On Saturday we took the kids to Liberty Station to have lunch at this bakery we like and to play at the park nearby, and along the way I got this, which is the latest candidate for my "Stochasm" series. Now, what attracts me about this picture is the same thing that attracts me about all of the other minimalist photographs I've done lately: lines, curves, colors, textures, and light. I can't help thinking about this one differently, though, because the subject is so obviously what it is, and there isn't any clear way for me to divorce the visual elements from the context implied by the subject.
It's so easy to read the image as simply patriotic, as the upward angle and the lighting and the implication of motion imply a certain majesty--but this isn't really my intention and doesn't encapsulate my feelings about patriotism in general and America in particular, which are complex. I have always loved my country and so much of its history, have been proud to be related to veterans, have had a profound respect and admiration for the idea of America, but as I've gotten older I've become uncomfortable with the idea of nationalism, especially insofar as it gets in the way of relating to others with simple humanity.
None of this complexity is in this image--it is, as I said, an image of majesty and power and awe and beauty. I'm not sure I can even imagine a single image that captures the way I actually feel, at least not in a way that's nuanced and subtle. So I have this quandary: I like this image and think it's beautiful, and insofar as it is a good example of the aesthetic I'm looking for with this new series, I think it works. But I don't think it really represents me and I'm not sure how I feel about what it says, and I'm therefore not sure how I feel about finally including it in the series.
I always hate giving up on an image I like, but I guess that's how it goes with this whole artist thing. I keep hearing that you have to be ruthless when editing your own work, so if something isn't right, don't keep it.
Still, I think I'll hang onto this one for at least a little while longer. Just to see.
This weekend I had the opportunity to contemplate what it means to be within arm's reach of a lion. A sleeping lion, to be sure, but a lion nonetheless--and close enough, and with few enough impediments between me and it that if I had wanted badly enough to know what it's fur felt like, I could have found out.
I didn't, though. It didn't seem... prudent.
[Editor's Note: I've pinned this post to the front page for the duration of the sale, but new updates will continue to be posted below.]
For the first time ever, I've decided to hold a print sale. From today through the end of the month I'll be offering the 18 images you see below, so if you've ever thought to yourself "Hey, I really wish I could own a Mike Sakasegawa print," now's your chance. I'm including images from several ongoing series as well as a bunch of singles. (Note: you can click on each image to see a larger version.)
- Prints are digital C-prints, sized as noted above, on Fuji Crystal Archive paper.
- Prints are signed, uneditioned, and unmounted.
- All prints are priced at $60 US.
- Orders that will be shipped to California addresses will have sales tax applied.
- Domestic shipping via UPS is included in the price.
- International shipping is available at additional cost.
- Orders must be paid via PayPal.
- Rather than printing and shipping each order as it comes in, I'll be collecting orders through August 31 and then submitting the entire run to the printer at once. I expect orders will start shipping in the second week of September.
[Ordering info removed.]
Looking forward to hearing from you!
The morning before my father-in-law's birthday found a big group of us walking along the beach near his house. I miss being up there sometimes, with so much beauty being so easy to find. Sometimes, though, the obvious stuff--the cliffs, the ocean, the hills, the trees--makes us forget to look for the things that need to be found. Things like the sky and the rocks making stripes on the surface of a rippling lagoon.
I decided recently to try my hand at a different way of shooting--what photographer and printer Ctein calls "stochastic photography." I suppose I should rather say that I decided to try getting back into it, or perhaps further into it, since this sort of intuitive, catch-as-catch-can shooting is something I did a lot of when I was first getting into photography. In any case, I'm fairly pleased with some of the results.
It's a little unnerving to be around other artists sometimes. Just after I snapped this, my sister-in-law leaned in and told me that she'd noticed the textures in the rock face, too, as well as the contrast between the orange of the rock and the blue of Jason's shirt, and she'd just been about to ask me to take this picture so she could use it to paint from. I guess the fact that we both saw something means that there was something there.