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application to a photography class - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2004-01-21 18:00
application to a photography class
Public
hopefulhopeful
My first exposure to photography that I recall was at the age of five, when I discovered my grandfather's Ansel Adams books. I thought the prints were beautiful: his aspens and driftwood seemed to glow with color even though they were greyscale. Not long after, I was given my first camera, which used 110 film (as I proudly proclaimed to peers with boring 35mm cameras). I learned the importance of contrast early when, for my first photo session, I spent a long winter afternoon taking a whole roll of pictures of a beautiful ice sculpture caused by a drip in the rain gutter, only to find that the pictures turned out as amorphous white masses when developed.

Over the years I upgraded to various other automatic cameras, until my first year of college when I bought a single-lens reflex with the help of my artist aunt. I spent the next year hauling it everywhere I went, snapping artistic shots whenever the inspiration hit. I experimented with abstract photography and even astrophotography, recording the star trails of Orion and Canis Minor. A year ago I was given a high-quality digital camera, and have since come to appreciate the ability to snap as many shots as I want without having to worry about the cost of developing them all. I shy away from extensive photoshopping, though, as I endeavor to take good photographs rather than salvage mediocre ones.

Though my fascination and involvement with photography has spanned many years, I have never had the opportunity to take a class in photography. When I saw your class listing, I jumped at the chance to change this, and learn more formally about the artistic medium with which I've long been enamored.
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jillB
jilflirt
2004-01-22 02:38 (UTC)
(no subject)
I love your photos.
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fanlain
fanlain
2004-01-22 02:47 (UTC)
darkroom access
all i need is to get the safelight and get the exhaust fan together and if you wind up needing darkroom access, feel free.

hopefully they'll let you experiment with the chemistry and not just default to the (probably) kodak d-76 chemistry (if they do, you can add a little borax in your tray to make it a tad better). but you'll never get the prints that ansel got - he used his own chemistry and a lot of dodging and burning. my photo professor said he'd spend hours in the darkroom. a lot of classes don't seem to teach this unfortunately.

my ex-bf the chemist used to really love his work for the same reasons you do. i prefer minor white (a colleague of ansel adams and also influential in the zone system though he seems to get no credit for this - minor white was my teacher's teacher).

sometimes they'll also have you only work with resin papers. i find this rather unfortunate also as a i prefer matte fiber-based paper. if you can, experiment with papers as well.

i still far prefer the traditional over digital photography. if you want, i can also teach you how to print on other surfaces like zinc plates by painting with the photo emulsion itself.

sigh. i love photography.

if you do get into the chemistry side of things, you can buy the stuff at photographer's formulary in montana cheaper. they have some really cool classes lined up - maybe i should take off a couple days in the summer and go to montana for a class like for the bromoil process, gum printing or the copper plate photogravure - older techniques!

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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-01-22 03:54 (UTC)
Re: darkroom access
Wow - thanks! :~) I'll let you know how the class progresses, if I get in.
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tobo
nibot
2004-01-22 09:39 (UTC)
(no subject)
Cool photos. Cool essay.

Where's the class you're applying to?
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-01-23 01:51 (UTC)
(no subject)
It's a DeCal class, or rather, a "SmallCal" class. Here's more info.
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Olego
olego
2004-01-22 10:50 (UTC)
(no subject)
I really like your pictures--all of them! :-)
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-01-23 01:51 (UTC)
(no subject)
Danke. :~)
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-01-26 23:37 (UTC)
(no subject)
Hooray - I got in! At first I thought I hadn't, since I didn't get an email from the instructor on Friday, but it turns out that his emails didn't go out correctly, for some reason.
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