Creating & Looking :: An Experiment with Two Photographers by Rebecca C

I’m interested in the differences between the intention of the artist vs the reception of the image by the viewer; what the artist puts out in to the world and what we, the viewer, receive.  To investigate this idea I’ve asked two photographers, Michel and Deena, to choose a work of their own and write a little bit about their purpose in creating the image and/or some background about how the particular image came about. I asked each of them to write  about what they saw in their own image and then to exchange images with each other.

Once they received the image from the other, I  asked them to write their thoughts about the other artist’s work. I asked them how it made them feel and how they read the image, a gut reaction and not a critique

This is what Michel and Deena shared with me about their own images as well as their initial thoughts about each other’s images.

I would like to thank both Deena and Michel for participating in this experiment.

Deena’s thoughts on her image:
My way of editing is very unconscious most times. I see things and make note of the intention for that image. Working within the squares is what I think of first, and secondly, the image that will overlay those squares. This image was made after spending a weekend with my two siblings. When I started making the piece, I always start with the content of the squares. I make sure the images won’t be too invasive once I’ve added the overlay. My sister has an infectious smile. For this image I knew I wanted to make an image to reflect that while creating a piece that tells another story within each frame. The starkness of snow scene with its minor details of trees and power lines worked for this piece as an overlay, adding story elements without detracting from my original intent.

Michel’s thoughts on Deena’s image :
The photograph is musical.  I first sense the count, the numbers involved.  The four images, three frames, two overlaid pictures and the single composition.  The square frames measure a melody of lines.  There’s a catalog of linear elements, straights, arcs and scratches, wiggles and woggles.  This melody plays across the scene looking for an anchor, an alignment to hold on to.  The anchor it plays to are those tones, the larger scaled human form that rests so quietly.  Finally, I see two different spaces, the perspectival depths of the lines against the flat human tones and their shared fragile tethers

Michel’s thoughts on his image:
There’s a found horizon line which sets up two spaces in the photograph.  One space harbors solid forms and bodies the other is ephemeral and fragile.  Between them lies a tension.  That tension is described in the fragmented and reflected pieces, an altered third space, a new layer beyond that horizon.  This reflected view is what holds the picture still, a glimpse of the unexpected, if even just for a moment.

Deena’s thoughts on Michel’s image:
Black and white and architectural. The element I find myself gravitating toward in Michel’s imagery is not always shape, line, and form but the space between what he sees. This image feels as though there is a dialogue happening between the two buildings. Being pulled upward by the lines and feeling the balance. One  building seems almost transparent and yet the viewer can see the reflection in the other building’s façade. The words chosen to accompany the images always provoke my imagination.

You can see more of Michel’s work on G+ // twitter // Flickr // Instagram and Deena’s work here.