RYLAND: If Not Later, When?

I feel like I've taken a break from really creating for the last few years. It wasn't specifically intentional, but nothing seemed to inspire me. When I was living in Hawaii last year, my friend Dylan said to me, 'I can tell that Hawaii has been good for you and your creativity.' And upon reflecting, it truly was a golden time. I was so inspired by the people I was surrounded by daily, the colours of mother nature, the strain and struggle I could put my body through to take the perfect shot halfway up a mountain. My work grew exponentially and I explored types of photography that I had never previously been drawn to.

A similar change in my work happened while I was in Europe. Being surrounded by the ghosts of my favourite artists seemed to reignite a new passion for a new type of photograph. It helped me to critically look at my work and reach a higher point of clarity about what the hell it is that my work encapsulates and why. Not only that, but I felt more inspired by light and colour than ever before. 

Recently I've been inspired by Robert Mapplethorpe. This inspiration only grew after visiting his current exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales a couple of weeks ago. In How To Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, he recommends to find an artist and then pick three more people who inspired that original artist, creating a sort of family tree. So along with Mapplethorpe, I rediscovered a love of Warhol, Man Ray and Max Dupain. I've also continued my fascination with film and moving images, as well as the split-second moment you capture, as the viewer, when you pause a film. My Pinterest is rife with cinematography that I love. Most recently, I've found immense inspiration in the cinematography from Call Me By Your Name dir. Luca Guadagnino. There are hints of all of this in these photos, try and guess who/what inspired each image.

When you photograph commercially 99% of the time, sometimes it is nice to step back and actually craft an image instead of capture a moment, which I have since learned are two very different ways of shooting. 

Thanks to Ryland for being a pal and being patient with me for these images. We shot over an afternoon in St Kilda after literally a year of trying to organise a date which was mostly my fault for being out of the country or state so often!

 
 
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photographyCarolyn West