TCC Photography               Richard Doherty

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Student Artist’s Statement Examples

A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

“Great bridges demonstrate that there need be no conflict between technology and ‘art,’ but rather a fusion between the two.” (“Bridges, Three Thousand Years of Defying Nature” by David J. Brown)

During man’s earliest years on this earth, bridges were made from felled trees, ropes woven together and even human beings holding on to each other to span rivers, gorges or other obstacles. Today, bridges are much more sophisticated and sturdy, yet their beauty is often overlooked or perhaps not easily seen.

Get off that bridge! Take a look at it above or below the structure, at different times of the day or night or at a distance. Look beyond its function and enjoy the form. You will be in for a special treat as you can see in is photographic adventure of bridges found in or very close to Fort Worth’s downtown area that shows beauty of design, material, ages, or the impact of lighting from “a unique perspective.”

Photo Driving

A while back I read an article about hypnosis, where it was suggested that driving could and often did induce a form of hypnosis akin to daydreaming or sleepwalking. While in this ‘trance’ the driver was still fully capable of operating the vehicle; using their blinker at turns or intersections and even making general routing decisions, but otherwise was only semi-aware of actually doing these things. Most people who experienced this would arrive at their destination but have difficulty recalling the details of how they got there. Others only realized they were in this state when another driver or obstacle suddenly ‘awoke’ them requiring a conscious assessment of their surroundings. This is something that I think many of us are familiar with but rarely take time to consider, which I think is a little ironic. 

The moment of awareness from a trance in motion is what I was attempting to capture with this series. For the project I used a Canon AE-1 in full manual settings with a Canon Zoom FD 35-70mm 1:4 lens and ISO 400 film. Because I would not be able to operate the camera while driving I fixed the camera to a tripod inside the car and connected a shutter release cable for remote trigger. I set the camera to F22 for most of my shots to give me the greatest depth of field possible, and to compensate set the shutter speed from 1/60 down to B with manual release depending on lighting. I used the camera’s built in light meter to determine the best shutter speed on the day time shots, and used my digital SLR to assist with twilight or night time shots. 

The end result is a series of photos that attempt to portray the dreamy state of hypnosis in motion and the focus and clarity of waking up while driving.

Composition of an Architectural Vision

Architecture is a composite of all of it’s given parts, from the vision of the architect and skill of the craftsmen involved to the choice of the location and the selection of the materials. Bad choices at any of these levels can cause a project to fall short of the vision’s intentions in terms of esthetics, integrity and longevity. Good choices provide for a more confident future for the structure. These images are a small study of various structures that provide an insight into how choices can affect a final architectural project and its value in passing from one generation to another.

 

 Creative Genius Variations

This body of work depicts individuals I have known well, or have a relationship with who, to my mind, are creative geniuses. Variations exist in each individual where the genius within each emerges, whether it be a child learning to create magic in motion or an adult with a surgeon’s skill set. My camera captures the design of the genius; it may be the stroke of the hand or the metaphoric resonance of the word..... either representing the fragment of experience or the whole individual embodied.

 

Studio Portraiture Out of the Studio

These ten photographs are a series of portraits made with a “studio look” but are not made in a studio. I am fascinated with studio portraiture, the effects variable lighting has on the subject and the absence of a context for the portrait. This was an exercise in discovering studio lighting and neutral backgrounds in people’s offices, homes and other interior environments. Light is provided in many ways. Diffused contour light is provided by a north window, direct, hard light provided by the direct sun streaming in a window and a full range of other options made themselves obvious as the work progressed. A tripod was used to stabilize the camera and a hand held light meter was employed to obtain a good exposure. My choice of shooting the 3/4 style (mid-thigh to top of head) comes from the strong compositional variations it offers.

The Figure in Motion

The beautiful, unexpected results of the 4Dproject inspired this final portfolio. I wanted to reveal the magical way that time transforms a moving nude human form in space. I used both male and female models and tried (with various degrees of success) to use even, diffused light in a studio or environmental setting. The gorgeous silvery gray tones that result are a perfect compliment to the smooth contours of the human body as it gracefully moves. For me these are like visual poems of motion. To make the exposures I used exposures on a tripod mounted camera ranging from 1/4 to 2 seconds. I used a light meter to get the right exposure.

 

 

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