ART 267 Seminar in Photography

Blake Praytor

My name is Blake Praytor and I have been a photographer for forty-seven years. BlalePraytor_150dpiMy Creative Inquiry class will serve as a platform for the reexamination of an exhibition of sixteen black and white photographs that I created in response to the emotionally charged time in my life between 1977 and 1979, a virtual pendulum of foreboding and exhilaration existing on a continuum of intensity. These photographs were subsequently presented to the public as an exhibit, PASSAGES, at the Greenville County Museum of Art in 1979.

The extremes of the periodic motion of the pendulum were a result of two personal realities, the diagnosis of my mother’s cancer and the anticipation of the birth of my first child. It was the confrontation of life and death. In response I used my camera to make photographs. I made the photographs as intuitive responses to the emotion of the moment, hoping that they would in some way explain, inform, mask, or soothe the actual experience. I was searching for the understanding of or escape from my reality. In practice I would point my camera at my feelings.

Today many of these photographs still trigger the same emotions as the stand alone images or create their own unique response by use of proximity. Images presented as diptychs create a synergistic experience for the viewer by working together as a harmonic overtone.

The reexamination will consist of digitizing the film negatives, importing them into Adobe Lightroom, making tonal adjustments and retouching in Adobe Photoshop. The finished images will be printed using Image Print for color management and the Epson 7900 printer in the Visual Arts department at Greenville Tech. I will experiment with both size and spatial placement relationships. The finished work will be presented as an exhibition at Riverworks Gallery. The date has not yet been established.