I found Penny de los Santos’ images of food very intriguing. My thoughts on the food project was to show food where food is from. I visited Stone Farms in Escondido. Stone Farms is owned by stone brewing as is the farm that supplies much of the produce for the Stone Company restaurants in San Diego. If you have not been there its a wonderfully peaceful place to go visit, and grab a pint.
I like the Above look that de los Santos did in her images, deep rich backgrounds and the saturated colors of the food. I did not want to use the set up she appears to do however, i wanted it to be organic (like the farm, itself.) I wanted to show the idea of where food comes from, not the prepared or refrigerated stuff we pick up at the market. I wanted dirt and the insects, the sun blanching. There is beauty in the imperfection in the produce. I feel i could have done more in the images, I really wish people had been working the day I was there, or the day prior when the farm workers were selling the organic pizzas made in the brick oven and from farm fresh produce.
The work of wrinkles in the city is stunning. The pictures of the elderly that lived in Cuba during the time of the revolution. Making them a part of the city. JR and José Parlá do a wonderful job of combining stunningly detailed portraits and creative graffiti to tell Cuba’s history.
The portraits are rendered in stunning detail, show the age, the worry, the joy and the life of Havana’s elderly citizens. The aged flesh of the people are combined with aged and dilapidated walls to create the tale Parlá, adds the peoples thoughts in abstract graffiti. Though this story lacks defined narrative, we can visualize the tale.
My favorite images where those where bits of the image have been torn away or painted over to become part of the wall. The pictures became part of the city. The people were the story now no longer was it about Ché or Castro it was these people that lived there, worked there lives to create the city. The worked and lived, had loves and raised families. These pieces make them as much a part of the city as the walls themselves
Though this was not the first time I have had to shoot a portrait in an environment, I have not done this in a while. Walking around campus I did find myself wishing I had drug along some reflectors and black cards, but I made do. Sometimes as photographers we have to deal with what we are given. For the images I really tried to find interesting angles, and perspectives. My personal directives lead to the high contrast, I enjoy high drama images. I think i could use some more time editing these, Lightroom 5 is significantly different enough from LR3 that it did pose some interesting problems, my normal flow was a little disrupted. I ma overall happy with these images although some are unintentionally laking the tack sharpness that i look. Just don’t look to closely.
After watching The films in class I was reenergized by the work of Annie Leibovitz, in particular the personal work she did and the early rock and roll documentary she did. Go along these lines I attended a birthday party of a friend of mine child’s. His first birthday was held on Labor Day at Orfilia Winery in Escondido. I decided to be a part of the festivities, not to hang out as an outsider. I hung out, I talked i enjoyed glasses of wine and mexican food. I hung m camera to one shoulder, loosely griped, but I did not want to appear to be the photographer. In many ways I interjected myself in this story “Gonzo” so to speak None of the photos were posed, asked for no one to look or pay attention, i waited for my moments.
Half way through the day I tried to move in more, I put away my larger DSLR camera body and zoom lens and traded for a smaller body with a 60mm holga lens attached. I stopped with my need to focus, its a Holga lens i chose the portrait setting and went. It offered some unique photos, bright in the middle and significantly vignetted, occasional blurry and blown out, but allowed for some spirited images of the children playing and families enjoying themselves.
I specifically chose to do the images in extreme high contrast black and white. My real goal was to loose detail in many of the whites and include detail in the shadows. I felt that perfect exposure gradient white to black would ruin some of the spontaneity of the images, the lovely Holga occasionally made the decision for me, but wanted the story telling feel in these photos.
I am truly inspired by Dorthea Langs work, some of her work is the most iconic of our time. I truly feel there is a similarity from Annie Leibovitz’s early work and Langs. The contrasty black and white, the documentary style. I feel that Lange must have influenced Annie to a degree. The greatness of Langes work lies in her unposed appearence of images, evenin her most iconic work The Migrant Mother i feel that this shot is unposed. The tension in her eyes, her head aches with worry, her chin is not resting on her hand, her hand is holding up a weary head. The she thinks of the shy children that we see in the shot but have there faces hidden, she has missed so many meals just to feed the children. Her thoughts are wondering weather or not she will feed them to day or tomorrow or the next, will her husband come home, did her find work???
These are where i want my work to be, i want to be able to fill these question in a single portrait. I do have an interesting thought however in regards to both of these women. I find that they both seemed to be in interesting places at pivotal points in history and their world exploded from there. Annie with Rolling Stone and Dorthea at the time of the labor riots.
For years Annie Leibovitz has been an inspiration to me, the power and wonder in her imagery has made me strive harder in my own work. I failed to mention in my earlier post that portraiture is also one of my passions in photography, although in an attempt to expand my own abilities i have moved away from my work.
In the film Annie moves in the crowds and groups of people doing her documentary style work and the way she photographed her family. Using a smaller camera and lens, being less intrusive allowed for her to become a part of the scene, people were more comfortable around her and allowed themselves to be photographed in less posed ways. This i found to be very interesting and have recently used it in a setting of a family friends child’s birthday and i think it is very different way of shooting.