Thursday, August 28, 2008

Again! (repeat 3x times)

Expansions II (The Great Escape) has turned into my largest series, currently at 10 sets of triptychs, and expanding over the course of four seasons. I feel at this point, spring and summer have been covered, and fall and winter, will be a change in direction from the first half of the series. I find that the drop in temperature dramatically changes mood, and thought, and for a series about escape and the idea of escape, it would have to be dramatically different from the idea of escape during the warmer seasons. The second half of the series will be more diverse then it is currently, as well as complex, staging different temperaments within the characters as they struggle to find peace around them.
These images are the newest to the series, and as for now, the last of the summer set. They are closer to the look I wanted, since as I have been shooting, my technique for this series has been developing along with the concept. My current technique is closer to my original technique developed for Expansions I, where I would make full 360 set of parallel images, making a set of images blend into each almost seamlessly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

You Don’t Know Me

(We're Lost, NO! We're NOT Lost! I'm Sorry, 2008)

“I have traveled a long way to get this to you”, said an exhausted voice beyond my shoulder, maybe behind some rocks. I have been traveling a long time, perhaps I was followed, and so I reached over my shoulder to those suspicious rocks. This is how I met my inspiration. “You kept traveling”, he said, “without noticing me, and then I just had to yell at you, come here, boy!” And so I stopped but it was just my imagination, I kept lying to myself as I continued to walk. Was there something… no, that’s silly, no one travels on these roads, no one since that thing with the bear. And while all this internal noise was going on I neglected the rather old man, dressed like Moses, waving at me with, yes, a cane, A CANE! Anyhoot, that’s the story of how I come up with these ideas of mine, I just take a walk on the limestone road and keep walking until old man inspiration comes yelling, with his cane. “BOY!”

I thought this would be a great way to open this entry. A random story for a small collection of random images.

(The Heat on August 20th, 2008)

I’m very interested in the way people escape the cage of their surroundings, for me, it’s imagining I’m not here in small patches of nature, and for others, like the lady across from me, it’s relaxing on her lawn chair on top of a building amongst the pigeons.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Double Negative

(Meredith On Her Birthday, 2008)

Lately I’ve been obsessing over the idea of the stranger. Not knowing someone but being fascinated by them to the point you want to know them. But as soon as you are introduced and you start learning who they are, they are no longer a stranger. I want to preserve some quality of someone as a stranger, only know them at a distance, though we will talk at a causal level, our conversations will never grow any depth. Or maybe there will be depth without any context of where they’re coming from, just pieces to a puzzle that can never be complete, with missing pieces that will never surface.
I discovered that there is only one reality that the stranger can be known at the same time as left unknown, in fiction. And so I’ll just live in my words to believe there can be a possibility of the perfect stranger.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


(I Don't Feel Like Waking Up This Morning, 2007)

Living in a moment, just not the original.

A photograph is imprint of the past and serves as capsule to our memories. Creating the narrative photograph, whereas the reality of the subject is fabricated, serves to the exact idea of the photograph. When we see an image, that image is no longer in the same context of the moment it is representing, since we weren’t at the time and place of the photograph, and there is no experience of living that moment until your eyes came across the photograph of that moment. We tend to find an understanding of the context since we are only supplied with whatever details the author has given us, and the image itself. Everything else is up to what we can imagine the context to be. Maybe the image tells us of an event we had heard of, and that we are now seeing it from a different perspective, but still the context is not exact, and we are curious to know what face of reality the author has seen. Is the reality not in front of us, with the modesty of the unaltered image? The narrative was born from this relationship that we have with the photograph, having trust in the photograph’s integrity has led us to fabricate our own realities.
And even with my photographs where I have a clear understanding of the original context of the time and space represented, I am no longer the person who took the photograph on that day, I have experienced many moments since then and I been altered myself. When I see my photographs I see my past, but I also see my future, fabricating events that have not happen, perhaps will never happen, and bring myself back to these moments as if living them. But I am not reliving these memories, I am creating new memories with them as create my own narrative with new photographs.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The New Toy-o

How to justify buying a new camera…

I own too many cameras, and I only use two of them. I avoid any gear talk on here but it has been a subject I’ve had roaming around in my head for the past few days. I would like to talk about a feeling rather than a purchase here. A feeling I get whenever I do finally come to the conclusion, Hey I want a new camera. Just two days ago, after almost a whole year of use, I put down my Crown Graflex, my baby (yes, I call, once in a great while, certain cameras that) and my dream camera since I could remember, for another. Besides from a mod-ed Polaroid Pathfinder, the Graflex(es, s) are the smallest large formats you can get, and they are light weight and can be taken anywhere. I tend to travel light, and so when I first got my Graflex (whom I call Grand Master Graflex) it didn’t take too long for it to replace my medium format camera. For all the right reasons it took the most important parts from medium format I found useful and concentrated them into an even slower process of taking a photograph. I found when I slowed myself down as much as possible, I could mediate on the subject at hand and focus deeper into it. I have to always have a tripod for large format, and carefully go through an entire list of sequences for each photograph (meter, open aperture, open shutter, direct subject, pull focus, close shutter, adjust aperture, cock shutter, direct subject again, load film back, remove dark slide, release shutter, and if using a 6x12 film back, advance film, repeat) each time I go shooting. But to spite the occasional mess-up (which I will always know I did instantly after the fact), the images have been highly detailed and highly worth it. Today I shoot with a Toyo-Field 45A, which slows me down just that much more and open rise (and swing) to my photographic scope. So the gear isn’t just for collection or show, it is a planned out investment and a step further into my progress, with each addition making it finer-tuned to the image I envisioned.

(images above; first images from Toyo: Jacquie in Grange, Parking Lot View)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Progress

This morning (afternoon) I woke up to a message, demanding new work for my blog. The images I selected for this week’s entry aren’t new and from the progress of my style and technique, are rather dated in my eyes. But to spite the age, these images are important to me and touch down on something I haven’t done in a long time in my work, focus on a memory rather than concept. It has been almost an entire year since the last time I have done documentary photography rather than conceptual photography that evolves around documentary. The progress has been, well, progressive, I have been conceptualizing three new series and further developing The Great Escape, which will be “expanding” into fall and winter, exploring different people in different spaces. In fact, I’m looking for new subjects, does anyone know twins ranging from 8 to 13 years of age?
With another year of school, I sit on the wake of a new wave of style and technique that make my current work a reflection the same way these images above (and below) feel to me now. (the images starting from top to bottom: Untitled from Maui, Photo Tech Dave with Morning Coffee, My Last Pair of Shoes and My Last Day Here, and Look What We've Done!)

What's next: Well I am continuing [Literally], shooting the rest of The Great Escape in fall and winter, starting a new series that explores memories we tend to want to forget, Expansions III, the Installation of We Have A History (at Xpace), dipping my toes into architectual photography with what might be my last film camera I'll buy, and last but not least, I want to get a Nuit Blanche show going for OCAD photo. More on all this soon, and I will have some new images soon...until the next, take care and keep the art going.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yet Again...

Yes, yet again. So finally, NOW and EYE Weekly have announced the official date for the opening of this show, August 6th from 7 - 10pm at the Central you can come see Alex Kisilevich and my work. The body of work I'll displaying is my last completed series using single images, as well as shot 6x6cm. Here's a link to Alex's work,, its worth the time. Hope to see you all at the opening.