Photographer shares insight, works with UT students

Aspiring photographers and other UT students came to listen to established photographer John Messinger’s lecture on Nov. 5 in the Art and Architecture building.

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John Messinger, photographer and UT Artist in Residence, gave a lecture in the Art and Architecture building on Thursday evening to give some insight on his personal journey becoming an established photographer.

Before his lecture, Messinger attended workshops of some photography students.

Hayden Zelem, a senior at UT, is studying photography and said that he gained a lot from hearing Messinger speak during his workshop.

“Messinger sat in our critique and gave us a really cool perspective, especially coming from someone of his experience,” Zalem said. “I learned a lot, not from the way he critiqued, but his general knowledge in the way he took his photos. It was inspiring.”

Messinger connected to the audience of college students by speaking about his own fear of failure.

“I didn’t know how to embrace my mistakes, so I just shot over and over again,” Messinger said.

Messinger is also in town for his opening in the Downtown Gallery. His exhibit will open Friday, Nov. 6 and continue for the rest of the month.

Messinger’s finished pieces are constructed by taking film photos of the same thing repetitively and using an original, accordion fold, polaroid camera.

One piece in particular featured in the Downtown Gallery is a project where Messinger would travel to overly photographed sites.

He traveled to the most photographed barn in the country, located in Vermont, and shot photos of the hills in the background. Messenger’s innovative photography of shooting 3.25″-by-4.25″ instant film photographs with his polaroid and then assembled them together to create tapestries.

“The eye and the camera see differently,” he said. “I learned to see like the camera and not have the camera see like me.”

For more information on John Messinger and his works, visit his official website.

Edited by Taylor Owens