Because no one school at the present time offers all that is desirable to fully fit craftsmanship, hand in glove, to expressive-creative purpose, a student of photography as a medium must shop around for a visual education. The photography department at the Institute of Design in Chicago, which generously conceived and laid out this issue, features the patience to encourage individual student discovery.
Traditions of photography can form for the serious student a strangling noose, a hobbling crutch, a ladder to freedom. Teachers transmit traditions and the student, by identifying and reacting to both teacher and tradition, forms an amalgam that may someday fuse into his own personal tradition.
Multiple images are common to all two-dimensional art media and related to them are the effects in music, where tones are blended (harmonic polyphons) and literature, in which thoughts and images are often combined (stream of consciousness).
There is a world of a cowboy against the empty wastebasket, of the Bessemer converters and the cheap Montana hotel, a world that exists—but not for the adolescent. His world must be created—created for the physical and emotional self. Although highly affected by surrounding forces and opinion, the world of the adolescent is totally interlaced within itself and incapable of freeing itself....
I worked in a completely “unclassical” way, using, as instruments of discovery, many of the facets of the camera and the photographic process—multiple exposure, high contrast film, slow shutter speeds and out-of-focus images. At first I shot out-of-doors, in an exploratory spirit, to see what would happen, to see what could happen.
The loop was a challenge. Its size, its power, its magnitude of elements were unique to my experience. In addition to the wealth of subject matter, the Loop was easily accessible, night and day, winter and summer. Even more important to its potential was the existence of all types of light conditions.
(These notes are extracted from letters written during the period that Joseph Jackna was working on his Master’s thesis, the subject of which was photographs of water.) S. bought me a book of HAIKU in which I found a poem that all of a sudden revealed, in words, much of what my water project was about.