Vanishing Point

February 5, 2011
Short listed for the Photo / Digital Graphics category of the Celeste Prize 2011 - New York. Vanishing Point will be included in the 2011 celeste.prize catalogue.

Selected for the Latcham Gallery Annual Juried Exhibition: April 2 - May 14, 2011. Opening reception is on Saturday, April 2, 1 - 3 p.m.

Jurors for the show were:
Jack Butler - Artist, Instructor
Anik Glaude - Curator, The Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery of Markham
Maia-Mari Sutnik - Curator, Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario

Selected for the juried exhibition Scapes: February 2 - 13, 2011 at the Propeller Centre for Visual Arts.

This is was first showing of a solo work in a public gallery. The photography and graphics were made entirely possible as a result of my 2009 Utah overland expedition.

Artist's Statement:
Vanishing Point C-Print photographs & graphics - hanging triptych 75 x 100 cm The absurdly straight solitary road that seems imaginable only in the unforgiving country of western America. Linearity extends to the horizon and culminates in a vanishing point. Three photographs taken while in motion from the driver’s perspective provide for the discovery of anonymous landscapes. Yet, with the advancement of digital photo, GPS, and mapping capabilities, precise locations make themselves available to the technologically curious. Utilizing continuously gathered data plus the mathematics of focal length and field of view, each photograph’s companion documents the camera’s perception and point of exposure down to the second, both in time and in space, represented through topography, terrain, and imagery.

For the curious, the data sets below the map graphics are:

09 09 2009     15 23 39     N43 54 29 W112 36 13
10 09 2009     17 56 40     N39 50 55 W114 44 12
16 09 2009     21 21 53     N38 42 19 W110 30 25

These are the exact times and locations of the pictures taken. The highlighted areas are what the camera was viewing at the time. From top to bottom, the pictures are from Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.

As described in the statement, this technique is made possible through modern digital cameras, GPS technology, and online mapping capabilities. When a digital camera snaps a picture, information in addition to the digital photo is recorded such as time, aperture setting, focal length, etc. I took the time data of each photo and matched it to the GPS track I always record into my Garmin GPS device when traveling

The result was exact latitude and longitude coordinates at the precise second I took the pictures. Using these coordinates, I plotted waypoints in my GPS mapping software and exported a .gpx file for each waypoint. I then imported these files into the GPS Visualizer site that allows you to generate maps from various sources based on .gpx files. The map sources I chose were MyTopo, Google Terrain, and Yahoo Satellite imagery.

The final step was to take the generated maps which were created at a size that allowed for 150 dpi resolution, and imported them into Photoshop for manipulation. Based on focal length data recorded by the camera (which has a zoom lens), I calculated the field of view for each photo in degrees. By examining the landmarks visible in the photos, I adjusted the orientation of the field of view triangle. This allowed me to create a mask in Photoshop to use in dimming the areas of the map that were outside of the camera's visible range.

For the output process, I used chromogenic colour printing (C-print) at Pikto to generate the six individual pieces in the installation. The maps were printed on Fuji Glossy paper and the photos on Kodak Metallic paper for that visual depth. All the pieces were then mounted on foam board at Bi-Plane. The installation's hanging device is from Ikea.