We love our local photographers. Their accomplishments never cease to impress us. They are proof that Columbus is a great city for photographers. Hometown Heroes highlights a Columbus photographer that we think is doing amazing work.
The OSU Photoleague, Ohio State’s student-run photo group, just wrapped up their first exhibition of 2013. The theme for the show was Hashtag Your Publicly Private Life, and we were happy to be a sponsor for this forward-thinking exhbit. All the exhbitors for “Hashtag” were undergrad or grad students at Ohio State, and five well-deserving photos were selected as Top in Show. We wanted to ask the Top in Show some questions about being young photographers and to highlight their work. Part II features Shane McGeehan.
McGeehan is an MFA photography student at OSU and one-half of The Dreaming State, his fine art photography venture with Laurie Ann Otto.
Your photos often employ surreal imagery to create dreamlike scenarios. What draws you to this kind of photography? Obviously dreaming is an important aspect of your art.
It really all started when I was young. Growing up, I didn’t have any interest in photography. All I knew of the camera is that its purpose was to capture memories. I suppose I was just never formally introduced to the artistic aspect. Instead, my hobbies always involved the computer, and I spent most of my time messing around in Photoshop at a young age. It wasn’t until I was part way through college that I realized the creative outlet that photography had to offer. Thankfully, I live in a time where my interests in computers and cameras could work together as one. That being said, obviously my work has been greatly influenced by technology and the abilities to alter and manipulate. I do enjoy straight photography, but there is just something so uplifting about creating an image rather than simply capturing it. Over the past few years, my partner Laurie and I have been working on a collaborative series of surreal imagery inspired by many interests: human consciousness, dreaming, imagination, states of mind, and the list goes on. These along with a great passion for storytelling is what truly drives our work.
What can photography accomplish that other art forms cannot?
Most people think that photography just captures what we see, but it goes well beyond that. I like to think that the camera allows us to see the world as it isn’t. A thin slice of reality, a chosen duration of time, an almost impossibly focused perspective. What I find so captivating about the medium is that it has the potential of rendering in such great detail, but allows the artist to have full control over what is seen and unseen. Much of my work, obviously, deals with the manipulated photograph, and that is a whole new branch of the evolving medium.
What suggestions do you have for someone who wants to pursue fine art photography?
It may sound a bit cliché, but the best advice I have for anyone interested in pursuing the arts would be to always think outside the box. Always. People are naturally drawn to the unfamiliar, new ways of seeing. Whether it be as simple as laying on the ground to get a strange perspective, or as weird as manipulating an image into a dreamlike state, I think it is important to train yourself to think on the edge. Be creative, constantly experiment, and most importantly make sure you find happiness in what you do. That is art.
Stay tuned for Part 3!