Artist’s Statement I chose a verse and the chorus of the Matchbox Twenty song, These Hard Times. This portion of the song captures the emotion I wanted to evoke in my images and in turn the visual aesthetic I portrayed. It is evident the song starts out in a dreary fashion full of frustration and disturbance. It describes cheerless emotions of broken promises, hopelessness and feeling down. I captured this feeling by reducing the vibrancy of my photos and giving them a vintage, washed out, almost depressing look in terms of color. I also edited my photos to have a grungy and aged visual style in order to further convey these feelings. As the song moves to the chorus, it has more of an optimistic turn as it describes seeking a release from the bad times and feelings of despair. I was particularly inspired by the lines “when all we need is some relief through these hard times,” and used this as the focus for my photos. I saw this line as expressing the desire to come alive again and I used the idea of inspirational and motivational quotes to portray this in my photos. Just as the start of the lyrics are gloomy but then move into the idea of seeking relief, my photos are surrounded by grungy effects; however, the inspirational quotes oppose this. In the first photo, I paid particular attention to the rule of thirds and made sure the focal point appeared in a place that was interesting and unique. The quote I chose goes along with this idea, as it describes having the courage to be different by letting go of the familiar. In the second photo, I used a photo of people jumping and paired it with a quote that uses the idea of jumping as a metaphor for bravery and pushing the boundaries. The grungy and vintage effects are evident around the edges in contrast to the excitement portrayed in the center of the photo. In the third photo, I took it from an angle that would emphasize the surrounding of the mirror and the image of the girl. I positioned the sticky note and quote in a place that was noticeable and in contrast to the mirror. Again, the grunge is apparent on the mirror to add to the vintage and antique look. In the fourth photo, the material of the table was a perfect choice to convey the aged and worn out visual style. I added more grungy effects to the notepad and paired it with the small detail of the heart shape in the coffee cup. I took the photo from a high angle to give the idea of looking down on something, but used the inspirational quote to contradict this angle. In the final photo, the bare trees and washed out colors serve as the parallel to the beginning of the song lyrics, while the quote and wide smile of the girl’s face oppose this feeling. The grunge additions to the photo help to portray the vintage and aged look.
Lyrics â€“ Matchbox Twenty, These Hard Times Everyone keeps talking They promise you everything They don't mean anything We may lose our focus There's just too many words We're never meant to learn And we don't feel so alive Say goodbye, these days are gone And we can't keep holding on When all we need is some relief Through these hard times
Aesthetic â€“ grungy, vintage, washed out colors
I chose the visual aesthetics of grungy and vintage as well as washed out colors. This style fits with the way the lyrics convey a sense of frustration and lifelessness. I used Photoshop to edit my photos by reducing their vibrancy and adding grunge effects.
These lyrics start out in a cheerless, almost depressing manner. As the song moves into the chorus, we get the feeling of moving on and seeking release from the hard times. This opposition of emotions served as the inspiration for my photos.
Published on Nov 11, 2010