About the project...

In September, I began thinking about what to do for my thesis project for my ART162 film photography class at Valparaiso University. Body comparatives have been well-noted on social media like Twitter and Tumblr for a couple of years now, and they usually involve pairing some aspect of the human body with some profound, dramatic natural occurrence or object. However, these body comparatives usually are more focused on color than on anything else. Taking a black and white film photography class, in northwest Indiana, which has some fairly mundane landscapes, I wanted to challenge myself to also create visually pleasing comparisons using the people and places I have surrounding me on a daily basis. I took inspiration from the way Nicholas Nixon documented when photographing the sick and dying - the way he saw texture and detail at all times. I also took inspiration from Ruth Bernhard, who was very well noted for her use of shadows, patterns, and repetition, and Edward Weston, who paid extreme attention to form and lighting. My personal favorite of my inspirations, however, was Ralph Gibson, whose photos have always been about eclectic angles, perspectives, and distances. I feel that by channeling these four artists in the process of making my photos, I have been able to grow significantly as a film photographer and further grow in my composition and use of natural lighting. I also feel that in doing this project, I have been given a wonderful privilege in getting to take very intimate and serious photos of people whom I are very dear to me. Many thanks to Aimee Tomasek, Elle Howard, Morgan Weidman, and Lexie Moneta for pushing me and inspiring me with their work every day, Rachel Jackson, Kristin Staub, Alaina Dixon, Samantha Trier, and Robert Tadic, for allowing me to make photographs of you. I am extremely fond of this series, and I hope you will be, as well. 
--n.t.