Alec Soth writes:
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 3rd From Here To There Flickr assignment. The assignment was to take a picture of a non-photographer and then have this person take a picture of you. My hope was to illustrate that amateur photographs are often as good or better than those made by ‘serious’ photographers. An inspiration was a project I saw in Foam Magazine called Manélud. In this series, the photographer Breno Rotatori would snap a picture of his 82-year-old grandmother at the same moment that she photographed him:
What I love about Rotatori’s project is its utter simplicity. Neither he nor his grandmother are trying to make great art. But the combination of their images allows the viewer to see things in a new way.
My favorite Flickr #3 participant, Andie Wilkinson, also captured this quality of effortlessness.
Some of this can be attributed to the fact that Andie was working with children (As some of you know, I have my own interest in his area). But I don’t want to downplay Wilkonson’s excellent work. You might remember that she nearly won our first Flickr contest with these entries. What I love about her submissions to this assignment was the way her images worked so well in combination with her subject’s pictures:
So bravo to Andie and to her collaborators. Stay tuned for the fourth and final assignment.
UPDATE — Alec just announced Flickr Assignment #4:
So much of the photography I love is less about a particular subject than it is a communication of the photographer’s process. What all of the previous assignments had in common was that they were an excuse to get out the door and encounter the world. For the fourth and final assignment, I want to make the communication of these encounters even more explicit through the use of narration. This is as much a writing assignment as it is a photo assignment. But I also want the writing to be visually compatible with the photographs.
One could approach this in a similar way to the earthworks artist Richard Long:
Or one might use handwriting like Jim Goldberg:
The point is to communicate your experience through the combination of text and image. Just remember, less is more. Elaborate photographs and flowery text are incompatible. Simple pictures and simple text generally work best.
So here is the final assignment:
1) Plan an encounter (meet a stranger on Craigslist, find the highest place in your city, go on an eight mile walk, etc).
2) Document your encounter with photographs & text
3) Important: combine your text and image in a single file
4) Submissions are due by December 28th. Winners will be announced by January 1st.
Enjoy the ride…