Sunday morning, March 19th, 2017, I went to a cousin’s brunch. I happened to be testing a new lens that weekend and brought it with me. I might use it to compliment my other lenses for street photography in the future. It’s also an ideal lens for sitting at a table and taking inmate images of people up close without being intrusive.
I noticed my cousin Bunny beginning to relay a story. She was telling it to a few cousins across and slightly to the right of me. Bunny was seated directly across from me. She is very animated when she is relaying a tale. I photographed about a dozen images hoping to get one or two I liked. When I put the photos up on my editing viewer, my reaction was entirely different. What I saw was an old-time film strip or storyboard. What would it look like if I took five of the images and put them together on a single canvas or print? I let my creative instincts take over; I created a complete story on a single canvas using multiple images.
Over time, I showed the print to a few fellow photographers. Their responses were positive and encouraging.
In 2016, LensWork Magazine introduced the Seeing in Sixes project. The concept was simple: create six separate interrelated images. The idea was to stimulate photographers by using this concept. It was a way to jump-start the creative process. They would publish the 50 best projects they received. The submissions were worldwide. Several of my colleagues used the concept to start their projects. A few submitted theirs for consideration. Published annually, the last one was in 2019.
I met with Patty Hankins, a fellow photographer, to discuss my first solo exhibit opening in October 2018. We discussed much, but the one thing she emphasized as a centerpiece or anchor for the exhibition. It was titled “The Color in Black & White”. A black and white only exhibit. Towards the end of our discussion, Patty challenged me to do a Seeing in Sixes project, maybe something that might end up in the exhibition. Since I was familiar with the concept of Seeing in Sixes, I found it intriguing if not thought-provoking.
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