In my photo class, “Photography: Seeing with a New Eye,” one of the assignments is to photograph the emotion in an iconic pioneer-era set of bronzes at the New Mexico Museum. When I first mention this to the class, I see a grimace or two among the bright and alert “Zoom” students.
It’s almost as if I asked them to photograph a dead person. I suggest that it is much more challenging to photograph a statue than it is an alive person. I have been suggesting this assignment for almost 10-years and the responses never vary, mostly with a high degree of puzzling astonishment.
Then, after they have gone out and done the assignment, most of them are still astonished, but not in a negative manner. They are pleasantly surprised.
“I really enjoyed this assignment. It made me think,” one student remarked. “As an action photographer I am on the move, a lot. This assignment made me slow down and think.”
She went on to say how she went back to the site several times, and with each visit she got better pictures. Another student indicated he thought it was extremely challenging. He went back twice at different times of the day. I had also instructed the students that I wanted to see the emotion of the bronzes. They all delivered what they were instructed.
It was surprising for me to see so many varied and compelling images from one set of statues.
Why don’t you try doing the same thing? Pick a nearby statue of a person and see how you fare. Send me some images and I will let you know what I think.
Maybe another star in-the-making!