Friday, July 24, 2009

50 Pieces

by Ashley Rand

This week was quite eventful. On Monday alone, we managed to document 50 pieces of unframed work. I know it sounds like a lot, but that's because it is. We managed to photograph the entire series by Larry Clark titled Tulsa. The series includes 50 images that are approximately the same size. So one might think the process for documenting these works would be easy. Actually, although it was simple, it did require a lot of prep work to get the series completed. Since we have moved onto documenting flat works, the entire working area has changed, as we now have the lights set up in a way that faces down towards the floor. We have our working area set close to the ground, with the camera mounted on a tripod above the work. It takes a few test shots for us to get the day started.  Once Peter is comfortable and satisfied with the lighting, the assembly line begins to form. With unframed prints, you need to be extra sensitive as to not crease, bend, or mark up the paper. In this case, I was mainly helping out setting up the gray and color scales alongside the prints and making sure that the photograph was set up backwards due to the way the camera was arranged. Being that this series is incredibly delicate, Peter and Shannon were the only ones to handle the actual art work that day, while the interns recorded and helped when needed. This was by far one of my favorite days. Not because I didn't have a lot to do, but for having the opportunity to see this series in person. It was by far amazing. It made me realize why I loved black and white photography and everyday life with normal people. This series was simply beautiful, even though some prints weren't pleasant to look at, it still told a story about how one survived in Tulsa. I never would have imagined. After seeing this series, I now feel it's necessary to have the book in my collection and will be purchasing it within the week. I can't wait to see what works we will photograph next week. My excitement keeps growing each week. 

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