The Dreamy Dissonance of @echosight

@echosight
@echosight
Danny Ghitis and Daniella Zalcman include quotes with each image to help define the mood.

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return." —Leonardi da Vinci

Every day, across all kinds of media and all sorts of pursuits, creative minds are reinventing the ways we collaborate with each other in the second decade of the 21st century. Photographers, for instance, no longer need to physically exchange negatives, prints, contact sheets or other “analog” materials in order to work with each other; all we need is an internet connection — a new reality that helped inspire @echosight, a joint-Instagram account between photographers Danny Ghitis in New York and Daniella Zalcman in London.

The two met at Eddie Adams Workshop in 2009, but never really interacted despite both living in New York City for years. Zalcman moved to London in late 2012 and began making multi-layered images that combined her new home with her old one. The result, New York + London: A Collection of Double Exposures, funded by a Kickstarter campaign, also led to the formation of @echosight.

Unlike most collaborations, @echosight has taken shape without the artists ever working together face-to-face. While they’re divided by oceans and continents, Ghitis and Zalcman are free to collaborate on their own schedules and share the results on social media.

In a way, the project is an evolution of each photographer’s personal work. “I’m kind of allergic to my SLRs outside of newspaper assignment work,” said Zalcman, who shot most personal photos on medium format film before exploring phone photography. “One is as old-school as you can get and is slow and laborious,” she said. “The iPhone is just the opposite of that. It’s fast and easy and quick.”

Ghitis said he never had a problem with phone photography, but had not fully explored it until getting an iPhone. “I have this thing and I can carry it around in my pocket and it allows me to take pictures casually,” he said.

@echosight is like a “puzzle game,” according to the pair. The entire process takes place on a phone: Images are uploaded to a Google Drive folder, each pulls photos from the other and creates the final piece in an app called Image Blender. Each photo is uploaded to the Instagram account with a quote, something that Ghitis initiated in order to communicate the feeling being conveyed. “Photos are very abstract and words can be very literal so I didn’t want to go too far in one direction,” he said.

The resulting images are at times elegant and at others chaotic. Some have an edge of darkness, like a nightmare; others are meant to be more lighthearted. Ghitis describes an image of a hippo’s open mouth blended with a beautiful spiral staircase as a joke on their shared architectural backgrounds—both studied it at one point in college. “Daniella was making this lovely comment about architecture and I totally made a joke out of it, but that’s kind of what’s fun,” he said.

The game of @echosight is not limited to two players. In the future, the duo hopes to become a trio, quartet or something larger to create more complex and deeply layered images. As each photographer travels, so does the project—Vietnam has been in the mix during a recent trip by Zalcman.

“It would be great to have someone else join our ‘pictures with friends’ game,” Ghitis said.


Tanner Curtis is an associate photo editor at TIME.com.


Related Topics: , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

2014.  Gaza.  Palestine.  Schoolchildren head to class at the Sobhi Abu Karsh School in the Shujai'iya neighborhood. Operation Protective Edge lasted from 8 July 2014 – 26 August 2014, killing 2,189 Palestinians of which 1,486 are believed to be civilians. 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians were killed.  It's estimated that 4,564 rockets were fired at Israel by Palestinian militants.

Inside Gaza with Photographer Peter van Agtmael

What photographer Peter van Agtmael encountered in Gaza changed the way he worked.

Read More
WASTELAND PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated December 2014 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sublicensing, sale or resale is prohibited.     REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as shown in this metadata, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.        Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 5 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image2. Show the December cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image3. Provide a prominent link to: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2014/12/superfund/voosen-textat the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the December issue of National Geographic magazine” GOWANUS CANALNew York, New YorkPollutants: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, lead, copperYear listed: 2010Carved from a tidal estuary 160 years ago, the Gowanus Canal is Brooklyn’s industrial artery—and a deeply polluted waterway. Even so, it’s frequented by herons, seagulls, crabs, and canoeists. Defying local fears of economic stigma, the EPA listed the canal as a Superfund site in 2010. It hopes to start dredging contaminated mud in 2016.

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 24, 2014

Mideast Israel Palestinians

The Best Pictures of the Week: Nov. 14 – Nov. 21

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,268 other followers