For nearly a year, I have been working on a series of short films with Hart Ginsburg merging story, photography, cinematography, and voice. I'm proud to share the showing of these films and more from Digital Tapestries at the Music Box here in Chicago.
Minimalism is some of my favorite photography. Clean, simple lines, contrast, minimal color, patterns, all make for a sophisticated yet simple photograph.
This month was a challenge. While I feel very comfortable creating images that exemplifies “minimalism,” my ability to go out photographing this month was limited. A sprained ankle (a birthday present to myself), kept me somewhat immobilized.
Much of my photography this year has come from walks around Chicago, Mexico Beach, Florida, and going out on small “mission” with other photographers. Having to stay put more, somewhat cramped my style. However, looking back over my photography from April, I am not disappointed with what I created. Spiral and Sine are two of my favorites from Minimalism. I certainly feel these two are true to my overall vision of minimalism.
On the other hand, as with all months so far, I reevaluated my perspective on a subject matter. On several occasions, I had to simply find something to photograph within a few steps (or limps) because I could not travel far to find my photograph for the day. A few, like Romanesque, were simply found while sitting, working on a filmset.
As my ankle returned to normal, I did venture out. People was my subject for March and as that month wrapped, I found I wanted, or perhaps longed, to continue photographing people. People made their way into a month of Minimalism; photographing my friend and artist Rory Coyne gave Day 108 a subject. For Earth Day, my colleagues and I ventured to Oakwood Beach in Chicago for a beach cleanup volunteer day; Avery – Day 111 brought another person to Minimalism.
For those following this year long mission, January was devoted simply to Black and White and February, Shapes and Patterns. Upon self reflecting, Much of those months are reflected here in April. Shapes and Patterns clearly share minimalistic attributes while I also find Minimalism to be greatly connected to Black and White. The skills and vision of all photography are connected and looking back on 120 days of photographs, I know more clearly where my style appears but also areas of growth.
April was a great experience. Continuing a subject of People throughout the year and furthering Minimalism into the coming months will be fun but for now, May is upon us and my next challenge is here.
Up next: May — Color
Thirty Photography — April
Part of A Year in Photography
March was a challenging month of photographing people as part of A Year in Photographs. Much of what I photographed had the air of street photography. While it was not my intention, nor a negative outcome, I felt I did not do my theme of 'people' justice; so strongly so, I am continuing photographing people indefinitely.
Rory Coyne, an old friend and colleague, is a painter and leather craftsman. Working his craft in oil painting, his classic style of painting reminds me of many painting from the Renaissance, however, his choice of subject matter merging human and animal forms depicts mythological creatures.
On the other hand, Rory has a second talent for leather crafts. Collars, cuffs, belts, and some more BDSM inspired items, my observations of Rory's artwork belies my first observation of mythology, and my second, a symbiotic nature of humans and animals or even a criticism of human interactions with animal.
The intentions of his leather works and artworks shed light on my friend's psyche. While I'm not about to psychoanalyze Rory, spending the afternoon chatting, observing, and sipping on tea with him, only added intrigue to his personality.
With few of my friend having Rory's craft, I always am in awe of the skill needed for working with paint. And Rory's classic yet unique paintings are like nothing I can recall from walking through many art museums. It was only only a pleasure to watch him work but also to catch up with an old friend.
I will no doubt want to revisit Rory's realm to see him work with leather but until then, please enjoy a few more photographs.
Waves / by Adrian Galli
Lake Michigan is known to be one of the most dangerous lakes in the world. Nature is incredible, beautiful, and powerful; to be respected. Shot on iPhone 7.
Three Months in...
And thirty-one photographs of people.
This month has been one of the most challenging endeavors I've experienced. While I'm very comfortable photographing people, fashion, and anything staged, the theme of March was 'people' and quickly turned into a month of street photography and my awareness of my opportunity in this area became readily apparent to myself.
Never have I felt comfortable photographing people without their consent. And my ultimate goal of this month wasn't street photography, or portraits, or whatnot. The subject of 'people' just meant people would be involved in the photograph.
Part of me became lazy and I rested on street photography despite my being uncomfortable with it as a genre. I spent more time out photographing to get "the shot" for the day but interestingly shot fewer photos. Closer toward the end of the month, my photography became much more intentional and less random. My hope is this is a sign of growth both photographically and creatively.
I learned a lot about myself and really pushed myself to be so bold as to photograph someone who clearly knew I was photographing them and perhaps not too thrilled with the prospect. While on the train one day, I'm pretty certain I made a woman uncomfortable enough that she abandoned her seat to stand far away from me.
In her defense, I can not say I wasn't paying a lot of attention to her. She looked back at me several times with a scowl. In my defense, I wasn't interested in her face; she had a pristine Gucci handbag but her nails, while painted, we chipped from a week or two of wear. It would have made a beautiful photograph.
I also did not have a guest photographer all of this month. While I had discussed with a few friends the prospect, I focused mostly on independent work. In the end, I think this was great for my street photography growth.
As I found I was turning March into a street photography month, I tried to expand into some more abstract and portrait forms. Cristian Zuniga, a friend of mine, became my first subject. He may not know it, but I think he missed his called. Without much direction he clearly knows he looks good on camera and works his suave appearance easily.
The month has very little shot on iPhone. The wide-angle of the lens made it too much a challenge but a few iPhone photographs made their way in. I have decided over the past few years not to go with an iPhone plus model, the iPhone 7 Plus's telephoto lens would have been great this month. I spent most of the month with my Olympus in hand; on it, a 25mm or 45mm lens.
Most of this is irrelevant in the end. A Year in Photographs isn't about getting 365 absolutely incredible shots. This project is about learning about myself, pushing my skills, becoming more aware of the surrounding, and finding new skills.
In 2011, I directed a film in France, Karate-do: The Peaceful Way. While the film discussed many social, political, and philosophical ideas, one of the prospects that really has influenced my view of focus, in the sense of vision, comes from "soft eyes."
We, so much of our time, focus our vision so acutely, we don't see around us. In the film, it is discussed in the method of how one can not afford to have pinpoint focus when confronted by an opponent. Our vision is both central, what our eyes are focused on, and peripheral, that which we see but not focused. Our central vision is extraordinarily important to our visual acuity but many times we ignore their peripheral vision.
This month, at least in the sense of street photography, has taught me using "soft eyes" to break the barrier between central and peripheral vision is massively important as to not miss the moment of a great photo. I would at times walk around without paying attention to my central vision and allow myself to become more aware of my surrounding; the advantage to street photography.
Having found this month extremely enlightening, March's theme of 'people' will not be ending. While April will be centralized around Minimalism, March has given me inspiration to continue 'people' as a subject in a special branch of this project.
If you're interested in being a subject for photographing, I'd love to hear from you. I'm interested in all genres of photographing people. I think we could have some fun! Feel free to contact me.
Three months in and can't wait to see where the rest of the year takes me.
Up next: April – Minimalism