Learning to "see". Part II.
Yesterday was an interesting day for me as a photographer. I am in the middle of researching for a wet-plate collodion shoot for a 1913 based performance coming up so I started my day at the Huntington Library here in Souther California reviewing a couple hundred images taken between the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s. There were some stand-out images and a lot of not-so-great images. It just reinforced to me that just because you can TAKE a photograph doesn’t mean that you can MAKE a photograph. There are many factors to making a successful and compelling image and I hope that, with time and experience, I will be able to more and more consistently. Seeing these historic images of actors, actresses and performers in person certainly inspired some ideas for the upcoming shoot so I am excited to see this effort come to fruition!
As I was reviewing images there were several from the New York photographerTheodore C. Marceau who’s images were generally much more interesting and well crafted. His studio also produced the finished images using a process that I need to learn. They were sharp yet soft with a beautiful DOF and a dimensionality and tone that absolutely inspired me. The problem is, I don’t know what the print process is. The way it looks can’t be scanned and show the same effect so I will have to show some images produced in the process to a master printer and see if I can produce something similar in the near future. I do love this stuff. :)
After I left the library I want to attend a lecture at The Annenberg Space for Photography by photographer Rasmus Mogensen and it was interesting to have such an interesting juxtaposition of historical and modern in such a short period. His work is modern and, to me, has a distinct european simplicity to it. In a good way. Simple lighting, clean lines and a strong eye for the female form are all inspiring elements of his work. Again, more fodder for inspiration and exploration for future work.
I look at the creative brain as a bank. The more you put in, the more opportunities for output you have. You have to be selective what you put in because negative input is just as powerful as good input. It’s up to you to decide which is which for your creative perspective.
An image by Theodore C. Marceau. A digital representation cannot do it justice.