Category: Photography
All This Rawness

There are times when things feel so dark, so black, that there is no coming out the mess. And yet there is. There is always a way forward. A way to make sense of this world. This life. And that way is art. Pick something up. Create. Feel. Love. Be. For if you are not brave enough to feel life as it is with all its rawness how will you helps others remove themselves from the quicksand of Samsara?


Fineart Photography Project about Emotions

About the Photographer

Clarke_Portraits-287x300Clarke Scott is a director and photographer who draws on his years of philosophical education and contemplative practice to tell stories of human potential. With a keen sense for the profound and an honesty of spirit Clarke’s projects often reflect his own concerns for a life well lived.

“I’m trying to capture the essence of how we are. Be it a fleeting moment on the streets of Melbourne, or a highly stylised contemporary portrait shoot, in all my work, and indeed my own life, the search is always for what it means to be. This manifests in those raw and rare moments of vulnerability where we see through the mask we present to the world and into the essence of being. This is what I am searching for. I cannot explain it, really. At least not with words. It is something I feel. And I see it when I feel it.”

Over and above my film and video directing work I also shoot headshot and portrait photography under the banner of Portraits of Melbourne. I shoot actors, corporate clients, business owners, and individuals who want professional headshots for their business websites, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social-media accounts.

But I am very interested in the visual arts as a medium for exploring the human condition and much of my film and video work is about just that.

My first feature film, A Thousand Moments Later (due for release in 2016) explores the notion that love is a choice. That who and how we love is in a large part our choice, not fate! Knowing this empowers an individual.

A shot film I shot in 2014 called, If I had another day is also an exploration into the human condition — looking at grief and hope in particular.

Clarke’s work has been featured on http://www.cinephiliabeyond.org/clarke-scotts-another-day-complex-touching-filmmaking-endeavour/

and The Age run a piece of his work earlier this year http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/monk-turned-filmmaker-clarke-scott-shoots-his-first-feature-film-20150430-1mwowt.html

About this Project

In this fineart photography project I wish to explore emotions. How we hold them and how we deal with them.

The brief for this project is “brief” and I want it to be that way because I want you to bring your own understanding of emotion to the project. I will direct you but it will be minimal when compared to directing someone in narrative film work.

So I am looking for various types of people to be apart of this project. You will need to be willing to explore what it means to be human in interesting ways.

General requirements:

  • Anyone with a genuine interest in exploring the human condition.
  • 18-35
  • Male or female
  • this is a non-paying gig.
  • artistic/semi-nude

I am hoping to exhibit selected photos as a series in the near future – possibly within the coming months.

In exchange for your effort you will get the high-res files from the session along with the final edited and colour-graded selects (copyright will remain with me of course).

If you would like to be apart of this project please send your portfolio and/or reel to clarke.scott@gmail.com and I will contact within a day or so to discuss the project further.

And if you’re interested in such things I recently wrote down some random thoughts about photography as a means of exploring the human condition here.

Below are a couple of examples photos from the first three session of the fineart photography series on emotions.

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Cinema and Fineart Photography

Recently I started a new fineart photography project on emotions.

So I’ve been thinking about this over the past few days: Do Cinema and fineart photography have anything in common?

Can stories of human potential be rendered in the still frame as much as it can in the moving one?

Can a filmmaker also be a photographer?

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The answer to these question, I believe is, …hell yes!!

Win Wenders has published photography books for years. And his film work stands alone as evidence of the former question.

Glendyn Ivin an Australian director, and a source of personal inspiration, has published several photography books from a TV series he directed here in Australia called Puberty Blues.

So yes…there are great filmmakers who are also great photographers but the question remains: is there any cross-over between the world of cinema and photography beyond the fact they are both visual art forms? And if so, how?

I believe the answer to this question is both yes and no. Or rather the answer lies somewhere between the two, and exactly where that is will depend in part of the artist, not the format.

This is true because while filmmaking and photography are visual in form they function differently in how a story is not only rendered but also received. That is to say, both photography and cinema can tell stories and they do so differently.

Here is how:

Moving images are dependent on a relation between other sets of images for context and meaning, and a viewer will relate to these images as such. If no further information is supplied confusion will ensue but a filmmaker can also use this device as a method to deliver a big piece of information later on. Either way, we are always aware that if we missed something in a movie, more information may be coming to fill in the missing pieces.

Photographic images, however, are less dependent on further information outside of the frame itself. And importantly the viewer is cognizant of this fact during the viewing experience. Confusion may still occur but someone looking at a photo is aware of the fact that no more information is coming—even if unconsciously so.

Understanding this is all the information supplied provides the viewer with the task of filling in the informational gaps themselves—even if unconsciously so.

However, it is not as if photographic images must tell a complete story or have all the information in that single frame to tell the story. No.

Sometimes it is the case, for instance the picture below, that information is deliberately left from the frame because the artist (in this case Todd Hido) wants the viewer to fill in the missing pieces from their own experience rather than searching for some obfuscated meaning.

One might say that a picture must have enough information to tell a story but not, the story. And I think for this reason a directors creative motivation is as important as her/his aesthetic when it comes to the telling of story, because it is these motivational forces driving the creation of art in the first place, and this can lead us towards any intended outcome of the artist.

So if cinema is storytelling with multiple pictures positioned in a certain and very deliberate sequence, and photography is storytelling with an image that may or may not be related to other images (if said image is part of a larger body of work) and both have utility with regards to shifting an audiences perspective cognitively, is there really a difference between the two?

I believe there is for photography affords a greater space to linger over an image — to muse; to ponder.

In my view this is the power of photography — at least from a fineart storytelling point of view. That is not to say, this cannot happen in movies. It can. It does. But film delivers information over a longer time-frame and therefore is engaged by an audience differently. Plus, if it is true that meaning is relational in film, then the images must be less nebulous than they are in photography.

Perhaps we could draw a rather loose analogue with prose and poetry here. Film is to prose what photography is to poetry? That does not seem too long a bow to draw! Right?!?

Either way, photography gives a viewer the space to fill in those gaps from their own experience—to wonder and wander over and about a piece. Couple this with a degree of self-awareness and we learn something about ourselves from the experience of viewing the photograph. Not just from the photography itself but from the experience of experiencing the picture. It is as if the experience of engaging with the image shifts consciousness and it is this that takes beyond mere entertainment, just like poetry. At first we may experience the mere beauty of the words but as we wonder we begin to see meaning beyond the words. The meaning is found through the act of trying to find meaning.

Cinema on the other hand leads a viewer along a path of understanding. Like a philosophical argument it’s outcome to predetermined by the its author. And the author leads as carefully from pone point to another along a path of understanding to said outcome. And it is the relational nature of film itself that gives cinema this power.

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As I mentioned above, to some degree, I see my film and photography work a little like writing a novel or a poem. Both are special to me. I want to create both. One is a lot more work than the other but in a very different way. Both allow me to tell stories of human potential but do so in a very different way.

I love about both but for very different reasons.


Fineart Photography

As you may know I have started to shoot headshot and portrait photography via Portraits of Melbourne.

As part of this venture into shooting photography I have started to shoot a little fineart photography just to balance the commercial work with something that is done purely for the sake of art. (BTW I’ve got a article I am working on about the purpose of art from my point of view. Keep an eye out for that one.)

I’m not entirely sure what I will do with these pictures right now. Maybe a book? Maybe an exhibition. Perhaps both? I don’t know.

The series is all about emotions. How we live with them and how they hold us.

It’s an ongoing series that I will shoot over the course of the next 12 months or so.

But this being my first fineart portrait series I am not entirely sure what to expect but I am loving the experience of finding out as it all goes along.

So far I have shot three female actors for this series. Each actor has brought their own energy to the shoot and this makes every session a little different.

Below is from the first shoot.

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Soul Searching

I heard someone recently use the phrase, “it was a period of ‘soul searching’ in my life.”

It struck me then….right then, that my entire life seems to have been a period of “soul searching.”

Why?

Because as I’ve fleeted from one idea to the next, from one project to the next, I’ve been searching — searching for something but not really understanding what.

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For the longest time I thought I was searching for what I was doing with my life — my ideas and the projects that came from these ideas.

And truth is, some days my ideas and projects were just a joy! And I thought there was meaning in what I was doing. I’d want to tell as many people as possible about them.

Then some days nothing worked. It hurt. I wanted to hide.

Other days were just uncomfortable where all I could do was hold on as life spun.

I see now that what I was searching for was meaning. Not just the what, and not just the why but, …WHY!

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It has taken me a long time to really understand this. And I’m certain there is more to be discovered.

So I’m here to say that the mistake I made comes when we look for meaning outside of ourselves. We try and find meaning in what we do, or who we are with, and who we think we are.

But those that seek meaning outside of themselves find only emptiness (and do not mean shunyata). This was Satre‘s final “discovery” and it sounds as bad as the philosophy it is.

True, a meaningful life does not come from something external to yourself. There is nothing “out there” that provides you or me with meaning.

Some will think, Clarke that is BS. My life has meaning. My kids give it meaning. Love gives me meaning.

To which I say, nope. You’re wrong.

It is not your kids that give your life meaning but something in you, and in relation to your kids, that gives you the feeling of purpose and therefore meaning. That is to say, it is not the kids doing this to you.

Same for love — if by love you mean something external to yourself. If you think that love is something someone gives you, you are on a course set to a destination called, disappointment.

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So we, you and I, need to stop looking outside of ourselves for meaning. It is not there. But where Satre stopped we must continue if we are to have a meaningful life.

All of that is to say that meaning is an inner thing.

We need to bring meaning to the world. To our work. To our relationships. To how we love. Indeed to how we live.

Only then will you and I find meaning in what we do.

My life’s journey has been about first seeing this, understanding this, and integrating this very idea.

It’s tough.. I’m still trying.


Street Photography

Along with a new camera that has a “silent shooting” mode I went for a walk on Saturday. Walked along way. From one side of Melbourne to almost halfway home in the suburbs.

I got one picture I liked in six hours and it’s not that great. I like it but it’s only mediocre imo.

Street photography is hard, man. Really hard! Why? Because entering the personal space of a stranger with a camera without making them feel uncomfortable to foreign to me. I cannot say I enjoyed it all that much.

I love looking at street photography but, I’m not sure I will spend much time doing it moving forward.

It is, however, something I’m glad I forced myself to experience.

 

Helping a Friend

Old man reading a romance novel

Old man reading a romance novel.

Old lady collecting free fruit.

Old lady collecting free fruit.