Art 254 Ferreria
Photo Journal No.3 “the performing I”
My entire life, I’ve spent a lot of time alone. Being an only child with two single, working parents it didn’t take long for me to be comfortable without anyone around. I think these circumstances instilled a strong sense of self in me and have made it more comfortable to me “myself” around almost anyone. Sometimes, of course, I get shy or act outside my typical manner when I am around certain types of people, but it doesn’t take long for me to move past that. Because of this I would say that I occasionally perform in front of people, but not constantly. And when I “perform”, I am not performing who I am, but of something else that may be a mere part of my own personality. Often times people may have qualities that they want to put out there, but aren’t comfortable enough to let their true self show or maybe they won’t get a chance to take the time to let that quality show so they exaggerate the quality and magnify it to a point where it’s certain to get across. I feel like this happens most on first dates. Like let’s say a guy has a sensitive side to him and he wants his date no know this so that she doesn’t just write him off as a meat-head and maybe he gets a second date. Well he’s only got a couple of hours to show this so he mentions it multiple times and maybe acts a little over-sensitive by accident and now he comes off like a total wimp. So in this case, he wasn’t enacting himself to this girl, he was just performing a small portion of who he was and bottomline he performed someone who wasn’t him at all! Now me personally I know I can act outside my “typical” personality when strong emotions come into play. But on the other hand, my reactions to certain emotions define my personality once more. If when under pressure, I am rude and hard to talk to, then my personality includes not dealing with pressure well. Now a lot of our identity is constructed with what we see around us. We act a certain way because someone else did, and we liked how it went. But, the fact that we liked how they acted somewhat proves that we wanted to act like that on our own, not because someone else did, but because that’s how we want it – therefore incorporating that idea into our own personality.
I recently went down to New Orleans to visit my mother and have some fun during Mardi Gras. At night, I would go enjoy the parades downtown but during the day we would go check out the parades in Chalmette (where my mom lives, just outside of New Orleans). The parades there were much more family oriented and I got a chance to take some really great pictures. The atmosphere was amazing, everyone just hanging out in the streets, relaxing, drinking, and just enjoying a fine afternoon with the community. It’s something all of us here in San Diego rarely ever see. I chose to photograph it during the middle of all of it, the time when I thought was most interesting. I think the before (setting up the parade) and the after (the cleanup) would have been very interesting but atmosphere in the air made me want to photograph the parade itself. If I would’ve chosen to shoot the clean up of the parade there would’ve been a completely different feel to the pictures. It would be nighttime, empty, dirty, and not near as inviting as the parade itself was. Taking pictures of an event or of some knowledge that will be passed on through viewing a picture is extremely subjective and it is that way without choice. How a photographer chooses to frame and compose a picture is ultimately how the viewer of the picture will interpret not only the picture, but also the event itself and honestly, I don’t think that objectivity is always good in photography anyway. Subjectivity is was keeps photography from getting boring -it’s the reason 10 photographers can shoot the same thing all day and get completely different pictures. You can try to be objective in your photography but that itself speaks about your style or ideas about the subject and will still ultimately determine how the subject is interpreted, therefore making the whole process subjective anyway!
I have had what I consider photographic vision for a little over a year now. It started when my photography teacher at the last college I went brought up the idea in the form of viewing things in black and white all of the time. It aroused the idea in me that virtually anything, in my opinion, can be photographed and be aesthetically pleasing as long as you know how to see the image through the lens of a non-existent camera and alter the composition thusly. Because of this, photography has become a large part of my everyday life. I shoot everyday and consistently push myself to better my skills, both in process and post-process. This “photographic vision” occurs pretty much the majority of my day. When I’m in deep thought or focus I supposed photographic visual comfort isn’t on the top of my mind but, attention span being my weakness, it slips into my focus more than rarely. Here in San Diego, I consider myself one of the few, if any, of my friends who view the world as a photograph. That’s not a knock against them, I love them for sure they just aren’t photographers and that’s alright by me. Where I was for the past 2 years, Salt Lake City, a lot of my friends were photographers and many of them had the same ideas about seeing things in terms of photographs. We would go around and take pictures in the same general area, then head to the dark room and find that we all could take the same place and make it look so different and still have great images – it was a lot of fun. I don’t consider photographic vision to be detrimental to people apply that to photography and just like taking pictures. I guess, however, if you thoroughly don’t enjoy taking pictures or capturing what you’re seeing for later viewing, then having photographic vision would really suck because you would constantly have a feeling of visual unrest when you realize that what you are seeing is either photographically/visually discomforting, or comforting enough to save it for later – without actually doing anything about it.