The 15 photographs I chose for an exhibition at Cafe Trio may at first appear to be a random and unrelated set of photographs but they are not. I spent lots of time developing this collection.
The creation of a fine art photograph is a focused and directed effort to capture an idea not just another shot of a sunset. At the core of my work I create ideas. A single idea was formed long before any photographs were taken. Part of the role of an artist is to see then examine and interpret all aspects of our existence. An artist examines the world, its people and their relationship with one another as well as with nature. I look at the emotions that dwell with in and drive what we do. I think about how one person’s seeing isn’t like the next persons.
Where I might see despair another sees horror and yet another may miss it all together. There’s no one interruption. I clearly remember in my Highschool days English teachers, one after another, taught us there was only one “right” meaning to any given poem. Now there’s a setup if I’ve ever seen one. In class we’d read a poem like Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice then the teacher would ask the class, “What’s the poet trying to say?” I would put up my hand with what I thought was that singular answer only to be ridiculed moments later by another classmate’s “correct” answer.
It wasn’t until years later and after writing a lot of poems myself as well as taking creative writing classes, writing workshops and the like that I realized the truth of it. The only person who knows exactly what the poem means is the poem’s author! The author isn’t 100% clear on his poem’s full meaning and depth. A poet strives to create a piece that elicits an emotional response. He knows that the life experience a reader brings to a poem impacts its meaning.
In fact, if the author doesn’t engage the reader in an interpersonal way his work fails. Same story for art. I hope that a piece I create invokes an emotional response and causes the viewer a moment of introspection.
So what’s the deal with these 15 photos you say? With each photograph I started with the basic captured image. I look at this image as the stepping off point for the story the photograph will eventually tell. This image will bare little resemblance to itself when I’m done. The process isn’t important (unless you want to learn and become an artist yourself) it’s more about what “I” see underneath. I strive to push beyond the metaphor the image represents, strip away the false representation and expose what the image is for real. That’s what artists do.
On average I spend three hours in post-production for each photograph. That translates into 45 plus hours spent on these 15 pieces. Remember I also had to take the original image too. Some of the images were captured very close to my house while others range from New York City to Block Island, Rhode Island. The where isn’t as important to me as the what. It’s about the story the photograph is telling.
While you look at the fifteen pieces there is one very important element missing. That’s you. The observer. I envision if someone came along to take the same picture they would see you standing just out of frame as the observer to my efforts in taking the shot. The Observer Effect is an idea usually seen in science. How much does the fact that I’m observing the experiment I’m performing affect the outcome of that experiment?
As you enjoy these fifteen photographs remember you are in them as the unseen observer impacting the final reality of photograph. I hope you enjoy the experience.
To extend your experience visit my online gift shop to purchase your own copy to hang on your wall.