Edward Weston is one of my favorite photographers of all time. I believe he had a special way of bringing life to mundane objects, his prints are beautiful. Although he had a questionable personal life, his photographs are timeless and stunning. Here is a good example of what I mean when I say he had a special way of bringing things to life. The pepper is meant to look like these mangled beautiful bodies he shot nudes of- I’m not quite sure if he intentionally shot them this way and the pepper to specifically resemble bodies, but its what I gather. Call me stupid (or judgmental) for pointing out the obvious, but Weston was totally a player (he had a couple mistresses) and somehow turned an innocent little bell pepper into a sensual being, but I love it. Homeboy had a talent…
The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh.
So Tuesday I took the first real steps into taking photos for this book idea I have. I had scoped out some locations a while ago when I first got serious about actually pursuing it but all I really ended up doing was going for a drive taking mental notes of locations I’d like to shoot later on. I think the main concern for me was being able to safely shoot. All of these locations are on the levee road and most parts have nowhere for me to pull my car aside, let alone walk from a parking area to the shooting location. I guess I’ll start shooting the easy spots first and then maybe recruit a traffic lookout when I do the more dangerous spots.
Anyway, I shot my first roll this Tuesday, all color. I doubt these shots will end up in the book because I shot it only with some low budget fuji 400 film and I was experimenting with doing a frame—by-frame panorama. We’ll see how it turned out when I get paid next weekend and can afford to develop. I think I need to think things through more because I shot a couple close ups and whatnot of my main object and then started on the panorama, only to run out of frames before I got back to my starting point- oops. Oh and did I mention how I had only brought ONE roll of film with me? This was an on-the –whim kind of shooting day, but I should have at least been better prepared – duh. I did my best to get even exposures and varied focuses from frame to frame because I was getting bored with the same depth of focus by my 2nd or 3rd shot. We’ll see what I came out with. I feel like this was just an introductory shoot for me, to get comfortable with the environment and what I’d like to do with the subjects.
There was something eerily soothing about this spot. Maybe it was because there was a breeze running through the trees and bushes, or that the day was nearing sunset. Maybe it was just the fact that I was spending time outside along the river, but it was nice. It was peaceful, even with cars passing me by. I felt like people were missing out by not stopping once in a while to enjoy the scene, the scene that hosted a tragedy once. Maybe that’s why I’m doing this; people pass it too often without thinking.
I think I’m going to really enjoy working on this project.