Spatial Relationships

I am actually taking the next two nights off from my UPS job; the sun is shining here and is incredibly beautiful out so I am going to do something for myself the next couple of days. Today I am going to give you and myself a break from the naked man. Today I am stirred with memories of when I first got into photography. Then it was only film and I used to spend amazing days, like today, just out shooting all the time. Making lots of mistakes, more mistakes than actual interesting images. You see I was more of a theorist than an artist back then. I saw photography as a means of exploration. I went to the library and checked out books on design concept and theory and pretty much spent years putting them all to the test. Looking at balance, shape, figure, texture, and color. Working in the theater was about proportion and how things fit into relationship to each other. As a director you have to place the actors on the stage and tell the story of their characters physical, mental, and emotional relationship to each other by how and where they are visually on the stage. They are then sculpted by light, which enhances the inner psychological state in which they exist. So visual relationship becomes vital. For you actors out there I am not suggesting you are pawns to be moved about, because you then imbue it with your own brilliance to bring the life of the characters to flesh. But a good show has all the elements of design and we should almost be able to tell the story though this design without uttering a sentence. Photography is the same; the borders of the image merely become the proscenium that contains the stage unless of course, you are working in the round. I highly suggest that young people first getting into photography should actually pick up some books on composition and study that first. Technique will come with practice, but when you develop an intuitive sense of spatial harmony, this is what really makes photographs interesting. I look at so many images of new photographers who take technically great photographs, but don’t tell what the story is within the image. Often times cropping out the edges or pieces of the subject they are actually trying to capture. To me the art of photography almost become a Zen, you must study the image and then ask yourself why do I want to take this picture. If your answer is merely on the surface, chances are your image will not contain much interest for anyone else who sees the image, but it you say I am drawn to this image because of some thing deep within yourself, the viewer will also be engaged. I digress, so I would spend hours and days and weeks and months working on images to gain my own sense of balance. There was so much film thrown out, but it is all a part of the learning process. I rarely ever go back and look at my old photographs anymore. Life is too fast with our environment and self-perception ever evolving. I love photographing naked men and women because it still holds such a power of mystery for me.

Today’s picture I dug way back into the archives of my first beginning of my photographic process. This was an ordinary arch in Balboa Park in San Diego that everyone just walked by daily without a second thought, just an ordinary setting. This was shot at night with the natural available light. These are the natural colors from the original chrome slide, just the way I saw it, just the way I shot it. This is how the ordinary become transformed when you look deeply enough and put yourself in the process.