What does it mean to explore? Does it mean to travel somewhere brand new for the first time, or to push the boundaries of self-comfort and actually pursue that little idea you had? To recognize that there's more than you already know and understand but be courageous enough to challenge the idea of it? Curiosity motivates the desire to explore and this project challenges the viewer to see things from an alternative perspective.
Prior to the inception of this project, formal portraits were taken of the subject in order to understand the true matter of it further. When you spend hours looking at something, you build a unique relationship with it. You are no longer glancing at it, you're observing, thinking, analyzing and building connections. You become attached and develop an indescribable bond with an object only you can understand. That is, until you look at it from a different point of view. This, however, is nearly impossible. You need an outside element to flip your perspective. Once that original connection is built, it is incredibly difficult to change one's relationship with the subject. Even if you want to desperately see and create something new, you'll always bring yourself back to what you're comfortable with.
This project would not have been possible without the use of a large format camera. This tool forces the user to literally see the world in a flipped perspective. When I initially set out with this project, I knew I wanted something different and exciting. I was beyond frustrated with the camera and subject at first. Nothing was working in my favor. The image was upside down, blurry, dark, uneven and flat out infuriating. I had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that I had an idea and I knew something was there. Through perseverance and patience, I was finally able to get the situation under control. When I finally got the subject and light just right, I felt like I had just summited a mountain. I had for the first time in a long time, witnessed something brand new for myself. The way the animal skulls were illuminated, I felt like I was a child again. I was free to roam this newfound world wherever my curiosities were taking me. There was a whole microcosm of a world within a place that I thought I completely knew and understood.
We may think we know everything there is to know about a particular subject because we spent significant time directly interacting with it. The truth is, no matter how much we think we know and understand, there is always more to be discovered. It is personally up to ourselves to never be satisfied with what we have accomplished. To stay curious but most of all to be daring enough to go back and learn something new.