The follow are part of 15-piece series created in a class entitled "Documenting the Environment." I was drawn to portrature, but a kind of portature that relies on the surroundings to give the images meaning. A sense of playful adventure, solitude, contemplativeness, and a little bit of the bizarre drove the project forward.
I’m fascinated by spaces where the man-made and the natural collide. A mini bamboo forest dwindles out into a gravel parking lot. An overgrown field with a desolate swing set, sole building, and perimeter fence. Old farmland, no longer used for major agriculture, overgrown but still with the occasional new hay bale. Bare trees reaching into the pale winter sky and textural fallen leaves. Each of these spaces prompted a desire to explore and play, which I tried to capture on film.
Taking photographs is like going on an adventure or doing an experiment. I felt as though I was exploring something strange and unknown. Everything looks completely different through the glass of a medium format camera—reversed and glowing with an ethereal light, the world seems magical. Given this element of adventure and experimentation for the photographer, it was natural for me choose to photograph both people and places that I felt like would exist in a strange magical place.
The subjects are all good friends of mine. They don’t realize that I actually find them incredibly inspiring… their personhood, their style, the way they interact… I found inspiration there. What I like most about photography is the combination of realism—capturing what really happened—and artistry. There is this amazing quality of detail possible—the way the texture of a sweater pops out is incredible. But at the same time, there are these moments of blurring of reality, of less detail than what was really there. It is in these moments of detail and loss of detail that photography becomes fascinating and powerful to me.
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