Thursday, December 8, 2016

Project: Preserved

Nature Preserved - South Weber, Utah
I started a new photography project called Preserved. In fact, I officially began working on it yesterday with the photograph above.

Let me give a little back story. For years I have seen historical images that have very little artistic value but are interesting because they show a location from decades ago. And I have seen images with very little historical value but are abstract and so have lots of artistic value. I wanted to find a way to merge these two types of photographs into one. I wanted to create something that could have both historic and artistic values.

That's not easy to accomplish. I wasn't really sure how I wanted to go about doing this. Then I stumbled across Christoffer Relander's Jarred & Displaced project. He uses glass jars and double-exposure photography to capture what appears to be landscapes inside of jars, "collecting memories" in a sense. I knew this was a starting point for what I want to do. My project was going to have jars (with the insides painted black) and double-exposure photography (using my Fuji X-E1) as critical elements.
Dormant Trees In A Jar - South Weber, Utah
My very first image-in-a-jar (Dormant Trees In A Jar, above), which predates Nature Preserved, was a test shot to make sure that I could actually create the kind of images that I want to make. I knew that I could, but wasn't sure about a couple of the technical aspects. I learned a few things and so I green-lighted myself to move forward with the project.

One thing that I knew I would need is a small portable studio that I could take with me in the car for capturing the jars. At first I was going to construct one myself, but then I found one online that was both cheaper and better than anything that I could have made. That portable photography studio arrived in the mail two days ago, and Nature Preserved was my first attempt using it (again, a test shot).

While I have two double-exposure images with jars, I haven't yet made one that fits my idea of something with potential historical value plus something that's artistic. This is a project that will take time. But I have what I need and I know how to do it, so it's just a matter now of getting out and doing it. Which is exactly what I intend to do.

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