If possible, I wanted to work on a magazine revolving around misconceptions about environmental issues (or general science communication on a chosen topic). I would of course choose a topic more specific than “environmental issues,” or perhaps would target the specific issue on a particular topic. For example, if my magazine focuses on environmental misconceptions, I could do an issue on misunderstandings about climate change or recycling or sustainability. I think that a topic like this could work for photography as the topics are general enough that getting photos for it would be possible, but specific enough that photos would easily make sense with the articles presented. However, I wasn’t sure if I should be focusing way more on depicting artistic aspects of a chosen topic. If that is the case, then I am still not completely sure what topic I would like to pursue.
In order to get started and (hopefully) be inspired, I went out to take photos and find out what kinds of things I would feasibly be able to get decent images of. This approach led me to take a lot of photos that fall into the popular “decay” category of photography, which several people in the class have already chosen to do. After taking the photos, I later decided that I would prefer to avoid this topic as it is already widely covered by many artists and, although the concept and aesthetics of the topic interest me greatly, I would rather use photography to speak to an audience about their understanding of environmental issues. I would be especially interested in communicating the urgency with which issues such as climate change should be addressed as it is likely the greatest threat to the way humans live. I could write all day about climate change/sustainability/water scarcity/”extreme” weather and other topics that many people have understandable misconceptions about. I love reading/listening to pieces that promise “everything you knew about _____ is wrong!” because it’s endlessly fascinating how so many “facts” are just out-of-context bits and pieces fastened together and reframed into something so misleading that it effects the way people eat, think,socialize, use resources, conduct business, write laws and run campaigns.
I understand if this does not fit with the topic, however. If that doesn’t fit then I would love to do a magazine on trees that focuses on more artistic matters. I love photographing trees and I do have a decent amount to say about them. After going through some old photos recently, I realized that trees are a very common subject in the pictures that I take, so it shouldn’t be any stretch at all to produce a variety of images and write all about them. In fact, as I am writing about this I am developing a more detailed mental picture of what I could do with trees as the main topic of my magazine. I could write about their environmental/scientific, societal and emotional significance, how quickly we could run out of trees entirely, basics on how they function, their evolutionary history, their differences from other plants, their effect on soil, erosion, atmosphere and everything else. Okay, I just changed my mind, I think I’m going with trees. If I have to get more specific then I will definitely be able to do that. I could do a Southern California issue with a piece about the benefits of green spaces in warm climates, a special “treelist” featuring a selection of native trees in some of Southern California’s many different climates along with images and brief descriptions as well as some other bits that have to do specifically with trees as they relate to Southern California.
Unfortunately, my decision on what to do with my magazine did not come to me until today (Wednesday) on campus, so I could not include any images relating to the magazine I now want to make. However, I included some of the photos I took this week as I attempted to figure out what I wanted to do for the project in order to show that I put in effort to get images and come up with ideas.