Open the current issue of The Skateboard Mag (December 2007) to page 32 & 33 and you’ll find Isaac McKay-Randozzi’s double-spread page of half-frame photography.
Half-frame photography… two photos in one 35mm frame. A roll of 24 becomes 48. Sequential in nature, random by chance. It’s a medium devoid of a classic tradition. Back in the late 60’s it was made as a way for folks to stretch out their film. In more recent times, artsy fartsy photographers have latched onto its potential like a youngling suckling on a mother’s teat.
Duality is a part of life – black an white, love and pain, birth and death. Can’t have one without the other. Half-frame photography is similar, showing two different parts of the larger picture in the world in which we live. Sometimes one photo outshines the other, sometimes three are better than two, but the scanner can only get two at a time.
With half-frame photography, you can get different perspectives of the same object or make a subtle connection between two images that might not have much to do with each other. Take the photos of the old ramp. One frame is the decroaded flatbottom, rotted out after years of use followed by years of neglect. The other is the lip and the scenic Napa county wine fields. Without the dilapidated flatbottom, the photo would lose its perspective and reference in meaning. Similarly, the photo of Olly Todd would lose its larger perspective if the first frame were to be taken out. You only see part of the whole without the other shot to give it proper context.