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Nolan Warner-Sullivan

When I go out to make photographs I do not know what I am going to see. Even on roads I walk every day, different people end up in front or behind me as I make my way to and from my classes, the light falling differently across the world as days grow longer or shorter. Many of my friends and fellow photographers understand this way of working and have often accompanied me on long, meandering walks down backstreets and back alleyways with no concrete plan, shooting photos of whatever may catch our eye. When it comes to an audience that is not privy to this style of working however, the visual communication of this style of exploring becomes much more difficult. When talking with people about my work I often get questions like “do you know that person?”,” Did you ask to take their photograph?”, or “Did they get mad at you?” and often the answer to those questions is “no.” I move down the street very quickly most days, making several photographs per block, often moving with no destination in mind as I snake my way across the sidewalk or through a park.


Shooting in this style with a half-frame camera allows for me to print happenstance diptychs and triptychs in the darkroom from physically attached negatives. These unplanned sequences have the ability to prompt the viewer to fabricate non-existent narratives based off of their individual experiences which they bring to the individual images, making sense of their sequence through the precedent of their own lives. This sort of fabrication mirrors both my exploration while out shooting photographs as well as the process I use to select which sequences of images will be printed together as they are paired with contextual and formal elements in mind.

Appalachian State University – BFA