Had a couple of meetings now for the class I’m taking. The dynamics of the group are quite different than in the fall. Then, most of us were roughly in a similar place with our photography: mostly comfortable with the technical parts, but looking to explore more in depth the aesthetic aspects. Now, a fair number have known the instructor for many years, some are established to some extent professionally as photographers and do shows, and there are a couple, like me, who are only a handful of years into serious work. 

So it’s more varied in that sense, although the quality of the photos is, interestingly, perhaps more predictable. 

Our first assignment was to photograph something not for what it is, but for what it represents. We are using Minor White’s idea of equivalence as a sort of touchpoint. The idea that something in the world provokes a feeling in the artist and attempting to elucidate that feeling is the artist’s endeavor.

In this photo, I thought I’d build on some of the staged works that I’d done for the fall class and incorporate some of the filtered lighting ideas that I’ve been working with over the past few months. I also did some experiments a month or so ago with some plastic sheeting and I wanted to include that, as well.

To me, there are some strong elements in this photo; the diagonal lines, the subtle lighting, the play between the green and the decaying plants, the feeling of rising toward the top of the frame. The strong abstract quality is something I worked to achieve, as well as the slightly theatrical quality. In class, though, I’m not sure anyone really knew what to say about it, since it was one of the last works discussed and mostly in generated a quizzical silence.

I’d be interested in some comments, because to me there’s something here that I would like to explore further.


About Ron Wiecki

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2 Responses to staging

  1. johnking6 says:

    This is a great assignment for any photographer.
    I really like the light in this and the slightly sombre melancholy that the dying plants evoke. I see a fragile beauty in this decay.
    The eye does move toward the top of the frame which you say was your intent. The plastic sheet works to create some soft highlights and seems to work well here. The inclusion and placement of the daffodil is interesting; it seems to command attention.
    The full evocative intent of this photograph may be subtle when seen alone. This image might benefit from being seen in the context of other photographs made with similar intent.

    • Ron Wiecki says:

      thanks John. you might be right that it could be more effective in a larger grouping.
      I think you got close to my intent with your comments on the fragile beauty of decay. I often feel that flowers, although plants generally, can be more interesting when past their prime.

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