About the Art
I, like most people, am very visual. In school I was captivated by drafting, and for a long time wanted to be an architectural engineer. The form of buildings enthralled me, and I arranged to take extra drafting classes. By the time I finished high school, that dream was gone, but its echoes remain to this day.
I had grown up traveling, mostly from Connecticut (where my family had settled) to Massachusetts (where the rest of our family remained). While in high school I received a Kodak Instamatic 126 camera for Christmas, and immediately broke convention in my photography. I quickly graduated to my father’s Nikkormat, which shadowed me during a year’s study in Mexico. But it wasn’t until years later that I purchased my own 35mm SLR and, shortly thereafter, learned photography.
I still love form, and also patterns. My perspectives are standard perspectives: almost all my work is from easily accessible vantage points.However, I like to deconstruct my subject, or otherwise record it in a way different from how it is normally seen. Time exposures at night andalternative processing techniques help me to achieve this, but my favorite mode of photography is using infrared film. Recording the near end of the infrared wavelengths, the two films I use record images very differently, allowing me to choose each based on the subject at hand.
Infrared film records light not perceived by the eye, nor by the camera’s light meter. Thus, it is ‘a shot in the dark,’ a paradox if you will. It demands pre-visualization by the photographer, based on the light and the materials present. Exposure is educated guesswork: the final result is part planning, part luck. Almost invariably, the final image is a yin-yang vortex of energy, the fire of living matter against the deep void of nonliving objects. Or vice-versa, with water an ever-changing chameleon playing across the film like some tireless trickster. The energy thus captured misses our normal vision—a reminder that the universe is deeper and more magical than we normally comprehend.
Christopher McMullen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently lives outside of the city. He is a facilitator with the state, conducting training programs in diversity as well as working as a mediator. He has a B.A. in international relations and an M.B.A. in management, and has been studying process work informally for four years. When not traveling or taking photographs, he enjoys movies, reading, and listening to an eclectic range of music. Ice cream figures prominently in his life.