Creating images of people is a delicate balance of coaxing a person onto a stage, encouraging them to feel relaxed and comfortable in this artificial environment, transforming each individual or group into choreographed poses - now act normal, be comfortable, relax, chin up, head right, hold that...
Wait until they forget, they drift... that's where a good portrait lives.
There is a challenge shooting music. How do you take a scene that lives by it's presence of sound and transpose that into a silent, still image? I photograph the in-between moments, the spaces between the notes. There are muted moments that hide in a rollicking show. And they're not something you can pick off from a safe place with a zoom lens. You have to roll up your sleeves and get your eyeballs dirty.
The Person... Persona, a mask worn by Greek and Roman actors to project their voices in open air theater. What masks do we wear? Who is the actor? Who is the spectator?
Rumi said "Out beyond right doing and wrong doing there's a field, I'll meet you there."
These are some of my creative seeds. Some images are made in the shadows and other are made in the light. Some are beginnings and some are endings. Some are glances, others are full out productions.
On the east side of the Sierra's in the Owens Valley there's a place. A troubling place, a black spot on our history. In amongst the dry windy landscape is the remains of a camp, some say internment others say concentration.
During the Second World War the US government set up camps to intern individuals of Japanese descent. Some were nationals but the majority were US citizens deprived of their homes, businesses and due process.
Manzanar was one of the camps that as many as 120,000 were interned behind barbed wire, guard towers and gates.
I made several visits and photographed the bits and pieces that were left. It was haunting place, full of energy and stories.
What is landscape? Cloudscape? Seascape? This fluid environment we exist in is full of sights and sounds, colors and contrasts. Moments slip into the next, all around us the world breathes.
On Tuesday December 8th 2015 the venue that I had been apart of burned. Through good fortune no one was hurt (thanks to Karl Blau and Doug Cassidy). The contents of the venue were severally damaged and our neighbors displaced.
I went into the space four days later and made images of the ghosts left behind. Erie reminders of what once was, of loss, of what now remains. These silent images are true portraits, images that stare back, and stare deep.