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The Art of Our Surroundings

The Art of Our Surroundings

Erik Witsoe
January 5, 2020
1 Comment

Simplicity and simple situations that makes me stop and look again often make up my own versions of art. Innocent moments that meant something to me without really thinking about what that meaning is, but having captured it, eases my mind a little with the knowledge that its beauty didn’t go unnoticed and will be appreciated a little while longer.
Shadows that lean towards me and slowly move past the person casting them forgotten and reflections that offer a glimpse into another part of time and memory. Smoke that swirls from someplace unseen and laces the ground that we stand on and solitary figures that become dynamic silhouetted superheroes caught in the middle an empty street. There are so many pieces and fleeting moments that make up my version of “The Art of Our Surroundings” that it seems endless in its task and a surprise waits with every walk around the city.

The idea stems from my daily walks around the city of Warsaw, not really looking for anything in particular, but finding little vignettes of life that move and inspire me to photograph and collect them and presntng them in a manner that is relatable. I am attracted to life and how it presents itself to me as a foreigner living in Poland and often what may seem normal and ordinary is far from it and the differences, subtle that they may be, are enough to take a second, deeper look finding the beauty in them. Color and light are what will attract me to a subject, but not always. Sometimes its an incidental find or situation that grabs my attention or sometimes its a person that intrigues me to shoot. Every day there is something new that brings me to my own art of my surrounding.

Nikon D750 and a Sigma ART 35mm 1.4f
Adobe Lightroom
My process is pretty straighforward. I carry my camera everywhere I go and when an opportunity presents itself, I shoot. For the editing, I use lightroom to import my images from RAW and then do a light edit, color correction, deepen the contrast and sometimes add grain if I am in the mood. I use Lightroom for cataloging my work and to be able to export JPEGS to my computer or online.

People have responded favorably to this project. There is a nostalgic element to my work that often resonates with people viewing them and I think reminds them of something they have seen or a distant feeling that is familiar.
I have learned with this project that it is an idea that has been with me for along time and continues to shift and change as I do. The Art of Our Surroundings is something that is never quite complete and continues to expand. This project is just a little glimpse into a much larger piece.

What makes up your own “Art of our Surroundings”?

Erik Witsoe

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