Tapping into the human condition

I spent the last 10 years hiding away from people. I am awkward in social situations. I spent so much time alone thinking, that I forgot what it was like to connect to people. I may have even lost my empathy and compassion for people outside of my family. I’m not sure what happened to make me disconnect.

 

Now, all I think of is how I am going to turn my camera around and capture all the things about being human that I’ve been missing. How can I tap into humanity, connect with people again, on a whole new level.

All of these feelings I have are essential for empathizing with others. It’s basic emotions that bring people together… longing, love, pain.

If I had never experienced pain, would I have empathy? I f I had never been alone, would I know what it’s like to long? How can I use my past experiences to connect to people genuinely? How can I create a portrait of a human condition with the tools I have been given?

Then I wonder if all of this is out of some selfish need to feel relevant in the world, satisfying the unconscious.

What is really important to me now?

My son, my parents, my friends and their families. Teaching my son culture and humility, humbly. Helping people in need, not with money, with kindness and my two hands. Being genuine, real and not living through my ego. Building bridges and relationships with people. Being kind and having good intents..showing my son how to be transparent with his actions.

How can I use my own life experiences to bring awareness to causes that I hold close to my heart?

After speaking with Ed Kashi, something clicked. Was it his words or his tone? I think it was his genuine desire to understand my situation as we talked. He had questions to better understand me and where I was coming from. Then, he shut his mouth, and allowed me to speak. He listened. It was a moment in my world where I felt like someone was hearing my voice, I longed to be more like him… more human.

Finding my voice in photography has been a journey. Chasing my dreams, one after another… never giving up completely. I have had a very diverse path in getting here, and it’s taught me a lot about life, myself and relationships. I am learning to have the courage to let go and allow myself to enjoy the small moments along the way.

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Duality (Part Three)

Duality is a fine art, self portrait series, about identity, my path to self awareness. Initially created out of the need to express internal conflicts, it has developed into a work dedicated to the interpersonal passage of becoming whole. My desire to produce images that represent this stage of the project, the present, has lead me to make changes while retaining the significance of it’s original intent.

I use photography to help me maintain my personal balance. Self portraits are a way to document and gauge my progress and share it with my viewers. Making art gives me a drive to grow and create, all the while providing stability in my mind. The evolution of the project mirrors the evolution of my self, from manic depression to a stable center.

My process captures real emotions, when I am aware of my present state of mind. I use these significant moments as a foundation for my photographs. I write down my feelings and any related ideas into my journal. While I am processing the reactions I am having, I start to produce my scenarios and shoot my images before the mood flees. By capturing these images in the moment, I am actively working through my consciousness and understanding their value.

The use of film represents the raw nature of the human psyche and the use of double exposures allows me to illustrate the division and re-merging of the ego with the self.  Each image emphasizes a present mental state, not always unified, sometimes unbalanced. As I learn to be conscious of my inner self, this work can be a mindful role model for those whom struggle with their own imbalances.

 

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Things Are Sweeter When They Are Lost

“Things are sweeter when they’re lost. I know–because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly and when I got it it turned to dust in my hand.”

~The Beautiful & The Damned; F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m sure we’ve all lost something we wanted so badly, to our own painful downfall. Whether it was a lover or a friendship, it hurts as deeply as you loved it. Sometimes I think I’ll never get over these things, times in my life. It’s what drives much of my work, gives it meaning. Without a muse, I’d be a photographer… not an artist.

I don’t regret these things. They give me life and memories of times where I wouldn’t sleep, because I was living in the moment… listening to you breathe… looking at your hands. You were a stranger to me, but I felt most comfortable in your arms and swimming in your thoughts.

Working with my father’s 1936 Oldsmobile has been good for the old soul in me. I’ve been reading and watching some of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s more notable works. Set during the 1920’s and 30’s… I feel like I’ve lived in those times before. Getting lost in fictional drama, other people’s drama, it’s been soothing. Reminding me that I once felt passionate about another tragic soul. And just maybe, I might do it again.

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Duality on Kodak Portra

12220001-a 12220008-a 12220012-a 12200007-aKodak Portra is slowly but surely becoming my favorite film these days. There’s a realistic subtle tone to it that I don’t get with Fuji or Lomo. The clarity is much better than the Lomo films I’ve been testing and the remaining grain is uniform and aesthetically pleasing.

For the Duality work, it’s being transformed into something more ambiguous, less literal in the translation. For the next few weeks I’ll be shooting more images that create a plasticity within the frame. I personally enjoy the way my eyes are forced back and forth, figuring out the two exposures.

There is a play on the eyes, something I’ve been trying to incorporate into this work. I am finding the voice for this particular evolution of the project. As the weeks go by, the images should become more consistent and start to create a play by play story about where I am with my photography and my personal path.

I’ll keep adding the images I am having processed through The DarkRoom.com. In a few weeks I’ll gather up my top images and start printing them out for post. I’ve been experimenting with some alternative practices in printing. I can’t wait to get to the point of sharing those.

Window Treatment

 

For the past few months I’ve been migrating back to my film cameras. Continuing my projects and changing up the way I see things. I’m not in a hurry, I’m not trying to get anywhere. I am just exploring my options and laying down tracks in the direction life takes. Working from the inside out, seeing through windows and using the available light to make memories worth remembering.