Tuesday, October 05, 2010

First Showing

My favourite of the classes I'm taking requires that we show some printed pictures throughout the semester. There's one guy who has been bringing in stuff for three weeks in a row. He's quite good, and like me, should really be in a more advanced class, but has his reasons for staying here.

After two weeks of his pics, a few other classmates jokingly asked him to stop bringing in so many good pictures, because they felt inferior to him.

I figured I should keep his ego in check, while putting mine on the line.

Because it's easy to admire your own work, or throw it up for friends to see (that's foreshadowing), and bask in their praise. But to actually put it out there for critical assessment by a group of people you barely know? There's some risk involved.

So I went through my older stuff, and decided to focus on a few of the HDR shots I've done. Interestingly, six from a single walkabout shoot stood out as thematically and visually similar, so I made them my set.

I expected the teacher to pull a couple out and say "these don't quite work with the presentation" or comment on the over-processed nature (especially since part of the reason for me taking these classes is to bring me back to fundamentals). At the very least, I expected one of the other students to say "this isn't really my thing, I prefer more realism."

Instead, I got, "These are lovely" from the teacher, which isn't sarcastic praise from him. No move was made to rearrange the presentation, no criticism at all was offered. He also told the class, "don't be intimidated by these, you'll be doing your own thing". This prompted another student to ask why I was even taking the course. The rest was praise, followed by many technical explanations of the process, telling people that their cameras could auto-bracket (and what that was), and describing the lens used.

I feigned mild humility, and was actually somewhat disappointed that the discussion turned to the technical. I was hoping for takes on the composition, style, theme... something. In the end, it felt somewhat that it was more the process than the product that impressed.

Metal Iceberg

Aluminum Disaster



Mike's Arch


So now the plan is... what? I'm thinking more HDR, although I debate putting the Vegas picture in, simply because I might have a hard time matching it with other pictures for a theme (but the Disney pics might change that). But mixed in with those will be non-HDR shots that fit whatever story I'm trying to tell with what I present. Maybe I'll be able to transition from one style to the next without anyone noticing...


BamBam said...

Your eye as always, spectacular!

Are you really hoping that they won't notice the transition? Or was that a sarcastic, (read: Astin!) way to present to us, that they probably wouldn't?

Whatever, I'd certainly appreciate the opportunity to entertain my eyes with a little contrast.


"Brilliant use of space with the sky in 5 of the above pics!"

^--- High praise, if you were to ask me.

Astin said...

Heh, I'm more hoping they won't be disappointed with the non-HDR ones.

And thank the-once-mini-Pebs for the comment. It's not often I get award-winning photographers complimenting my work! :)

Dawn Summers said...

Pictures puhrty.