Ashes To Ashes

Photographers have a hard time not shooting and I am no exception; especially in the presence of interesting and abundant situations. Over the course of several years I helped my friend and photographer Jeff Mawer with his photo series of models being hit by and covered in flour. My job was simple enough; throw the flour at the model. Before each shot he would direct the model on where to expect the flour to hit - head, side, back, face, etc., and by extension me, to where to throw the flour. Jumping around, the models would create a ghostly haze around them.

So, it came to be that I would attempt to take photos with my cellphone by manually trying to sync my shutter to Jeff's flash. By doing this I would get shots that were extremely underexposed (most shoots took place at night or at dusk), or way overexposed. There were very few that came out correctly exposed but my goal was not to take a similar shot to the ones that Jeff was taking. The overexposed ones were the ones that interested me. In the darkness completely blown out images would emerge that sometimes took on a humanly shape, or one portion would be correctly exposed while the overblown portion would appear to explode in a cloud of white mist.

In normal photography these would be errors, problems, reasons to shoot it again but if anything, this exercise has taught me was to embrace the "wrongness" of image making - it led to something I've never seen before.