My preference for portraits are images that capture people engaged in their daily activities; celebrating their lives, families, friends, and interests. These in-situ portraits hopefully reveal the true nature of the subject
Landscapes are a wonderful way to capture a memory, or document the status, of a place. I am particularly interested in how we influence, alter, and interact with our surroundings. These landscapes hopefully capture these interactions.
found object (n.)
(objet trouvé fr.)
A found object, in an artistic sense, indicates the use of an object which has not been designed for an artistic purpose, but which exists for another purpose already.
The camera, by its nature, removes context, often leading to disappointing results. The challenge for the photographer is to realize, and take advantage of, this characteristic. In this set of images I hope to fully exploit the camera’s natural tendencies. The goal is to create new ways to look at objects; to discover shapes, colors, patterns, and textures. It is the blending of recognizable and new that I hope you will find interesting.
Portrait of a Village
The village of Polkovnik-Serafimovo has a deep and rich history that is closely tied to the broader history of Bulgaria. Historically agrarian, it is currently a village in transition. Several generations of flight to the cities have left an aging population clinging to a bye-gone way of life. While cell phones have become the favored form of communication, it is still common for cows to be milked by hand and yogurt to be homemade. As the village ages the women seem to be the lattice supporting much of the culture.
Each poster announcing a death leaves another home abandoned and another lost link to a lifestyle nearing extinction. The occasional grandchild visiting on summer holiday and the few well-to-do foreigners rebuilding homes for vacations pump a margin of vitality into the village. But this new blood is also emblematic of, and even accelerating, the inevitable changes.
The landscapes, buildings, stylistic details, and history of Polkovnik-Serafimovo tell a wonderful, but incomplete, story. To truly capture the soul of a village you need to know its people. The people living in the village at any given moment define its culture.
I hope my images; “A Portrait of a Village”, offer an honest glimpse of a village truly straddling two worlds. Of course they are only a snapshot in time, and my impressions are biased by my own viewpoint and aesthetic.
Many thanks to the Griffis/Orpheus Foundation,everyone who made this project possible, and most importantly the people of Polkovnik-Serafimovo who have accepted me as one of their own.
This was a somewhat whimsical project. The idea was to juxtapose the beauty, intricacy, and vivid colors of flowers with the bits and pieces of human influence that have been left in the environment. All the flowers were found in the direct vicinity of the "junk" they are photogrphed with