James Boeding ’14 spent this summer taking more photographs than most other students do in their lifetimes. As a recipient of the Visual Arts Department’s annual McKee Photography Grant, Boeding completed a series of photos entitled “The Weekender: Millerton to New York City.”
Boeding spent most of his summer traveling between his hometown in Millerton, N.Y. and New York City, where he had an internship. Having grown up in a town of fewer than 1,000 residents, Boeding said he was initially drawn to the liveliness of city life and now appreciates both the quiet stillness of Millerton and the energy of New York City. “The Weekender” captures the contrast between these different environments, documenting Boeding’s personal relationship with each.
“I began photographing using a small point-and-shoot camera, with the plan of taking a picture every 15 minutes during the hours I was awake, for five weeks,” Boeding said.
During Boeding’s five-week shooting period, he chose to loosen these rules and take shots outside of his designated 15-minute intervals.
He ended up with over 4,500 photographs, from which he selected a handful to recreate with the bulkier but more precise Digital Single-Lens Reflex camera, a process which resulted in photos of better quality and freed Boeding from carrying the large and expensive camera everywhere.
Every photographer must make difficult decisions about which shots to use, but the volume of Boeding’s work made editing a particularly challenging process.
He plans to leave part of his final project up to chance: he will randomly select photos from each 15-minute interval throughout the day and exhibit them in chronological order. This sequence will be juxtaposed with a handpicked set of photos, also representing an entire day of 15-minute intervals.
“I assume the ones I choose will be more appealing,” said Boeding, noting that he also embraces the unpredictability of the project.
His current task is to complete the editing process and present his work in an on-campus exhibition and lecture.
Boeding declared a Visual Arts major after taking Photography I as a first-year, but he says he does not know what role photography will play in his future.
Boeding has previously held a show in Millerton entitled “Book Play” and more of his work can be found at his personal website, www.jamesboeding.net.