Jason McGroarty is an Irish photographer/ photo mechanic working in surreal and quirky image manipulation.

He is involved in several ongoing projects/series, this time we are featuring part of his miniature manipulation series.

He uses image and scale manipulation to create a visual representation of a particular message of concern or statement. We found a piece on his website, telling what photography means to him, and – as we are very into feelings and emotions behind an artist passion – we are sharing this with you all:

What photography means to me.

For as long as I can remember I have always been interested in art and expression. During school I would learn of things that would inspire me to create. A lot of artists say that Art was their favored subject in school and all they did was draw or paint in order to express themselves, but I did not share this commonality.

I loved geography, biology and history. The stories of the triumphs and discoveries of mankind inspired me. Instead of drawing my ideas I would write them down in a black note book that I kept in my school bag. That note book earned me quite a lot of time in detention. It was my little ideas journal.

During art class I would become so frustrated, I loved to express my ideas however I lacked the technical skill and patience to bring my ideas to reality. So eventually my one black book became two black books and I had no means of expression to create a visual representation of my ideas. This carried on even throughout college, I struggled to accurately depict my visions and my passion for art subsided. I dropped out of college and felt terribly lost.

Then I met a wonderful girl and she gave me a reason to try once more (Sappy love story, I know). I had to find my tool of expression. Then I found photography. It was perfect, it helped my express myself in ways that I could not imagine and opened so many doors for me. I borrowed my first camera from a man called Tony and in return I agreed to take a portrait of him for his family. It was an old Nikon film camera and it was my first. I had never taken a photography course apart form a few basics I had learned in my short stay at college.

I gathered the camera, 10 rolls of film, a black camera bag with a broken strap and another black book. I would walk for hours taking photographs of various things. I would track each photograph with a number accompanied by the settings I used when taking them. Once a role of film was complete I would go to my local pharmacy, have them developed and see the outcome. This gave me a better understanding and respect of the camera.

I begged and borrowed to gain access to some form a photographic equipment in order to learn more. I was addicted. I would take up odd photography jobs that nobody else would do just so I could hold the camera that they would supply. With each job that came I would never know what camera I would be working with. I worked with newspapers, night clubs (which was horrible), charity events, art groups, make-up artists, fashion designers, product designers and more.

I would research for hours, searching sites, guides and tips. I soon developed a great knowledge of photography and got my first Digital SLR on Christmas. Since then I have been developing ideas from my black books and the skills needed to express them. Photography gave me a new life and a better understanding of all that I experience. I also just like to take photographs… That’s it really.

That is what photography means to me.

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Find the whole series in our GALLERY!