This is the best I can do at The Artist's Statement thing. In general, I think the images speak for themselves, and no one needs me to tell them what they're looking at. In addition, many of the photos have captions that describe--at length--in arch-Dickensian diction, and place the characters in their gritty neo-Victorian world with, I hope, enough specificity to make the story clear, but enough dropped-in-the-middle-of-things vagueness to let the reader/viewer fill in the cultural and historical gaps in my created world.
The photographs on this site reflect--at least to me--a dark, quirky world of steampunk and fantasy photography, infused with the peculiar and sometimes disturbing sensibility of a time that never was and places that probably shouldn't be. It's not always a friendly place, populated as it is with unhinged men and women and other things whose world (and vision) is both enhanced and obscured by technologies and magicks that lie somewhere between sci-fi and alt-hist.
These are photos from a place that's located in the gray space that lurks just out of view, spanning the occult and the realities of the natural world. Of course, there is some of the actual natural world here as well: birds, mostly, along with various critters and a few exotic landscapes firmly rooted in the real. You'll also find photos of interesting places and things: it isn't all psychotic Victorians and faded faces staring blankly into the void. In fact, there's a fair number of hunky neo-Victorian men, wearing little more than their steampunk goggles and gear. And a good number of gentlemen who are wearing nothing at all; but even those images are definitely a little bit more on the "strange" side: call it "er-odd-ic" then. (Sorry about that.)
The models I work with work hard, and their effort is reflected (I hope) in these images. In many cases they display rare creativity, acting ability, and a hopefully-deserved trust in their photographer. It takes courage and confidence to do some of the things I ask models to do, and some of the eyewear I stick on their faces makes them quite literally work in the dark. I couldn't make these images without the models, and I'm deeply thankful for their contributions and willingness to work with me.
So, yes, most of these photos are slightly tangential to reality, and even many of those that may seem rooted in the everyday are just slightly...bent. As the eminent Victorian-sans-goggles Oscar Wilde said, "The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible." Let's look.
- Evan Butterfield, Las Vegas, Nevada