Lately I have really been getting into Noah Emrich’s photography, and most recently his project ‘Happenings’. As a collection it is very strong, but the diversity of the photography is what makes Noah’s work stand out. We are constantly on the move in this collection, going from a standstill photograph of a brightly coloured sign, the colours being brought out by the neutrality of the surroundings yet the tyre tracks of the sand and the powerful shades in the clouds create a very dramatic scene. We then look to shots slightly distorted by motion blur, with interjections of seemingly serene landscapes and portraits, ranging from the very stylistic shots of Noah’s brilliantly aesthetic companions looking effortlessly broody to the photographs which look as if they are laid back snaps.
Noah writes on his website “Happenings is a series of images created in an effort to capture something timeless”. This tag-line seems pretentious, and although it sounds like it creates an interaction with the viewer, the project has such a strong personal atmosphere that the viewing through first person perspective is enough to create the bond between photographer and the audience. Occasionally there is a strong amateur feeling to the collection where shots seem almost accidental, however, this creates a beneficial hastiness to the work, similar to that of William Klein or the early work of Joel Sternfeld, where the picture may be slightly out of focus or is cut off by the frame, but this is what keeps the flow, the movement, and the strong almost beat like mood of the collection interesting. As a whole, the documentation of the travels is sublime.
I strongly recommend to have a look over ‘Happenings’, and if you get the chance to look over the other works.