Moment's Notice Photography by John Martino

Signs of the Times

About Face

Moment's Notice

Shots Abroad

Book of Damian

Self Portraits


We see what we see because it's important to us, because it holds the potential to convey information that may be useful. That face in the crowd you think you recognize on a busy downtown street, for instance, may in fact be that cute new office colleague you wouldn't mind bumping into. Speed limit signs, which can hold so much importance when we're behind the wheel, mean nothing–in fact, we don't even notice them–when out for a stroll.

As a photographer, on foot, roaming the streets, I am trying to notice as much as I can, all the time. That is, I am attempting to visually and mentally convert the world around me into isolated moments potentially rife with information–which I compose, record and, most importantly, make tangible with the aid of the camera. A photograph does not show us the world as it is; it shows us the world as framed, two-dimensional instants of information. The best photographs are unstable: they continuously emit (like a radioactive element) this visual-mental data. From a magical perspective, they cast spells that charm the viewer into attention.

In this sense, photography for me is a means to transform the world, not reproduce it. Although the subjects of my images consist largely of "chance moments" and "found objects" from the world outside, the photographs themselves are works of fiction. As such, their aim is not to document or confirm, but to suggest and entertain. People, places, and incidents depicted in them are used figuratively through juxtaposition, association, symbol, and metaphor. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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© 2008 - John Martino