Well it’s a new year so it seems like a reasonable time to post up some of the pictures I’ve been messing around with.
Most of my time has recently been taken up by converting old black and white negatives to digital format.
More on that will likely come in a future post.
I’ve been able to sneak away from those images to mess around with some of my own pictures.
You’ll notice a continued trend here to move more and more into abstraction.
I think that’s been driven by a dissatisfaction with the majority of photographs that are being taken today, as well as many of the pictures that have been taken over the course of the history of photography.
Historically photography has had success in some realms of documentation and science, but I think there have been major missed opportunities.
Product photography, for example, is as boring as the products that they push. Technically a McDonald’s commercial is rather well done. But it looks like everything else. There’s a complete lack of passion and interest.
Even things like fashion photography is devoid of interest.
Everything is formulaic.
Everything is the same.
No one is being bold or making interesting things.
Art is dead.
Cultures are dying.
It’s hard to find things of interest.
We’ve been bombarded by an infinite amount of stuff.
Our senses are overloaded.
Content in many cases is technically well done.
And some of it even looks great.
But we’re bored of it.
Everyone’s a follower.
Every image you see and song you hear is kind of the same.
How can you make an image look interesting when there is an infinite amount of technically well done images, created by people who have decades of experience?
This is the question, and I attempt to pose some ideas here.
Sure, learn the techniques.
Study the greats.
Plug in and absorb.
Disconnect and forget.
Try anything different.
Try to listen to the little voice of your soul that you crushed so many years ago.
Hand your life over to it.
Think a bit.
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
It’s likely that you’re just copying something, from some famous photographer, or influencer, or some kind of social norm, or environmental construct.
Who are you though?
Don’t click the camera the next time without asking yourself why.
Pictures are best when they are in focus.
Try to intentionally make your pictures out of focus and see what comes out.
Pictures have to have a meaning.
Life doesn’t, so why should our art?
The best pictures tell a story.
Maybe the story can be made up from the picture.
Use your imagination for a moment.
Disregard reality completely.
It won’t be possible, but just sit.
Within minutes you will probably be up and doing something.
The same robotic pattern that you’ve fallen into.
Go sit or lay back down.
Try to visual something in your brain.
Or a dragon.
Or a princess castle.
You used to be able to do this as a child.
You did it all the time.
You can’t do it now?
Don’t worry. There’s not many people who are capable of doing this.
It’s all been beaten out of us.
Life has yielded its massive hammer and smashed everything of value from us.
We used to be kings and queens in our mind.
Now we’re just a lost smashed pile of mass.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Listen to the soul.
Don’t have fun.
Just know that you have a brain.
And a heart.
And a soul.
And the ability to imagine.
And all sorts of wonderful things that I would love to see from you.
In your products.
Or your fashion.
Or your photography.
Or your writing.
Or your love.
Or your life.
From the most monotonous.
To the most extreme.
It would be nice if I can see you.
And not another boring copy.
Don’t be different for the sake of it.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the classics.
But there are major issues with not exploring.
We have enough robots.
We need more humans.
We need more of you.
There’s about a hundred pictures here.
Pictures of some extremely boring things.
I hope that maybe these can inspire you in some way.
First up, storm king art center.
There’s a lot of cool sculptures to look at here.
It’s a beautiful place.
This next imagine is one of my favorite that I have ever taken.
I think it’s both an extremely complex and simple image. Full of a ton of reflections and transparencies.
Another view of that subject, from a different angle.
I like the expression of this buddha.
There is a very famous mirrored gate installation here.
I often used to dislike popular art pieces.
But I think now I like them.
Anything that can draw people in should probably be celebrated.
More often than not we make fancy art that people can’t relate to.
Popular art for the masses is actually kind of dope.
I used to hate it. But I eventually love everything I used to hate.
You can sometimes find filters and lenses to use in the environment around you.
Pretty much all of my images are captured in camera. I use lightroom for the expected changes, but I don’t use photoshop for any of my effects.
This isn’t really important, but maybe you’re wondering about how some of this stuff is captured.
I think there is a lot of unbelievable things in the real world.
Artificial lights, and studios, and photoshopping are all fine. But they are often so much more boring to me than reality, or imagination. When they are done well, they of course can be exceptional.
Often my pictures are just visually interesting to me. I look for cool things and click a picture.
This is an image that you could almost take anywhere. I love the look and feel here shooting through a window that is designed to cut down on external sunlight. It’s basically an nd filter.
There’s a couple in the bottom right shadows of this image that you cannot see. I think it’s one of the coolest things about this image. Sometimes there are things there that you cannot see, or that you cannot sense. Our view of reality is always an abstraction. We can never process its true essence.
Shovels and reflections.
An old couple walking on a path.
And a sculpture that I liked.
And another picture of it.
In between that picture and this next picture there is a month gap where I was staring at and editing black and white negatives.
Again, those I will show at a future time once I go through them all (there are probably 7000 negatives to process and I’ve made my way through about 5000 of them).
During that time I picked up a bunch of cannon fd lenses from my pops. Lenses kind of are unimportant for making these images. You can honestly take an infinite amount of great pictures with even basic cheap lenses. But it was fun playing around with a bunch of new gear.
The grind of going through those black and white negatives kind of had me starved to take my own images. This kind of forced the constraints of taking images in fairly boring areas (driving), or just kind of keeping the camera around my neck where ever I went.
That, coupled with the previous rant about exploration and abstraction, the typical winter cabin fever, the darkness, the complete chaos of the outside world, etc was all kind of prime variables for this beautiful mess of pictures coming up.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Lots of driving stuff.
And stuff like this.
I took a picture of Newark airport, just like you would take a picture of anything else.
I pointed that camera at the airport and clicked the button.
This is the reality of what my documentation device captured.
There will be a lot of this sort of nonsense in this post, and it’s probably more fun to let abstract pictures just be abstract.
Use the imagination and think that this is perhaps a microscopic shot of a steel fiber.
Or anything else.
I probably won’t comment too much more about what’s actually in these images, and rather just present them.
A quick swing out to Cold Spring to get out into nature. I’ve been missing nature a bit so a hike up breakneck ridge was in order.
This hike is no joke, and a bit more of rock climbing than a typical hike.
I’d recommend going with someone who at least has a little experience, and also wearing some proper gear. It’s likely to be packed with people if it’s a nice day, but there’s potential for some nasty injuries here.
There are also straight drops of hundreds of feet which would be a pretty certain death so do be careful.
But it is a beautiful place to check it out.
And nice rocks.
And burned down mansions that you wouldn’t believe existed.
And bad pictures.
And stacked rocks. This is pretty much the only photoshopped image in this entire set. Just some focus stacking, partially because I was playing around the new lenses and partially because I wanted this look.
Cutting back into nyc.
Picture of the tree is kind of just bokeh balls for the sake of bokeh balls, but this picture is kind of like a guilty pleasure. Shouldn’t really like it as much as I do, but I do.
And museums in princeton.
And the more abstract version.
And searching for a specific color red that I’ve had in my mind for a long while.
And brooklyn for dance. Shout out BAM and Halfway to Dawn.
And finally getting a red that I’m somewhat happy with.
I’ve tried to capture this color for a long time. Months of searching around for a color similar to this. Not completely happy with it, but I’m happy enough that I was able to get close.
From here on out it’s mostly a beautiful mess of nonsense.
Some minimal stuff.
And even more minimal.
And pictures of the cell phone charger in my car while I was driving.
If anyone tells you there’s not a picture to be found, just take a good picture anyway.
This is also a picture of the same charger.
You can make a fine art gallery exhibit off of just this one charger.
Trying new things.
I love those images.
Some more driving.
And stuff like this.
And more of this.
This pic is here more because I like this style and might want to reference it at some point in the future.
And this picture is a continuation of my continued obsession with rothko’s work. There’s a reason why people love his work, and I would love to see more photographs in his style.
And some of this. Sprinkled with some dada.
I borderline can’t even believe this image.
And this amazing thing.
One thing I might mess more with is grain in pictures. It’s kind of really hard to even capture grain in your images. You can crank the iso on digital sensors and for the most part grain just doesn’t appear.
Really this stuff is cropped way in, but lowering the pixels might lead to some interesting things.
And some more.
Dialed way way way up.
Dislike the colors but whatever.
This is just swag dialed way up.
Took a picture of a rainbow cloud.
Driving on the rainbow road.
With the drip drip wall.
This thing was there.
And it was cloudy.
Some of these colors are crazy muted.
Dial it back up.
This thing is reality.
And this thing is also reality.
And down to asbury for a night to check out some music.
Super happy with some of these pictures.
Stuff going on.
I’ll hit you with one more.
This is so ultra wavy.
Often we have to make the decision between color and black and white.
But you can also just present both.
These little guys.
In case your eyes have melted from color, we’ll dial that way way way way down.
But keep it boomin.
We want some more.
You couldn’t even imagine the reality that was captured in this image.
Drip drip drip drip.
Skrt skrt skrt skrt.
Sometimes I draw with pencils.
I love how gearlike this is. An imaginary gearscape.
And I super like how the moon looked this night.
I ain’t never done seen a moon look like this before.
And that always sexy new york city skyline.
A glimpse into the absolute mayhem of it all.
If any of this is of any interest feel free to run with it.
Hopefully this new year we can all get closer to the person that we truly are.
Make some cool stuff.