Lights, Pets, and More

The concept for this project was to imitate the approach and style of Ashley Gilberson, and since he does work on refugees, I decided to focus on the most displaced people around me: pets. Gilbertson mostly does photojournalism, in which forethought towards lighting and composition are limited. For me, it was best to keep the technical considerations in mind as I improvised, making the most of the opportunities that presented themselves. Lighting is especially difficult to control on the street so I tried to go with the mood that the environment's lighting already implied. Compositional tricks utilizing the surrounding worked out well to add dynamics to the images.

The final session with Miko, my room mate's pug, made the Zettl reading very relevant. I tried to find an appropriate balance of images and strong vectors, particularly indexes from the subjects' eyes.

It wasn't until the photos were taken and I had to select from among them that my critical eye got some exercise. In the midst of the shoot I just had to worry about having a descent idea and firing away, but sitting down and going over the days work gave me more time to consider what I'd like to do next time and how to view photography as the product of a process.

Here are my thoughts on some of my favorites:

'Miko, My Lovely' took the most time to shoot and was also the most gratifying. Miko give the viewer a straight z-vector that contrasts with Keener's vector leading off to the side, suggesting that reality confronts while fiction avoids. The fall off on both faces are dramatic and the blue and orange colors are complements, making for a good deal of energy.

'Employees Only' has two graphic vectors that define the space. The lighting on the entire image falls off to the right and the attached shadows provide a sort of noir mood. I even like the red sign with the greenish cages.

'Floating Windows' is a really trippy image. Once again there's a strong use of color. The blackness of night gives everything a dream like suspension. The window frames provide obvious vectors that divide the viewer from the shadow-defined spaces beyond.

'Floating Windows'

'Employees Only'

'Miko, My Lovely'


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