I got a small mention in a review on Akimbo.ca, by Terence Dick. It is hard to compete with Christian Marclay and Omer Fast showing across the parking lot at the Power Plant - but I will take what I can get - Thank you.
I suppose when I shoot 4x5, it is for the tiny details that other formats sometimes forget to expose. In this case it might have been for the intensity of her large-large eyes, or the drops of water sitting on the tips of her fingers, or the goosebumps on her inner arms, or the texture of the weeds that you aren’t even suppose to notice when looking at this image.
This summer, while riding my bike, I got caught in these quick but monstrous sun-showers. It happened numerous times. The rain would come with no warning, and pour down its wet-wet wrath. Moments later, it would be gone, and everything would seem to immediately dry. I remember pulling up on my bike to a stop light, soaking wet, and looking around and feeling like everyone and everything around (except myself) was dry. Almost as if that sun shower was directed wholly towards my once dry self. I’d feel awkward, or uncomfortably wet. You must know that damp feeling?
This image was supposed to make that feeling, or experience a bit more visual.
Moth-like, 2012. Featured in the collection of images, This will never last.
It is easy, when viewing the aftermath of an image, to loose sight of the importance of light. Exposure is, after all, dependent on it. Photography itself, is just its reflection. Sometimes light is awe, or it takes you, or it is invisible, or dull, or natural, or crafted. There is always (on my part) this conscious desperation to recreate it, or represent it, or construct it carefully. I think this image is about the photographic desperation of light, or how light sort of owns us (if we don’t own it).
This is about the literal acknowledgement of that light, and the push and pull needed to achieve it.
Admittedly, this is not the safest lighting set-up I have ever come up with. But it seemed to work okay, no? (See photo above, or below for results).
I use this old strobe power pack from the 70’s. It is a beast. I bought two power packs, four heads, and a bunch of accessories off a school portrait photographer who was ‘going digital’. This was back in 2003, when people ‘went digital’. It was the best $300 I have ever spent. I was there to look at a Mamiya RZ67, but came home with these awkward beige-colored lights instead. I impressed my roommates, if anything. They weigh more than me, and they consistently blow fuses wherever I go - but, they have charm. The intensity of the ‘POP’ sound they make at the burst of the flash is unparallel. I have seen trained photographers, who are quite used to flashes, dive for cover at the sound of that first ‘POP’.
Photo left: snap-shot from beach. Photo right: recreated beach moment.
We were on the island and the beach. It was summer. The water was the warmest it had been all year. I don’t need a photograph to remind me of those types of things. I remember looking up and Sabrina had come out of the water and was near the water’s edge. I, at that moment, was behind her on the sand. She had her towel around her head, and it draped down carelessly. Everything sort of came together - the gesture and posture, the light, the colour, the ambiguity of figure - just all these wonderful things. I don’t know why I didn’t just take the photo where I was? Instead I walked around to the front of her and snapped this photo on the left and forgot about it.
When I later looked at the film, everything was off. It was not how I wanted to remember that moment. I didn’t want to be in front of her. I wanted to be viewing her from my original position, behind her, on the sand. I wanted all the elements that initially intrigued me to come back together. This explains photo on the right, a recreated beach moment. This representation, even completely out of context, seems more ‘real’ to me. It is all I want to remember, and one day I am sure it will be all that I do remember.
He, unknowingly, as I. From the collection - This will never last, 2012.
I try to keep the things I am working on, at the moment I am working on them, a bit distanced from the immediacy of this blog. Sometimes they seep, in various forms or outtakes, but generally I try to save the “good-stuff”. This is a photograph I made of Greg, in August. It is part of the collection of images I recently exhibited at the Harbourfront Centre.
There is something about putting my clothing on others that, for me, neutralizes them. It changes them, or maybe it just channels the way I am feeling. I am not sure why, but when I gave Greg my jacket and shirt to wear - I feel like his gestural qualities morphed. He wasn’t just wearing me, he was becoming me. I think it shows.