photography, Western Michigan University

Brandon Smith





Brandon Smith
Art 3470: Digital Photography I
Digital Prints; 8.5 x 11 inches
Images 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.

9 thoughts on “Brandon Smith”

  1. These images are very strong, however I don’t think your colour choices are helping to put across the feelings of loss or separation. Things like that aren’t soft, they aren’t coloured with calming colours. They are harsh and dark and more violent than light blues and violets.

    I do get a sense of escape from the colour choices here, but the feeling most put across by these images is disorientation for me. So it makes me wonder if this kind of escape is the type that anyone would really strive for? It seems dangerous and frightening, almost like when you are high off something and you lose control when you don’t expect to. It’s a helpless escape that is hidden in a mask of calm and a sense of the carefree.

    That being said your image of the feet is my favorite. I like the movement that the use of light is creating. It has a very liquid feeling to it. A beauty in the feeling of the unsteady beneath a part of you that you never want unsteady ground to exist.

  2. I love these images! Although they aren’t your tradition “in focus” images, they still give enough information to tell what we are seeing. It is almost like we are looking at the world through a haze. You definitely captured the feelings of being lost and escapism and such. Nice work!

  3. This is an interesting concept that you are working from, and I feel that your images portray what you what to bring across to your audience. The out of focus in the images are unique and add to the idea of separation from reality. It would be interesting to see this project grow and how you approach the different aspects of your concept.

  4. I am really glad to see some out of focus images on here. These photos seem like art to me. I think its the way you have observed colors it does seem like what Alex said about looking through a haze. Has a very polaroid or film look to it. The top image is my favorite because of the range of color and the space, for some reason that car being in the corner really adds some sense of escaping.

  5. These images are spectacular. The fuzziness makes it feel very dreamlike while still beautifully disorienting and the hue combinations are gorgeous.

  6. the blurriness of the images does convey unsatisfactory and detachment to life. The focus of the photo becomes the color spectrum and the technique which you have used, instead of the content. The first image is definitely my favorite with what you have done with the colors of light. Very interesting theme overall, and definitely a challenging one to capture.

  7. Wow. These are great photos! I have been working with a similar aesthetic, but in manually developed black and white prints. My photos are blurred, unfocused, and generally abstracted as well, but I am extremely interested in the color employed in your photos. The viewer is given enough information to recognize a basic scene, but any details are ambiguous and inaccessible. You did a great job of capturing the emotion you were looking to explore.

  8. Even though these photos aren’t in focus you can still tell exactly what you are looking at. The first image is beautiful with its use of color!

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