©Christian Åslund, from the series “Honkey Kong”
I’ve been following Christian Åslund, a Swedish editorial and commercial photographer, around the internet off and on all semester for a social media marketing project. In addition to learning that it is really hard to learn anything about an established photographer by their social media presence — Åslund maintains very small presences here and there around the web — I’ve had the pleasure of seeing from very good work form this guy.
That is a cool picture. I kind of want to be her right now, as long as I can ignore my ridiculous fear of heights.
The project of his that made me laugh, though, is called “Honkey Kong – a photographic tribute to classic 2D platform video games.” The whole series is a playful and colorful, and an example of how drone photography is changing our available (and expected) photographic perspectives. The whole series is available at that link, but here are a few of my favorites from the series:
I love the way the woman’s face on the screen plays with location and distortion here – it reminds me of the feel of reading 1Q84.
Bird on a wire. Simple, graphically strong, fun. This project was shot for a show company called Jim Rickey – I love it when advertising imagery is smart, fun, and technically skilled.
As for social media as a photographer, I’m still figuring that out. Many successful photographers don’t use it at all. Those of us just staring out don’t have that luxury. It is so easy to be obnoxious. repetitive, derivative, boring…it’s a lot to think about and plan. Very little of the class I took this semester was applicable to photography, and there wasn’t any kind of platform for class discussion, so I didn’t get nearly as much out of it as I was hoping. Fortunately, there are lots of photographers out there who talk about social media. I think for a while I want to get back to the basics –
Posting so I remember to watch later. This video was shared by an instructor in my program from whom I have not yet had the good fortune to take a class (next Fall, with luck), Sean Perry, in one of his posts on the blog of Elizabeth Avedon. Copies of The Life of a Photograph can be found on Amazon, or in used book shops if you’re lucky.
My work this semester has distilled down into a series of diptychs; blurry, personal work concerning my relationship to time and identity. They draw deeply from self-work I am doing.
I’m really happy with how the series came together, artistically. I am still a little nervous about the departmental portfolio reviews, but then, I always am.
While I have orphaned yet another 365 project, it was a very fruitful undertaking. Carrying my camera all of the time, and putting myself under constant pressure to catch something every day allowed me to see some threads that continually run through what catches my attention.
I need to sit down and polish my artist and project statement. While that is always challenging, I’m finding it especially so for this series. This work is very personal, in addition to being a series of self-portraits. I’m finding the line between enough personal information to provide context and meaning and so much that it becomes didactic and droll hard to maneuver.
I’m not entirely sold on the diptych format, but I think it is the best compromise given the display constraints of the print show. Given creative control, all ten images would be printed large, and then hung in the appropriate order.
One of the things I find most interesting about this series is the pairing. I did not know that I was taking matching images, not consciously. I kept having the nagging feeling that I was missing something when I was editing and trying to select images, and it didn’t click until a class discussion where there was debate over whether to include the landscape/glass shots, or only the self portraits. I knew that the glass images were necessary, but it wasn’t until last week that it suddenly became clear why. Art is a mysterious process.