Tomorrow night a photography exhibit opens called Test Shot: Unintended Portraits, which includes a photo of mine. The show, hatched by photographer Saverio Truglia, features the kinds of shots that normally don’t see the light of day:
These unintended pictures are the consequence of technical or artistic trial and error. They’re often lighting, styling or posing tests that lead toward the intended result of a photo shoot. They can be dismissed as “test shots”, however when judged on their own merits, these off-beat portraits can be so compellingly ambiguous that they challenge our best artistic intentions.
The photograph above is one of my entries that didn’t make it into the show (you’ll have to visit the exhibit to see the picture that did make it in). Why is it unintended? Under normal circumstances, if you were on assignment, photographing the honorable mayor chatting with the local alderman, and you noticed a distracting background element you’d recompose and take another shot. Your photo editor in most cases probably wouldn’t appreciate seeing the hair of a hidden young girl flowing majestically down the mayor’s back in a sassy rat tail. Then again, I guess it depends on the editor.
The opening reception is tomorrow night at 1821 Lofts, which will also be hosting an open house.
Test Shots: Unintended Portraits
Friday May 17, 6-10pm
1821 W. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60622
Join Opera-Matic and the community for an evening of musical migration as we celebrate Humboldt Park in spring, a place we all come to find our way. Humboldt Park’s namesake, Alexander Von Humboldt, was a naturalist, a geographer, and an explorer. This community spectacle uses the inspiration of Von Humboldt to present the natural areas of Humboldt Park’s lagoon and the theme of altered migration through creative geography and public participation.
Bring your friends, your family, and your flashlights for this special Humboldt Park lagoon twilight get-together. The paths around the Humboldt Park lagoon have been activated with unique beacons of lost light. Come whale watch a whale who can’t move from its spot, track a lost moon who can’t stay awake, and blink your own S.O.S. to a zeppelin pilot stranded without flight. The Lullaby Parade, guided by lull-a-bikes and a flashlight flag corps, tour the lagoon’s lost light spots, and find community in the process. Come be part of our joyful night time parade, powered by people and song.
Last month I drove to Indianapolis to photograph 14-year-old genius Jacob Barnett, for a feature that ran in last Sunday’s London Times Magazine. The pictures accompanied an article by Louise Carpenter titled Is Jacob Barnett the next Einstein?, which profiles Jacob and his mom Kristine, who just published a memoir about raising him called The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius.
You can witness his charm, wit and intelligence for yourself as he discusses creativity and quantum mechanics at this 2012 TEDx talk.
After scanning a bunch of black and white negatives from the past, I was inspired to start shooting and developing film again. I shot this picture in the loop a week or so ago, developed the film in my sink yesterday, and just scanned the negative. HP5+ in D-76 (1:1) for those of you playing at home.
Hyde Park, Chicago.
I shot bassist Harrison Bankhead earlier this month at the Hideout, as part of my improv portrait series. Harrison was warming up before a gig with Hamid Drake, Dave Rempis, and Mars Williams.
A good place to be.