Drawing A Line Portrait Series by Wataru Yamamoto

photo of wataru yamamoto in kumano forest

Self-portraits are becoming more and more popular, so it’s also becoming increasingly difficult to produce something original or not overdone. The Drawing A Line portrait series by Wataru Yamamoto earns points for creativity and for being a unique concept.

Wataru Yamamoto, a graduate student at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan, used a large format camera equipped with a really, really long cable release. All that was left for him to do was to walk into the woods with it and snap away. Sounds simple enough, but it’s interesting because viewers are invited further into the photo to solve the puzzle hidden within. A fleeting glance at these images will not tell you much, but upon closer inspection, you’ll see the cable release trail and eventually, Yamamoto at the end of it.

What I love about this series is how he incorporated the cable release into the shot instead of trying to hide it. He made it a part of the concept, and I think it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting without it.

photo of wataru yamamoto in kumano forest

photo of wataru yamamoto in kumano forest

These images could be interpreted in so many different ways. Self-portraits first and foremost, but they could also be photos of nature. It could be a strange experiment, or a variation of “Where’s Waldo?”

photo of wataru yamamoto in kumano forest

photo of wataru yamamoto in kumano forest

Taken in the beautiful Kumano forest in Japan, Yamamoto is effectively camouflaged by the dense blanket of trees of one of the few virgin forests remaining in the area.

Am I the only one slightly creeped out by the overall effect of this series? Here’s this guy in the woods holding some sort of string, beckoning you to him. You can’t really make out his face, but he’s there. In every picture. In some of them, you can’t even make out his face; it’s just some hooded figure chilling in the middle of nowhere, staring at you. Yeah, this is definitely not going to be on my list of “pleasant things to look at”, sorry.

Yamamoto’s other projects on his website are also worth mentioning:

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 12.55.37 AM

An experiment making use of Kirlian photography
(or “electrophotography”) to observe the aura of plants.
The result is a work that demonstrates, in a positive sense,
the difficulty of clearly showing the shape of a leaf.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 12.55.56 AM

Photographs of my hands and feet, taken with a focal distance equal to my own height.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 12.56.15 AM

Photograms of chopped-up vegetables that were originally sold as salad.

Click here to visit his website.

Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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