photography, Western Michigan University

Brandon Smith



Brandon Smith
Art 3470: Digital Photography I
Digital Prints; 8.5 x 11 inches
Test shots for project about the book, “Nobody’s Ever Missing” by Catherine Lacey.

I am going to attempt to visually convey feelings of escapism, loss, and separation. I want these photos to have a very abstract aesthetic and have them portray more of a feeling related to the emotions rather than contain literal subject matter. I’m more interested in capturing the feel or look of this book through a first person perspective as opposed to showing a second person experience.

For this project I have been experimenting with capturing fleeting colors and movement to convey the idea that one person or experience cannot be confined to a single time or place. Mental conditions such as autism or depression are considered as spectrum disorders. This means that the subject exhibits symptoms of a certain illness but the extent of their illness is unknown which means it can’t be quantified. I find this to be a very interesting topic for discussion and one I would like to explore with this project.

Nobody Is Ever Missing addresses the actions taken by a woman who is not satisfied with her life that she once found satisfying. I feel this resonates very well with the constant state of change found in the natural world. Her experience is also very relatable because as humans we are constantly learning and changing.

Some ideas I had for photos involved using muted, washed out colors. I also wanted to accompany these colors with motion blurs and ominous shadows. As far as content in these photos, I want to capture soft textures and shadows as well as ambient lighting. I think this will better show the feelings of depression as opposed to using things like bright colors or hard lines which may give a more harsh emotional response. These images will be medium in size roughly around 8×10 inches.

5 thoughts on “Brandon Smith”

  1. I am unfamiliar with this book, but the particular aesthetic and feeling I get from your images is very surreal and dreamlike. I definitely could see where these would be inspired by a book, and these images do a great job of making me interested in finding more about the original work. Great job!

  2. I like the first image. Colors are beautiful. The movement of the hand well expressed the idea of escapism and the whole image is blurred which emphasizes the abstract aesthetic.

  3. I am also unfamiliar with the book but your description really helps to understand the concept. The top image is a little less abstract with the image of the hand but because of the colors and the abstraction of the rest of the image it works and its relatable to the body and emotion. The colors are very nice.

  4. I really enjoy the aesthetics of both images and the juxtaposition of the blurry motion of the hand with the clarity of the drops on the window. I have not heard of or read the book, but I really like these two images together.

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