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.
“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.
Kodak 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.
I finally got some of the film developed from my first test with my bulldog Winston. I really love the feel of film. The aesthetic could be compared to listening to a record. The nostalgic qualities of the clicks and pops, the warmth of the sound. Same with film, and when you get to shoot with medium format, the desire for digital fades like a mediocre dream. There is so much depth to this, like I’ve gone beyond the two dimensional surface and into little Winston’s soul.
These are straight out of the camera, no time to even process them any further than chemistry. I love it when things work out right, the first time around.