Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting Back - Working Backwards

Time to restart - i.e. This post's title has little to do with its content, if anything it is a reminder that I havn't done this for several months, and that this is a starting point, and that this point will be proceeded and followed by other posts that I've had in my head during these last months of winter. Time pauses; the narative now moves in both directions.


Things have been slow, but opportunities are coming (and so I continue to be happy in photographer mode). Several weeks ago I was excited to be invited to a special press day with Maya Lin at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. (Thank you Rachel!)

Maya Lin, for those who don't know, was only 20 and still in undergraduate school when she submitted the winning entry for the Vietnam War Memorial on the National Mall. Today Maya functions as an architect, sculptor, and memorialist - all the while refusing any of these titles, instead refering to herself as an Artist. (I might also add humanist, environmentalist and activist to the list.)

Her appearance was thoroughly enjoyable. After a brief introduction delivered from behind a clear lexan podium, Maya led a group of jurnalists, students and special guests through the exhibit upstairs. She was exceedingly generous with her time, answering questions for more than an hour as we walked from room to room - always patient, thoughtful, introspection but not lacking in energy, passion or joy - at one point climbing the sloping side of one of her sculptures and suggesting that she would like to find a few days where visitors are encouraged to do the same.

A true rendition of the light was difficult with small flash and equal amounts of natural light from the skylights and from the incandescent gallery lights. As one moves from room to room I think this only adds to the understanding of the pieces and to the aesthetic of the photos, so I let it be what it was. I rented a fixed f2.8 zoom - trying to convince myself that I don't need to buy one yet - to try some more things with DOF. I've been pretending that the zoom lenses that I've been using are fixed by pre-visualizing my photo, setting the zoom on the lens, and then looking through the viewfinder to compose the photo - doing this is helping me to learn the effects of different lens length and f-stop combinations. I also find my pictures are better when I use a fixed lens (and my feet to zoom).

Again .. Go! see the show! More photos here.

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