• Photo Diary: Summer Color Theory featuring Impossible Project

    We commissioned Baltimore photographer Micah E. Wood to explore all the colors of summer on Impossible Project instant film. Scroll on to see the photos and hear what Micah had to say about his work. 
    Photos by Micah E. Wood

    Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
    I’m a photographer and musician, originally from Newport News, VA. My family and upbringing have greatly influenced my creative career. My older brother is very talented and a frequent collaborator of mine, and our parents are cute, caring and raised us with strong Jewish values. I grew up drawing Dragon Ball Z characters and playing violin, until I realized I was bad at both. It was obvious from a young age that I wanted to create. I am happy that I've found two passions that fulfill that need. After high school, I moved to Baltimore to study photography and I've lived here ever since. The city has become an important part of my work as well.

    When did you get your first camera? 
    It was a little point & shoot digital camera I bought myself to take to concerts when I was 15. I remember taking a bunch of photos at a “The Hush Sound” concert, compiling the best shots into a little album.  I gave this to the lead singer the next time the band was in town. Greta, the lead singer (who I still keep in touch with), says she still has the first photobook I ever made somewhere. I'm sure it's terrible.
    What sorts of things generally draw your eye when shooting? 
    Light, color, and honesty. I love finding the best light and following it to where it lands. I like to see everything around me in the prettiest way I can and then use the camera to share that outlook. I think you can capture a lot of personality in a great portrait. I just want to capture honest emotion however that may look. 

    Is there a philosophy or worldview that runs throughout your work? 
    I hope to take photos that show people the way they want to be seen without altering the photo in anyway. I want them to see themselves the way I do. To see moments in the world like I do, still and beautiful. I really hope my photos and music make people feel something.
    Tell us about the polaroid photos you shot for this project. What was it like working with a new format? 
    I used the Polaroids in the same way that I use film: I'm searching for silence. I'm looking to find colors that interest me or fit my mood. Working in a new format is always interesting. I'm used to shooting mostly film and needing to wait a few days to see my photos. Something about shooting Polaroids made me want to see them as soon as possible and I got impatient waiting for them to develop. 

    Are there any photographers or other artists that have been particularly influential to you over the years? 
    When I was younger, I used to want to be Autumn De Wilde. Her photos of Elliott Smith helped me understand true honesty in a photo; they made me feel like I knew him. My biggest inspiration the last 8 years has been Baltimore. The musicians and artists in this city mean the world to me and they push me creatively every day. Let me make a quick list of my favorite Baltimore artists in no particular order.
    Baltimore Musicians:
    Butch Dawson, Bobbi Rush, Blacksage, Abdu Ali, Wing Dam, Natural Velvet, :3lON, Joy Postell, Dyyo Faccina, JPEGMAFIA, Eze Jackson, Future Islands, Infinity Knives & Randi, Beach House, BASEMENT RAP, Trillnatured, Station North SadBoi, TT The Artist, 83 Cutlass, Eu-IV, Movaqueen, Jacob Marley — so many more, I could fill this whole page.

    Baltimore Photographers: 
    Audrey Gatewood, Devin Morris, Devin Allen, Diamond Dixon, Aaron Brown.

    In addition to photography, you also make music. Can you tell us about that? 
    I make very personal, very honest pop music. After many years of playing in bands and with other musicians, I decided 2 years ago to start releasing solo music under my own name. Music allows me to tell a longer story than an individual photograph. The overarching themes in my music have a narrative I'm hoping the listener will pick up on. If they get something else out of it, that’s good too. Because my photography is primarily based around capturing musicians, there is lot of overlap in how I approach both.
    What’s the first song you ever wrote? 
    When I was 15, I wrote a piano riff for a band, but the first song I wrote was this really crappy piano ballad when I was 16. It had a lot of bells on it. I don’t remember what it was about, but it was probably like: “dooo dooo dooo you sooo cuteee cuteee cuteee” because that is what I thought pop songs were. Ha ha.

    What’s next for you? 
    I’m just finishing my second solo record, it is my most personal and danceable music to date. I’m planning to release that in September. I can’t wait to share all the amazing Baltimore musicians featured on it!  With my photography, I just want to keep meeting and photographing new artists while figuring out if I’m going to ever make a follow-up to my photo book ‘Features’ which I released last year.

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