Friday, 22 November 2013

How One Student Sees Me

It is not often that one gets to truly see one's self through someone else's eyes, and I was delighted to find that I liked the person she evoked.

Other than that, I'll just let this speak for itself.
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Georgia Hampton
11/22/13
ARTDES 150
John Gutosky
Documentary Photography Assignment


I’ve taken a course about photojournalism in the past, and for that reason I probably shouldn’t be as anxious about approaching strangers in order to photograph them as I am. So, for this very quick assignment, I was frustrated with myself for being so uncertain when I initially went out to find someone to photograph. I kept coming up with excuses not to ask someone walking by. Then, however, I saw this man giving a lecture to a group of students in the 3D lab at the Duderstadt; he was wearing flip-up glasses (the kind that older people wear) but instead of normal glasses they were 3D glasses. Immediately I forced myself to get over my inhibitions because you just don’t see glasses that outrageous every day.
Thomas Bray, the man with the silly glasses, is what his business card describes as a “converging technologies consultant.” In basic terms, that means that if you want to convey a certain emotion in your video exhibition, need help navigating the 3D printer, or have an idea and have no idea what kind of technology to use to make it happen, Tom is the person you want to talk to. When I first began talking to him I thanked him for putting up with me and my camera, to which he quickly responded that he didn’t feel this was something to “put up with” at all. He said that in his mind art is something incredibly important, and that he was glad that he could be a part of it. By the end of the conversation he asked me to send him the photos I took of him and any interview I had, which I’m glad to do (Hello Tom!). I talked to him for maybe ten minutes, and in those ten minutes his enthusiasm for art and for innovation was so palpable that I left the conversation feeling excited for no discernable reason.
While I was trying to find a way to get him to talk about how he is “different,” he actually brought that up himself. We were talking about the faculty and staff at the university and how most of them know a great deal about one specific subject. He added that many people at this university probably know infinitely more than he does about any given thing. What makes Tom unique, however, is his wide range of knowledge, whether it is in theater or engineering or numerous other fields. I find this quality to be extremely important in a university, especially a university like this one that encourages the melding of very different programs. I hope there are more people like Tom Bray around Michigan who inspire people to create and explore.

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