PROJECT

ANGELS WITH DEMONS

Is there a direct relationship with torment and seeking the will to create art? or are we creative first, and then tormented as our demons seek to destroy us?

I’ve always enjoyed what Francis Bacon paintings do to me (the Irish one). The first time I saw an exhibition I had to sit down right away – I couldn’t move. Time stopped. The paintings pulled me apart. I felt similarly when first seeing some of Francesca Woodman’s photographs. To me, Francesca Woodman is to photography as Francis Bacon is to painting – seems logical in perhaps an obvious academic comparison. Well, whatever I don’t know about them I’ve fallen for the capture of motion in their dark worlds. The ability to capture time at a slower rate than it passes is one of the more useful tools a camera can offer up. I’ve felt like describing my profession this way many times – stopping time for a living.

So, what to do when you want to take a portrait of a friend and gear and lighting is limited? You slow down time over and over and see what happens and do everything you told your students never to do – copy Francesca Woodman. Now I think about it, does it matter anymore if it’s right for whom you are photographing at that moment?

My friend, a New York artist, has survived many harrowing times – I’ve learned over the years, and layers of personal data is embedded into our friendship. Even if these images parallel or are influenced by Woodman and, or Bacon, if you can’t exercise demons through art, then how would you?

 

It’s A Family Affair

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Sherry MacLean, the CFO of the MacLean Agency, a Princeton based insurance agency (Business & Personal Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Wealth Management) contacted me to talk about a series of corporate portraits of the entire team. There were many sets and groupings to meet all of their needs. We set up a simple portrait station for the corporate portraits – and then tried a more casual approach for a second image. The light in the main lobby was so bright all we needed was a reflector to bounce a little more light onto the subject. We alternated backgrounds depending on contrast  – so there would be a variety, either wood panel or white wall. Either way we’d get the tone I’m all about.

I am loving this approach of different crops, textures, eye contact or none for this series – I think it’s such a smart approach to corporate portraiture. Perhaps I had in my head that things needed to be the same – but they don’t, after all we are all different – how could they ever be the same.

The featured image of Sherry and Jerry MacLean (founder of the agency) is something that came to mind on the way to the shoot. We had discussed a two shot of Sherry seated and Jerry standing, as well as Sherry standing and Jerry seated – but would they let me throw tons of paper in the air as well for a concept image? Heck, why not – these folks were fun! I think I may have got the flying paper in the first shot – but it was so much fun I wanted to do it again and again and had more and more paper repeatedly thrown.

Special thanks to my very experienced, and hard working crew:
Dwayne Dunlevyhair, make-up and styling | Diana Mooreassisting and styling

 

 

THE WOOD CUTTERS

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Meet the Willard Brothers, Steve (left), Matt (center) and Glen (right). Sam Willard started a tree service company in 1950 that became Shearer/Penn. Steve and Glen are brothers and sons of Sam Willard. Matt is Glen’s son. Willard Brothers has a showroom of exotic woods for making furniture or turning, or anything you can think of.

 

Carnival

Every May the Upper Makefied Fire Department organizes a carnival in Washington’s Crossing, PA. It really brings a bit of excitement to the usually sleepy village. I’ve been looking forward to photographing the carnival for ages – what a great subject ! All the spinning machines, flashing lights and bright colors. I did several timed exposures during my visit. Low ISO, tripod of course, f/13 or so and 6 second +/- shutter.

TRENTON PUNK ROCK FLEA MARKET

Time lapse from dawn ’til dusk in the Historic Roebling Wire Works building in Trenton, NJ. I was asked by the Director of the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market if I would be interested to make a time lapse of the event. At the site visit we settled on the best location for the camera to have the view be interesting. Since architecture is a such a feature in this building we framed the shot to be 2/3 rds architecture, and the lower 1/3 where the action would be.

One of my favorite parts about this time lapse is seeing the light, how it moves, how it changes color. There are quite a few unknown variables in projects like this, and sometimes, the unexpected results are more than you can imagine will be recorded.

SPECS. Time lapse was recorded on Saturday November 9th, 2013. trentonpunkrockfleamarket.com – We set the camera to take a shot every 30 seconds, from about 7:00 am until about 7:00 pm. This timeline translates into approximately 1600 images. Here was my starting point with the basic calculation. One shot every 30 seconds X 10 hours = 1200 images (divided by 12 frames a second) =  one minute 40 secs – or thereabouts. (I think I got that right).

IN SPACES

JZA+D is the Princeton based architecture firm, Joshua Zinder Architecture and Design. Both Josh and Marlyn Z., (Partner and Director of Interior Design) brought so much creativity to the table. We did a series of traditional staff portraits on white seamless, and this series we called ‘IN SPACES’. During the shoot we’d zoom around the building’s industrial hallways and rooms to produce a set of natural and available light portraits for all the staff.

It felt like we were working with a group of models for a fashion shoot. Everyone was so patient and cool to work with. I’m really pleased with this set. This series illustrates that a group of staff portraits can be different, perhaps they always should be.

Hair and make-up by the talented Dwayne Dunlevy.

Andrew Wilkinson

HAIR + MAKE UP

I’m always thrilled when Zanya Spa Salon calls for a photo session. They are so organized – down to the most minute of details. Everyone on set works so hard and is an absolute perfectionist – constantly reviewing and editing as we build and work to create the images they like. That said, there is a massive amount of room for creativity the entire time – we try poses, styles, lighting changes until we feel we’ve done everything possible in the amount of time we have.

The final edit for the client is for their Blow Dry Bar, their clients can pick from a number of blow dry styles. We also did a series of make up looks. The edit posted here is very different to the client edit. The client edit was in color and the series matched. These few images, I worked with in black and white – there was just something about them that I liked.
Hair and make up credit: Zanya Spa Salon, Lambertville, NJ

SENIOR PORTRAITS

Senior Portraits, Trenton Central High School, Trenton NJ. The students pictured are leading a campaign with NJ Assemblyman Reed Gusciora to raise awareness about the dilapidated state of Trenton Central High School. I was invited to photograph students in the conditions where they are expected to learn every day and decided to stage Senior Portraits like no other. The place is frightening – condemned rooms, ceilings falling down, and rain water leaking in and collecting into stagnant, ignored puddles. It’s hard to believe this is 2013 in America, and that students, teachers, and administrators work in this toxic environment on a daily basis.

Andrew Wilkinson

SPLATOGRAPHY

Random Acts of Splatness is series I’ve enjoyed collecting. Mediums include paint, oil, coffee, berry sodas – and things I have no idea what they might be. These accidental action paintings are typically discovered around convenience stores, and some city side walks as well. Once you start looking out for them, they are hidden in plain sight like so many things.

I think many artists and photographers become custodians of particular subject that interests them in their personal work. They collect, arrange and organize their collections to make sense of it – if they don’t already know why they are doing it, and what it may mean to them.

What comes to my mind when the evidence of a splat is left behind is – how did that happen? was someone clumsy, distracted, or bumped into and lost their balance, or did that brimming 48 ounce slush master just become to slippy to handle. Accidents happen or is it the spirit of the road commanding a libation.

 

 

 

Poppies by Andrew Wilkinson

KALEIDOSCOPIC

Dangerous Blossoms was an art exhibition at the DR Greenway Land Trust in Princeton NJ. The concept of the show was to display invasive and poisonous plants – I really loved the idea and was thrilled to be asked to participate. I re-worked the poppy series I began a while ago. This time I think I did a better job with the process.

This series titled ‘Kaleidoscopic Poppies’ is a study in simple flower photography and digital manipulation to create patterns from the base image. The same image, mirrored and folded digitally multiple times produces designs as if seen through a kaleidoscope. I always loved the colors and twisted wiggly stems of poppies. I set out to create my own set, but with a twist – and came up with some fun titles as well.

One of things I really liked about this project, in particular the ‘Be A Wall Flower’ image was the idea to challenge traditional composition. The flower image is cropped intentionally to grow out of the right side of the frame. When I did that, it made me feel like I’d been a bit square and ordinary with previous compositions. Glad I learned that!