Essence, Emotion, and a pinch of Whimsy to taste
BRYN FORBES.... EXPLORATION VIA PHOTOGRAPHY
Bryn thinks of himself as a breadth person, and that translates into his many varied interests. He works with photography, mosaics, sculptures, digital paintings, and mathematically generated art. He is passionate about architecture, wildlife, people, the ocean, the complexity of cities, and the patterns of life. These topics are reflected in subjects of his art work.
Bryn has been shooting since elementary school (having started with a 110 disc camera), then became more deeply involved in high school and college shooting color slide film and black and white print film with Canon EOS SLRs. Currently he shoots almost exclusively digitally with a range of digital SLRs and a significant array of lenses (which between 1/2lb and 10lbs are a struggle in the wilds of Africa and Australia).
Some of the projects he's been working on:
Blur Campaign series
His "painting with a camera" evokes images of the real, yet softened, reality found in nature. His landscapes and seascapes capture the motion of the scene in a way that redefines still photography. These images, taken with a slow shutter speed, involve moving the camera while the shutter is open, to intentionally blur the image. Objects that are staying still relative to the camera stay somewhat sharp. A photographer friend of Bryn's once commented while Bryn was spinning his camera, "If I didn't know you, I'd think you were a crazy person" given the gyrations Bryn was going through in order to spin the camera fast enough to blur in bright light. Another photographer friend calls it the Bryn Dance. Some of the images are shot while moving, others are on a tripod with the subject moving. Because it's an imprecise method, the discovery of what has been captured by the camera's sensor is half the fun for Bryn.
Bryn enjoys trying to capture images that people haven't seen before. One way he does this is through the use of a camera that has been modified to filter out visible light and only record infrared light. This gives a nice high contrast black and white look, that represents the world in ways our eyes aren't used to seeing. The green of plants is recorded as bright white, while water and blue skies are often deep black.
Bryn has been exploring the mathematical world of fractals since high school where he was introduced to the artistic possibilities by his calculus teacher who hooked up a video camera to a tv and pointed it at the tv. This picture of a picture infinite recursion is similar to how the math works for calculating fractals. The output of an equation is fed back in to the inputs of an equation. Because there is an element of chaos, albeit ordered, Bryn likens the artistic process more to exploration than creation. There are so many parameters to the core equations that can be tweaked, often with minute changes having drastic effects, that it's a matter of following paths that seem promising, letting the computers calculate for weeks, and then curating the results. The mathematical range of values are then mapped to colors (e.g. low values which might be represented as dark gray in grayscale, are made to be orange, and bright white could be made to be blue). Bryn loves the serendipity of the discovery of the image, as well as the discovery of what people see in the images. He has also worked with fractals to make entirely digitally fabricated landscapes by mapping the fractal outputs to height rather than color, and then rendering in 3d software.
Bryn builds physical mosaics out of objects mostly found on ebay. For example, his 4' x 7' golden gate mosaic is made out of approximately 5000 lego mini figures. He is working on mosaics made of dice, hotel key cards (donate yours to the cause if you're willing) and ikea tea candles.
Bryn hopes that you will find, along with him, that photography opens our eyes to the beauty, complexities and simplicities of life in all its dimensions.