chantal stone photography: the blog

March 22, 2007

Time To Breathe

Filed under: Photography,Process/Learning — chantal @ 9:30 am

For the past few weeks I have been working on a couple pieces that will be in an exhibit beginning April 1 at the Mac Worthington Gallery here in Columbus. It’s a small artist’s gallery that represents a large number of artists, mostly local, in various mediums. It’s located in Columbus’ Short North, in the heart of the arts district, and will be part of the monthly Gallery Hop on April 7. So, not exactly the MoMA, but I’m honored, humbled, and super excited to be part of this family of artists.

When I was first offered exhibition, I thought I had an idea of what I would show. I shot a few projects and was happy with the result. After a while I hated it, and did another project…eventually hating that too. I finally decided to just wait until I got my new camera and shoot something totally new. So 17 days ago I photographed my first set of what I thought I would put in my exhibit. I took the images home, loaded the up on the pc, and hated it. I loved the subject, but I realized I needed to re-read my camera manual, AND I realized I needed a new computer… I thought that could wait, but no.

So, a week later, new computer, new software, camera manual read, I go for shoot #2. This time the results were promising. I get home, load the images and thought yeah I could do something with this. But ugh, Photoshop is just a mountain I wasn’t prepared to climb. I got my friend Paul Lester to give me a quick tutorial over the phone, which helped tremendously, but I also had to go out and buy a book. I read it cover to cover. The second shoot wasn’t so promising after all.

Shoot #3. Now it’s crunch time. It was Monday, March 12, and I had 18 days left to shoot, process, print and frame, and have the photographs brought to the gallery. I was hoping to use natural light, but of course it was a gray and rainy day, but I felt confident and prepared and I figured I could make the available light work. This time, the forethought and preparation worked. When I got home and loaded the images, I quickly realized that by getting the look I desired IN camera made my post-processing very minimal, even from RAW. I chose the images I wanted, and it really took me about 6 days to achieve the desired look, but I was intent on getting it ‘right’. I’d process, send off to print, tweak a thing or two, process again, print again…

Last night I sent of the final edit to be printed. I felt good about it too. It felt good to conceptualize an idea, execute it, and then process it the way I had it envisioned. I woke up this morning feeling like a big weight was lifted. But then…

The old demon returned…self-doubt. I won’t receive the prints until tomorrow. That leaves me one week to have them framed—which should be fine, I talked to my frame guy and he said he could do it in a day for me. But what if the color is off, or there’s too much noise, or they just totally suck? I can’t do anything about it until tomorrow, so all there’s left to do it take a deep breath.

I’m too nervous to show the actual images I’m using, but to see one from the set of shots, look here. The others are similar.

This whole process really has me thinking about my photography, the way I shoot, where I see myself going, etc. It’s been a great experience…once I gather some thoughts I’ll write about it some more.

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8 Comments »

  1. Good luck with the exhibit, and do post some photos of the opening night and blog about it!

    Comment by Donncha O Caoimh — March 22, 2007 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

  2. Fracking Artists 😛 All the same. Everyone I know goes through the same thing every time. huge self doubt attack. (I’m the same, I’m afraid to use my camera sometimes)

    But that bed pic is GREAT. Don’t fret

    Comment by DAVE — March 22, 2007 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  3. Artists. We’re all the same. We are all filled with self-doubt and lots of false ‘truths’. I’m sure that everything will be just fine and congratulations for having the tenacity to go through with it! I’m impressed! I hope that your opening night goes exceptionally well!

    Comment by paul — March 23, 2007 @ 5:54 am | Reply

  4. Sometime constraints (time, or other) can end up being a positive thing with the creative process. I’m anxious to see more from your shoot!

    Break a leg.

    Comment by Andy — March 23, 2007 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  5. Thanks for all of the comments 🙂

    Donncha—I will certainly take photos of the opening and I’ll post…..there will be so many other awesome artists there….great photo-op!

    Paul & Dave—-you’re right, self-doubt sucks. I even wrote about it once , here—-Dave you might remember it. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

    Andy—I’ve always done well under pressure….no matter what the task, so I really have reason to think this situation would be otherwise. We’ll see…the prints get delivered today!!

    Comment by Chantal — March 23, 2007 @ 9:07 am | Reply

  6. Congratulations on the exhibit! I’d definitely agree that it’s a great feeling to have the final images match your original conceptualization of the shoot. Look forward to seeing more images from your set!

    Comment by Kevin — March 23, 2007 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

  7. It may be way to much to ask, but I’d love to see–after the pressure’s off for you–an image from each of the shoots with a sort of running commentary on the evolution of your thinking that made you feel the last shoot was much better than the first.

    Comment by Trevor — March 24, 2007 @ 9:01 am | Reply

  8. Sadly I’m missing the gallery hop this weekend due to the holidays. Otherwise I’d stop in to see your work. Sounds really interesting. 😉

    Comment by walkerevans — April 5, 2007 @ 7:16 pm | Reply


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