usually captures a sad or straight face over a smiling one. It made you think more about the people in the pictures other than just looking at a picture and just seeing people.”

“The benefit of seeing work is obvious, especially in the case of the wonderful Viv. For me personally, Vivian Maier was, to put it informally, the bomb. I have been inspired to try out some square-format film, as the compositions were intriguing. Also, the way both Vivian and the Gage Gallery guy captured the human experience was stunning. I want to be able to do what they have done – to capture the essence of a person in a photograph.

The past/present/future depiction took different forms for the various photographers we viewed. In the library exhibit, the juxtaposition was more tangible – photographs of the river throughout a period of years. In the Gage Gallery, I observed something different – the exploration of two different present realities. In one series, the photographer captured a person at home and at work. This demonstrated that even the present can be split, two nearly separate live lived simultaneously.”

“There is a clear connection between [a body of work’s individual] photographs, and seeing them collectively helped to determine their thought process. I was able to notice small details in prints and techniques used that would not have been apparent if viewed on a computer screen. The photographs in the Library were very exciting to see because we were just shooting in the city last week. I had been to most of these places but the photographs transferred the space into a unique and timeless piece of art. It made me want to continue exploring the city…”

“When I see work, it benefits me because I can modify my own technique. When I shoot, I can get repetitive and many pictures can turn out bring or unoriginal. By seeing what other photographers choose to do, I can apply that to my own technique and come up with something completely new.”

“It was cool how some of the pictures in all of the exhibits were so simple yet so complicated; I never realized how empty space can be so interesting.”

“No matter how much I learn through my own experience, I can always be taught more by the work of a professional. Analyzing the work of successful artists also gives me ideas for work of my own… For some, their own mind is all they need, but I find it to be an advantage to pull ideas from others’ work, and transform it into my own.”

The above insightful reflections are courtesy of Matt Wloch, Kendall Wallin, Annabel Perry, Nikki Nixon, Kristin Kuhn, Justine Kaszinski, Melissa Jones, Emma Haney, Alexa Hanaford, Joyce Gaffney, Mike Cygan, Lauren Captain, Christina Buerosse, Chanelle Biangardi, and Kristina Bastidas.

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