My first sense of design came from studying nature photography. My largest influence was Paul Strand. I had a very important mentor in college that had given me extra homework to look through books of other photographers.The most important part though was that I read what the artists were saying about their own work. One particular quote of Paul Strand was stuck in my head about he designed.Even though I do not recall it off-hand anymore, it revolutionized the way that I saw through my lens. Shortly after that enlightenment, this project started to form.This is my first real study of nature photography.
My fascination with photographing nature continued INTO that summer. This time I was posed with a new idea: color. I had already taken Color Photography, but have not tried anything in terms of abstraction.My mentor was once again around to help shove me in the right direction. This time, she had me study painters, in particular Impressionists and how they were using it.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).
During my third year of college, I had time to experiement with 4x5 view cameras for an independent study. This allowed me try a couple of things I have never dared: working with large format cameras and studio photography.I came to know the works of many great studio photographers. My personal favorite was Julia Margaret Cameron from the late 19th Century. She did many portraits of women acting out characters in books that she had read.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 two people stand when engaging in normal conversation.
BFA Thesis in Photography
I spent the entire fourth year of my undergrad career 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. A band is only as good as their audience treats them.I enjoyed being able to accompany these bands on their tours and integrate my love of photography along with it.