Backtrack Basics – Lauren

All high quality cameras make a resonating click when the shutter is released and captures the image. There’s a definite satisfaction in that moment, knowing the possibilities within such a simple action. I grew up with a camera. My first was small and grey, and even in 2001, still took film. I was five years old, my father had just began his life as a photographer.

He is a photographer by trade, and I’ve learned most of what I know through him and his work. I’ve watched his imagery and artistry transform over a period of fourteen years; his technical skills never falling far behind the expansion of his creativity. I witnessed his art become his own.

Photo by Chuck Bowers  (Circa early 2000's)

Photo by Chuck Bowers
(Circa early 2000’s)

Photo by Chuck Bowers "Canons in America's South West"  (Cira early 2000's)

Photo by Chuck Bowers
“Canons in America’s South West”
(Cira early 2000’s)

That’s the quality of work produced in his early adolescent age of photography. Not bad for a budding artist. He had a muse for his work that lead him to some wonderful images, but his work pre-dating 2010 does not compare to his work in the past four years.

This is the quality of his work now.

Photo by Chuck Bowers  (Circa Spring, 2013)

Photo by Chuck Bowers
(Circa Spring, 2013)

Photo by Chuck Bowers "Longwood Gardens" (circa last month)

Photo by Chuck Bowers
“Longwood Gardens”
(circa last month)

Photo by Chuck Bowers  (Circa last week)

Photo by Chuck Bowers
(Circa last week)

Photo by Chuck Bowers (Circa June, 2014)

Photo by Chuck Bowers
(Circa June, 2014)

The inspiration in his work has remained unchanged over all that time. He still finds solidarity with quiet foggy mornings and natures beauty, but his stylism, technique, and creativity have become more precise and deliberate. Everything from the use of light to the focused composition has become stronger, and reveals true purpose and intention within the image. Over this four year span he became a developed artist.

So how does that pertain to me besides my enthusiasm for my father’s achievements? Simply put, he’s my most immediate and reliable resource. He taught me how to use a camera, work with subject matter to create beautiful composition, and fine tune my personal style. I learned photography through years of exposure and trial and error rather than a classroom. Because of the unconventional way photography was introduced to me, there is inevitably some of my father’s photographic style within me. In recognizing that, I allow myself to further understand my own personal artistry.

As I go further into the more complicated issues of my independent project, I find myself wondering what kind of artist I will chose to be. What is my inspiration? What stylistic routes will I be taking? How am I going to proceed with the limited technical skills I currently possess. By returning to my roots, I can proceed to move on to other bigger and better ideas.

In addition to reconciling with my artistic patrimony, I’ve spent a lot of time assessing the photo work I did over the summer. I did LOTS of botanically oriented photography at longwood gardens in the late weeks of August. As I look back at them, I see the kind of work that I want to be doing; the kind of work that represents my talents and creative methods. I like personality. Anyone can snap a photograph, but to have images with a wonderfully unmistakable persona is covetable. Flowers, like people, have a dynamic disposition, which I like to believe I reproduce in my photographs.

Persie at age 3 June 2014

Persie at age 3
June 2014

Longwood Gardens August 2014

Longwood Gardens
August 2014

Longwood Gardens August 2014

Longwood Gardens
August 2014

Longwood Gardens August 2014

Longwood Gardens
August 2014

Longwood Gardens August 2014

Longwood Gardens
August 2014

Longwood gardens August, 2014

Longwood gardens
August, 2014

Longwood Gardens August 2014

Longwood Gardens
August 2014

Longwood Gardens August 2014

Longwood Gardens
August 2014

Shiloh on the farm July 2014

Shiloh on the farm
July 2014

You can view the whole summer portfolio on my behance page under Independent Seminar

https://www.behance.net/gallery/19514533/Independent-Seminar

I see a lot of my father’s influence in my work, but I also see a completely different perspective based in the propensities I seek to shoot. All that’s left to do is gain the technical skills to properly represent them.

I’d like to work towards other kinds of execution as I think about specific style choices for myself. For example, an artist I’ve followed on behance (see below) has worked with light in a way I really enjoy. Her subjects have a completely different tone because of her particular choice of rendering. Her work is posted on behance, a forum for artists to post and conversate about their portfolios.  https://www.behance.net/shamenbashi

I also stumbled upon a fascinating project which I suspect was done with a photoshop technique called masking. His ideas are well executed and clear, and something about his work leaves the viewer with a sense of comfortability. I’d love to work with this technique, though my limited ability with photoshop may prove to be too problematic.  https://www.behance.net/gallery/863461/Double-Exposure-Portraits

In the next few days I’ll be a speed demon in the studio, working on short sketches and studies (which I’ll be able to post to the blog hopefully by Sunday if not monday) in order to meet my set syllabus of work for this week passing week.

YOUR ACCU ARTIST FORECAST:

Next week will be dedicated to figuring out a way to strengthen my skills in lighting so I’ll be able to start the portraiture project soon. In addition, I’ll probably be posting some developing drawings sporadically through the next few weeks as they become more developed. As always, I’ll be looking into other work for sources of inspiration and knowledge.

Printmaking is also an important part of my independent, but is the one component that is proving to be very impossible to do. I’ll be posting conceptual sketches for possible prints while trying to organize a way to start the process.

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