Submission — Stephen Gwaltney

My Way To Explore

14. April 2013 — MYP No. 10 »My Night« — Text & Photo: Stephen Gwaltney

My night: something that is never the same. A night in my life is always new and exciting. I believe that things are what we make them to be. I prefer my night to be full of excitement and fun. I prefer it to be original instead of repetitious. I desire to be spontaneous, choosing to do something for the first time if presented with the idea.

Doing something for the first time is a great way to learn and gain experience. Achieving experience can be like discovering a whole new world. Your perception on things may change or grow, like adding focus to a blurry image.

My name is Stephen Gwaltney. I am a 20-year-old fine art photographer from Northern Virginia, USA. I see things differently. When someone sees a field or a tree line it is only that which they see. When I see a field or a tree line I see a story, like a moving surreal painting. It is like having the power to see another world or dimension.

This is the most interesting thing to me: discovering a new world, whether it is from history, the future, another planet, or even fantasy. My night relates to this because I tend to grow in knowledge and experiences that I take from each evening. Learning something new is discovery.

A characteristic night to me would consist of meeting with a group of my friends in Fredericksburg, Virginia. We start with some music, which opens our minds and the next thing we know someone comes up with an idea.

One night in particular we started playing music on the steps of a building.

People began gathering around and by the end of the night we had about 50 random people singing along with us. Another night entailed of a group of my friends and I taking a projector and creating a movie theatre on the side of a building for all of our friends. It is continuously like something out of a movie.

My art relates to my night because it is like discovering a new world for me. My experiences as a person influence my photos.

The photos I make open a new reality to my mind; something I am yet to understand sometimes. There is something profound about not understanding.
Art is something that you will never fully understand. It can be a dimension into another world. A new world where anything is possible, where not understanding is the explanation for understanding.

I love the concepts of knowledge, discovery, and creation. Art is my way to explore these concepts. The photography aspect helps me feel, imagine, and sense them.

The realistic quality inspires ongoing thoughts of actual surrealism… and I can imagine that these places are real – yet to be explored.