JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

b&w images • blog • project journal

(placeholder)

Revisiting Easter Island Exposures – from a street perspective

Feb 18, 2020

Above, what I can only call: Approaching late dinner at what turned out to be a very nice, if expensive, Japanese restaurant with great food – 2016. We had spent a total of three years there without braving this place – fortunately we were being treated to dinner on this occasion. This was a quick iPhone shot as we entered. And, or course, if only I had realized that I would be taking a long look at this kind of thing eventually.

In our total of three years on Easter Island, my shooting perspective evolved from purely scenic to indulging a greater interest in people, albeit from a scenic guy's view. At the same time my focus was turning from the goal being the fine-print to one of completing the story for the book(s). Now, with a couple of years of shooting street and performance B&W here in Havre de Grace behind me, I find that what I am looking for, or finding in my images, is very different from any of this.

So I'm revisiting my over thirty thousand Easter Island exposures – in a half-organized way of course. Attempting to work backwards – beginning with our 2014 and 2016 trips where I did most of any shooting just for fun, many with the iPhone. The books were finished and these were shorter trips, to see people, deliver books and just return to our home away from home. The shots were taken for the blog at the time and for personal consumption – a color record of the project. In fact, many of these appeared in my Rapanui Journal at the time (in color of course). A few higher resolution RAW exposures were made, primarily by me grabbing Nan's point-and-shoot, but not many. A few more were taken with my camera leading up to more formal exposures. This is something of an experiment.

I'm not sure where this will lead – if nothing else possibly, eventually, to a third eBook volume of Island work. While the second book included a larger percentage of shots of people, I wouldn't define them as "street photography". Any new work on the images will arise out of my present perspective, including some more performance shots (mostly from outdoor community celebrations we attended).

For now these will simply be blog entries – most of them, like today's, evoke Island anecdotes. I'll start off by calling them Rapanui Journal Moments, and see where this leads..… 

On knowing what you are looking for…

Over the years I've come to understand that knowing what one is looking for matters, bigly. For example, if you are shooting for B&W, "shoot" for B&W, mentally dismiss the color, don't just shoot in your color RAW and hope to get a good B&W out of it. You are looking from a different perspective. Sure the exposure has color (noise) in it, but that is irrevalent. It's values, composition, contrast, geometry, etc. The same thing is true about how you treat your subject matter in processing. I was on the Island to do a "portrait" of Easter Island "at a point in time". That perspective allowed me to complete the project as defined. The images I'll be including in this series were mostly taken spur of the moment or for the journal I was keeping on line, coming closer in perspective to the kind of work I'm doing now. The point is that, just like with B&W and color, two perspectives don't mix.