Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The Beauty Of Lines: Mark Grantham
'Photography is about capturing textures, patterns, shapes, tones, color, light and lines. The sum of all these attributes makes a photograph worth looking at.'
Omar Upegui R.
This past October photographer Bill McClaren introduced me to his work with CaSon MacBride and he Michael Puff's work with Damon Mahoney. Both CaSon and Damon are dancers and and in front of the lens were pure magic.
What a spectacular gift then to find that CaSon and Damon were photographed together by one of my favorite chronicler's of movement, photographer Mark Grantham.
I first posted about Mark's work over two years ago. I was immediately drawn to his work as he is a master at capturing moments of movement. When I think of Mark Grantham I think of space. Mark's work is not just about the body in motion it is equally about the space in which that motion occurs. If you have ever found yourself alone in a large empty space something magic often happens. I don't know about you but when I have been all alone, completely alone in a gym, a church an office building I begin to act, to move in away I would not do if the eyes of others were upon me. I run, I dance, I sing loudly. I am sure you have all had a similar experience. This feeling is powerfully freeing. Alone or with someone you trust in a large space, a warehouse, inhibitions disappear and the magic begins. It is precisely this feeling that Mark Grantham captures so exactly, so beautifully.
'I approach each shoot with an eye for creating art... for creating something unique... for making the model shine... for grabbing the attention of the viewer... for creating a bit of mystery or wonder... Each of us is unique, so why create the same image over and over? '
One gets the feeling from Mark's work that spending a day with his camera inside, in a studio would be a chore....but, if he took that same camera outside his creativity would kick in. Now this creativity would not generally lead to shots of lakes and bunnies. Mark captures his models not coming out of an ocean but instead in something more man made, or maybe more specific man made an abandoned. His models would be coming out of a abandoned structure or within a building, once seen as architectural perfection, now seen as outdated and old. I cannot say for sure, nor did I ask Mark, if the location he chose for shooting CaSon and Damon was actually a long abandoned warehouse or a well dressed studio. I actually don't want to know. I prefer the feeling that the artists skill, along with the beauty and movement of his subjects created a change. Somewhere abandoned, lonely and dead, even briefly, for a moment....was brought back to life.
'They did all the work and I just ran around trying to document it in some why that would do justice to the magic they were creating.'
This was Mark's forth shoot with CaSon. 'CaSon is a dream to collaborate with! Not merely handsome, and with a great body, he is graceful and imaginative. He is a dancer, an actor, a goof, and willing to do anything for a shot.' For this shoot CaSon suggested bringing Damon along.
"I'm not sure CaSon ever brought a stitch of clothing to any of our shoots, other than what is on his back, which works for me - I'm all about the model and not this year's fashions. I don't think I've ever met a model so relaxed and comfortable in his skin as CaSon. CaSon and Damon know each other from dancing in the same ballet troupe together. Actually they're both in several dance groups, but have this one in common. Damon compensated for CaSon's lack of wardrobe by bringing several bags of things we might use, from clothes to robes, ballet shoots to combat boots, swords to guns...
While we worked a number of the props into his solo images my work of the two of them together was about their lines and the movement and grace they brought to the day. Individually they are both amazing, and together they are out of this world. The day was about creating - creating dance and creating images. One of them might suggest an idea or a part of the building to explore and before you knew it they were improvising around the concept. The temptation on my part was to just watch the amazing show they put on, but I had to keep pulling myself back to the camera and creating something to try and do justice to their artistry."
'Out of this world' certainly fits this incredible shoot. The last two shots are my favorites and so perfectly capture the 'textures, patterns, shapes, tones, color, light and lines' Omar Upegui R described in the quote used at the beginning of the post.
Thanks so much Mark for sharing your shots of Damon and CaSon with FH!
Be sure to check out Mark's official site HERE:
Check out CaSon MacBride on MM HERE:
You can also preview and purchase Mark Grantham's book featuring his work with CaSon HERE: