Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Project 3: Smoke and Mirrors





 






This project was meant simply to be a self portrait, to be interpreted however I decided to interpret the assignment.  Although many of the photographs are very literal in meaning, they have I secondary meaning to me that I thought of as I took the photos.  When we go through life, appearance is always something we think about, whether it is our fashion or our popularity.  When we go into public we clothe ourselves with layers of what we want others to see: our positive attributes, everything that might get us a job, find us love, or simply make more friends. It is far too easy to disguise ourselves with what we want others to see, and I tried to portray this in the photos that I took.  The first photo was my reflection in the lens of my digital slr.  This was meaningful to me because I define myself by my photography; I dress to look like a photographer, and I constantly carry my camera with me.  The camera has become somewhat of a symbol for me, and that is what I want people to notice when they first meet me.  The second and third photos similarly express this, but they also introduce the notion of emotional deception.  Our society tells us that we need to be happy on some occasions and sad on other occasions. We aren't free to be who we want to be, because as long as we abide by the rules of society, we must follow the norms.  The fourth, fifth, and sixth photos truly demonstrate the idea of layers.  Just as how we bundle up when we go outside into cold weather, we bundle up our appearance with positive attributes whenever we face society.  The final two photos are the resolution of this deception. I feel that shadows can show who we are when we are trying to be someone else. The shadow is the influence that you cast on the world, but it reflects who you truly are.  Shed these layers of deception, and show the world who you truly are.

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I am a sophomore in college, studying Biochemistry and math, but I am a pilgrim for knowledge. I seek neither greatness nor acknowledgment, but rather to experience and understand the complex world of ours. My desire for this experiential journey of mine is to gain knowledge and wisdom and, more importantly, to form strong bonds of friendship with the individuals around me. This journey began in December of 2008, when a friend of mine died at the age of 17. In his short life, he had changed lives in ways that I never have done. I was struck by the beauty of the life that had been lost, and I made a promise that day to reach out to people around me; to live a life not wasted. My eyes were opened. My life was changed. My journey had begun.

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