Urging the World to See

What to do for Class 4

As I said in my email a few minutes ago, when after yesterday's class, I arrived to the "Aix insiders" parking I had been told to use, my car had been towed away to the pound. That's Aix for you,just like Manhattan in this regard, a town that is difficult to access let alone park into at a reasonable price. Here is what the pound looks like, not the most pleasant side of Aix:

On my way to the pound, I shot this due to Emily's influence. Not a prize winner,but for you Emily:

About what you need to do for Thursday:

1/ Emily only: start an entry on your blog to which you will apply a category "L'Amour" and put in that the photograph that you take about lovers in France, the tittle we came with for that entry is "L'Amour en France" and will be an ongoing entry part of your overall projects.

2/ Everybody: Do a self portrait, either shooting it yourself or by team of two. The important thing is that You come up with the concept about your portrait as to where, how, what's the background, is it a close up or a full view, what's the focal length you use, etc... Your partner if you use one is here mostly to frame for you and press the button, she or he can give you suggestions though, but you decide. We will review them in class and online by posting comments on each others. So when you are done with shooting post your 8 best shots or less, post 4 minimum. CAtegorize this with a new category titled "Self Portrait." After the photographs write what was your concept,why you chose that idea, why that represent you these days in Aix, and then explain why you picked the best one (post the photographs best one up and least favorite at bottom, and according hierarchy in between).

The concept is very important, so surprise us, but not for the sake of surprizing us, it also has to meaningful in regard to who you are.

Here are a few samples:

This is one of my current self portraits, you might have seen it on my website. It was shot in Havana, where I am talking with John Lennon, arguing as always about rebuilding the world. This is what we do together. Of course you get the point, don't you, it should match what I hope you have seen of me already, not too many things are to be taken on the first degree, and at the same time, it is not an accident if this is shot in Havana and in company of John Lennon, by opposition of being in Manhattan looking at Wall Street, for instance.

This is a photograph of the N.C commissioner of Agriculture. As such he is the GodFather of the State fair during which this was shot, as is obvious. As such it is also a good idea for him to wear the tie of NC State U. which is in intimate relationship with the department of Agriculture, and of course this being N.C. it is also a good idea for the commissioner to support tobacco farming which clearly he does not mind doing. Finally he is a good old boy, and all this should perceptible in this photograph.

Finally this is a wedding portrait, which is never a very natural portrait as wearing a bridal gown is nothing natural. This bride was very determined, period, and most probably still is. She also was very determined to make a difference in education. This is what this portrait is about, I could have put her in a classroom, but that would have been less aesthetic, and we could not have done it in her classroom anyhow. So instead I picked some columns on Duke East Campus, which provide an elegant background, and symbolize education in the U.S. Her pose and demeanor obviously express that she was determined to wear the pants at home, her husband is a real sweet heart.

I hope that this gives you more insight about what I expect from you. I personally do not believe in portraits shot in studio,which anyway is not a possibility for you in Aix. Additionally, as we have seen several times, it is important to understand why we do photography and not painting. If we do photography it is important to stick with reality that's what photography is all about and where it takes its roots. Therefore we want to do a portrait as much as possible along those lines. That is called an "Environmental Portrait" where "environment" means that it is shot in an environent meaningfull to who the subject is. This is not new, painters have been doing that for centuries. As I said at the beginning,it is ok to do a close up where the environment might be absent or almost absent, if you have a decent reason for that.

3/ Read page 94 to 191. Pick your 5 favorite photographs and explain why,as you did for class #2. Categorize that with the category "History of Photography" and apply that category as well to what you did to your post for class #2.

4/ Make another entry called "My best pics in France so far." Categorize that in a new category called "Best of," and post your 4 favorites in it in descendent hierarchy (best on top). Do this A.S.A.P. so that we can all start commenting on it. and when posted shoot an email to the group (reply all to one of my emails, just change the subject line).

That's it folks! See you Thursday.
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