Sunday, June 29, 2008

I worked on this picture for awhile yesterday morning to escape the heat. Rather uninspired image but anytime I spend in the darkroom is useful and it is the most comfortable place in the house temperature wise. I will probably do a little more work today on the roll of film I shot in May. For the moment I think I have exhausted what interest I had with this current batch of negatives. Also revisiting the Jacob Kamm house last week makes me want to go back to those negatives from 1975 and work some more on them.
My reading of the Genji led me to a visit to the Art Museums Asian collection. I was looking at some old paper screens and admiring the composition of the images. The perspective is usually from above or a "birds in the tree branches" viewpoint and the perspective is compressed with all subjects relatively the same size with no natural sense of spatial relationship. There is no illusion of depth, the composition is purely 2 dimensional working with the medium that is 2 dimensional. Distant objects are on the periphery closer to the top of the picture objects close are centered near the bottom of the picture. I have been trying to overcome my natural 3 dimensional perspective in composing a picture and trying to see the world "photographically". I have heard that a good way to do this is to carry around an empty slide holder, or cardboard cut out that can fit in your pocket cut with the dimensions of the film format you work with. Closing one eye you frame the world around you within the square or rectangular confines of the empty frame. You bring it closer to the eye for a wideangle view, further from the eye for a telephoto view. It forces you to look at the world the way the camera does.


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