Work shown here represents final projects for students enrolled in the Fine Art Photography class section at Barton College for fall 2016. This course explores the development of advanced techniques in black & white and digital photography. An increased emphasis in this course is placed on creative use of photography for artistic expression. These final portfolios were produced independently and were based on preliminary projects completed throughout the semester.
From Here to There
There is great freedom in the exploration of material possibilities. I decided to explore the limits of Xerox toner transfers and their usefulness in fine art photography. There are many methods and possibilities with varying results when creating a toner transfer; these can be achieved chemically with solvents, by heat, and with acrylic medium.
Acetone and Xylene were used to create many of the transfers; however, because of their potentially hazardous nature they are not an ideal method. A respirator, goggles, and gloves were used for this method. Solvents dissolve the plastic binder allowing the pigment to transfer to another surface. Paper brighteners dissolve in this process as well causing discoloration. This method creates transfers with a large range of value and a pleasing variation in surface texture.
Heat transfers are a safe and easy method, only requiring the use of an iron or heat press. This method does not transfer the toner evenly and often results in a much lighter resulting image. I believe with further experimentation this method can provide better results. Even pressure is the biggest difficulty with this method.
Acrylic transfers require the use of an acrylic gel medium. This is the same binder used in acrylic paint without the pigment. This method is safest, but most time consuming. Several layers of medium must be brushed onto the image and allowed to dry. When the acrylic film is dry, it must be soaked in warm water to allow the paper to be peeled away. This creates a crisp transparent image that can be adhered to just about any surface.
The versatility and varied methods for toner transfers allow them to be used in just about any mixed media setting. Through practice and experimentation this technique can be perfected for more consistent results and desired effects.
Combined with my interest of these paintings and influenced by the American Photographer and Photojournalist, Walker Evans’ images of buildings, I decided to work on my own study of buildings from the local downtown areas. This series was taken of buildings located in Kinston, NC and Fremont NC. Not only did I find many old weathered paintings to photograph but also discovered new paintings created by local artist Jason Clark that are now reviving old buildings and generating interest in downtown Kinston and art as well. The scale of Clark’s Heron is strikingly beautiful and quickly became one of my favorite photographs.
To create a more cohesive feeling throughout my series, the images were digitally enhanced in an antique style. This helped tie the new building paintings to those that have been there for many decades. The image that I am most pleased with is the abandoned store with the large Pepsi advertisement painted on the side. I feel that this image tells a story just by looking at it and one can image going into the store to purchase a Pepsi on a hot summer day. The broken wagon and unattended gas pump further enhance the charm and interest of this image.
Walker Evans told stories through his images of different buildings and I tried to do just that with my study. This is a series that I am interested in continuing to develop by finding more buildings with paintings that speak to me in the future.
B. J. Hawley
In today’s society technology has become an important part of daily life for many people. Technology has become the main way for people to communicate with one another. One of the most revolutionary ways technological communication became the norm is the mobile device. Everyone now a days has a cell phone, even my grandmother has an iPhone. Anywhere you go there are people staring into little screens.
What is very interesting about this boom of personal technology is how people personalize their cell phones to match their own personality and since of style. Cell phones display the personality of the owner by the phone cases they are in and or the screen saver. That is why I thought it would be interesting to create a series of portraits displayed with a portrait of their cellular devise.
Within this series the main focus is to see how much the lock screen image on ones cell phone told about a person. My hypothesis is that the image displayed on the screen saver of each phone gives insight to what is important the owner of the devise and or what they find esthetically pleasing. Many times the images on the lock screens were easily identifiable or related to the owner of the phone. Often times the images chosen for the screen savers where of the owner, their family, personal interests, or something they just think is pretty.
The approach to the photographic style within the series was simple and direct to get the point across. I wanted the images to have a mug shot type quality about them. Over all the images have a modern trendy vibe about them, which was the intent. I also thought of this series as documenting the lives people around me at this specific moment in time.
Exploration of Texture
This body of work depicts close cropped photography which portrays different textures that are seen in my everyday life. The work makes the viewer wonder what the initial object is but also allows the viewer to perceive the object with their own perspective and in any location.
The act of discovery plays a large role in the aesthetics of most of my photography work. Many times walking around and observing the surrounding atmosphere and environment I am able to notices many different textures and surfaces. The intricate details that make up the object as a whole is what I find fascinating. By having the images closely cropped, the work has a mysterious quality to it. Many times viewers relate to textures in different ways before associating what the object actually is.
While developing this body of work, Aaron Siskind was an influence for these pieces through his book of textured photographs. As Siskind kept his work black and white which focused solely on the textures and patterns, I chose to incorporate an additional element of color. The photographs compete with warm and cool color schemes within many of the images. All images have red and orange hues throughout and are weighted to either the left or the right of the picture plane. All of the images are a combination of low and high relief textures which have a range of values within the surfaces.