Vertex: Latin word from which our English word “vertical” stems from.
I have never really been a fan of the vertical format when it came to photography. Up until recently, probably 90% of my work has been horizontal. Whenever I put the camera to my eye, I always automatically, without thinking have the camera horizontal.
For a long time, vertical format just didn’t seem right and it wasn’t until recently that I decided to start a project that would include something I love with something I loath. I would shoot the project in vertical format, something I loathed , and the content of the project would be the thing I loved and that is abstraction.
For this project I didn’t want to go full blown abstraction, but more teetering on the edge of reality. As I began to shoot for the project it was quite difficult to train my hand to bring the camera to my eye vertically and also a little strange trying to find nice composition and framing, but like with anything repetitive your body becomes used to it. After a while, shooting vertical format was a refreshing change and I slowly began to really enjoy the process and the look.
I have been shooting this project with my old faithful Nikon F100 because I wanted to utilize its extremely fast shutter capabilities. The film I used was one of my all time favorites… Kentmere 100. This film is so underrated. I love to shoot at f2, so using Kentmere 100 and 1/8000s shutter speed, I can shoot wide open in the sunshine.
I cannot remember the first image that started the project off but I do remember the pair of images that gave me the idea to present them in pairs. I made a macro image of some old paint dripping down. It was very high contrast but the shapes and forms were very rounded.
I had also made an image of a white building. The shape and form of the building looked very similar to the paint but a lot squarer. Just by accident, the two prints were laying next to each other on the floor and that’s when it clicked.
From then on, when I was shooting for this project I was always looking for subjects that would play well together.
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The project began to take on a life of its own. And as I got further into it, relationships began to form between images. I learned that a single image on its own was not as powerful as when two images side by side played together.
I found it interesting how the human mind seemed to fill in the blank space between the two creating a whole new dimension. I spent a long time pairing different images together trying to find the right combination. Some images didn’t want to play but others connected in ways that I would have never imagined.
One of the things I love about this project is that it’s ongoing. I have no time limit. I can continuously keep adding to it as the years pass by. Maybe sometime in the future it may morph into something else. Maybe new images I make in the future will form relationships with old images from the past. It’s always evolving and that is exciting to me.
I have always wanted to collaborate with other artists so it would be nice to try a collaboration on this project in the future. Presenting pairs of images that work well together taken by different photographers. Maybe EMULSIVE could be a host for a communal project? [EM: Sure, I’m totally game!]
Thank you all for taking the time to look. I hope this project has inspired you to start a project of your own. Please feel free to ask me anything .
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Kurt this is so wonderful and I have to say I’ve been stuck in vertical format and creating diptych’s or triptych’s for a while, so I can totally relate. Some images just go so well together don’t they? And sometimes they don’t go together but the sheer difference in contrast of subject matter and line usage between images still makes them somehow fit :-). I find moving to vertical framing isolates things and cleans up the frame easier. I never would have guessed this was on Kentmere100 – now I want to get a box!
Thank you very much. Yes I completely agree with you. You can also have so much fun looking for pairs after the images have been printed, but also looks for pairs while out shooting.
I love Kentmere. I buy Kentmere by the bulk load. It’s so cheap but performs almost like a professional film stock…. almost!
Beautiful work! Love the way you get reach pair to work together.
Thank you very much. It was fun searching for pairs!
Stunning work, Kurt – just my cup of tea. To me your images have opened up an entirely new perspective on a format that I have come to loathe in the past: 2×3, Oskar Barnack’s technically (and not artistically) inspired creation of a century ago ago.
I will certainly give it a try – and yes, your contribution has inspired me. Thanks!
Very kind of you to say. I hope you have fun on a project yourself!