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Exploration Still

There were many reasons for enacting this project. For one, a professor had told me that when a photographer manipulates objects in a photograph, for them, it seems as though more effort has taken place to create the photo. At the time, I was doing street photography, but this got me thinking about still life photography. Besides wanting to switch up my style of photographing, I also did not want to limit myself. So, I explored the possibility of using photographs that I would take from environments to instill inspiration for creating still life pieces. At first, I scouted for various places from an abandoned gravel yard to a trip to a shooting range, experimenting and conceptualizing about the possibilities of the photographic medium along the way. This led me to concentrate on abandoned sites, photographing them and using these photographs, along with the experience, to create a reaction in the form of still life photos. One challenge that I knew I would have to overcome was the winter weather. In reaction to this, I photographed some abandoned sites during the winter break, which proved to be a good idea because one storm produced thirty inches of snow. I was also relieved that I did this, especially because I eventually ended up getting COVID-19, which affected the efficiency I could work at, but I still kept at it. While working on this project, I started to flip through a book that I received as a graduation present, from a professor, titled Passage by Irving Penn. The style of Irving Penn’s gritty and somewhat dirty still life photos appealed to me and influenced my style of creating through my own work. I was also influenced by a series that Minor White made called Rural Cathedrals and was impressed by his attention to ordering a sequence of photos. I thought that I could apply this same principle of ordering photographs to my own body of work. Utilizing triptychs and other means of arranging photos was an idea inspired by a visit to the Yancey Richardson gallery, and I later remembered that it was David Hilliard’s work that I witnessed there. I feel like the experience I had during this project and during this class has made me want to continue this project and has also given me the tools to develop more conceptual projects than I have previously worked on in the past. I am excited for what the journey ahead within my photographic endeavors will look like.
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