Tide’s a little bit too high at The Washout… On Folly Beach there is an area known as the Washout where you can see the waves right from the road. The ocean is literally right there. Of course, when we get strangely high tides and coastal flooding, the Washout really becomes a cool place to see.
I have always found nature to be the best source material for pattern creation. Recently I have been exploring such material as the veins of a leaf, colors of a butterfly wing, or textures of a lizards skin… This image was a photograph of two lizards wrapped up together. I absolutely love the result and think it would make an amazing pattern for sewing a bag or something.
My sewing machine has been in a box for about 5 years. It’s been too long. I also tend to get excited and carried away with “new” things. I stayed up till 3:30am sewing this strange shoulder bag… It has a zipper pocket for my wallet and phone, one for pens, a notebook, a separate reinforced area for my laptop, and even a side pouch that perfectly fits a can of Pabst.
Besides the quirky style, I wanted to put myself into the work. Hidden on the back is a mandala I made. I took a photograph of sparklers, manipulated the image into a circular pattern, then printed onto fabric and sewed it in… It’s far from perfect, fraying and odd, but I consider myself a folk artist when it comes to sewing. I do it my own way and make up my own plans as I work.
I stayed up late finalizing a body of work I began in 2016 (hope to release it soon). In going through all my images, I began contemplating photography. It is a strange art form. It seems to be overly obsessed with the idea of perfection and quality. Paint is paint, clay is clay. The camera, however, is an ever-evolving device, and as technology improves, the camera betters itself again and again. This is great, but also one of the biggest downfalls for any creative.
I understand that I have uncommon views on the medium, but I think photographers should focus less effort in obsessing over quality, perfection, equipment, and details – and instead worry more about being imagemakers. What do you want to tell your viewer? What does the image say? In all honesty, I don’t think most viewers care about all the little things as much as they do the emotion, the feeling, and the experience. I think the better photographers get hung up on these things instead.
When it comes to patterns and symmetry, my work seems to get too complex and overwhelmingly visual. I wanted to try something more simple… This image is made up of one photograph of flames. I soaked a piece of rope in alcohol and lit it on fire.
I began duplicating a bunch of the images to see what the negative space looked like. This one was really interesting. Of course, psychologically our brains try to find something to relate to in abstract imagery, especially symmetric. I see a creature in this piece – a silhouetted meditating being glowing at the edges. Simple, yet engaging.
Got some all-natural, organic, free-range fireworks happening tonight for the 4th of July celebration… Most lightning I have seen in a while. If I had more time I would have set up all my equipment on the balcony and tried for some more shots. Instead I grabbed my camera and ran outside for less than one minute. Hey, results are results.
Life becomes art, and so I document things… I work by the beach, and during my lunch breaks I walk the waves and pick up litter. Something happened to me that really gave me hope for the future.
I leaned over and picked up a piece of plastic. Then a bottle cap. In doing so I noticed a little boy watching me. I kept doing my thing. Later I felt a tap on my back and turned around. “Here is some garbage I just found”, said the little boy excitedly. I let him put it in my bag. He then came running back with more. I thanked him and felt such joy. Overwhelming joy. Someone not only noticed me, but mimicked me.
Today I got some really sad news… Months ago I fell in love with a plant at the beach. I drove by it multiple times per day, multiple days per week, and it brought me such joy and wonder. I watched it grow, flower, but then today I drove by to find it split in half.
The Agave Americana is an aloe-like cactus-looking plant with what seem to be alien tentacles sticking out in every direction. It is more commonly called the “Century Plant” for a really interesting reason. After about 10 to 30 years, the plant quickly sprouts a long stalk into the air. It looks like a comical gigantic 25-foot piece of asparagus (yum, asparagus). This then opens up at the top with hundreds of little yellow flowers. A really beautiful arrangement.
The crazy part is that this is now the end of it’s life. The plant waits 10, 20, 30 years then quickly sends up its flowers, only to then die… I waited months watching this beautiful plant. I planned to photograph it once all the flowers bloomed. It was getting so close, maybe just a few more days – but then we had a big storm. The storm ended this plants life before it could flower and end itself.
I have a bad habit of collecting stupid things for years and years only to eventually get rid of them. I think the artist in me thinks that someday I will come up with some amazing idea for said things. Like these beer bottle tops I threw in a jar for about 10 years… I put these on eBay to see if anyone would buy them. Yep. Sold for 5 dollars.
This image shows just eight days at Folly Beach, SC. Each day I can fill one bucket, or more. As you would expect, a lot of the trash is just ignorant people tossing a cig on the ground, leaving fast food beside the car, or throwing an empty beer into the bushes. However, I also believe that much of it is accidental. The wind takes a wrapper away, a child opens candy or rips the tag off a new toy. I get it, but it all adds up.
How can we do better? I honestly don’t know. We cannot close off the beach. We need public access to the beach. That’s important. We also cannot just make higher fines because this is a quiet crime that no police officer will notice, or maybe care to pursue… I believe much of the issue here (and which much of our country’s downfalls) can be solved with better education and outreach. We need to better educate people on the environment, the amazing creatures on the land and in the sea, and the importance of doing our part for a better future… We need to do better.