Robert Kawika Sheer

“I perform everything in front of the camera: No Photoshop, no multiple exposures, no manipulations of the negative.”

Award-winning performance-art photographer Robert Kawika Sheer brings spirits of city landmarks to life. See his photograph titled “The Spirit of Kate Morgan at the Hotel Del Coronado” on display this weekend September 20th & 21st at the Old Town San Diego Art Festival.

“I came to fine art photography from a cinematography background. I’m a motion picture guy, so I decided I wanted to put motion into my still work; that’s what got me going out in front of the camera. Initially, I was just trying to make circles of light with a flash unit on the night landscape, stuff like that. However, one fateful night in the Mojave Desert, I got caught in the way of the bounce of light; I didn’t duck out of the way properly. And the figure that appeared on the negative ended up being this translucent silhouette… When I first saw the figure on the proof sheet, I said to myself, wow; I have something here. Now, I’ve got to try to recreate it.”

“In traditional motion pictures, the film moves through the camera. My motion picture technique is reversed; the film stays still while I motion in front of the camera.”
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