Early/Travel Works, 2012-2016

It is necessary to fall in love... if only to provide an alibi for all the random despair you are going to feel anyway.
— Albert Camus

When I began my photographic journey, I very much thought of making pictures like finding little treasures. We were doing a lot of traveling, especially in 2012 and 2013, so the sense of discovery grew from that combined with the fact that I was  also learning how to make photographs as I went. But even as I became more comfortable with the techniques and/or photographed familiar, local places, my approach was to wander and seek light, color, shape, line, composition, etc. as they existed in the world. I would use my cameras to make images that I found beautiful, and it was a formal approach in terms of making individual photographs. But there was no overall strategy. My images were found objects. Still, certain themes emerged intuitively based on things that I am drawn to, and I gradually grouped my successful images into a few categories as they are presented here.

Although there are a few black and white images sprinkled throughout, these small series mainly comprise color photographs made with color negative film. All images here will be made available in open editions as inkjet prints on Hahnemuhle Fine Art paper. They come matted and ready to frame in standard sizes. If you are interested in any image here, please email yuri@yurilongphotography.com for more information. Thanks for looking.


Monumentals

Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many questions surround the way that a society commemorates. From specific events to entire eras, communal accomplishments to individual figures, there are a plethora of interesting choices that go into each and every representation of our history. One form in particular that I try to present in this series is the physical monument or memorial. How do we use structures to communicate? Do those messages evolve over time or become reinterpreted in new ways? What is the role of the location, and does this context aid and/or challenge the viewer? Are the monuments themselves a kind of achievement, and if so, what tensions might arise between the memorial itself and the subject being commemorated? What does it say to choose a specific moment to represent a monument in a photograph; particularly if that moment itself involves change as in the case of a renovation?

It is interesting to see history unfold in the physical layers of the earth, the way a city like Rome is built anew upon itself for millennia, and yet each past iteration is preserved in a timeline of stone and dirt. This series explores something similar with regard to the process of image making. How can my image build on a tangible object that is itself built on a set of ideas about an actual event or person? And then there is always the element of chance. Since most of these types of monuments are outdoors, the ever-changing sky may become a factor, or the surrounding vegetation, or most critically the quality of the light. These elements can be used to craft a story or a certain perspective about the subject, but they are also generally beyond the control of the photographer and thus create another layer of context.