Friday, September 15, 2006

Excuses or Sketches

Pitchertaker commented on my pictures in the entry about Iglesia de Hacienda Las Trancas. He liked the picture with the mirror best. I started to write a reply in the comments of that entry but it got so long that I decided to make it an entry of its own. Besides I'm still reading Edward Weston's Daybooks and I find it interesting that he often writes about the actual making of images. While I'm not equating my images with Weston's, I hope that I don't bore you with some of my thoughts and struggles as I try to make images.

Pitchertaker, my favorite of the three is the chairs but that is because of the potential not because of what I captured in this particular image. I know that you teach that the photographer is responsible for everything that is in the image. True, but the chairs were being hemmed in by a big box of toilet tissue or something like that and jumbled flower stands and such on the other and the floor was littered with ropes and old flower petals. I saw the image for the color of the chairs against that incredible wall....not because of it's "social landscape." I kicked the ropes and petals away and moved in close to get only the chairs. I didn't have time to stay and wait while the ladies cleaned the church and I didn't feel free to start moving things around while they were working around me. So I took this one as a "sketch" as well as the others to remind me to go back and take my time to get these chairs as well as a lot of other images in this church. And to have a tripod so that I could make them at ISO 100 or 200 instead of 1600.

On the mirror image I made the first image from farther away including a part of the window on the left but it was more about the light. (I should probably go back and look at that "negative" in monochrome.) Then I instinctively moved in so that the mirror would play a more significant role in the image. But by then I had people milling around in the other part of the church (including some gringos) and they were in the mirror. I waited and waited until I couldn't wait any longer so I shot it and photoshopped out one person (a mexicana) from the mirror. I'm still not sure I like it better without the person in the mirror. Also, if I would have been on a tripod I could have chosen the aperture for how much blur I wanted in the mirror.

Okay, Pitchertaker, it sounds like excuses and I'm responsible for these images but I'm just waiting for a chance to go back, both when the church is decorated and when it isn't. All my 16th Century Mexican churches have been photographed in Black and White but this church just screams color and with the control I now have with digital printing, I'm ready to photograph this church in all its exuberant color.


Anonymous said...

Billie - Have you ever been to the villages around Puebla where the paste work of cherubs and fruit and corn, etc.etc.etc. is painted in the most amazing colors I've ever seen in a church? If you're interested, I'll dig out the name of the village - it caused me to be speechless at its exhuberance!

Billie said...

Barb, we have been there and the one that is so elaborate would not let me set up my tripod so I really couldn't photograph what I wanted to in there. We spent several weeks traveling out of Puebla each day to different villages to the 16th century churches so I may not have seen all of them but I've seem most of them and photographed in them unless we couldn't get permission.