Contact Sheet: Blooms in Motion

Using just a bit of camera motion while taking a frame can send a photo in many different directions. From the mildly edgy to the wildly abstract, very small movements make a lot of change. Here my goal was explore the different ways that a little bit of speed and different approaches to focus and shutter speed affected the final image. 

One thing that became apparent is that showing just a little blur was much worse than going overboard - it looked more like a mistake of craft rather than an intentional artistic move. I also found myself enjoying those where there was more of a clearly defined single element around which the background moved. Achieving this is quite difficult because it requires keeping the camera at a very steady plane while rotating the camera and moving it through while hitting the shutter. But it was worth it to learn a new method.

Contact Sheet: Japanese Gardens

In these contact sheets I've tried to capture the harmony and serenity of the Japanese Gardens at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens while cutting down the noise of the intense crowds that were only ever inches away. You'll see them in some spots, but my goal was to recreate the 'peace by design' that evolves throughout the seasons here.

Some are 'classic', some are experimental, but all try to build on the designs that the garden itself is built around: reflection, space, flow, and clean lines.

Contact Sheet: A Doggie Wedding

Contact sheets aren't common in digital photography, but they were a staple of the film days. They were an expression of a photographer's method and intent and a way to interact with editors and art directors. If you haven't yet discovered Magnum Contact Sheets, you are missing one of the most extraordinary treasure troves of photographic history and lessons. Go buy it.

But the most important lesson from using contact sheets and watching how masters went to work is how they approach a scene: deliberately, patiently, with a vision but intent to experiment. Maybe the sheets contained a portrait session with a few different moments and poses or very different perspectives on a march as it progressed down the street. Or maybe they told the story of how a photographer would take 'sketches' to understand the scene and then focus in on one element.

And so I've attempted to re-create a little bit of that "contact sheet" feel here with a series featuring a few different stories explored through different perspectives.