The assignment “Signs” given to me by Jose Betancourt for the digital photography class was one the most challenging assignments yet. Mainly because I dived into it, then realized that I wasn’t showing signs or symbols strong enough. Therefore, I had to re-think the entire project.
When Jose told us to use signs, he didn’t mean road signs. The purpose was to use objects, composition, and lighting to display a background story. So it could include road signs, but the images complex than that. I chose to use each image as a chapter in a book where each image/chapter is able to be read on its alone, and as a whole tell a comprehensive story.
After shooting a few great images in Chattanooga, I (with the help of Jose), realized that they weren’t clear enough. Meaning that my images didn’t have quite enough symbolism or intrigue. I could go back to Chattanooga, and I couldn’t just abandon the images or concept, so I searched for ways to add more detail to the story.
The big problem was that I didn’t know what story I was telling.
It would have been easy at that point to make it into some kind of a dark story like a murder, but I’d rather bring hope and inspiration into the world than fear and paranoia. So I set out to make it a mystery seasoned with humor, confusion, and friendship.
I then wrote out different scenes and stringed them together, building on the few scenes that I already had (so if you think that writing skills have no relevance in art… Think again).
In order to add more depth to the images, I made them into diptychs which are two images side-by-side that are to be viewed as one piece. The images on the left, taken at night with light painting, are resemblant of the vague recollection of dreams and memory. It’s also a continuation of my fascination movement. The image on the right are the facts, or the evidence that are found during the day.
It’s fair to say that the entire series is strongly grounded in my obsession with Nancy Drew mysteries as a child. I never thought that the reasoning, hypothesis, and search for facts that I learned through Nancy would have helped in my photography. That just goes to demonstrate how random passions and skills can be integrated with fine arts.
The making of the series was quite amusing. I don’t want to tell you how in fear that it will loose it’s aura or wow factor, but if you really want to know, just ask me.
I must thank Jose Betancourt for the guidance, and my husband Daniel for his support of my developing concepts.