Information about Keith Seaman Photography, Fresno CA, a local and international commercial photographer
Keith Seaman of Fresno CA is currently working on personal photography with continued emphasis on his Driveby series.
About 20 years ago, while educating myself on the then relatively new digital technique of stitched panoramas, I became fascinated with the phenomenon of parallax. Although parallax was an issue for successful stitching, it dawned on me that parallax was our common visual experience while moving through the world in our cars, buses and trains: as we peer through the windows of our moving vehicles, objects nearest us blur by while those distant remain more focused, seemingly moving more slowly. My attempt to replicate that experience resulted in The Driveby.
The Driveby process involves shooting—in continuous shooting mode—sequential digital images out the window of a moving vehicle, either as driver (yes, shooting while driving!) or passenger, then assembling selected frames in Photoshop. Most Driveby arrangements are panoramic but some have ended up as triptychs and other arrangements. All are best represented as large prints.
In the last several years I’ve been using high speed flash at dusk which reverses the Driveby effect. Without flash, foreground elements blur while backgrounds remain more focused. With flash, foregrounds are frozen while background elements, especially those against the sky, are blurred.
Recently I've begun incorporating more frames from flash Drivebys into proof sheet like arrangements meant to be printed large scale in a vertical format—a change from the more traditional horizontal Driveby. The fall orchard images are the result of this new approach.
Shooting Drivebys has its challenges. The sight of someone driving by the same place again and again is often viewed with suspicion by others. I’ve been stopped by wary farm owners wondering what business I had racing through their orchards, machine-gun flashes emanating from the car. While shooting “Prisoned Bus”, I was accosted by an irate mother who was sure I was surreptitiously photographing her children with the intent of selling the photos on the internet (I managed to reassure her with a business card and Driveby samples). I’m reluctant to incorporate people into flash Drivebys for fear of terrorizing them— and for fear of return fire.
I’ve always been fascinated with movement and incorporated a lot of it into my commercial work. I am frustrated by the constraints of the single frame image and have always felt derelict as a photographer for not slamming on my brakes to grab that fleeting roadside moment. The Driveby is probably the result of all that.
The Driveby series was featured in American Photgraphy's Pro Photo Daily on March 3, 2021: https://www.ai-ap.com/publications/article/27979/personal-projects-keith-seamans-drivebys-are-m.html . At the end of that year the story was featured again as one of the year's highlight.
The Driveby series was featured in BuzzFeed News on March 6, 2021 in the "9 Photo Stories That Will Challenge Your View Of The World" section: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/piapeterson/photo-stories-march-6 and on BuzzFeed's Instagram feed @buzzfeedphoto: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMPgQX4JyEI/
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