No. 191

Viewfinder: Joe Western

Patrick Tobin, | Nov 6, 11:00 AM

This new feature is a sister project of “8 Exposures.” It provides an opportunity for interesting people in the Impossible film community to tell us about themselves and the projects they’re working on. This first edition focuses on NYC-based photography student Joe Western.

“I’m 25 years old, living here in NYC. During my teenage years I spent lots of time photographing friends, or concerts I attended, all of which I captured using disposable cameras. I eventually was able to take some photo classes during my time at college, where I became completely hooked after learning the dark room process. While learning more about the history of photography, and discovering different artists, I began finding my own unique subject matter. What I eventually discovered by looking at different artist’s images, was that I was able to relate the most to portraiture, representing a certain time and place… one example being Brassai’s photos of his fellow artists in Paris’ Montmartre district. Another example is Nan Goldin’s work, which is essentially a diary full of personal references. I decided to take a close look at my own environment, attempting to find if there was anything there worth capturing. While searching for my own individual means of expression, I’ve come full circle back to the snapshot aesthetic of my teenage years when I was only using disposable cameras… although now I have a slightly more refined technique, and a more acute awareness of my subjects.

In January of 2010, I traveled to Belfast, Northern Ireland. I created a small photo essay consisting of images made with a Holga during the trip. It was featured on my friend Lauren Curtis’ blog. There are more images from this series in the ‘Belfast/London’ set on my Flickr Photostream

I am currently working on a project of portraits using Impossible’s PX 600 UV+ Black Frame film. The series is still evolving, but very generally focuses on individuals who are musicians or artists of some type. Once I’ve finished exactly 100 images, the series will be completed. Ultimately I plan to present them along side several medium sized prints made from 665 negatives. Next year I’m looking forward to do some more traveling which I hope will bring some new photographic opportunities.”

Special thanks to Joe for taking part! Make sure to follow his Flickr stream for future updates.

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