My Departure From Reality
A Photographic Journey by Roy Thoman
I started working on my photography certificate at BCC 2 years ago. It’s been a long but rewarding journey. I have learned lots of new things and met a lot of great people along the way. I saved the portfolio class for last, because I have seen some of the amazing work that students have produced in this class, so I was a bit intimidated. My first challenge was to come up with a creative idea for something to photograph. I have always been drawn to abstracts; their use of color, texture, shape and lines has always interested me. To me a photograph is a moment in time. I enjoy capturing that moment in time that maybe nobody else but me has seen or at least maybe didn’t see it the way that I saw it. Looking at the photographs of Edward and Brett Weston, I liked their use of light to show the form of the object they were photographing. I was reading that an abstraction indicates a departure from reality. Pablo Picasso said “You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.” And so I have started on my journey, my departure from reality. I have always found architecture to be a very interesting subject. Although I have not worked with architecture as a subject in the past, I thought I would give it a go. Architects work very hard to come up with ways to be creative with their designs; sometimes those little creative bits are not so obvious. I have found over the years that light is probably the most important components in creating a good image. When you learn about photography one of the first things you learn or that everyone tells you is that to get the best light for an image you need to use morning or evening light. Between 11am and 3pm you better just go take a nap, because you’re not going to get anything worthwhile. When I started taking photos for this portfolio I soon found out that to get the light and the shadows falling on my subjects the way I wanted them to I was going to need to do my photography between 11am and 3pm. So not only do I need to open my mind creatively I need to open my mind technically as well. The architects have provided me with the structure of the building; it’s up to me to use light creatively to capture my moment in time. Light falling on different parts of the structure creates shadows, light areas and dark areas. These shadows, light areas and dark areas create lines and shapes that only exist at that moment in time. Most of my images ended up being monotone in nature; it is the shadows, light areas and dark areas that have given the image different color tones. Now that I have discovered that moment in time, I need to depart from reality. Taking those shadows, light areas and dark areas I used camera angle and perspective to isolate those areas sometimes creating even more shapes lines and angles, departing from the reality of what was there to begin with. It would be very hard to recreate any of these images again. The moment in time has passed. The light would be different; I would not stand at exactly the same spot, changing my perspective enough that the image would just not be the same. That’s not saying it would not be a good image it would just be a different moment in time, a different departure from reality. I have enjoyed my journey, my departure from reality, it’s been lots of fun and I have learned a lot about myself and my photography. I’m really sorry to see this journey come to an end, it’s been a great two years! But as one journey ends, another journey begins.
I took a trip down to the Brevard Community Collage Campus in Melbourne Fl. the other day. I was able to find several very nice abstracts. I think I may be able to add some of them to my portfolio, I hope anyway. I have been able to find lots of great abstracts, but the type of angular, softer ones that are making it into my portfolio are very hard to find. I have looked at, if not photographed every building between Melbourne and Titusville Florida. I’m running out of buildings. I’m thinking about trying to head north towards Daytona to see what I can find up that way. So anyway here is what I was able to find at the BCC Melbourne Campus. Oh, I need to come up with a name for my portfolio so if anybody has any ideas for a name let me know.
I was in downtown Melbourne Fl. again and found some really cool images. Downtown Melbourne is a great place for photography. Although I got some striking images none of them are going to fit into my portfolio. I’m going to need to get together another portfolio of my favorite images that didn’t make it into my portfolio.