Since changing paths on my photographic journey about three years ago, I continue to find great excitement and inspiration—as well as endless thematic possibilities—while experimenting with light painting techniques.
I think of these techniques as a photographic toolkit that I use to emphasize the precise lighting of a subject and to capture with numerous separate photos, then layering/blending them in Photoshop to create the final whole photograph. Like any set of tools, they become more comfortable and versatile the longer I work with them. Less attention is required to use the tools properly. Less time on process and technique allows me more time to think about content.
Consequently, I have been experimenting with different themes, new ways to treat subjects, and novel applications of these tools.
Raiding my kids’ bedrooms and our playroom, I found toys, and the opportunity to give these tiny creatures a distorted sense of proportion, size, and importance.
I remain focused on the expressive possibilities of different objects, bringing mundane, ordinary, and unexpected objects together to suggest a story that goes beyond the objects themselves.
The Usual Suspects is a lineup of bad actors, showing their more whimsical side. Doing what? Dancing? Singing? And some unusual friends have appeared to join in the fun.
In some cases, the subjects will suggest a mood or feeling that is almost contrary to the nature of the object itself, distorting the original purpose of the object to serve a new idea.
Gourd #4 imbues the four gourds with human potential, suggesting a relationship, while leaving to the viewer to decide the nature of that relationship.
Pushing further into my work, I find I am drawn to certain moods and combinations of feelings—darkness and light, ominous and humorous, menacing and whimsical, threatening but hopeful, somber but ridiculous. Grim, mechanical assemblages conspire in a nonsensical plot. Mundane, ordinary, recognizable objects tell an absurd story.
Many of my images feature eggs, and I guess this is because eggs embody so perfectly the concepts of potential and fragility. Their form is perfect: delicate and powerful.
The Parlous Egg suggests to me a sense of jeopardy mingled with hope. There is some feeling of danger, but also the potential for the absurd. Will the egg fall to its destruction, or leap into a beautiful swan dive?
I suppose that what underlies most of this work is a sense of deep irony that exists for me in so many things. In East of Eden Steinbeck refers to “Dreadful Beauty,” a feeling that there can be light as well as beauty in darkness.
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