@1614 Mark Waits from christopher hunt on Vimeo.
Mark Waits shooting in the Wichita Mountains in Southwestern Oklahoma.
Photographs by Christopher Hunt from the @1614 Film found at the top of the page.
The main body of my work is straight-forward, black and white fine art photographs of forgotten and overlooked places and things. My aim is to create a visually-interesting portrayal of the character of a subject as opposed to merely making a document of that subject.
My approach to making photographs is simple: I drive down small highways or dirt roads, listening to old Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen records searching for some gritty thing to catch my eye. I get a thrill when I see a rusty car, grafittied train, or clapboard church and instantly know how I want to compose it. I grab my camera and immediately get to work.
It's a great feeling when the lighting is just right, I've positioned myself perfectly, composed a strong design, and captured the essence of a subject.
But that's just the beginning. Editing is every bit as exciting as shooting. Reviewing all the images of the day or week, zeroing in on that one that I want to hang on my wall, and making final adjustments; that's when a picture becomes a photograph.
Then, as it comes rolling out of the printer I get tremendous satisfaction that I was able to search, find, capture, and create an original piece of art that can serve as both a simple wall decoration as well as a record that tells us something about our culture.
I was born in southwest Kansas in 1979 but have primarily lived in Stillwater, Oklahoma. After graduating from Oklahoma State in 2001, I worked in marketing and website design at SST Software. In 2007, I married my lovely wife Brandi and the following year we welcomed our son Jackson into the world.
I became interested in photography at the age of 26. My mother was interested in photography and enjoyed taking travel photos on road trips with my dad in Colorado, Utah, and the American Southwest. In 2005, I drove to Lake Tahoe, California for a friend’s wedding. It was a 7 or 8-day road trip and thankfully my mother convinced me to take a camera. Right out of the gate, while still in Oklahoma, I was searching the landscape for interesting subject matter and my passion for photography was born. The creative outlet it affords me simply doesn’t compare with drawing, graphic design or any other form of art I’ve attempted.
I have too many influences to list but I have to mention a few. First is my late mother, Dana Waits. Without her pushing me, I probably would not own a camera aside from the one built into my phone. And without her positive critiques of those first images I don’t think I would have continued to grow like I have. She passed away after battling Inflammatory Breast Cancer in 2007 so I dedicate my journey in photography to her.
Other influences are the great painter Edward Hopper, and classic black and white photographers such as Walker Evans, Aaron Siskind, Brett Weston, Paul Strand, and Robert Frank. Bruce Barnbaum and Jay Dusard have also been very influenttial to me. I want to thank Chuck Kimmerle for showing me that I can make compelling photographs in my own neck of the woods.