Archive for Intelligent Still Life

A Quote

Posted in Personal, Peter Fraser with tags , , , , on June 18, 2009 by brettvanort

Our last day with Peter Fraser today.  I flipped through Robert Adams “The New West” recently.  Had it on the coffee table for some time now.  I brought over very few books here when I came but this was one of them.  I read something in it that hadn’t registered before.

“The photographer hopes, in brief, to discover a tension so exact that it is peace.”-Robert Adams


I need a holiday…

Posted in LCC assignments, Peter Fraser with tags , , , , on May 7, 2009 by brettvanort

Over the long weekend I went through 5 rolls of 120 film with my Mamiya 7.  Most were post dated so I had to get through them.  Shooting some still lifes for Peter Fraser, one of our visiting tutors seemed like a perfect reason to get through the old stock.  Some Fuji, some Kodak.  A total mis-mash of ISOs.  So here are a few that I took.

"I need to take a holiday after looking at that."

"I need to take a holiday after looking at that."

The orange peel caught my attention and was almost pleading with me to remove it from the grid like bench it was sitting on.  Peter and our group talked about male and female photographs.  How men and women tend to see the world differently.  Could we discern from a group of 200 photographs, which 100 were photographed by men and which 100 were photographed by women?  Seems so, especially when it comes to still life.  From what others in the group showed last week and this week, there seems to be a pattern emerging.  Peter continued the idea by saying that photographs fell into a realm of hard and soft photographs.  Hard photographs have an influence of previous photographers work, whereas soft photographs were more open to interpretation, therefore weren’t rooted in conventional photographic framing/technique.  The photograph of the orange peel, Peter said, “Is very hard.  The hardest picture in the group.  It grabs you and tells you this is the way it is.  I have to take a holiday after looking at that photograph.”


What does the truck carry? Valentina said, "Dreams." I wished it had.

This one Peter said was soft.  It certainly isn’t as “rigid” in my mind as the previous one.  Also the fact that the truck is painted blue and says “Dreams” has an effect of softening it.  But I did consciously frame the photograph.  Therefore is it hard in that respect?  There are still several things I don’t really understand about the idea of hard and soft photographs.  I’m not sure if anyone truly grasped the idea.  It seems more like a theory that is put together over time.  Valentina did say that she thought the truck carried dreams.  Obviously, it carried only mattresses and maybe some bed frames but I wished it carried dreams.  In fact when I photographed it I tricked myself into thinking that is what it carried and they were escaping into the blue sky.  Am I on acid?  That’s for you to decide.

Another hard photograph.

Another hard photograph.

This was also hard.  The lines running parallel and perpendicular created a grid as well.  I tend to see things this way.  It’s almost an organizational way of compartmentalizing things.  I think I get it from my father.  His tendency to have every object have it’s place in his tool shed, on his desk, etc.  My mother has a tendency to be all over the place but know where everything is at the same time.  If you saw the desktop of her computer it would boggle your mind.  Maybe a screenshot of it is necessary.  Maybe another post but I’ll leave with another soft photograph or what I guess would be from my mother’s side.

What the hell happened here?

What the hell happened here?

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