Thursday, March 20, 2008

Metaphor: Fear

This assignment was to take pictures of metaphor. Unlike in past years, this year they gave the class a theme. I found it hard to portray fear (or do they want us to elicit fear??) without turning to cliches. And to portray fear in a universal sense, yet having that sense informed by my personal choices. Not sure whether I succeeded or not. I'm posting more than my usual five because I haven't yet decided which of these to turn in as my final 5. After you look at them, I'll give my comments of what I was going for. I'm sorry I downloaded these in small format...I am not sure that Pictures and Busted I & II really come through in this small format.

Bedroom Floor:


Bras:


Busted:


Pictures:


Hand:


Busted II:


Porch:


With Bedroom Floor, I was challenging myself to take a roll in the house...to find fears close to home. In my bedroom I laid on the floor and pictured the aftermath of an event (a robbery? a heart attack?) and what that would be like. The idea here was to show the disorientation of not quite having your bearings. Thus the odd focus, odd perspective thing.

In Bras, I had a few thoughts in mind. One was breast cancer, or the thought of mastectomy (and the bras therefore being irrelevant). Another thought was the empty nest...fearing that I'd no longer be needed, that I myself might be irrelevant, once my nurturing role was done.

Over the weekend, we went to the ACC tournament in Charlotte. Leaving the arena, we passed the bus station and found some happenings going on. Lucky for me the car was nearby with my camera, so I got out and tried out my future in the growing field of papparazzi. In both Busted I and Busted II, I tried to capture the feeling of vulnerability this woman must have felt, and her fear of what would happen in her run-in with the law.

In Pictures, I set up a shelf of my family photos so that none of the faces except Grayson's was actually visible, and tried to make his eye the focal point of the shot. I fear for him in the Marines (well, I fear for him anyway because he is fearLESS, but being in the Marines exacerbates my fear). There's always a pang in my heart when I view his official military portrait, knowing that if something happened to him, it would be the published picture in the newspaper. Maybe that's morbid, but it is what it is. Because this fear is more personal to myself, it might not be the best one to put in my portfolio....I don't know.

Hand is another shot taken in my bedroom. It's supposed to be ambiguous and elicit unease. Again, it could reference someone trying to escape an intruder; it could refer to falling or losing one's orientation; it might be a plea for mercy; it might reference feeling sucked into a vortex.

There's a small old house on a busy street near me. It is unoccupied, so I stopped one afternoon and took quite a few views of it. This was my favorite, and I was trying to illustrate a fear of abandonment.

10 comments:

Gawdess said...

all of the shots are good, and I liked being able to read your thoughts about each.
The one that particularly sticks in my mind is the last one of the house - very compelling.

carrie said...

The one that had the most initial impact on me was Pictures. I wasn't sure it was about Grayson specifically, but it did immediately make me think of how helpless we are to stop time or protect those we love. I thought of my kids, but I thought of my own mortality, too.

I really appreciated the commentaries.

LauraLiz said...

Maybe it's a mom thing, but Pictures was the one that I "understood" immediately--maybe not your fear exactly, but the idea of the family and memories...very vulnerable. And the military uniform lends an extra layer...his service affects the entire family.

I love the porch shot!

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Scrivener said...

I actually think that Pictures works really, really well. I would put that in the portfolio--it is both specific and universal. Like Lauraliz, I found it the easiest one to "get" and the most gripping. Busted I & II really work well, too. I like how you're in close enough that the photo is kind of disorienting: I know they're cops but it takes a minute to figure out what's going on.

Colleen said...

Hi, Beth! I dropped by to see how your photography course is coming along. Assignments like this would be so difficult for me ~ challenging me to think creatively, "outside the box". The two photos you shared here that most resonated with me were Pictures and the Porch. My heart went flip-flop, seeing those picture frames, considering the passage of time. And following on that, the abandoned porch...pondering aging, loneliness, and so on. Very compelling (to echo another comment here.

argon(one) said...

I am enjoying your photography and your commentary very much. You inspire me to think deeper about my own photography.

julieunplugged said...

Wow. I am so impressed with the thought put into these. I really liked Hand and Bedroom. I love the floor orientation of that first one. I felt it right away - maybe even more than fear, I felt disoriented and vulnerable. Great job.

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