Sterling Just
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"Distilled" (2019)

The goal of this project is to focus on form within site-specific photography: patiently seeking the best composition and subjects to represent four sites. I was inspired by photographers like Alsel Adems, Albert Renger-Patzsch and Minor White, who have a way of distilling an image to simplicity through formal elements and composition. I wanted to use the slow nature of film photography to force myself to slow down, asking how I can distill each site into forms and subjects. The sites are: (1) Engineering Hall; (2) Mosse Humanities Building; (3) Nature; (4) State Street. All photos were shot on 35mm Ilford 400 B/W film.

"Found Object" (2019)

This project was done as a part of my site-specific photography class. The first part of the assignment was to find an object, and photograph it in its envornment. What is it? Where did you find it? Observe it. Observe its character. The second part was to make a change to it, and photograph it in a different habitat. Make changes. Imagine it in a new way. Display it in a different light. The object I chose is a book I came across on the Free shelf of my favorite book store. All photos were shot on my DSLR.

I was drawn to my object because it stood out all black and nameless on the shelf. Inside were pages with quotes and advice. You Can't Afford the Luxary of a Negative Thought reads the title page. The book is a self-help book for people diagnosed with a "life-threatening illness". It it filled with optimistic passages with chliche inspirational messages, but there are some nuggets of philosophy. Exactly what I needed. Some pages are annotated and marked. It belonged to somebody. I like to consider who has read it, annotated it, and how it has impacted their life.

Part 1

Part 2

The second part of this project was to make a change to the object, and to photograph it in a new location that relects that change. For my object, I decided I would add images to the book. I made a cyanotype out of a black and white negative of a photo taken in the store where I bought the book. I also collaged some pictures that I had found in the bookstore and inserted both pieces into the book. In some sections, I crossed out text to make new meanings for existing sentences. The final setting where I chose to photograph the book was outside. The book first presented itself to me outside on a cloudy day in the city. By photographing the book oustide on a sunny day in nature, it

"Mayhem" (2019)

Mayhem is a narrative photo series based on the movie and novel "Fight Club". Fascinated by photography's ability to tell a story without words, I always wanted to do a series that conveys a story with only a few images. Mayhem shows the dream-like transformation of a businessman to a public enemy, aiming to correct the faults of corporate America by unleashing Project Mayhem. All photos were shot on 35mm Ilford 400 Black and White film. Double exposure was done with enlarger on luster paper.

"The Grand Tour" (2018)

The Grand Tour is a collection of photographs and scanned objects from a summer I spent backpacking in Europe. I scanned mementos like postcards, maps, and ticket stubs to preserve their material sense of character, and paired them with images taken where I acquired them. Arranged as such, this project represents the organized chaos of our travels and memories. The goal of the series is to emulate the sense of sentimentality that our minds ascribe to objects in an effort to preserve the memories associated with them. Often labeled as "trash", our mementos serve to remind us of experiences as our memories fade. The images are arranged as pages in a book, the first image being the left page, the second the right, and so on...