Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

5-2020

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.F.A.

Department

Fine Arts

Degree Program

Studio Art and Design, MFA

Committee Chair

Carothers, Mary

Committee Member

Eckert, Mitch

Committee Member

Reilly, Elizabeth

Author's Keywords

Photography; large-format; straight photography; focus stacking

Abstract

American Nocturne is a photographic meditation on the nature of America. There is a long tradition of American photographers looking around their localities to look for this feeling. Using the aesthetics of straight photography, I have worked with a largeformat view camera to search for America. The prism through which I view America is a mixture of both a veneration, an abiding fascination, and at the same time a deep ambivalence towards an overbuilding, overproducing, and over wasting culture. My hope with American Nocturne is to present my view of America, with its contradictions and its beauty. For me the power of photography lies in its ability to make sharply focused and clear images. To further this nature of photography I have mitigated the shallow depth of field of the large format by taking several photographs across various focal planes and combining them into a single seamless photograph with an almost infinite depth of field. The result is an unusual clarity and fidelity, which reaches closer to the inherent nature of photography. In my thesis I describe my detailed working process, and look back at the modernist heritage of American straight photography. I examine some of my inspirations and their work to draw from and use it to further my own vision.

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