The Japanese aesthetic philosophy of Wabi-Sabi was born out of Zen Buddhism and emphasizes simplicity in both process and aesthetics. Finding beauty in imperfection and embracing the "happy accident" are seen as paramount. This project is largely a reaction to the work I had been doing in studios (especially product work) that often involves a zillion lights and modifiers and a whole team of people, etc.
So I started setting out into both natural and urban decayed settings with a model, a camera body and a single lens with the goal of just finding what we find, doing a little exploration and stopping to shoot along the way when we find a killer spot or some great light. No predetermined plan, no artificial light, no modifiers, no styling, no hair and makeup (other than what the model comes with already done), Even retouching has been almost completely cut out of the project in recent months.
The work has helped me to rediscover the simple joy of just taking a photo without having a jumble of variables running through my head. It's reminiscent of the feeling I got so hooked on when I first picked up a camera and would just point it at whatever I thought looked interesting without worrying about too much else. The spirit of the project is summed up nicely in one of my favorite quotes from Sally Mann: "I was just taking pictures to see what they looked like. Just for the fun of it. It wasn't about anything in some cases. Some of them were just about the joy of opening up an aperture and seeing what shows up."
Wabi-Sabi is also the subject of my Patreon page where patrons get access to new images posted once daily in exchange for a $1.00 monthly fee to help support and fund this ongoing project. For more information or to subscribe, visit https://www.patreon.com/wabisabi
Wabi-Sabi Portfolio No. 1
I have completed work on the first in a series of portfolios featuring work from Wabi-Sabi.
The portfolio itself consists of 20, 8x10 inch loose prints on handmade Arches Text Wove paper with hand deckled edges. The outside jacket of each portfolio is designed, engineered and assembled by hand, from scratch, by me to further reflect the visual language of the Wabi-Sabi concept.
Each portfolio is 100% printed and constructed by me, and every piece in this edition of 10 is numbered and signed. For purchasing information, please contact Andrew at First Light Gallery in Louisville, KY where you can also stop in during regular business hours or by appointment to view one of these in person.