My best friend from high school and I used to play an odd variation on the “what if” game. “What if you had to lose one sense? Which would you choose?” I always cut sense of smell first. Serves me right - I developed chronic sinus problems in my mid-30s which have left me with a very compromised sniffer. But our friendship was forged in art studio, so it’s little surprise that we both held on to our sight to the bitter end.
Maybe it’s because I’m the daughter of an eye doctor, or because I had lazy eye as a child and wore a blurred lens on my good eye for a few early years to strengthen my weaker one, but I have treasured my sight for as long as I can remember. Sometimes when confronted by a particularly exquisite scene, it almost seems to me as though taking it in through my eyes activates and engages all my other senses. On these rare occasions, it’s as though I feel through my eyes.
A few months ago Efrain wrote a wonderful piece detailing the technique for fractured multi-image frames, and I thought this method might enable me to convey my transcendent feeling of seeing far better than my usual, more representational methods.
So, on one of our earliest perfect spring days I wandered around Washington DC with my Nikon F100 and an eagerness to experiment:
With the Saturday morning Dupont Circle traffic
Creating a portal by alternating between two different multi-exposed focus points
And along the canal towpath, where in the midst of the modern city, you can, with the proper frame, time-travel a few 100 years back to a very different Washington D.C.
I had so much fun making these images. Not only do they get me closer to making a still image of my sensation of hyper-seeing, but by layering staggered images or multiple staggered images onto each other, we can reveal a small piece of the wondrous, automatic process that is constantly taking place between our eyes and our brains visible. I see endless possibilities.