UPDATE: I have given my mind time to figure out what I should call this collective and I have done it. This collective is now called: Re: Memory and how it alters throughout life.
Project #1: Our First Date
For "Our First Date," there is a purposeful intention for having these six photographs look like polaroids. Polaroids have an "old timey" look to them and this series is portraying a past memory that I have. Being taken out along Lake Superior and to an old country road with a person who is very dear to me is a strong and powerful memory that has been in my head for almost two years. I choose this at my first idea for my "memory" theme because I was still testing out the waters of how to fully approach this theme. Being my first real time working with a theme and sticking with it for 15 weeks was something that was both a challenge and a rewarding experience. I decided to not add titles, for this post, because the previous titles didn't fit consistently with my intent. I am still rusty and new with the idea of titling work, that I choose to not add in what I had originally.
Project #2: A State of Disorientation
With "A State of Disorientation," I have two sets of three photos that work co-op with each other. The top three represent how I was going through an episode where my memory was starting to fade. It caused me to become very confused and even scared at times because I didn't fully understand what was going on. I soon found out that my thyroid wasn't balanced and I was severely lacking vitamin D (living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan sucks in the winter time). After I started taking medication, my memory was progressing back to normal and that's what the bottom three photos show case: my road to recovery. I chose that quote because it fit perfectly with how I was on the road to recover my memory and to become healthy again. I chose the top three to have this obscured reality to them because that's how I truly felt.
Project #3: Memory and Chance; Mementos
"Memory and Chance," is a little book that I made. It was the first photo book that I've ever made before so the exterior is a little rough and tough to open. As the school semester, Winter 2017, was nearly half way through, I started to get the idea of, "why don't I make a photo album to showcase my idea of memory more successfully?" I told my professor about the idea and she let me borrow her book making equipment. Over the next week, I made this awful yet good first attempt at a photo album and added titles. How these photos were taken, was with a Holga camera so I had absolutely no idea how they were going to turn out in the end. I took advantage of the light leaks and double exposures and explained how the memory isn't 100% accurate and clear. Sometimes two memories overlap while another may be fading away completely. Memory is a fragile and fickle thing and we can't always rely on our own to remember something from the past.
Project #4: Remembering The Past
"Remembering The Past" is based upon the Holy Family Orphanage that is now being remodeled into housing. Though I'm not fond of how I made the writing look (I'll more than likely redo those in the future and be more neat and take more time writing), I do enjoy how the final pictures turned out. These are cyanotypes. For those who don't know who they are I'll give you a quick run down of what they are. Cyantype is where you take a digital photograph, print it onto transparency paper, lay that paper on top of an already coated cotton paper, or whichever paper you'd like, and set it underneath UV light - whether outside in the sun or under UV light bulbs. I'll add a link for an educational history about the cyanotypes and how the process is done. Do keep in mind that you don't only have to use negatives. You can use flora specimens, or any smaller sized items to create images as well - photograms. I chose to use the Orphanage for my memory idea because it now a past memory for those who went there and for those in the town that saw it. I was able to enter into the building once and it was haunting. It felt strange being in a building that used to house nearly 200 children at a time.
Final Portfolio: Depression and How It Affects Memory; Mementos p. 2
"Depression and How It Affects Memory," was my final portfolio of the semester. I took the photo album idea again and this time put more time and thought into the process. I made the edges rigid and kept with the titles idea for this as well. For my final, I focused more on how depression has affected my memory over the years. Each of the photos is distorted in some fashion to give the illusion that your memory is skewed and reality is foggy. With how I approached this, it was very successful in use of the polaroid look, the style in which I designed the book and how I used titles (thought they aren't exactly the absoulte greatest). It was a great deal of a challenge to tell a classroom that I was battling with depression, but it also showed them that I did not fear to express how it affects me internally. Many people verbally express how depression affects them and I wanted to take a more visual approach so that you could see it with your own eyes than trying to image what it does to a person.
Each one of these projects was a challenge within themselves. Not only trying to figure out how I wanted to approach each project but with dealing with being in the darkroom and trying to get the proper exposure for each photograph. I've had previous experience in high school, but the process of actually doing it completely escaped my memory. This was my first time actually focusing on a theme for 15 weeks and trying to put forth 5 different techniques to make the idea of memory successful and cohesive. It has opened up my mind to many possibilities and has allowed me to think more thoroughly about how I want to approach an idea.