Feels Stronger and Looks Thicker – Ann Arbor, Michigan
After starting my new job in March, I did what I always do: got out and explored.
I’ve been to Ann Arbor, Michigan, many times, and done a lot of shooting here. Now that it’s my jobby-job town, there are a lot more opportunities to get out and see the city. Lunch hours, in between meetings, after work – all good excuses to get out and make photos.
This is, at its most basic, the best reason to make photography a hobby. You get to really learn about and know a place through the viewfinder.
A new place also provides that little spark of freshness you might need to practice your craft.
Do your everyday surroundings get stale? Go somewhere new, and – bam – instant inspiration.
Some of my favorite photographers are street photographers. Those New York guys in the ‘60s and ‘70s? It’s some of my favorite work.
There’s something about modern street photography, though, that doesn’t appeal to me. It starts to look the same after while.
There are exceptions.
I’m not a huge fan of doing street photography, either – not in its traditional sense. I’ll head out with a camera and explore a city. I’ll even take photos of people in the streets, in windows, in their cars, wherever. It just has to be a pretty special shot for me to share it.
A shot like those guys (or ladies) in the mid-century would make.
Shapes, shadows, the kind of urban landscape stuff that Stephen Shore would make – that’s more up my alley.
I took a spare Friday this summer and hit the not-so-mean streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was a beautiful evening, Summerfest was going on, and Friday nights in Ann Arbor are pretty hopping. The light was past the too-harsh phase. It was one of those great June nights in Michigan.
For this exercise, I shot locations, mostly. I saw an interesting scene, waited until something fun came along, and made a photo. Or the sunlight would come in at an interesting angle, so I’d shoot that scene.
What I didn’t do was go out and try to find interesting people. Maybe that’s the Stephen Shore difference.
More scene finding, less Gary Winogrand’ing.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Who are you and what do you do?
How did you get started in photography?
I began photographing with my mother’s camera at the age of 14. It was a Nikon FM3. My first subjects were my school friends. At 16, I photographed my best friend in my first ‘semi nude’ project.
What do you like about your photography?
That what you capture is slightly – or very – different from what you aim for. It’s always a surprise. It keeps me on my toes.
Where do you get inspiration for your style/ideas?
I think I am very influenced by paintings and Japanese art. I also get constantly influenced by other photographers; old and contemporary.
Fill in blank: “For me, a camera is my way to…”
turn reality into fantasy; escape
Your photography has a documentary approach. What kinds of themes do you explore with your work?
It’s both documentary and ‘art’ photography (I don’t like distinguishing things too much, or put labels on them).
My major themes are urban landscapes, flowers, and human bodies. I lately have an obsession with hands.
Any upcoming projects or shoots you’re working on?
I’m planning an exhibition in Greece (Feb-March 2016), and I’m now shooting street, mostly. I now use my phone camera a lot.
I want to shoot nude women again, in the near future.
Jackson County Fair – Jackson, Michigan