Statements and biographies are always a hard thing for me to write. In one instance I can be feel akin to the gaunt bohemian screaming ‘The inner pain of my burning soul is expressed through her enigmatic smirk while the juxtaposition of the sun and moon shows …oh pick a noun'; whilst later I’ll be shocked by such stretches that the rather grounded individual is more of the flow I prefer. Needless to say, I’m simplistically complex, half-heartedly cynical, mostly jaded, and conveniently eccentric.
I picked up my first camera around age 6 or 7. I’d like there to be some fantastic and inspiring story of how I took some random photo, found inspiration, won a lot of awards and my life went from there. Truth is, I didn't. My first camera was some little 110 film camera that when pressed to my head looked like a visor from Star Trek™. I’d occasionally take pictures, proudly show my parents the genius of my creation - to which they completely supported - but in actuality the images would usually be “eh”. At best. The only thing I could do, retrospectively, was compose an image and frame it rather well. I only had this trick because my mother and brother were artists and we three would draw together sometimes. They produced materials suited for show. I produced materials suited for the condescending refrigerator placement with an exclamation, “Aww honey, I love it!” of false sincerity. Ever tried to bring home art projects of menial quality to a master-class artist? Doesn’t really go over well no matter how hard they try and lie through it. But, I persevered and promptly stopped pretending I had talent. Instead, I waited for nearly another decade before another attempt at anything artistic.
In 2001 I went on a birthright trip to Israel. It was fantastic. I would love to go back – except when I was there I had armed guards, escorts (of the governmental variety), and people who spoke Hebrew surrounding me. But the scenery was phenomenal. Before I left my friend let me borrow her camera. Going through El Al security with a camera you barely know a thing about – not a good idea. They were convinced it was a bomb for probably a few seconds as I stumbled to try and remember my friend’s last name. I eventually gave them the last name of her boyfriend. Worked for me, worked for them. Once there, I burned through some 20 rolls of film in 10 days. Had I had a digital camera like I do now – I would’ve easily of taken 20 gigs of images. But I digress. Needless to say – since then I have stuck with the camera.
Generally I’m supposed to talk about my work now. I started with two very distinctly different styles I shoot in. Typically my black and white work is very traditional and classic. I rarely edit anything in those images that cannot be done in a dark room. If I could manage it, I’d still work these images in a dark room. However, that’s entirely cost prohibitive and terribly inconvenient to my television addiction.
In contrast, my color work typically is pretty out there. A good friend of mine, Patrick, once called it “the dark weird shit”. And it kind of is. I had one image, of my little sister – a sweet girl, put into a show and shoved in the corner because it “frightened people”. Not my fault giant yellow eyes creep people out. I thought it was an awesome image. And after all, it was in the show.
Having taking classes and explored my photographic side throughout the years, I found myself once again working with nature. I owe this rekindled spirit to one of my favorite photographers, Trey Ratcliff of StuckInCustoms, and his tutorials on HDR. I've enjoyed this expansion and revisited my former photography professor's passion of "street photography". And I'm trying to revisit my brief tryst with infrared photography - again thanks to my former professor. All in all, it's becoming even harder to describe my style - as I'm not sure I even have one.
Anyway, that’s kind of me. Please email me if you have any questions! Michael@Intotheskylight.com.