Song of the Shadows

Los Angeles area. February 2017.

Self portrait. Downtown LA.

In February, I visited my Great Uncle Dan for a week of photography in the greater LA area. It's always interesting to see what images transpire from these visits with Dan. Though we mostly do our own thing on the street, I feel that somehow he pushes me to explore new boundaries and take photographs that are somehow more genuine.

Thank you, Dan Meylor. It's always a gift.

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Dan Meylor. Downtown LA.

Dan Meylor. Downtown LA.

"Maybe the only thing each of us can see is our own shadow.

Carl Jung called this his shadow work. He said we never see others. Instead we see only aspects of ourselves that fall over them. Shadows. Projections. Our associations.

The same way old painters would sit in a tiny dark room and trace the image of what stood outside a tiny window, in the bright sunlight.

The camera obscura.

Not the exact image, but everything reversed or upside down.”

― Chuck Palahniuk

Thought. Downtown LA.

Distant shadows. LA Music Center.

Thumbs. Downtown LA.

Thumbs. Downtown LA.

Tear. Downtown LA.

Grotesque. Downtown LA alley.

Three figures. LA Music Center.

Three figures. LA Music Center.

Background chatter. Downtown LA.

Obey. Grand Central Market.

Obey. Grand Central Market.

Chess game. Pershing Square.

Pigeons. Downtown LA.

Pigeons. Downtown LA.

Shadow man. Downtown LA.

Shadow man. Downtown LA.

LUST. Downtown LA.

Multiply your luck. Downtown LA.

Multiply your luck. Downtown LA.

Hands. Downtown LA.

Backward glance. Downtown LA.

Backward glance. Downtown LA.

Bottle in a payphone. Downtown LA.

No Parking. Dan Meylor. Downtown LA.

Jacket. Downtown LA.

Jacket. Downtown LA.

Underneath. LA Fashion District.

Look. Downtown LA.

Chatter. Self portrait. Downtown LA.

Corner. Downtown LA.

Fingernails. Downtown LA.

Alley. Downtown LA.

Alley. Downtown LA.

Twelve From 2016

Well, I guess it's about that time to do some sort of retrospective. I felt pretty lucky this year: I got in several trips, including a trip to Iceland with the family in August. I worked for Glacier Bay National Park for the summer season, fulfilling my wish to get a Park Service job in Alaska again (shots from there are absent here as I donated most of the better ones). Overall, I think I expanded my vision in photography and took a few solid frames.

Anyways, here are twelve of my favorite shots from the year. They might not be the best ones, but these resonated with me the most.

Peaches. Los Angeles. February.

Huntington Beach. February.

Manhattan. Self portrait.  February.

Chinatown, Manhattan. February.

Dyrfjöll. Iceland. August.

Iceland. August.

Getting the band together. Iceland. August.

Family. Northern Iceland. August.

Northern Iceland. August.

Adventures on Earth. Queens, NY. October.

In November, I started playing around with digital double exposures.

Foreward and backward. Digital double exposure of a poster and street scene. Boston. November.

December waves. Cook Inlet, Alaska. December.

New Lies

Photographs for unstable truths, dreams, and bullshit

Shadows in NYC.

“My father once told me that respect for truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. 'Something cannot emerge from nothing,' he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable 'the truth' can be.”  -- Frank Herbert, Dune

I've let this post languish unpublished for over a month. I came away from an October-November trip to the US East Coast with an odd hodgepodge of photos that seemed hard to classify. The trip was really never about photography, but if I go to New York or Boston, it's something I really can't avoid. Street photography in Alaska isn't impossible, but there's nothing like wandering big city sidewalks. The trip was really about family. Seeing my grandma who I may not see again because of cancer. Seeing other family members who are thousands of miles from Alaska. So maybe this changed my frame of mind. I dunno. The US election was everywhere. (I got back to Alaska the day before the general election). One thing is certain. Change was in the air, and I felt like I needed to respond.

I think the photos that sort of survived my cut from this trip loosely reflected a larger investigation of truth. I've come to realize that the concept of truth has intertwined itself into my photography over the last year or so. Perhaps it's always played a major role. That's interesting to me as photography has always has been sort of a lie--an abstraction from reality--so using it as a vehicle to explore truth is alluring to me, but it's also a huge challenge. I am not so sure I succeeded here, but this is something I want to continue to explore in the future.

Forward and backward. Digital double exposure of a poster of a woman/street scene. Boston. 

Untitled. Digital double exposure. Boston.

But the show must go on. Manhattan.

Tyranny. Digital double exposure. Boston.

Stand! Reflections on glass. Manhattan.

Untitled. Boston.

Untitled. Digital double exposure. Boston.

The watchers. Digital double exposure. Boston.

All American family. Digital double exposure. Boston.

Missing body. Brooklyn.

Adventures on Earth. Queens.

Make them colorful. Brooklyn.

Glitch. Manhattan.

Dream. Digital double exposure. Self portrait. Homer.

Obstacles. Queens.

Incoming. Queens.

Untitled. Digital double exposure. Boston.