On my recent venture back to Silo City in Buffalo, New York, my friend and 1st Photography Assistant Andy Hoff graciously agreed to help me out with several images. The photographs that follow are a result of the collaboration between Andy and myself.
In 2014 I was honored to have an image accepted into the Black + White Exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography. The Juror for this show was Jason Landry. Jason is the Owner of the Panopticon Gallery located inside the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston, Massachusetts. Not only did he attend the opening reception but he hung out the next day and did portfolio reviews for some of the artists in attendance. My very first portfolio review was with Jason Landry at this event.
At the review, I presented Jason with about 15 photographs from my Building A Mystery project. Jason’s comment were very positive and he provided me with some simple ways to improve my photography. One of his points after discussing several of the images was that he felt that having an assistant would greatly benefit my work. I agreed with Jason’s assessment but I explained that I was not a full time photographer. Photography for me was more of a serious hobby and as a result I shoot mostly by myself. Despite my weak excuse I agreed to pursue the idea of working with an assistant.
At the conclusion of the review Jason gave me a list of four photographers to study up on. One of these photographers is Greg Crewdson. Crewdson as it turns out is more of a “Photography Director” than a “Photographer”. His photographs are elaborately staged and lit using large crews familiar with motion picture production and lighting. He even employs a Director of Photography who actually takes the pictures once everything meets Crewdson’s artistic vision. I have fallen in love with Crewdson’s images but I cannot see myself performing the same miracles. One thing that is evident from my study of Crewdson is the benefit of a talented and able-bodied assistant.
Some of the issues that I encounter when making this type of image include placement of the Wayfarer (myself) in the frame and confirmation that the shutter has in fact triggered. Without an assistant I would solve both of these problems via trial and error. Typically I mark the floor where I think I need to stand and take a set of exposures. After reviewing the images on camera I can adjust my position to eliminate any convergence. If I am to far from the camera or it is to noisy to hear the shutter fire I will press the remote trigger and count to myself between exposures. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn’t. Working by myself definitely takes much longer and I have many more “junk” images.
Working with Andy’s assistance I was able to overcome both of these problems. I set up the camera, framed the image that I had in mind and then proceeded to the spot that I thought I needed to be. Andy was then able to direct me left or right to eliminate any convergence. Once I was positioned Andy triggered the shutter and the rest, as they say, is history. Many thankx to Andy for being my 1st Photography Assistant which by the way, at this point is temporary non-paying gig.
Albums | Siena International Photo Contest | PhotoPlace Gallery 2016 B/W Exhibition | Top Secret Waterfront Mural