52 Photographers

Jeff Frost

If you like time lapse photography, night photography, and video, you'll enjoy Jeff Frost's work. He even crosses over into Earth Art a bit. I've been looking at Jeff's work for a while mainly through his Instagram feed, but also through his website, and his videos hosted on Vimeo.

Jeff was kind enough to answer a few questions about his work that you can read below:

Would you mind telling me a bit about your background as a photographer? 

My background is really as a musician. So I tend to think of photography and contemporary art in terms of rhythm, texture, and mood. The timing of a video edit is as delicate as the fixing I used to have to do to for one of my shitty ex-drummers. If you're getting it right, you're 'in the pocket' in both mediums, and that can come down to mere milliseconds of difference. Time lapse itself is as mechanical and precise as a Roland 808, which can make it difficult to humanize, but also prevents an invigorating challenge. 

I never imagined myself being a photographer or a film maker. When I realized the music thing wasn't going to work out, I went to a school that essentially taught me the basics of commercial photography: how to shoot headshots and weddings, studio lighting, product photography, etc. All of which I did as student to scrape by. As I was shooting weddings I'd find my thoughts wandering. I'd make estimates on how long a couple would last before the divorce. Then I'd feel guilty and think, 'Well this can't be healthy.' In class I was rebelling by creating fine art instead of commercial work. The weirder and more complex I could make it, the better. This lead to painting optical illusions in abandoned houses, which I think of as some sort of minimalist-maximalist paradox in motion, and weaved into a non-linear film narrative. 

Who are some of your influences as a photographer, and who is your favorite photographer? 

My influences are also more towards the music and painting side, but I'll get to a few photographers as well. Musicians who influenced me early on were a lot of the alternative rock stuff like REM, Wire, the Cure, but when I heard Nine Inch Nails "ruining" sounds it really changed how I think. Right now my influences are becoming more abstract on that front: John Cage, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Kim Cascone, Christina Kubisch. All of this filters into how I shoot photography, make soundtracks, and work on sound design. 

I love the minimalist painters (Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian, etc), but really I love every era of painting. Classical painters such as Caravaggio and Bosch are examples of wild innovation within their time, and also examples of how to get away with it. I adore Andy Warhol and pop art. Street art has had a huge influence on me as well, and that's where my paintings of abandoned buildings stems from. 

For photographers the ones I admire and am influenced by have little to do with my work aesthetically (in most cases). The fearless, tireless, tenacity of Diane Arbus has always blown me away. Richard Avedon honing his portraiture craft to include interactions designed specifically to illicit emotional responses from specific people is an example, for me, of how productive it can be for a photographer to step away from passivity and jump into the thick of things as well as the importance of brilliant planning. Lee Friedlander is one example where you can at least somewhat draw aesthetic parallels. The way he composes and plays with the psychological reaction of the viewer has always had a huge impact on me; same goes for Edward Burtynsky in a much different arena.

I can't say that I have a single favorite. Too hard to choose. 

Three years ago I set out to show, rather than talk about, an effect of climate change that is happening right now. One of these effects is the intensification of natural weather systems everywhere. In California this manifests most frequently in drought, which leads to dehydrated ground fuels and is the reason fires start with more ease and burn both faster and longer than they have in the past. I trained as a firefighter for this body of work, and have traveled to over 40 large fires in California since 2014. Credits: MUSIC: Ashes in the Sky by The Flaming Lips, used with permission from Wayne Coyne All other sound by Jeff Frost All else: by Jeff Frost

I love when artists make work that is interactive and collaborative with the landscape, and there is a lot of that in Jeff's work, and my favorite examples are found in his Flawed Symmetry of Prediction body of work.

An experimental short film that captures the transmutation of dead Joshua Trees into works of art as a way to explore change and renewal. Created for “Hello, Again,” an initiative by Lincoln Motor Company that asks filmmakers to reimagine the familiar into something fresh and new. Set in the magical high desert of Southern California, “War Paint for Trees” takes a surreal and unexpected journey that is deeply personal and intensely cosmic. No motion graphics were used in the creation of this film. Watch the "War Paint for Trees" behind-the-scenes film: vimeo.com/channels/helloagain/64641391 More at http://vimeo.com/channels/helloagain For steave Created by Jeff Frost Credits: Assistance - Stephanie Alva Music - "Transmutation of Death II" by Jeff Frost Thank You: Jordan McGarry Hana Newman Chris Diken Cain Motter Brooke Degraw Michael Lee Dynamic Perception My Amazing Parents Produced by The Lincoln Motor Company
As the shadow of night falls across the American West a lone man begins his work. Far from the confines, calamity, and culture of society, multimedia artist and storyteller Jeff Frost sifts through the visual dregs of places and people who once were. Combining still and time-lapse photography with motion, music, and art, Frost reveals a world rarely seen. Rooted in science and the exploration of space, Frost’s work explodes with light, fire, and sound, utilizing 2D and 3D perspective, leading the viewer on a unique visual journey through worlds both real and imagined. - written by the amazing photographer and human being, Daniel Milnor Knockout Quotes from the free eBook: store.blurb.com/ebooks/327392-flawed-symmetry-of-prediction "Frost's video footage of the desert and abandoned houses in the American Southwest is certainly stunning in its own right, but it was his incorporation of three perspective-bending optical illusions — and his use of time-lapse as a medium to expose the reality behind those illusions — that really sold us." - io9.com "...a glimpse of a world without limits." - Brooklyn Street Art, Steven P. Harrington "[Flawed Symmetry of Prediction] is a monumental thing." - Jeff Dunas, Palm Springs Photo Festival co-founder "Impressive." - Vandalog.com "Very creative and sick." - Tom Lowe, Astronomy Photographer of the Year "Jeff Frost shows us the future of the 21st century book in his audio and visual feast, "Flawed Symmetry." - Eileen Gittins, Blurb Books CEO "Jeff Frost is the author of this new video made frame called Flawed Prediction of Symmetry. She asked him several months of work plans, and melds contemplative and discrete graphics interventions." - allcityblog.fr, translated from French by Google "A breathtaking combination of time lapse and 3D optical illusion." - Coilhouse Magazine + Blog "Go away!" - Allison Nazzareno, Hater

Check out more of Jeff's work on his website, and follow him on Instagram.