Having grown up with very little exposure to the great artists and photographers of our era, I began creating as a vent for some deep and intense vision within me. The more I created, the more whole I felt. And the more time went on, I noticed those around me becoming wary of my ideas and putting silent expectations on my creation, as if it were a bad thing to 'take it too far,' 'go deeper,' or 'become my work.' I developed an outlook others may call dangerous. An openness taboo to many people.
It has yet to stop me.
This ravenous hunger to create made its venture to the depths of my being and clutched my soul tightly, never letting go. Being from a small town far from wealthy, I essentially skipped learning the technical aspect of photography and film and focused more on the end result accurately communicating what I felt at the time of its conception. I had no equipment and was well known to hang upside down from a tree branch or prop the flimsy, unreliable camera on an unsteady rail in order to capture just the right shot.
Fast forward to March 2016. I have lived in places that offered me all the equipment photographers and filmmakers dream of using. I have learned the technicalities of creating a visually compelling image to make viewers stop in their tracks. I (finally) have a camera, though it's nearly 6 years old.
But I was never able to fully express my soul wholeheartedly with all these glorious resources (aside from my precious camera, of course).
March 2016: I am back home where it all started and, with years of bottled up visions, I simply cannot contain them anymore lest I want to do myself and my world an injustice. In a period of time when so much of my life was swirling in a vicious metaphorical typhoon, I found myself retreating to the places where I first found myself. The emotion of producing honest, wild art that welcomes the certain shadowy edge in my creation—perhaps to reflect the darkness I have made amends with at last.
So I made my setup:
Stacking boxes and books and cloths to get the camera to the perfect angle and height.
Setting the 10-second self timer and rapid shutter.
—then spent an hour staring out the window at the treetops, asking them for inspiration.
It came, and I created.
^ The above shot did not make the final cut (neither did 50 other photos), although I still love its murky and mysterious energy.
It reminds me of how much I was questioning at the time of this shoot.
For the remainder of the photos, I used photoshop to 'black them out.'