Photography workshop


Assignment #1

Use the same picture to create two very different moods, through the use of lighting, color, and presentation. The name of the project should resonate with the style and theme of your work.


The term polarity is understood to mean:

  1. the relative orientation of poles; the direction of a magnetic or electric field.
  2. having two opposite or contradictory tendencies, opinions, or aspects.

A less formal understanding of polarities might be similar to an either or scenario.

This project is a consideration on what may be missing when we reference and experience the world through a binary frame. If I followed my instinct when I considered the final images visually, the first thing that came up for me was the idea of abundance vs deficit. The saturated, bright color photos have an emotional quality that is rich, satisfied, and curious. In the presence of that emotive reaction, it becomes easy, even convenient to view the bleached out image as lacking aesthetically, therefore lacking in emotive impact. But is that an accurate assessment? If so, by what metric, and who decides? Would the reaction be the same if they were appreciated separate from each other without the inevitable “which is better" question? The answer to that, is, of course, completely individual.

To a degree, my intention behind this was to recognize that there exists a vast and largely unknown space between that assured feeling of the all or nothing summation. One that is home to an infinite number of difficult and complicated realities. The stark, pale, washed out hues on the right compete, standing in contrast to, the same image on the left which in some cases exhibits a freakishly saturated technicolor. While an individual view of either piece might elicit subtle reactions, when considered side by side the differences in tones and hues are visceral, intense, and opinions are unambiguous as to which piece is ultimately preferred. And that is the inherent beauty of art; from an instinctual and esoteric reference, it’s all completely subjective.

Concerned about using pre made image filters and how my reaction might be biased if I knew what to expect, I worked from scratch with the adjustment tools in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC and Photoshop Elements. Both the saturating and bleaching of the original photos proved decidedly imprecise as a process; an appropriate, albeit imperfect metaphor when considering an individuals constantly shifting gradients and perspectives.

The slideshow is set to change images every 7 seconds, or use the arrows to manually advance.