22 April, 2009

Fine Art 105

Well, all right.

I've been on a bit of a tear about political miscrescence lately, and perhaps struggling a bit to bring these into line with the subject of this journal. This has been noted to me by more than one correspondent in recent weeks.
"...well and good, but I don't usually think to go to RSE as I read the Times, and it's good that you try but it doesn't work the other way round any better."
I appreciate that LS, so I'll stick scrupulously to rope this week. Well, that and maybe a dash of fine art.

Many people have commented over the months on the little image to the right of this post - "Puzzle Piece". That was a photo that was planned to happen with a particular photographer a lot sooner than it actually did, but what came into being in its stead are several excellent artistic and personal connections I now enjoy, including with my co-conspirator in "Puzzle Piece", the real subject of that image, of whom you see a little more than half (to guard her identity). However, the photographer, Michele Serchuk, and I had worked together before and come up with some beautiful and unlikely successes in unusually difficult locations. It seems the last thing Michele and I will ever do is shoot anything under well-controlled circumstances, but much good in my life has come of the initial impetus to get dirty in front of her lens.

I was already well-acquainted with Michele's work when I heard from a then-new friend I'd met at BondCon (back when that event was being held in NYC) and with whom I'd played several times, that Michele was interested in photographing us doing what we were still figuring out we liked to do together. The location would be a crumbling truck garage in the meatpacking district (now desperately chic, but then prelapsarian); suspension points would be what one could scrounge, and motor oil was guaranteed to be pretty much on everything. Several of these images have become calling cards of mine since, and this next one evinces especially well the spirit I like to bring to all such proceedings:

Michele shoots medium format on very high speed film (ASA 4000+) to get the splendid granular detailing (always poorly reproduced on the Web) using available light. The picture above was made with the help of a small clearstory admitting southern light - I could barely see anything myself and discovered thereby for the first time that tying in the dark is good fun.

The images below were made in a stairwell with what came in through a single skylight. There are many better examples available at her website. In the meantime, however, the following are shots from that first session for which I preserve some serious affinity.

With thanks to my dear LH.

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