This slideshow is comprised of pictures taken by myself in the Winfield Mounds (of nature and myself) and also pictures taken from Google of the Lovers of Valdaro, of a man sitting cross-legged, a scene from the film, “The Fountain,” and of a bombed cathedral.
This slideshow works by touching on the relationship between man and nature, as well as man’s inability to escape life and death. It also tends to focus on subjects more closely in the beginning, but it slowly zooms out as it gets toward the end. It flows by changing from colder colors to warmer colors as the sequence goes on, denoting an acceptance (perhaps even an embracing) of death as a natural part of life. The lines are generally seem to point up, implying that the direction man needs to look is not himself, but at the grander picture. The sequence also tends to gravitate toward circular and elliptic shapes (like the little reeds, the rounded windows in the cathedral, the circle made by the tree and the light in the Fountain scene, and the balloons). It also plays on similarity and continuity to create a narrative: some of the photos (like pictures 4 and 5, as well as 6 and 8) have very similar backgrounds, so it’s as if the subject is moving from right to left, and the next picture is almost like the aftermath, the feeling of quiet tension, when that person left, as if you could hear its footsteps fading away into the distance (almost having a certain quiet, tranquil rhythm, like a heartbeat) and the wind rustling through the reeds; a quiet comparison between presence and non-presence. It starts out with a cool, silently frantic tension, where the person is wandering about, but then it has a sense of closure when the subject lays down to rest his head in the end, giving a peaceful emotion to the viewer. I also tried to play on mise-en-scene by using nature (like the reeds) as concealers in the beginning, but tried to shy away from that in the end, implying that embracing death means being transparent, for all will be stripped away in the end.
I need to work on using manual focus better as well as steadying my hands more while I take photos. Is there anyway I can train myself to have steadier hands?
I wanted the media to both disrupt and connect with the sequence: the sequence, which has a dreamy and muted feel, was disrupted by images with shocking feelings, but similar subject matter, thereby enhancing the meaning by looking at it from a different perspective. The media bothers the imagination and distracts us from the natural flow of life and from truly experiencing nature, just as it does in this sequence. The viewer (I hoped) would get lost inside the sequence, then be startled at the pictures of a bombed church and more out of place pictures: making them aware of their emotions. They feel along with the sequence, they don’t just gaze and go, “Mmm yessss,” passively. I want to point to the tragic feelings of death and suffering in life, as from personal experience, and how horrid and shocking they are. But we will ever be searching for something we cannot grasp if we also try to find out “why” something happened to us or to someone that we love. We must embrace both the blessing and the curse, does God not have the right to give and take? So we must accept both with thanksgiving and embrace death as a natural cycle. The Way of Nature is one we must become one with as part of its realm. We too, are mammals of the Earth (although made in the image of God) and we were meant to care for Nature. We must go beyond what culture tells us about, “Life is all about us,” and look further than ourselves. We must look and care for others. We must learn to have Grace, to reconcile with our grievings and sins, and once again embrace the curse and the blessing from the Hand that made us. The class is going OK for me 🙂
05/03/2016 Re-Reflection- I still have the same feelings toward this slideshow and still impart the same meaning as before. However, seeing some of the pictures in the past, I could have done without a lot of the color muting. It could potentially be a lot more “poppy” and striking with more vibrance.