Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Why take pictures?, part of Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.
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So, why take pictures?…Well, it's a worthwhile question to ask yourself.…What is it that really motivates you?…I like how Rodney reflects upon this.…He says it's the artifact, that final print, the tactile object that you…can hold in your hand.…And a print is indeed powerful.…I like how the World War II photographer Eugene Smith reflects on this.…He says, "The negative, well, that's like the false start, the jottings, the sketching.…The print, that's a completed photograph."…And there is something to be said for that.…
It's almost like a picture has come full circle once you create that print,…once you commit it to paper.…In our current context, in the digital world, we create and capture a lot of…photographs, but it's pretty rare that we spend time making prints.…In the sense, we've lost some of that art, some of the value of making prints.…And even more than that, Rodney digs into this whole idea of creating black-and-…white prints like these. And he doesn't just like black and white; he has…
The course begins with a wide-ranging conversation between Chris and Rodney, during which they discuss Rodney's work, his approach to photography and models, his love of film and of black and white, and the importance of creating photographs that both ask questions and tell stories. Next, Chris tours Rodney Smith's studio, including the darkroom, to get more familiar with Rodney before photographing him.
Chris then takes a series of portraits of Rodney. Along the way, he reviews his gear choices and the compositional decisions he makes, and discusses the importance of committing photographs to paper, particularly in today's digital age. Finally, Chris reviews the images and shares some insights from his conversation with Rodney.