Monday, August 27, 2012

Adam Fuss, Photograms, & Stepping Into the Camera

In my Fundamentals of Photography class (yes I am in three studios at once, yes I know I'm slightly insane for wanting to do that) we are just starting to jump into the world of the photogram (we're starting from the very beginning, thank you Luke Jordan).

Our assignment for this weekend was to look at the photograms of two people who broke the ice with their original photography skills: Anna Atkins and William Henry Fox Talbot.

Beautiful people if I do say so myself.

They focused on using pin hole cameras to create photographs with limited subject matter. Their tools and technology were limited, but they still manage to forage a path to photographic greatness.

Here are some examples of their breakthrough projects (1st three are Mr. Talbot and the last two are Ms. Atkins:

Luke also had us watch a series of short videos called "Shadowcatchers." This series on Vimeo focused on photographers foraging the techniques of photograms in the modern art world.

Adam Fuss was my favorite out of the five. In his interview, he talked about his struggle to raise questions within his work. Fuss works to explore the answers to these themes, to find the light in the dark, in well, the dark room. Photograms, as he said, have more intimacy and feeling that the rest of photography because they don't require any help from the outside world. I loved his idea of creating something beautiful out of nothing. In a world of greedy consumerism where we're focused on having as much stuff as possible, it's refreshing to find someone striving to work with what little they have. It's a great theme and it allows Fuss to create beautiful photograms.

Fuss said, "If you're not creative, you die, and in this world, it's all about survival." It's kind of a brutal quote, but discovering the originality within life is a beautiful thing. We need more people like Adam. His beard is awesome and his photograms are even awesomer. 

Luke also asked us to write exactly what it is in particular that we wanted to learn from his class. And quite frankly Luke, I'm not exactly sure. I know I want to develop my skills as a photographer as well as a designer and learn to incorporate those skills into my graphic design major. I want to learn the history of photography while also making some of my own. I'm excited to get out in the world and capture it. Adam Fuss said that while he was making his first photogram, he stepped into the camera. From that point, he's still there. I want to learn how to step into the camera, just like Adam and develop my skills as a photographer. Let's do this, here goes nothing.

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