Paul Rabinowitz of Brooklyn, NY breaks the barriers of portrait photography in his collaborative series Limited Light. Working exclusively with other artists as his subjects, Rabinowitz attempts to visually portray each artist as what he likes to call, a “Modern Day Saint.”
“I guess what I’m trying to do is go beyond the physical being” explains Rabinowitz. The Limited Light series has now branched off into multiple collaborative projects, creating a ripple effect of artwork that combines his photography with art forms practiced by his subjects. Painters, dancers, actors and poets have contributed to this now evolving project.
Rabinowitz’s process for this series is carefully designed to insure an authentic, yet intimate result. “All of what I do happens organically” the photographer explains. These photographs are all taken in natural light, utilizing no lighting equipment and taken in black and white. After the photos are taken, Rabinowitz stresses it is crucial he does not manipulate the photos with editing and retouching. Additionally, each shot is taken within a one hour session. Rabinowitz goes into each of these sessions asking “How can I figure out who you are through the shoot?“
Another distinct requirement for these sessions are how he chooses his subjects. Rather than basing the decision off of looks or being “photogenic”, Rabinowitz explains that it is solely inspired by the artist’s work. Whether they are a writer, painter, or jewelry maker- it is the art that precedes the subject. Rabinowitz shares of instances where he inquired about a Limited Light session without knowing what the artist looked like, and only knowing their artwork.
“I’m trying to sketch [the artist] in sixty minutes through the camera” says Rabinowitz. The essence of what is being captured, he shares, correlates with the subject’s own artwork.
As of last year, Rabinowitz is in the process of an extensive collaboration with a painter in Utah who takes the photographer’s photos and imposes artwork onto it to create different characters. This project is still under development, and will soon be cultivated into a more elaborate series that includes poetry as well.
To find out more about Limited Light, follow updates on Paul Rabinowitz’s blogspot.