For this assignment I asked you to look at photos in a new way: as physical objects. In our digital age, this requires a high level of conceptual thinking and often a significant time commitment, so I applaud all who made the creative investment. The act of making something with your hands flexes different parts of the brain than photography’s act of seeing, and using your hands also helps widen the eye. The best entries deployed surreal and psychological themes to convey what would be impossible to capture with a camera alone.
STRANGE WAYS: I was delighted by the wide range of materials used for this assignment, and nobody surprised me more than Ivan Lesica. A piece of coral dipped in water, brown sugar, and tin foil are all in his creative toolbox, and they were used to create new works of art— not as window dressing on top of prints—expressing a sophisticated surreal sensibility. (Try saying that phrase five times fast!) Joe Chowaniec used a simple piece of wax paper to create a nostalgic landscape, and Heather W. combined a salt rock lamp, plastic butterfly and LED light to startling effect.