A Tale of Two Religious Experiences…

A Tale of Two Religious Experiences. Polly Nance. Photoshop digital photograph. 2012.

Both of these photographs, used to create this double-exposure, were taken in 2011 at a time where I shot only with a point-and-shoot camera. I find this amusing because I happen to adore these compositions even though they were not taken with “professional” equipment. I was learning and using what I had at the time. I focused my attention on composition because that is all I had to work with. There were no manual settings to artistically adjust the lighting and create the perfect exposure. There was the option to flash or not to flash. At the time, I was working obsessively on my portraits of Lennon project (documented in this blog). The only resources I had for learning photography was books and catalogues on artists and other photographers I was studying (it was for an upper-level art history course, not a studio art class ;)). I studied multiple photographers’ work and tried to figure out what they were thinking while rendering their compositions. I wondered why they cropped the photographs the way that they did. What purpose was that serving? Anyways, one of these photographs was taken of my son at the Georgia State University art gallery in Atlanta, Georgia. Side note: I choose to not sensor my child from art. I encourage them to ask questions. There was a series of photographs in the gallery that were sexually explicit, but the subjects were not human beings. I caught him staring in absolute confusion at these photographs. He was in a daze and stood there for quite a long time (for a three year old). The one question he asked was, “What they doing mommy.” The only thing I could think of to say was, “I’m not really sure, Rush, but they are telling a story.” LOL! Oh, wow; the things our children end up teaching us.

The other photograph is of my daughter Lennon at a church in Statesboro, Georgia. We were at this particular church for my cousin’s wedding. My son Rush was up front as the ring bearer… although, he looked as if he was about to cry the whole time. Before the wedding began, Lennon was preoccupied over her brother’s whereabouts. She did not like it that he was somewhere where she wasn’t. I snapped this photo of her peering over the pew in front of us, just as she was looking back at me. I thought these two would make an interesting composition because they were two, eye-opening experiences soaked in confusion and deep-thought. The one of my son is toned in purple because his experience was a mix of emotions that I feel deserves a mixed-gender tonality. The one of my daughter is two-toned.  I went back and forth on this decision, but ultimately decided to tone Lennon’s form in light pink and the stained glass window (on the right side) in blue. The reason for toning the right in blue being that religion/the Christian church has been historically dominated by males. Although this is beginning to change, males still continue to be the leaders and heads of the church. My daughter is oblivious to this, of course. It was just something that was in the back of my mind at the time I was toning these photographs.

I hope you enjoy this one! Please feel free to comment! I’m not sure if I’m losing peoples’ interest by not posting multiple photographs or if people aren’t “getting” this series. I haven’t been getting the same response as I usually receive. But, that is okay with me because I am proud of this work and am forever grateful for the bloggers that do leave thoughtful comments! Thank you all for reading and hope you have a fantastic Tuesday!

Thank you for taking the time to visit and view my blog!

As always, please feel free to leave any and all feedback.

PEACE, LOVE until my next bloggy-blog post, dear fellow blog-readin’ friends. 🙂

P.S. If you haven’t already done so, recommend my photo on cnnireport’s site (click on title of photograph for link) to be featured on an HLN program called, “Evenings in America.” You have to create an account but it takes two seconds. My photoessay is titled,


Thanks again for all of those who have already done so. Thank you so much for your support! 🙂

8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Religious Experiences…

  1. Just go where your muse takes you and not worry about what other people may like or not like…. keep on truckin’ down your own road!

  2. I applaud you for not censoring your children from art (and I love the way you handled your son’s question)! Artwork should be celebrated, in all forms!

    As for the number of photos in a post, compared to the volume of responses… I think people go back and forth on that either way. Personally, I like to limit the number of images in a post (usually) – just so I don’t overwhelm anyone, and it’s easier to comment on one image. The work you did on this composite is wonderful – the look on Lennon’s face as Rush is looking at the photos works perfectly together!

    • Thanks Holly! Art should definitely be celebrated… I was never censored from art, music or tv (I censor my kids from a lil tv) and I turned out just fine. I think! Lol. Thanks for your feedback on the number of images… I think you are right. I do not want to overwhelm folks and it is nice to focus my writing on one image at a time. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment 🙂

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