Everyday Surreal: Self-portrait and Conclusion

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As I mentioned at the beginning, Everyday Surreal was a project for a class on photographic vision, taught by Cole Thompson. The assignment was to create a portfolio of 10-12 related images. We were supposed to include an artist’s statement and present the project as if it was real. It was real, in a sense, as it was reviewed and critiqued by Hamidah Glasgow, the executive director of the Center for Fine Arts Photography.

My images were 8.5″ x 11″ glossy photos printed from my home printer. They were presented in a black portfolio box, with my artist’s statement on top. I wanted to add some distinguishing touchs, so the night before the final class I decided to include a small self-portrait of myself, done in the Everyday Surreal style. The photo above was shot in February 2008, after a ski trip. The image previously appeared on this web site, in an untouched form, as the WIRR for the first week of February. This time I tone-mapped the single RAW image using Photomatix Pro, to put the look in-line with my other images. Since I wanted to stay in touch with classmates after the last class, I also made up a set of business cards with images from the portfolio.

Hamidah’s review was quite fair, and she correctly pointed out that the portfolio looked like a collection of portfolios- with the HDR images in one grouping, and the motion blur images in another grouping. At the time, I wanted to create a fully original portfolio, instead of recycling something from the past (e.g., The Other Seville). Unfortunately, I ran out of time midway through the class, and had to combine original shots with images culled from my back-catalog that I felt fit the theme. It didn’t help that my theme wasn’t that clear to begin with.

In any event, the class was a remarkable learning experience. If you get an opportunity to do so, please don’t hestiate to take a class with Cole. He’s an outstanding photographer, a helpful teacher, and just a great friendly guy.

I’ve posted the images of the portfolio over a 20 month period (and two web sites!), far more than the 2 months or so that it took to shoot and compile them. If you’ve joined recently, a list of all the posts are below. You can also see the images without the corresponding commentary at this portfolio page.

Everyday Surreal Introduction
#1: Union Pacific
#2: Motorcycle
#3: Blocks
#4: Bottles
#5: Forks and Spoons
#6: Picnic Table
#7: Yellow Tangle
#8: Sunflower in Motion
#9: Shed
#10: Evil Pepper

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