Moving beyond or carrying forth the visions of Sandy Skoglund feels strange because her work was the beginning of my interest in constructed reality and I’m just getting to know her style.
For me, when I work with subject or object matter, my intention is to create an unusual and questionable constructed storyline which could emit joy and happiness, and head-scratching no matter how fleeting or old you are. Maybe images will flow with the ‘free range’ theme and the viewer may create an attachment with Meyer for one last adventure before hitting the cutting block.
Now, at the conclusion of ‘22 Spring semester, elucidating my direction as a photographer pushed me to conclude that my style is ‘directed constructed reality’ and will be the focus of my final project. 'The Adventures of Meyer' series is focused on the life of a free-range lemon named Meyer and the depth-of-field was kept short for clarity throughout. The relational attribute and theme hedged on the use of Meyer, a gender neutral lemon who, in life, maintains the same shape, but comes in different sizes (here I'm composing using the technical depth-of-field Sandy Skoglund applies, who is my chosen photographer for this paper).
Keeping focused on the repetitional use of the same lemon created a timeless venture of Meyer, perhaps a metaphor of what life could be? The viewer decides. The no blur or motion was controlled by my ‘free range’ vantage point, fast shutter speed, overhead sunlight, and controlling framing and compositional attributes in camera.
Each one of these photographs of Meyer are a result of the technical assistance from my camera, in full frontal flash mode and only slight brightness control in Lightroom using Adobe landscape as the filter. Normally, I convert my images into black and white and then work in PS, making just the lemons yellow. Conversely, Skoglund's early images were lithographic style printing.
Working with my Canon EOS Rebel T7i & macro lens EF w/ ISO 400, @1/500, F11 and bright noon sunshine with no clouds created the opportunity for compositional and photographic elements. Bright sunny colors, good texture of the lemon and tone of yellow, and control of the bright overhead sunlight, allowed me to catch each image in camera. In Lightroom, I cataloged, very slight if any corrections and sized to 1024px x 768px x 72ppi for print.
With Skoglund’s images, she spent months on most of her installations, as my time involvement consisted of managing several small environments with the lemon, happening in real time. The elements and portrayal of imaginary and metaphorical inferences may cause the viewer to subconsciously connect with Meyer, free now in this involvement. xoxoxo Meyer
Dina Darling Meyer Hike in Marin, CA