Bryan David Griffith
I try to make photographs that seem remembered, retold, or dreamed, rather than documented. I write a curious line from the middle of a story, soak it in mystery, and ask you to complete the rest. The situations are universal metaphors. The subjects are ourselves, and those we love. I don’t intend to show you something new, but to conjure up unexpectedly what you’ve deep down always known. We are often alone in a big world wandering, our destination unclear in a place that’s ambiguous and often absurd. Yet beauty and inspiration also fill that same world, and it’s up to us to accept ambiguity with wit and whimsy, rather than despair. It’s up to us to open our eyes wide, to grab life with both hands and find the wonder in it. Our characters are ultimately defined not by the destinations we reach, but by the choices we make along the way. Thus the figures in my photos are often in the act of making or contemplating such a choice. And I’m ultimately just another person with a camera, inspired by dreams, trying to preserve memories. I make these images in my own wanderings, in my own odd, anachronistic, and impractical way. I photograph without electronics using large and medium-format camera bodies outfitted with homemade lenses that I’ve cobbled together from vintage optical components. The images, along with the blur, diffusion and other effects, are captured in camera on film. I then make platinum/palladium prints onto handmade Japanese paper. This 19th century method is among the most permanent and costly photographic processes, yet yields a delicate translucent print with a unique ephemeral, dreamy quality that complements the images.