Mystical Motion: Brooke Shaden

I first discovered Brooke Shaden’s work a couple of years ago when I saw that she was doing joint workshops with Miss Aniela. I remember thinking her images were like illustrations from a story. I didn’t bookmark her site, but I happened across her work again this morning and was still just as fascinated, if not more so. Her latest photographs are filled with the elegance and grace of a dancer. She creates these surreal fantasy worlds, of which some are disturbing and some are beautiful, but all of them are complex and intricate. I find it interesting that, although she shoots with a Canon 5DMkII, a lot of her images are cropped square. In the latest On Taking Pictures podcast, Jeffery and Bill talked a bit about whether or not the format of the photograph makes a difference in how photographers see, compose and photograph their images. Shaden uses a square format more for the sake of the viewer than herself, thinking it will help pull the viewer into the world she has created. “Within the space of a square frame, I try to build a world that is undeniably separate from the one we live in,” Shaden says, “What fascinates me about any artistic medium is that it can pull the viewer out of a logical and common world, and place them within a space that is more alive. When I use a square frame, I hope that the viewer will forget that they are looking at a photograph and instead see an alternate reality, one that mixes painterly qualities with surrealism and fantasy.”

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[via My Modern Met]