fall 2010 -- ready, set, create!

Emmet Gowin, Edith and Moth Flight, 2002

The fall semester is now underway and a new group of creative and motivated students at SUNY Ulster are ready to enhance their fine art photography skills.

This class's goal is to teach students the fundamental technique of photography and pair that with a little bit of theory, history and criticism in the hopes that each person will take more meaningful and thoughtful images by the end of the semester. In addition, Adobe Bridge & Photoshop CS4 will be practiced throughout the semester. This will prepare students for the professional photography field.

After the first class, the students will begin taking pictures for their first assignment which will explore light and shadow as subject matter. In general, photography is all about light and shadow. Without it, photography would not exist. But in the digital age, it is hard to understand the connection (without the concept of light burning into film). I hope this assignment will help students to see that more clearly through the simple process of observing the world more carefully.

Several of those images will be posted later on in the semester.

This poem was read to me by an instructor 10 years ago with the hope that it would lead to inspiration for a similar assignment.

Light breaks where no sun shines
by Dylan Thomas

Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

A candle in the thighs
Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age;
Where no seed stirs,
The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars,
Bright as a fig;
Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs.

Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
From poles of skull and toe the windy blood
Slides like a sea;
Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky
Spout to the rod
Divining in a smile the oil of tears.

Night in the sockets rounds,
Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes;
Day lights the bone;
Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin
The winter's robes;
The film of spring is hanging from the lids.

Light breaks on secret lots,
On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
When logics dies,
The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
And blood jumps in the sun;
Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.