Keegan Crose

Mostly nocturnal with the occasional bright idea.

Final Project

"The Knight," "The King," and "The Queen"

Artist Statement:

For my final project, I wanted to branch out and do something different from my previous projects. Previous projects could be explained in a sentence or two: the photos were relatively straightforward, and the concepts were relatively straightforward. Because of that, I knew I wanted to try something that involved more planning and more thought. I wanted to tell a story.

So, I created a fairytale.

My fairytale revolves around three characters and their interactions in the arboretum at St. John’s. With so many nooks and crannies, the arboretum seemed like a perfect location to suspend belief. Cardboard and paint becomes a real sword, at once a weapon and a power symbol. A bridge becomes a balcony, and the backdrop of the arboretum becomes a real place for knights to roam, and kings and queens to rule. It is a storybook come to life.

4x5 Negative Scans

I’ve had a fascination with the nun’s cemetery since freshman year. You know how there are certain places you just click with? I dunno. That’s how I feel about the nun’s cemetery. I just click with it.

If only my darkroom prints would have turned out like this… I still don’t have a final print because the contrast wasn’t turning out. The blacks weren’t as black as they should have been. They were just kind of an annoying dark grey.

So I guess I just need to tinker more.

Final Project Proposal

In past projects, I feel as though my concepts and ideas were fairly straightforward. I took photographs of bookshelves in order to show a specific aspect of a person. I took portraits focusing on the use of negative space, expression, and color. I would like to branch out of straightforward ideas and move toward something more complex. I consider myself a storyteller and thus, for my final project, I would like to tell a story.

Ideally, this project would be a collaboration with a friend of mine who created a fairytale background for the St. John’s Arboretum. I would like to take her stories and bring them to life in photographs. Using handmade and found props, I plan on taking advantage of the Arboretum as a setting, which would differ from the indoor settings of past projects. I would take photos with a digital camera, using Photoshop to in order to create a harmonious color palette throughout the series.

I would begin by scouting and photographing possible locations on April 6-7. The week following would involve prop-construction, storyboarding, and whatever else is necessary. April 13, 14, 20, and 21 would be used for shooting. April 22-30 would be used for retouching and printing.

If this project is, as I suspect it might be, too ambitious for the limited time-frame, I am willing to pare it down to the bare minimum. Without the use of people or props, I would instead try to photograph the Arboretum in a way that still evokes the idea of a fairytale.

Project Two: Portraiture

"Annie," "Liz," "Keegan," and "Sara"

Apparently I don’t have the versions of these that I actually printed on my computer. They didn’t actually have some of the weird background shadows that are showing up on my screen.

Anyways.

For this project, I thought I was going to do something and then it ended up being different. Which is often how things go.

I photographed myself and my roommates. I knew I wanted a plain background with very little distraction, hence the attempt to remove all shadows. (I actually tried out a black background at one point, but it dodn’t have the same effect.) I knew I wanted everyone dressed in black and white. I also knew I wanted each person to have a different pop of color.

The thing that changed, though, were the expressions.

When I was taking these photos, we were blasting fun music, making jokes, and being all-around silly people. There was absolutely nothing serious about it. We just laughed and mugged for the camera and had fun. I just tried to take as many photos as possible.

And yet, I when I was narrowing everything down to the final photos, I found myself drawn toward the more serious expressions. I had hundreds of photos of genuine laughter and silly faces, but the non-laughing photos looked more interesting.

You can’t quite decipher the expressions and that’s something I really like. And during critique in class, it seemed that’s what other people liked, too. The only real issue was that I didn’t print the photos large enough and that’s not something I realized until I had them hanging on the wall for everyone to see.

Project One: Identity

"Sara," "Keegan," and "Liz."

Cool, so.

I meant to post my final project after I actually finished it, but of course that hasn’t happened until now.

Admittedly, taking these photos was a little bit of a pain, if only because the shelves were at a height that was about 6 inches taller than my tripod. There was a lot of me precariously balancing on things. Also, college apartments have really crappy lighting, so I had to try to work with that.

In the end, though, I’m happy with how it all turned out.

During critique, I felt like like the response was generally positive. There was some talk of whether or not the last photo fit with the series, which was actually something I had thought a lot about. Of course, if I were to expand on this project in the future and photograph more shelves, it might end up fitting better.

So yeah.

Now we’re moving on towards project two, which will be portraiture. I don’t quite know what kind of portraits I want to be taking, but I’ve already told my roommates that I’m using their faces as subject matter.

Ideal Bookshelf by Jane Mount

"I started the Ideal Bookshelf project in 2007. I paint portraits of people through the spines of their favorite books: the ones that changed your life, that defined who you are, that you read again and again."

This is a project I absolutely adore. It combines my love of books with my love of painting and really, can it get any better than that?

I think in terms of this project,  Ideal Bookshelf is probably the best example of what I want to achieve. By seeing a snapshot of the books people love, we start to guess at who they might be. With my project, I want viewers to catch a glimpse of someone and wonder about the person behind the things photographed, just like I wonder about the people behind these collections of favorite books.

(Source: blog.idealbookshelf.com)

A Girl and her Room by Rania Matar

"This project is about teenage girls and young women at a transitional time of their lives, alone in the privacy of their own personal space and surroundings: their bedroom, a womb within the outside world."

Unlike Where Children Sleep, Matar actually photographs her subjects in their bedrooms. As a result, this series feels more personal to me than Mollison’s photographs. Matar is able to inform us who of who these girls might be by not only showing us their personal space, but by showing us how they act in that space. That interaction is actually something I think I would like to capture in a future project.

(Source: raniamatar.com)

Where Children Sleep by James Mollison

"My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children’s material and cultural circumstances ’ the details that inevitably mark people apart from each other ’ while the children themselves would appear in the set of portraits as individuals, as equals ’ just as children."

I think this is a fantastic collection of work and Mollison’s thoughts about how bedrooms tell us about our material and cultural circumstances is, in a way, a part of what I wanted to explore with my bookshelf photographs. While I didn’t include any portraiture in my project, I tried to show bits and pieces of a person based on their bookshelf.

(Source: jamesmollison.com)

Second blog posts are also awkward, if only because I choose to make them awkward.

Clearly, Tumblr for school is a thing I will never get used to. I think Tumblr and my mind automatically goes to fangirls and hipsters.

But anyways. After realizing that they were sitting in my drafts for the past week or so, I have a few inspiration posts all queued up for tomorrow.

In terms of what I have left to do for the project, I think I have two of my final three photos, but I’m still figuring out the third. And then it’s cementing the editing style, sharpening, and printing.

So that’s cool.