Jean Locey, one of my college mentors encouraged me to study other nature photographers and in particular to read what they were saying about their own work. I was attracted to Paul Strand's work in particular with his perfect balance of lights and shadows combined with composition.
My fascination with nature photography continued into Summer 1997. This time I was given the additional challenge of color. I had already taken the introductory class for Color Photography, but have not tried nature abstraction. Jean once again shoved me in the right direction. She had me study painters, in particular Impressionists and how they were using color. I also added a new conscious aspect into my work: depth-of-field. This project would prove to be my most tiring one to date (along with the fact that I was on crutches for most of this project from a rock climbing accident). A lot of these are slide film that were cross-processed into negatives which also provided interesting color shifts from the original.
During my junior of college, I had time to experiement with 4x5 view cameras for an independent study. This allowed me get out of my comfort zone by working with large format cameras and studio photography. My personal favorite studio photographer was Julia Margaret Cameron from the late 19th Century. She is known for her portraits of women acting out characters in books. I ended up doing a study of portraits within the realm of "personal space." The portraits give the feeling of being too close to a person, much closer than people stand when engaging in normal conversation.
BFA Thesis in Photography
I spent most of my thesis year studying music photography. I knew that I wanted to photograph bands playing in clubs, but I wasn't sure what to study. I ended up deciding on capturing the energy that the band and audience give off while the band is performing. I had the additional challenge of photographing in low light. A certain abstraction happens too in low light where objects become metaphysical and less about the subject being photographed. I enjoyed being able to accompany these bands on their tours and integrate my love of photography along with it. I used very high speed films up to 3200 ISO pushed to 6400 ISO and processing them in a pure developer solution.