Filtered: Photos by *safesolvent
Martin Reisch, working under the moniker *safesolvent, is the kind of prolific photographer who makes you think of all the moments in life that you should’ve taken a picture but didn’t. A rampant Instagrammer, Reisch has made something of a name for himself in the community through his unique approach to iPhone self-portraiture (note: you need a timer, a GorillaMobile, and a pair of good legs).
How to do a self-portrait like *safesolvent:
“I tend to do selfportraits mostly in locations that have vast large amounts of empty space. I like the contrast it gives when adding myself into it. It reminds me alot of those storyboards that the late Ralph McQuarrie had done for Star Wars and some of the Isaac Asimov book covers. You’d often see a robot or character posed amidst an expansive location.” - MR
[GI] How has Instagram affected your creative process?
[SS] Instagram has essentially changed the way I react to my environment, mainly because of the ‘iPhone/Android/Mobile camera only’ unwritten rule. I used to lug around all my big lenses and DSLRs pretty much everywhere I went and a lot of the time I’d find myself spending more time setting up gear and complex ideas than taking advantage of my surroundings. iPhone photography, first and foremost, changed that immediately, but Instagram as a platform to share not only the moment but the exact GPS coordinates of said moment took it to a different level.
I’m not sure if many people ever click on the location of a photo in Instagram but you get a great thumbnail view of other people who have shot and posted images at that same location. It’s amazing to see what people decide to “leave behind” at a location.
Instagram has essentially revived the old “polaroid camera” used for location scouting or testing angles when shooting film. Now I can quickly snap a location/idea on the go with full GPS for easy cataloguing and returning to in the future.
One of my favorite things about being on Instagram is following and being followed by some of my favorite musicians. As a huge fan of Ghostly & Moodgadget artists, I was super thrilled to find them on Instagram. It was also cool to know that I could post a photo and tag it with the music I was listening to and have the artists see how their music inspires me. That’s still one of the highlights of it for me to be honest.
[GI] You mentioned that music leads to images. Can you elaborate?
[SS] My iPhone’s main use, if not as a camera, is as a music player. 99.999% of the time that I’m out and about I’m listening to music. I can’t help but feel as though the music I’m listening to is subconsciously leading my adventure. I often find myself in a forest around sundown or an underground tunnel to a subway, and if I’m listening to the right track I’ll probably be more likely to go further into the forest or deeper into the tunnel.
It’s cliché perhaps, but being able to orchestrate the music I’m listening to with the environment I’m in most definitely inspires the mood of the image I’m shooting. It’s quite amazing. Sometimes an epic skyline self portrait wouldn’t have come to mind if I wasn’t listening to something that put me in that mood.
[GI] What subject matter interests you most?
[SS] It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with self portraits. I find it’s an interesting way to create a 3rd person perspective to the places I find. I like to create a mini experience for the viewer so that he can really relate to the dimensions and grandeur of the locations I’m seeking out.
I guess the thing that interests me is creating something cinematic. I’m a filmmaker at heart and love to use the still image to give people the feeling that there’s a whole world behind the frame.
[GI] Any tips for other Instagrammers looking to develop their own style?
[SS] I think that’s the hardest part. I’m not sure I even had my own style until something just clicked somewhere along the way. I looked back at some of the first posts I made on Instagram and I gotta say; yikes! I even have a kitty shot! Best advice I can give is to put on some good music and head out the door with no specific plans…
Follow Reisch on Instagram and Twitter @safesolvent.
(If you, or someone you know, would like to be considered for a feature in our Filtered series, send us an email at tgs [at] ghostly [dot] com with the word Filtered in the subject line.)
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