My big meeting is quickly approaching, which means I have all of my images decided on at this point. Right now I am sitting in our digital lab printing all of my images and trying to get everything else ready. While I wait for my next print to finish, I thought I would share another image here. This one feels the most like me, and is closer to my typical style of shooting for some reason, and because of that it is one of my favorites so far.
In my last post I mentioned that my work is now dealing with collections. I have just started with this process, and so have only been working with one collection so far. Every fall I have the tendency to pick up a few leaves that I find nice and pin them to my walls for a bit. The leaves actually sparked my first collection piece. I started by placing the leaves on my copy machine and making simple black and white photocopies I also scanned them to see what I thought of a digital, color image of the collection. I have over 200 leaves copied and I finally had to force myself to stop picking them up. Once I had a large number scanned I started to piece them into a large Photoshop file, which is what I am sharing with you all today.
Once I printed it out I realized that this is not the direction I want to go. The color and the format of the digital print are not doing what I want them to do, and so I will be leaving this behind for the time being at least. I debated sharing this here, but decided that I wanted this blog in part to be a place to show my progress and thought process on my work. I will be printing some copper plates this week and so will be sharing those with you as I work on them. Be on the lookout for another post soon!
This semester a decent amount of my graduate work has involved printmaking instead of just traditional photography. For those of you that may have some knowledge of printmaking, the process I am working with is essentially a mix of lithography and etching. I have had a request to show some in-progress and process work (which will hopefully be happening soon), and so I will be waiting to go into too much detail about how it is done until I have some images to share of that. For the time being I thought I would share some images that I completed at the end of last semester and beginning of this semester.
My graduate photography since I started here at Kansas State has dealt with issues related to memory. These prints are more or less extensions of that, and each print has resulted in a new spin-off of that central theme of memory. The etching process inherently deals with memory, since more often than not the copper plate is worked back in to, leaving a history behind on the copper. It is partly because of this that I am so fascinated by etching at the moment. This first image was the first I completed using my current process. The one on the left is the original image, which some of you may recognize from one of my 365 photographs, as well as from one of my weavings. In the print on the right I forced myself to work back into the plate, scraping things away, burnishing, and drawing new lines. It was difficult for me to allow myself to make changes on the plate because I saw it as this precious object and the thought of destroying it terrified me. I realized recently that this holds an interesting parallel to memory, and has drawn me to the etching process even more. This image sparked the realization that a lot of my images deal with collections. Collections can serve as placeholders for memories at times, and so my newer work is focusing more on this aspect than before.
The next print unfortunately got cut off on the scanner; if I get a chance to rescan it soon I will replace it here. This plate was my first experiment with things in multiples, and has started me down a potentially frightening path. The print shown here is the third or fourth state of the plate (meaning I had altered it three or four times before this). It is not one I was very happy with, but it has grown on me and my professors seem to enjoy it.
And finally, yet another experiment. I have been playing around with the circular format recently, in both my prints and photographs. Because I am referencing memory and perception I felt that the circle was a better fit. We don’t remember, or see, in rectangles and so I didn’t feel that I was able to get what I wanted from that format. Also, some of the first photographs were circles. The first ever consumer camera, the Kodak Number 1, produced circles. Being able to make a direct reference to the history of my medium is rather exciting to me.
This particular image has spun-off into its own branch of my central concept. It has turned into a collaboration plate, which allows me to let go of any control over what happens to it. I gave the plate to one of the printmaking graduate students here, who worked into the plate. I recently printed it (image to come soon), and now will be handing off the plate to someone else. The thought process behind this collaboration is that we each remember the same event (or object) different from someone else. Each person’s edit to the plate will be their “memory” of the object essentially. I am in the beginning stages at this point, so we will see where it goes from here.
And just for fun, because I have been obsessed with circles and the history of them in photography, a photograph of the Kodak Nr. 1 that I recently purchased. Isn’t he cute!