First, I want to acknowledge that there are far more pressing requests here that I hope are answered before mine, and I don’t want to take away from any serious needs from others. If there is any overflow of abundance and their needs are taken care of, I would really appreciate this request being fulfilled.
My name is John and I’m a photographic artist. I create conceptual photographs without the use of “Photoshopping” or heavily manipulating the photograph. What you see in the image is very close to what was seen through the viewfinder of my camera.
My desire is to push this niche as far as possible. In the age of A.I. imagery and in a culture where many commercial and even news images we see have been dramatically doctored, I want to run the opposite direction. The “believability” of photography is one of its most powerful aspects as a medium, and that seems to have been thrown out of the window.
Instead of faking images to make them look believable, I want to craft real photographs of unbelievable visions. I use practical effects, materials, and set design inside of a small two door garage to create my work. Eventually, I want to be shooting this all on film.
A lot of my work carries its own meaning. I don’t want to create things that just look fun. I want my photographs to contribute some value, even if that’s just to one person.
Now I’m at a point in my life where I just want to focus on my craft and create my best work, and share my fascination with experimental photography and my visions with my audience once again. I have all the tools, experience, and space I need to create that work, but the funds necessary to purchase the materials for my work aren’t there. It is a palpably frustrating roadblock, because it seems like the only door separating me from fulfilling this creative vision.
Unfortunately, materials are expensive, but not out of reach. I work with chalk, paints, inks, glass, fabrics, wood, paper, cardboard, plastics, different lighting tools, and much, much more, to bring my ideas to fruition. I have ideas for photos that would range in cost from $50 to fulfill up to $5,000 to fulfill ($5,000 to create one photograph?! Imagine what that photo would look like!) Again, I have all the camera gear I need and I work in my garage, so all funding goes straight into the crafting of a new piece. $10,000 would open the door to dozens and dozens of new images that could finally spark a wildfire in my creative mission. But even $100 makes a huge difference and can allow me to work on a new piece to share with the world.
The photograph above is one of the first I’ve created in my niche of photography. The photograph is taken in an 4′ x 4′ x 8′ high corner that I built and painted in chalkboard paint. The chalk is drawn on the ground and on the walls to create an anamorphic illusion of a cube, in perspective to the camera. If you were to step to one side or another, that illusion would collapse. It’s essentially a photograph about the self-limiting boundaries we place around ourselves, and how a change of perspective can set us free.
If you want to take a look at my work, and even talk about photography, here’s my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/js.dykstra/ (scroll down a bit to see my garage work)
My PayPal: paypal.me/jsdykstra