Friday, July 24, 2009

Coney Island, Baby

On July 18th, over 32,000 photographers around the world gathered at various locations and spent the next few hours photographing everything they could get their cameras on. This was the second year for Photowalk, an event inpired and organized by Scott Kelby, and based on the results of the photos I've seen taken on that day, it couldn't have been a more rousing success.

My brother Jacob to come down from Illinois to do the walk with me at Coney Island. At our location alone there were around 40 other participants and we couldn't have had a more beautiful day. It was an amazing experience for at several reasons. First, Coney Island. What an amazing riot of color and people and activity. Normally, I feel too self-conscious and invasive to take pictures of strangers on the street, but because Coney Island was so crazy no one even noticed if I snapped them. Of course, it didn't hurt there there were so many other people doing the same thing. It made what I was doing with the camera just background noise. The other photographers also made the day special by giving me a sense of community that is all together too easy to be without. Photography can be such isolating work, just you, your camera, and your computer. It was wonderful to be with other people just as obsessed with the visual world as I was. And oh what amazing images they created. I felt honored to able to be a part of the group.

For those interested, you can go here to see a stream of the worldwide photowalk images. If you want to see some of the images I captured at Coney Island, you can see my photostream here. As a part of the event, Scott Kelby is going to choose some photographs from the entire walk as prize winners. Below, I'm including my two entries. If you get a chance to go next year, I highly recommend it. You don't have to be a professional. You just need to have a camera and love photography. As Émile Zola said, "In my view, you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it." Take care.

High Cotton

Coney Island Cone

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Altered States

This is a photography blog where I have wrestled with various issues that I confront as I continue to develop in my craft. This entry will be a bit of a departure from that. Okay, maybe more an extension of that.

I have been experimenting with some of my photos and am curious about viewers' responses to those experiments. The following images all started out as traditional photographs but have been photoshopped to within an inch of their lives. Such manipulation takes the representationality of the photographs and leeches out the indexical nature of the image, leaving only its most basic constituent shapes, colors, and textures.

I'll always be firmly committed to "traditional" photography, but I find something very freeing about this experiment. I'm considering putting together a show of these images printed onto stretched canvas, so I'm very curious how others respond to these images. Do you find them compelling or contrived? Somewhere in between? Which ones do you find the most and least interesting? Why? Thanks in advance for any feedback. Take care.





Burning Angel