photography in reverse: day five

the carousel

One of the key points to our discussion of Color Photography, on this our last day before we move to Black & White, is that for the most part these technologies are out of the hands of the solitary maker, and purely the products of industry. It takes large machines carefully calibrated to make color films of all kinds. The processing, too, is complex and uncompromising. It’s just not something some guy is going to keep alive in his garage (or revive it when it’s gone). In my opinion, most color photography – at least on the shooting side –has been truly supplanted by digital imaging. I don’t know which is stronger, my DIY handmade heart or my old anti-capitalist punk-rock brain, but I’m happy to have the rest of this class move towards Things We Can Make Ourselves.

Before we got too far into all this, though, I gave them a quick slide show of all the artists who had come up in coversation this week, mostly from the discussion of the students’ own work on Wednesday: Lothar Osterburg, Leslie Dill, James Bishop, Gordon Matta-Clark, Helen Frankenthaler, Sadie Benning, Rineke Dijkstra, Robert Mapplethorpe, Diane Arbus, Vivian Maier, James Van Der Zee, August Sander, Edward Muybridge, Nadar, and Anna Atkins. I think we’ll do this every Friday, like a Random History of Art. (We did much the same the last time I taught a Concentration here…)

Since it’s raining and cool again today, I’ll let them have the (supposedly sunny) upcoming weekend to shoot the rest of their disposables, and the two rolls of slide film I gave them today. Giving them some 35mm chromes means it’s time to bust out the 35mm cameras, and there are at least a couple of students who need a refresher course on using an analog camera, and one student who’s never touched one in her life! This is all well-planned, if I do say so myself, since on Monday we move to 35mm Black-and-White film, which they’ll spend a couple of days shooting, developing, and printing themselves.

But I digress. It’s back to, say, the 60’s now…

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