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Leah Johnston
Lives in Los Angeles
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Leah Johnston

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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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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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Leah Johnston

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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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Laurent Coppée's profile photo
 
Brilliant work!
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Leah Johnston

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I just found you through a share. Great work. You should have more followers. Circled.
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Leah Johnston

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Here's an oldie but a goodie I thought I'd post. Mostly an example of how you can salvage a nearly useless image with a little PS magic. Before and Afters here: http://leahjohnston.com/news/2009/06/before-and-after-mist-on-lake/
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How very lovely lady! 
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Have her in circles
5,052 people

Leah Johnston

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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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Hassan Thagafi's profile photoJordan Woods-Robinson's profile photoMark Rodriguez's profile photoLeah Johnston's profile photo
4 comments
 
Beautiful, Leah!
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Leah Johnston

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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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Laurent Coppée's profile photoEdward Galarza's profile photo
 
Wonderful concept and stunning image Leah! Glad to see you posting again :-)
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Leah Johnston originally shared:
 
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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WOW! That's incredible!
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Leah Johnston

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Perilous Nest
The original idea for this was decay, though I feel this photo illicits a much more peaceful message. This photo reminds me a bird taking rest in the arms of a tree. What do you see?

Model: Brooke Shaden
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Mike Wood's profile photoPaul Wright's profile photoLaurent Coppée's profile photo
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I see Alice just about to dive under the tree :)
This is another fantastic shot of yours Leah!
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Some of us cannot be free
This image is very personal to me. The idea here is that in spite of the beauty of the world, many of us will never truly be free to enjoy it because we are trapped- trapped by dogma, trapped by routine, trapped by our inability to escape our own emotions. I often feel that way myself. It's a recurring theme in my work, the idea of being trapped within my body and trying to escape somehow. The fact that, in spite of the beauty of this setting, these birds are still a cage while seagulls fly free, says it all for me. How often do we feel alone or cut-off from the world in spite of what's going on around us? How often is it all in our minds?
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great :))
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People
Have her in circles
5,052 people
Work
Occupation
Photographer, Actor/Director
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Other names
Leah Johnson
Story
Tagline
Photographer. Actor/Director. "conceptualizing new realities"
Introduction

I am a Canadian actor/director and photographic artist working and residing in Los Angeles.

I produce and perform in story-driven photographs and films, with an eye toward arresting visuals and compelling narrative. While the medium may change day to day- from photography, to acting, to directing, to dance- my work always remains faithful to the story and the emotional core of the character I am trying to convey.

*I never use stock images, though I do occasionally add texture by Les Brumes*

If you are interested in commissioning me for a project, please email: leah@leahjohnston.com

Fine-art prints of my photos are available for purchase for your walls here: leahjohnston.com

And my book of photo-poems is available on blurb:
http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1999827

Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Los Angeles
Previously
Truro - Nova Scotia
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