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Brian Lesser

Photo dilettante who probably shouldn't post here, but...

I have always been fascinated with what photographs seem to reveal about what was occurring at a certain time. I think they sometimes challenge our abstractions, take-aways, and simple beliefs or stories about what happened or the meaning of being in a place or with a person in the past. The details of a photograph may remind us that what is, or was, will always be "other" and stranger than the stories/beliefs we tell and carry with us. Or, at least that something was left behind. They seem to give us an opportunity to look again.

But then, "Photographs, which cannot themselves explain anything, are inexhaustible invitations to deduction, speculation, and fantasy." - Susan Sontag in On Photography

My own work, such as it is, often involves coming across, or returning to, a place or circumstance that attracts my attention and then assembling a collection of images of it into a grid, collage, or composite photograph so that several moments in time can be seen together.

While the cubists have textures in their work, the photo-like details of what they saw are gone - perhaps in the service of the overall design and move to abstraction. One challenge with combining photographs is creating a sense of design/composition so that there is both a strong visual continuity across frames and clear photographic details.

My interest in this began as a first year Photographic Technology student at Ryerson University when Rob Gooblar asked our photography class to shoot an entire roll of film of a scene from one viewpoint and print the contact sheet (ie individual shots to make up a distorted panorama like this: ) Later, Hockney's joiners brought me back to collage and thinking about cubism and time. I'm still experimenting, when I can.

I don't plan to quit my day job.

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  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada