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Leah Johnston
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4,793 followers
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SUBSTITUTION

Do you ever try to substitute the fake thing for the real thing? Every now and then in my life, when I've grown tired of the struggle, I try and see what it would feel like to settle for a little while....Settle for a job that doesn't fit, for a relationship less than thrilling, for a partner who doesn't really 'get' you,... for any option that feels somehow easier than holding out for the REAL thing. 

Whenever I do this, it seems like the universe comes along and gives me a firm kick in the butt. As much as I might stubbornly try to play the quitter, the universe always yanks me out of my safety zone and forces me to come back into a life of no compromise. I guess in a lot of ways, I can be thankful for that. That my soul won't let me lay down.

Model here is my friend Caroline. It was her birthday and we decided to go out and do some photos to celebrate. I like the idea of this shot being composed like your typical couple vacation photo...but of course, with a twist ;)
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After the storm
So happy to be back!

I have been so busy lately producing my friend Blake's film, that I've barely had time to turn around, let alone do personal shoots. It's been a very exciting and challenging endeavor, as you can imagine, and while I don't  aspire to be a producer by any stretch, I consider it priceless education for me in terms of making my own films. I've gained so much knowledge about the business of filmmaking and how to organize and lead people- something you don't tend to get a lot of experience doing when you are shooting self-portraits!




At the same time, I've been hungering to get back to my selfies. So when the clouds rolled into LA the other day, I knew I had to take full advantage. I chased the clouds all the way Agua Dolce and found the perfect spot, just beyond the 'No Trespassing' sign. (All the best locations are always just beyond a 'No Trespassing' sign, I've decided.) I wanted to do just a simple, straight-forward photo of how I was feeling that day. Every now and then, it's nice to just create just for the sake of expressing a feeling, rather than trying to convey some deep thought-provoking concept. :)
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Constructs
This is a continuation on my last birdcage concept. Unfortunately the last cage wasn't able to open on the bottom, so I had to wait until I got my hands on one that did. 

Driving to this shoot, I was thinking of possible titles for this photo and my mind kept going over this idea of the cage and how many things it could represent. In a way, I think the cage can represent the all of the constructs which exist in the world around us. We are born into these constructs, and because we can never fully separate from society or 'unknow' what we know, we can never fully divorce ourselves from them. It stands to reason that we will never fully understand how limited we truly are by these constraints. Beneath these constructs is our raw, authentic self. As artists, I think we are always striving to examine these 'cages', or to remove ourselves from them, however impossible that may be.
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Constructs
This is a continuation on my last birdcage concept. Unfortunately the last cage wasn't able to open on the bottom, so I had to wait until I got my hands on one that did. 

Driving to this shoot, I was thinking of possible titles for this photo and my mind kept going over this idea of the cage and how many things it could represent. In a way, I think the cage can represent the all of the constructs which exist in the world around us. We are born into these constructs, and because we can never fully separate from society or 'unknow' what we know, we can never fully divorce ourselves from them. It stands to reason that we will never fully understand how limited we truly are by these constraints. Beneath these constructs is our raw, authentic self. As artists, I think we are always striving to examine these 'cages', or to remove ourselves from them, however impossible that may be.
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the conspiracy of clocks

It’s easier to shrug than scream
To sigh
At the unsolicited decay
As like an abandoned house
We inch toward collapse.

Things are not as we had imagined
When through those windows
We gazed like children
On a Friday afternoon

Shattered now,
Our boney boards
Wince and moan
Beneath the weight of the
Ghosts that wander through

I'm not sure how,
Or when,
But my life has happened.
Is happening
Before I could welcome-
Before I could even
Catch 
My breath.

Helpless now,
I catalogue the cracks
In my invincibility

Another tortured witness
Silenced
By the conspiracy
Of clocks
*
Took this photo in Death Valley at the same time as my last photo. I had always wanted to see the dunes so it was a real thrill to shoot them! When we arrived it was so late, I despaired that I wouldn't be able to get the photo in time. But the guys I was traveling with were a great help, running across the sand dunes with me as the sunset, lugging my camera gear and this oversized antique hour glass. So it is very much thanks to them that I was able to get this shot in time!

Model: Adam Booth
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the one who went away


You are more alive now
Than you ever were in life.
More beautiful in breathlessness
Than a china doll
Propped in a toy-shop window.

Night after night
I reach out
As the hand that reaches for a pocket that isn’t there.
Your beauty burns like a mirage on the horizon
My flesh aches like a desert
Dreaming of the sea.

Nocturnal whisperer,
Will you stay with me this once?
Will you consummate our souls into constellations
So that we can be reborn
Like stars in the night?

Or will you wane like an echo
Fainter and fainter
Til at last
These idle tears are spent
Like moon pools in the dawn?

----
Took this in Badwater Basin in Death Valley last week. I had such an incredible experience being in the desert. I've wanted to go for almost 2 years now, so this trip was long overdue. I shot this at dawn with the help of my friend Dan holding the skeleton. We had quite a time lugging this huge skeleton across the basin and getting him to pose properly!
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