It's blasting Winter outside and I am making macaroni and cheese inside my warm and cozy apartment. I boiled the water, cooked the noodles and I was just about to reach for the butter when I snapped this photo. I liked how the chopped stick-o-butter was reflected in my toaster. Yes, I know my toaster is looking a bit shoddy. If anyone wants to buy me a new one, feel free!
Photo By: Harmony Motter
This is in my kitchen! I think he is reacting to your toaster! Photo by Richard Sayer.
Can't remember if I had posted this photograph before. This came out of a fairly large body of work i did while collaborating with Renee Zettle - Sterling back in the 90's while we attended Edinboro University. We made thousands of photographs, mostly on B/w Tri-x film which I developed and printed myself. These were mostly used for references for paintings I was working on for my grad school thesis. Not many of them were really intended to be strictly photographs, but a few became that. This one for instance I feel I couldn't improve on in a painting, I know I sketched out a quick drawing of it, but the background somehow needed to be changed to work for my thesis and it just never came together. The photograph was stronger than the painting. That age old argument - is photography art? Well... I really don't care if it is, but sometimes a photograph is stronger than a painting ever could be, so in that thinking photography stands on its own as something incredibly important and if it is not art--then it is certainly an equal to it and I'd argue strongly that it is perhaps more important than all the other art mediums--at least when practiced by people who give it the care and dedication of a professional or and artist. Photograph by Richar
I like to see things that come in patterns. When I look back at my work I see similarities of work done at certain times. And I see similarities of work done at different times. This is a little of both. The three portraits done on the bottom of the above were all taken at different times over a roughly 10 year period. Recently I put them together in a 'three'. Ed Kashi published a book a year or two ago called "Three" where he made these connections between photographs he had taken at different point and places in his life. An interesting concept. I have been playing around with the idea myself and its fun looking back to see how I have changed or how I've stayed the same. The above shot was taken today - its a snapshot really of one of the most important instructors and friends in my life Chuck McCleary. Chuck is in town to cast some bronze portraits he has made. I met up with him today as he was venting the wax molds in order to get them cast later this week. I made this picture as sort of a funny snapshot of my friend and when I looked at it on my computer I saw the three portraits I had put together only yesterday or the day before and saw a similarity that I found interesting. I'm forever fascinated by how patterns occur and how everything we do, consciously or subconsciously seems to influence everything else we do. It was a treat today to see my ole friend Chuck. Photographs by Richard Sayer.
We got a pretty good snow storm again so today I was out looking for people cleaning up or doing something snow related. I saw this guy out side shoveling in front of a house with a little boy and thought this might make a nice feature--both work and play in one photo. I got noticed so a complete candid wasn't going to happen so I went up and chatted with them. As it turns out I knew the man, Dave Buttray who used to work with my wife. As we were catching up his son Kyle wound up and let a snow ball(a chunk actually) at Dave. This was the only one I caught(and it was from the hip) where the Dave wasn't aware it was coming ahead of time. I liked how Dave seems smiling and unaware that he's about to be hit in the head with the snow--and Kyle was very acurate. A few moments later it was my turn to be a target and he nailed me squarely in the lens! I wish the chunk of snow was a little easier to see--then I'd like it a lot more, but it still makes me smile looking at this and knowing what is about to happen. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer.
I began drawing a number of years ago these pictures of people holding signs--sort of like picket or protest signs. But the drawings posed philosophical questions or statements not usually seen in protests. I briefly began working with this idea in photographs, but admittedly didn't stick with it long. I made this image a couple years ago now and just developed the film this past week. It was made with a Bronica on 2 1/4 film and then instead of scanned or printed, I just shot a picture of the negative a couple hours ago with a micro lans and my D90 digital camera. I'm not sure if I'll do anything with this image or the idea again--probably, but, in any event, it was and perhaps will be something that interests me in my work. I certainly still ask myself this question. Below is a picture I took at an anti-Obama rally with the same Bronica on my day off from the newspaper. I wasn't at the rally, but I was walking through the park with the idea of photographing the rally in a much different way than I usually do when working for the paper. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but I wanted to make a minimal amount of frames, and just get a feel for what this event was about. I stumbled upon my neighbor at the rally and he had a provacative sign and I made this one frame portrait. If this was shot digitally I probably would've shot several frames, but this day I was thinking one frame only--old school. This too was in the film I just got developed and I did find it interesting that these images were similar in many ways--and yet polar opposites as well. I think I was actually thinking about protest signs and that might be why I went to this rally on my day off with the medium format camera...though it was a couple years ago and I'm not 100% sure. I do remember seeing my friend Jim there--he was working for the paper that day---probably wondering why the heck I was there and shooting film. Photographs by Richard Sayer
Today I had some time on my hands and felt like mixing some images together. This is what I came up with. Richard Sayer and I are having a show in June and we have decided to call it 'Inside.' I am currently working on pieces for that upcoming show. Sometimes I spend hours on these pieces and really don't care for them much. Other times they just fit. When I wake up in the morning I might toss this in the trash or I may just sorta kinda love it. Not really sure yet.
Photos By: Harmony Motter
Being a photographer, I think that it's a good idea to renew your self portrait from time to time. This photo was taken yesterday in my backyard at the beginning of Winter. When I look at my own self portrait I think of a song by Tori Amos called 'Winter.' The lyrics move around in my mind..."Snow can wait I forgot my mittens...Wipe my nose, get my new boots on...I get a little warm in my heart when I think of Winter, I put my hand in my father's glove."
Photo By: Harmony Motter
I have to admit, I'm sold on digital photography. Even though I'm old enough to have been brought up on film, digital allows me to spend more time at events and less time on the processes of developing film. But in that also lies a problem. Part of what I've always liked about photography is the unexpected happening. Film was great for this. A couple years ago I bought a cheap camera called a Holga. Its about $35 or $40 for the camera. Its just plastic and it leaks light and there really isn't anything technically good about a Holga---but thats what makes it such a good camera to have. I still don't really know how to get the most out of it and the majority of the images I've shot with it have been poorly exposed--way out of focus and just downright a waste of film. But when things were right, they begin to get interesting and I can see where making images with one can be fun and create some cool stuff. I had about 5 rolls of film I shot over the last two years and I finally decided I wasn't going to find or make the time to get into the darkroom to develop them so I had a lab do that for me. Now I'm going to go through them and see what I have. I found this portrait I made of Lizzy a couple years ago in my first go through of the negatives and thought I would post it as todays feature. This certainly wouldn't be client work--for the most part--but its fun to see what happens with a different and old process every once in aw Holga photograph by Richard Sayer.