Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mark Doty - Poet & Memoirist

Had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Mark Doty today, while taking photos and doing a video. Doty's bio, from his website is below. Doty talked to students and guests at Citrus College in Glendora today.
This poet and memoirist talked about poems and their structures, the way they are made and how they should be interpreted. He detailed how they can come to life and how, many times, they can be a work in progress for many years until something in the poem enlightens the author to realize what it is that the poem must convey. Check out my video for some of his thoughts.

Doty is very expressive visually and with words as he decribes his poems and the manner in which he creates them.

Mark Doty is the author of seven books of poems, among them School of the Arts, Source, Sweet Machine, Atlantis, and My Alexandria. He has also published three volumes of nonfiction prose: Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, Heaven's Coast and Firebird.
Doty’s poems have appeared in many magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, The London Review of Books, Ploughshares, Poetry, and The New Yorker. Widely anthologized, his poems appear in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry and many other collections.
Doty has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, two Lambda Literary Awards and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. He is the only American poet to have received the T.S. Eliot Prize in the U.K., and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill and Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Doty lives in New York City and in Houston, Texas, where he is John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the graduate program at the University of Houston.

Tech details: Taking photos indoors is quiet the challenge because of low light and backgrounds. Your first disadvantage is the low lighting used inside. Setting your ISO to about 800 will make your job easier. Then, shoot by spot metering your subject with your aperture (f-stop) wide open and the proper shutter speed. Set manual settings and stay the course. The dark background is going to attempt and will throw your exposures off if you go any other way. The darkness will over-expose your subject and render useless your photos. Remember that the subject is what is important to you and let everything else fall where it may. It will be the exact opposite with a white background. If you are not careful, the white background will underexpose everything. This is so because the meter will attempt to set everything at 18% gray. Another thing I will touch on next time, getting your color balance right. Until next time, keep shooting.

Here is the video:

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