Sunday, March 5, 2017

The image from within

I often think back to my early years of photography and what inspired me to pursue photography.  I first recall being captivated by a black and white photographic image because it revealed ordinary things in an abstract way.  Somehow the absence of color creates a kind of mystery about the image that holds my attention.  I knew early on that my work would be done in black and white and started learning all I could about the medium.  Studying the works of photographers Edward Weston and Ansel Adams helped me to understand the visual relationship between space and tonal values in an image.  I also learned, though their writings, about their thought process and approach to photography.  Two quotes have remained with me throughout my many years of photographing.  Edward Weston's  " To see the thing itself" and Ansel Adams's "I m interested in something which is built up from within, rather than extracted from without".  When I consider one of my images successful it usually fits within the thinking of these quotes.  Working in the digital realm today  is more important than ever for me to remain true to my roots, and not let the technology take control of the process.  It is becoming more difficult to get the equipment behind me and the creative approach to the image in front of me.  Technology is wonderful but also a distraction.  I see many images today that incorporate technology more than the creative spirit of the photographer.  No matter where future technology takes the photographic medium, it will be still left to the photographer to express the image from within to create the most compelling image.  The above image is of a palm frond with the use of intentional camera movement to create a surreal quality.

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