The Ritual of Living

So for this project I would like to make another book. Instead of using paper cutouts as my pages I am going to use photographs that I will take with my film camera. When thinking about ritual, my first idea was to address the ritual of using products; shampoo, mascara, lotion etc, but I found that I wasn’t too connected to the idea. Then I tried figuring out what a ritual is to me and I figured that living a life can be considered rituals. Waking up every morning and doing something in your day to give that day value seems like a ritual that is universal yet personal. No ones day is exactly like anothers yet we are all living. So I am going to document my every day with the use of photography.

Some photographers that I have researched for this project are Sally Mann, Garry Winogrand, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I like their work because it ranges in styles, subject matter, and technique all using a film camera. Here are links to their works:

http://sallymann.com/selected-works/family-pictures

 
 
My plan for this project is to take photos of things that go on through out my day such as school, homework, grocery shopping, etc, anything that takes place that I am a part of or that I see. The photos will all be shots of real scenes, not of fabricated or altered scenes that I create. The closest thing to a fabricated shot will be if I take some sort of portrait where everyone will have to say “cheese!” These photos will mostly be made up of candid shots. I will compile these photos in the order that I take them so it will be like a timeline of my days. I will not have a certain amount of photos taken each day, but whatever I feel I should document. I will be using black and white film for two reasons. 1. Because I like the focus that black and white photography brings to the subject matter, and the contrast of light and shadows opposed to colour, and 2. I have lots of film left over from my photography class last year that I don’t want to expire. The minimum of rolls of film I will be using is two so that would give me seventy-two photos. The size of the photos will be the average size, 4×6 so it’s simple to develop if I choose to do so myself or cheap if time becomes a problem and I have to get them developed professionally.
The question I have again is about the type of book. This time it could be either a book that I make or a photo album. Each type of book will give a different meaning to the photos so I would love to hear your thoughts.
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4 Responses to The Ritual of Living

  1. I think you should make a book to tell us about your day to day activities, a photo album has the stigma of memories, things in the past that you reflect on.

  2. Ooh yeah you’re right. Okay, book it is then

  3. In my undergrad foundations dept, there was a workshop called Daily Self Portrait. Students were challenged to paint a self portrait every day for a whole term. It became a real ritual for my GF at the time, and she became a much better painter because of it.
    I wonder if only 72 pictures is enough to form a ritual? Is simply living really a ritual? What if you took a picture every hour that you are awake for two weeks? You might be forced to make a book of contact sheets instead of 4×6 prints.

  4. Yeah I think when a photo is taken every hour then that becomes part of the ritual as well. And I do like the final product of a contact sheet. Like we were talking about last week with my book, it will add even more of an intimate moment with the work since the images will be so small.

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