Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Behind the Lens

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My camera is a mask. It hides my face but offers a window into my mind.

If I’m not literally looking through the lens at the world, I’m cropping the things I see around me into a mental picture frame.  The photos I take allow other people to see through my eyes.  Each photo is a clue to my inner self – whatever catches my attention on a given day.

Photos let me examine the world up close, at my own pace. I can capture a scene and scour it for every tiny detail.  It's my escape as well as inspiration for new artwork.  I come back to it continually as I’m cutting fabric and stitching lines.

I realize that always being the one behind the camera is a way of hiding, too.  I'd like to say I'm just camera shy (which is true), but if I'm honest with myself, it's more about me being a control freak.  If I’m taking the picture, I can make sure 1). I’m not in the photo, therefore I don’t have to worry about how I look, 2). I control everything about the composition and 3). I determine which memories (photos) to keep and which to discard.

I can manipulate the light, pose the figures and tell them all to “SMILE!”.  Then when the moment is right, I click that shutter and a split-second is now frozen in time and space.

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  1. Another wonderful example of your work, Kate. I love the delicate rows of stitching. I appreciate your "control" of the situation, armed with your camera. I do that, too, to some degree. I know the amount of photos I am taking is a barometer of how much I am enjoying myself, but I also notice that if I really want to be present in a moment, I don't want to experience it from behind a camera. An interesting interpretation of the challenge.

  2. Thanks Martha! Not that I enjoy causing pain, but I'm sort of glad this was a slightly uncomfortable challenge for most of us. I started out with the simple idea of hiding behind the camera but the more I thought about it, a lot of other "issues" came to light. As an artist I know I'm controlling and manipulative when it comes to making artwork and with my photos. Hopefully I'm not so much with the people around me.