Alvaro’s second project was to focus his attention on one thing and produce many photos of that object in different ways. I told him it would be best to select a large object so you can shoot it from different angles. So we went out together since he was my only student for that hour. I grabbed the other point and shoot camera, and we headed outside. I was truly excited because this was my first opportunity where I was able to shoot along side someone and give them some coaching instead of sitting in my room waiting for people to return and pick out their prints. Trying to explain composition to someone after they pick a photograph of their friend is harder than showing someone composition as they are shooting.
We first walked around for about 5 minutes taking photos of various things trying to figure out what would be best to focus on as our subject. We took photos in the lavanderia where the clothes are washed and hung out to dry. Then we moved on to the fence and finally the car. Alvaro has really surprised me with how creative he already is. Most people will hold the camera horizontal and never change its orientation. But that’s not true with Alvaro. He will hold it diagonally, vertically, and horizontally, and t,his was all before my help and guidance. The reason why this is important is because it shows the person is seeing the object for its shape and contours, lines and composition and analyzing how it best fits in the frame, rather than looking through the camera and being bound by the four sides of the frame or holding the camera the way it feels best in your hand. Alvaro is first seeing and thinking creatively what he wants to shoot and then how he wants to shoot it. If you only use the view finder to tell you what something looks like, chances are you won’t break out of shooting Horizontally.
While this photo above doesn’t exactly demonstrate his abilities, it does show his creativity. Looking at things in different ways or not just standing at eye level and seeing everything from there demonstrates that they are again thinking about how to see things differently. As a photographer, you have to be willing to get down in the dirt for a photo and care about how you will get out that grass stain later.
I can remember some of my first photos were looking in the rearview mirror of a car. I remember doing portrait of my parents’ house from the mirror of my car, and then about a year later taking that photo with me in my photo portfolio to show in my admissions interview at Antonelli Institute where I attended college. The rearview mirror self portrait is another classic photographerism. Not sure if “photographerism” is a word, but any person I know who is a photographer has probably at one time or another taken this shot. I have one from Alaska which I did of myself from about 2 years ago. I remember it vividly. I’m excited to see what other things Alvaro will produce.