Photographer Easton Plourde combats the idea of beauty and challenges us to feel something
Easton Plourde’s photographs are as evocative as his artist statement. “Where does the mind wander when we daydream. A limbo of conscious and unconscious. Some daydream thought of abstraction. Knowing that deep down everyone and everything carries a presence. Compressed energy, more than we can understand in this three dimensional world we live in. For art is about the movement one makes in life. Defined souls leave behind the most unique footprints but rarely follow the heavily tread path.”
See more of Easton Plourde’s work on instagram at @eastondavidplourde and at http://www.eastonplourde.com
Following is Easton’s photo series “Janus” taken on instant film.
1. Where was your series “Janus” shot at?
At Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s grave site. It’s a small, old cemetery that lies just outside Bowdoin College. Surrounded by towering pine trees on historic land, that always peeks my interest.
2. Did anything inspire “Janus”?
A lot of changes have been going on in my life and I was getting lost in the middle, this grey muddy water. Some things in life are out of your control but in the end a choice is made, for worse or better. So I started looking at what really matters to me in my life and trim the rest out. Janus was a Greek god; typically depicted with two faces. He was a god of doorways and new beginnings, choices and change. He often would argue among himself for he had two heads. So in my piece I wanted to depict the lighter wall I would face, the grey confusing middle , and the darker doorway to change. The lesson being that not making a clear choice can be exhausting and complicated. Something that I learned all too well from shooting in black and white.
3. There is a haunted quality to the photos, made more so because they are hazy and somewhat out of focus. How did you achieve this effect?
With instant film it’s all dependent on the model you have. Not just the model but the exact camera you have. Older models have wear and tear to them, and it’s important to shoot to your advantage. I always take a few test shots to find out what I like and what I don’t like, then I compose around that. I shot Janus on a Polaroid Onestep 600 that I happily borrowed from my friend Laila who’s also a photographer. My advice, trade cameras, maybe you just haven’t found the model that suits you best.
4. What got you interested in instant film photography?
I remember when I was a kid, that first time you see a sheet of paper pop out of a strange bulky box. Everyone huddles over and watches. Intently looking, “Did something go wrong? I don’t see anything.”. Then then like magic the image starts to appear and it was pure instant gratification. I still remember that the Polaroid was saved for special occasions; because as kids, my brother and I could use up a pack in less than ten minutes.
5. What projects do you have in the works that we can look forward to?
“Why photograph?” I had this question on replay in my head as I was driving around. Over and over I just kept asking myself “but why” as I passed by a block in Portland that used to be a small Mexican restaurant that I would visit from time to time. Now stands a towering building of new condos on the market. I said to myself, “It’s about preserving the history we love.” It’s such a simple thing now that I say it out loud but finding and feeling true love can be tricky. It simply is just a feeling that you wait for. Lust is easy to photograph, the sunrise/sunset, the girl on the beach drinking a tropical beverage, the expensive car in front of the mansion. I want to generate a deeper love for this city of Portland and preserve why so many of us fell in love with it in the first place; before it all changes. It will be a self published book in monochrome (not just black and white). I hope to have it done in the next coming months. I want it to inspire others to look at their town a little closer and find find the quirks and characteristics that make it unique because you never know how long it will last.
Alter – Analog