Tuesday May 22. 2001

black and white

My photography class started yesterday. When I arrived at school, it was eeriely quiet. I parked in the small back parking lot near Elkins Hall, which houses the ceramics, metals, photography and sculpture studios. Consequently, it's where I spend the majority of my time. The morning air was damp and it was drizzling, a rather perfect match to my mood. I am so not a morning person.

There were only eight people in the class. It was taught, as I expected, by a grad student, a rail thin girl named Amanda. She passed out the course syllabus and the supply list. I looked it over, and she began going through it. 100 sheets of photo paper, 20 rolls of film, textbook, film developing tank (optional), nitrile gloves, negative preserving pages, print preserving pages. I made notations next to each item, and quickly worked out that this course was going to cost me upwards of $200.

Damn.

I found myself trying to recall all I had learned about photography in high school which, sadly, was not a lot. The facilities had been less than stellar. The instruction had been less than stellar, actually. I mostly ended up teaching myself with aid from my friend Willow, who was (and is) an amazing photographer. But the equipment, film, paper and chemicals had been pretty substandard, so even after three semesters of photography, I was still confused about the simplest things, like the relationship between the shutter speed and aperature.

So today I went downtown to get said supplies at Abbey Camera. It was down in the Fairmount area, right off Broad Street, and I had no trouble finding it. It was the interminable bus and subway ride that got on my nerves. Not only will SEPTA be one of the most expensive public transportation systems in the country after the proposed fare hike (after which it'll cost me five bucks for a trip downtown and back), but it's also the suckiest. I waited 15 minutes for the bus (and this was rush hour), and then, a few stops after, the bus was crowded by tons of kids getting out of school. The white shirts of their uniforms were untucked, the shirttails limp and their ties unknotted.

Still, I am looking forward to my art projects for the summer. I really can't wait to see just what I end up turning out from this class, what it's going to say about me and where I'm going as an artist. I realize now that I've always been a slave to composition and the design of a thing - I notice that in all the mediums of my work - painting, drawing, ceramics, metals, photo, even web and graphic design. I have always had a strong sense of design, it's just a matter of figuring out what I want to do with it.

I'm also planning on doing a mosaic on my parents' house. Yes, you heard me right. Our house is built on a bit of a hill, and the north facing has a set of french doors that lead to the basement. This area has just been plain old cinderblocks, but my mom proposed I do something with it. So I'm going to do a tile moasic all around the doors and wrapping around the side of the house, ending where the small porch under the deck starts. I haven't any idea what subject yet, but I think some sort of flowers and plants would be appropriate because of my mom's gardening hobby. The only problem I have now is figuring out where I get surplus tiles for cheap.

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One Year Ago:
I see Joni in concert!