Each presentation that was given was very interesting and enlightening for its own reasons, however, I’ll only be commenting on different sections of three different PowerPoints as to not overwhelm you (the reader) with my own opinions.
When first asked to write a response to the powers points, I automatically thought of three, Quinci’s, Kaitlyn’s, and Candice’s presentations. Both Kaitlyn and Quinci had artists, that they named as artists they enjoyed, that I have strong opinions on while I also had strong feelings for Candice’s own body of work. To begin, I will discuss both of the artists.
© Ansel Adams
Kaitlyn will not be too shocked to hear/read this since we have discussed this ad nauseum before, but one of her favorite artists, Ansel Adams, happens to be one of my least favorite artists. Though I understand why Ansel Adams is considered a very talented photographer (he definitely was) and though I do see the beauty in his landscapes, for me the beauty doesn’t interest me. I think if I had seen these pictures at the time he had actually taken them I would feel differently. Now, I feel like it doesn’t really tell me anything that I didn’t know (which is that these landscapes are beautiful). The reason for this is because since childhood I have been inundated with all kinds of artwork, including photography, of beautiful landscapes.
That being said, Ansel Adams’ photographs were not the first landscape photographs I’d ever seen. If they were the first that I’d ever seen, I’d probably see much more beauty in them, in the sense that they would interest me a lot more. Since I’ve seen photographs like this since I was a kid I wasn’t too taken with the images as I had seen them before. Furthermore, Adams’ photographs have become, in my opinion, completely overproduced. It would be a complete shock to not find one of his photos printed on a post card or a large poster hanging in someone’s room. The mass exposure of something that I don’t find to be that interesting (landscapes) is too overwhelming for me.
I think the biggest reason I’m not a huge fan of Ansel Adams is because it’s not really my style. I used to be really interested in abstracts, and even now I find myself reverting back to taking the photos but now I’m really into photographing people, set shoots (after I learn lighting) and self portraits. I like focusing on people, their emotions, how we want to perceived vs. the way people perceive us – in that respect, I don’t do a lot of landscape shooting unless I’m in a time crunch.
That being said, I can understand why Ansel Adams is an inspiration to Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn is the complete opposite of me photography wise, she loves nature, outdoors, landscapes, etc. Last semester when Kaitlyn did her final project “Looking Up,” I was really surprised. The reason I was so surprised was because I found them so beautiful. Kaitlyn is a great photographer, I already know that, but since I’m not that interested in outdoors, an landscapes I was a little taken aback to find myself really in love with her project. This is why I understand her liking of Ansel Adams and think it’s great! I think that by using him as an inspiration Kaitlyn could use her interests and become someone who takes interesting pictures of landscapes that would catch even my attention (which was already one last semester).
Moving on to Quinci’s presentation, I’d like to talk about one of her favorite artists Banksy. I completely agreed with Quinci’s opinion. For me, Banksy is one of my favorite artists. Firstly, I liked that Quinci used a different medium other than photography to showcase her favorite artists because I feel like we can find really great inspirations in all art, not just photography. Secondly, I think Banksy is a great artist to look to, not only is his/her graffiti art beautiful aesthetically (though it is made from stencils due to him/her having to quickly put it on walls as to not get caught), it is also interesting and beautiful because of the meaning behind his/her work.
Banksy isn’t just a “pretty picture.” His/her artwork deals with critiquing everything and everyone, from society as a whole, to government, to cops, etc. His/her political messages behind his images are incredibly moving. Furthermore, the fact that you don’t know where or when a Banksy piece will pop up makes it all the more interesting. Where will Banksy go next? What will he create? WHO is Banksy? It makes me stand on edge and keeps me interested for his/her future work. His pieces have really inspired me. In general I enjoy things that have a meaning or a story behind them even if it’s not something so obvious (most of Banksy’s work IS obvious though). I’ve even gotten a part of his artwork tattooed on my arm because I love it so much. In the end, I think Banksy is one of this generation’s great artists, no matter how overrated people may think he is.
Finally, I’d like to talk about Candice’s body of work because I was really interested and moved by the photographs. I thought that all of her portraits were done extremely well – the printing, composition, contrast, subjects, etc all appealed to me. I think I enjoyed them so much because I do have a similar aesthetic, though I don’t think I’m as good at portraying that in my execution as she is. I REALLY enjoyed her Occupy photographs. Many people photograph the Occupy movement but I don’t really enjoy those photographs because I find them all the same. I think Candice was really able to get a different view of the movement and definitely thought about the composition and making them both artistic and journalistic instead of JUST journalistic.
With all of her photographs her use of natural light is fantastic. I had to even ask her if it was natural light because the way the camera is angled + the contrast makes some of her photos look like studio lighting which is quite beautiful. Her presentation has gotten me incredibly excited to see her future work and has even pushed me to work harder and think up new and interesting ideas.