Just realized I had all the makings of $120,000 art here in my house. Decided to include two bananas to go the extra conceptual mile… At first glance I dissed Maurizio Cattelan for his “Comedian” piece. With more thought though, he might be genius. It seems to be a joke, sarcasm, and a statement about art today. It’s like he gave the finger to the art world, and still they took out their wallets and handed them over.
This image on it’s own is not anything spectacular or fascinating. It’s a nice composition, but nothing special. What gives this image importance is that soon this pier will no longer exist. What has been around for 25 years and walked on by thousands will soon be nothing but air.
It is likely that after the busy season in 2020, the pier will close down and deconstruction will begin. The good news is that a new one is planned to be built, however we will have to wait about 2 years for it all to come together. I’ll be here. I’ll be waiting.
Focus is overrated… Okay, perhaps I am getting a little conceptual here, but if you think about it, photographers (in the modern digital age especially) seem to be obsessed with the crisp and perfect image. So in a world of all sharp photographs, one that breaks those rules stands out.
When I photograph sunsets I look for that interesting view. Today I couldn’t find it – that silhouette, that object, that perspective. There was just nothing different to point my camera at, and I didn’t want just a plain old sunset – so I turned my lens until I everything was WAY out of focus. Suddenly, there it was, the alternative view I was searching for.
I got tickets to the Phish shows here in Charleston, a band that I have seen dozens of times since I was young. My all time favorite group. One of the best parts about this band is the community, the fans. I decided to create something to hand out at the shows.
I painted this in Virtual Reality with a program that makes you feel like you are spray painting on a gigantic wall. It’s awesome how you can “trick” your brain into thinking you are holding a can of paint and make you feel like you are in an alleyway or subway. I saved the final art and turned it into a sticker… I handed out about 60 of these at the shows.
My job ain’t too difficult here. Sometimes all I have to do is visit the beach, and the ocean washes up all kinds of art for me… This evening I was walking along the waves waiting for the sunset when I noticed this sea sponge that looked like a tiny tree. I dug a hole, placed it, moved some shells around, and snapped a photograph.
I took this photograph of the sun today… If you look closely, there is a tiny black dot inside of it. That is the planet Mercury making it’s transit – passing between the Earth and the Sun – something that only happens a handful of times every century. This will not happen again until 2032, so we’ll have to wait 13 years.
Fun Fact: Mercury goes around the Sun very quickly, but spins very slowly, meaning a year would go by before a day does… So that Phish lyric was correct: “Your day is longer than your year!”
When I take my camera out, my goal is to come home with one image that has potential. This evening I wanted to chase the sunset, but clouds blew in. Almost everything was covered, so I turned my eyes in other directions.
I noticed a black feather laying in the sand. I picked it up. I then noticed a little area of the beach that was catching light. I stuck the feather in the ground and called it macaroni… wait, no. I then zoomed way in, focused, and waited for waves to come in and out. This exposure with bubbles created a nice contrast. To me, even though simple, an image like this can speak to us on an emotional level that 95% of photography just can’t do. We shouldn’t be making photographs, we should be making poetry.
Many times my work as an artist is unplanned. I do something, that turns into something else, then I combine it with something I did even before. Like a tadpole becoming a frog, it evolves and changes right in front of my eyes. Planning is good, but over-thinking can get in the way of unexpected progress.
Creating patterns from photographs has been an obsession of mine for the past year. Now I am spending a lot of time watching the sun. I decided to combine a mandala pattern (created from a photograph of sand on the beach) with a sunset image. To me, watching the sun is spiritual, and so the combination is quite nice. This quote really matches the feel of the image for me: “Emotions are like waves… Watch them disappear in the distance on the vast calm ocean.” – Ram Dass
I have been looking for shark teeth for over a year and never found any. I guess I just didn’t know how to look, or what exactly to look for… Today, I made a deal with the devil (or someone, I never did specify a beings name) and a moment after I uttered the words, I saw a shark tooth… then another… and another. I now have a new hobby.
Fun Fact: A shark can go through about 30,000 teeth in their lifetime. Also, sharks have been around for about 430 million years – so there are actually a LOT of teeth in the ocean! That blows my mind.
When you spend much of your free time photographing sun rise and set, you have to find new ways of making the same thing look new. Go wide, zoom in, tilt the camera, shift the focus. In this image I wanted to make the foreground as meaningful as the background.
There were a bunch of birds hanging out on the beach. I set my camera then walked through them taking man exposures. They flew around then came back to the same spot. I did it again and again… In post, I blended a bunch of images into one, when allowed me to choose where birds are in the sky. The pier is clear in view, but silhouettes cover the rest of the scene. It’s okay to lie, sometimes.