is a story about how I eventually resurrected and re-established my
own intuitive core vision. It is also the telling of a creative visual
inner quest that was undertaken one unsteady and if truth be told
tiny step at a time.
In glancing back over my life I am amazed that I can recall exactly
when and how it was that I arrived here from. But it is like trying
to remember back to your earliest childhood. Some memories are still
clear and quite vivid but others simply become lost in the dimness
of time passing, whispers of a life lived, stored in cluttered organic
memory banks. Ever receding memory fragments of remembrances slowly
dissolving into flickering recollections, the faintest of faded shadows
of a once having been lived tangible reality.
I grew up fascinated and intrigued by, in fact have spent most of
my life immersed in photography's frozen moments of a once reality,
captured and surviving now only as paper images. My complete focus
in life has always centred around something or other to do with it.
Even today after close to fifty years of constantly working with it,
somehow this simplistic in concept and yet very enigmatic image capturing
medium still has the ability to bewitch and engage my every thought.
It brings forth from within me the penchant to dare and reveal quite
nakedly just who I am to myself. And yes I must confess that I have
been surprised by what I have found.
It seems that vision alone can seem to justify and reaffirm my worldly
existence. Building and teasing, creating a mental stimulation of
none other than blatant organically based excited voyeurism. Wanting
and yearning for ever more visual experiences to look at and view,
any and everything that my all seeing eyes can consume. Always hopeful
for those few seconds of eventual climatic release during the bountiful
Cosmic visions on this Earth that I have been a conscious desiring
Ultimately though I am a trying and difficult disciple; while I was
willing to give my life to the world of photography I also demand
more from it than just blind obedience to the well-known traditional
ways. Daring to not only try and root out and find my own inner core
founded visions, but to become part of the growing contingent that
is trying to bring about a true equivalency between formalised fine
art and the mechanically based visual scribe that has become known
as photography. Expecting, hopefully not in vain, that the medium's
dedicated flock of avid practitioners and followers does not continue
to simply underestimate the potential and intense creative proficiency
that awaits in it's folds for us mere mortals. If we could only understand
and tap into the genuine visual realm, instead of simply being content
with copying those surface layers of one's living journey.
What grieves me is that you can find most photographic disciples hiding
out, seeking company in like minded closet sized photographic ghettos
or photo based feasts trying to shore up and bolster even buffing
up surface glitter found residing there in their own toned silvered
reflections. All the while deep inside at their cores no doubt harbouring
feelings of ultimate and inevitable artistic inadequacies as they
huddle together for strength in greater numbers.
Until we understand the difference between merely using the medium
or carefully guiding it to fulfill it's destiny, until we move forward
from the simple "photo-copy" mentality, until the user truly respects
and has a genuine love for photography, until all this is part of
an overall artistic commitment, we can not expect to shape and mold
the course of photography's fine art evolution. Ultimately only by
having both the fine art echelon and photographic minded sensibilities
truly coupled as one knit fast and tightly bonded unit, will the medium
truly soar out to it's full human creative potential. The truth is
you can not create truly great art work by just casually or even mechanically
using the photographic medium.
SETTING THE STAGE; A LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHIC
Stepping back in history approximately one hundred and sixty five fiery sun life giving revolutions ago, we humans conceived created and birthed a new form of mechanical and chemical based image capturing system. Something to catch and hold fast the latent whispers of light echoing off of an observed reality, seconds of time that were chemically induced and coaxed into an ephemeral parchment like existence.
time passing an industrially based chemical founded image capturing
technology slowly unfolded. And all from those first fuzzy images
caught and frozen, held fast in emulsion bound moments of fleeting
Cosmic cadence, trapped, stilled there by humanly conscious ingenuity. This capturing ability was a creation that in the beginning most people
thought would quickly put an end to hand eye co-ordinated fine art.
But in truth the future did not play out that way. Instead quite the
opposite occurred, fine art was itself in true irony set free, pried
loose from its confining shackles of having to simply record the mundane
subject or be the human world's literal copyist.
Photography sprung forth from human scientific ingenuity and inevitably
was much superior at this literal style of straight forward object
reproduction. However in turn it also chained and shackled its own
practitioners with the complex tasking of its overflowing paraphernalia
and the darkness entailed drudgery of its image processing. Quickly
as well the medium fell easy pray to industrial entrepreneurism and
once they had formulated and formatted an industrially molded ease
of use, the medium quickly gained instant mass wide appeal.
Unfortunately unlike museum level fine art and its sister art and
artistic companion of commercially based graphic art, this new image
capturing technology has never managed to properly separate and divorce
itself from the more blatant mercenary avaricious minded aspects of
its continual and on going use. Photographic sight and seeing indeed
that slick, superficial artsy visualisation which is commonly used
to display and help sell a never ending host of products and personages
has simply overlapped and become ingrained and incorporated into,
literally knitting and melding itself clearly and shamelessly to the
fine art arena of this relatively new medium.
Photography as art has ended up on a convoluted path. It is a bitter
pill to swallow and it has given me many sleepless nights but I fear
the medium is destined for a damaged fine art future. During my own
photographic journey I have frequently observed the rivalry between
the visually based fine art photographic users and the highly technical
craft-like photographers with a hunt and shoot "photocopy" style of
artistic image creation.
On one half of the equation the serious minded photographers have
a tendency to be procedurally based, trying for technically perfect
printmaking methods combined with a traditional image style of artistic
creation. They simply end up becoming artistically stifled and boring.
The other fine art types while more daring in artistic conception
and certainly visually progressive in creative visual attitudes, literally
shun and dismiss the medium's technical methodology. They then have
the nerve to turn around and present the world with industrially made
mass produced art; where the artist is virtually irrelevant in the
birthing process. This disrespectful attitude can only create art
that is ultimately still born; because it lacks one of the key fundamentals
of artistic creation.
The medium has it's own inherent possibilities and endless visual
creative pathways. It is confined only by individuals who's guidance
is obstructed by limited aesthetic horizons. Photography's fateful
blooming destiny, it's true history, still lays waiting for creative
dynamic energy to come along pick it up and rescue it.
JUST A FEW WORDS ABOUT WHO I AM
I find myself reluctant to participate in society in general, it seems to provide little in the way of genuineness that I desire around me in my life, I tend to gravitate to my hermit ways and frankly prefer it that way. I still however, have faith regarding creation, destiny, and being. We surly must all feel, at some point even for just moments, the utter uniqueness of our own existence.
We can only trust that we are being
lead sincerely onto the eventual unfolding of our own cosmic awareness
and presumably an ultimate inner core enlightenment awaits for us.
For me, there is no doubt this all stems from my well meaning creative
yearnings and ambitions as well as my conscious mirage of actually
being alive and believing that I do exist for a purpose here and now.
And that I have through some sort of genuinely fateful action been
coaxed into awareness in this particular place and all for a true
Cosmic purpose which is to be slowly played out in this time frame.
Believing all of this is actually surprisingly somehow comforting,
like a salve protecting my soul. I feel, no I know for certain that
I am on my true path. At a place situated at the very boundaries of
human illusive reasoning, located somewhere at the end of known time,
near the very edge of all that there is. I believe I am proceeding
onto a location where all will no doubt in its own time slowly peel
back and, I am bold enough to speculate, will eventually be revealing
its warm inviting comforting moistened waiting nakedness to me.
MY FATEFUL DESTINY
I have worked on many photographic portfolios over the years which were all quite nicely finished, especially so in regards to the subject theme being mindfully chosen and the subject matter searched out, hunted down and slowly carefully painstakingly gathered. Then with labour intensive archival print making, lovingly fussed over to bring them to life as signed and editioned portfolios. When I look back over the various work I see the commitment and care that was taken in producing the work. But I also sense something of a finite blinkered visual reality existing in that basic photocopy level in the artistic side of the photographic world.
I feel my true creative world was resurrected or virtually rebirthed
only when I began to break the scenes before me into pieces and play
creatively with those small sections. This image combining methodology
literally took me back to my much earlier almost innocent intuitive
roots and helped me reclaim and ignite an inner creative energy. It
was as if once again I could dare to see into the heart of visual
creativity and also surprisingly peer more deeply into my own core.
Once again I could sense that visual mental orgasm and feel a creative
high and ecstasy flooding over me, but this time I knew exactly what
kind of vision that I was reaching out to grasp.
However, let us at this point retrace the early steps and revisit
my fading and waning recollections to try and share how I came to
end up exactly where it is that I now find myself creatively poised.
While I have been through a period of not knowing just how to "label"
myself, in the very beginning it was very clear that all I wanted
to be was a photographer, essentially someone who simply took pictures
using a camera. I wanted to know all about the little devise that
was able to capture and store veiled images of a reality that were
at one time in front of the "camera" and its holder. I wanted to learn
and know how to process the film, then work the magic with chemicals
and papers and hold this tangible likeness of reality in my hands.
I had no inkling of the depths to which this photographic obsession
would eventually drive and guide me. At a young and tender age I questioned
photographic imagery, worried that it all seemed to be derived from
the same modes of traditional but in my mind boring conception. It
was about then that the often repeating dreams of complex imagery
started to surface in my youthful consciousness. In one of the repeating
dreams I saw myself making a wall sized picture by using family scrapbook
photos. The little pictures all came together on a wall to create
a large sized montage made up of black and white drugstore processed
photographs. However it was only when you backed away from all of
those little overlapping family images that you could make out a faint
visage coming from the ethers of something or somebody looking back
at you. It was a powerful sensation, a premonition of my future that
has stayed with me all of these years.
I have always felt the sharpness of a prick on the end of the silver
tipped photo hook, poking and metaphorically driving me to be more
creative regardless of the consequences. At times, in my teen years
it was reminiscent of exactly how an ulcer feels, an acid like hole
burning in your stomach. Only this was a mental fire, burning inside
me to create something, a flaming drive that has never ever let up.
But in truth in the early years I was also hooked by the gear or paraphernalia
and photographica itself. I moaned for it, longed for it, as one would
any lover. I remember once telling my mother quite earnestly that
I was deeply in love, when she asked with scepticism and parental
interest, for I was very young then. "That's nice tell me dear with
whom", I replied , "Oh you wouldn't know, it's called a Nikon F."
"You are in love with a, a what, a camera?" "Yes" I innocently replied
with my naive youthful bluster, all the while clutching a Popular Photography advertising
image of the camera. I had torn it out of the photo magazine and carried
it around just to look at it constantly and keep it close to my youthful
beating breast. It was 1958 or possibly 1959, or there abouts, and I was in love after all.
The first photograph that I can actually consciously remember taking
was when I was eleven at the time and on a ship returning from a trip
to England. It was my second crossing of the North Atlantic to stay
with my large maternal family. Using a Kodak Box Brownie camera I
clicked a picture of an iceberg. All the while listening to a much
older man, who said that he was one of the few male Titanic survivors,
telling me that we must be very near the spot in the ocean where that
great ship had floundered.
I can also remember the first time in my father's home basement workshop
using an old beat up hand me down wired together enlarger and some
tiny mismatched processing trays. With scant knowledge of photographic
techniques I watched as my first black and white print appear out
of the chemical ethers and expose its silver self to me. It was a
pivotal moment. From that point to this day I was literally captivated,
seduced into submission by the chemical and paper magic trick and
no doubt by the power of capturing and holding reality.
At the age of thirteen or fourteen I began earnestly to take photos.
I had a Japanese range finder camera, a birthday gift from my father
purchased after much coaxing on my behalf. By the time I was in my
late teens my days were spent working very industriously, mimicking
a blind ant worker who toils out of necessity. My first photographic
employment was with a photo studio doing interiors of industrial work
places one day, photographing refurbished hotel rooms the next and
then working on a furniture catalogue shoot a few days later. Then
clothes and model work during the following week. A few years later
I moved onto several advertising photo houses who were dealing with
I can tell you that working daily in a photo studio influences you,
how can it not? If you spend hours, days, years producing glossy slick
imagery that is meant simply to sell something you can not easily
rid yourself of that sort of mental and visual ideology over night.
On the weekends or in my spare time I fancied myself as more than
just someone who photographed whatever I was told to. But it was just
not possible to fully strip off and rid myself of one type of visual
thinking and quickly replace it with another. It is impossible for
a day to day working commercial photographer to cleanly step into
the shoes of a genuine fine art photographer. And the reverse is also
true. It is not possible for a full time fine art image maker to easily
step into the shoes of a commercial photographer. Both of those working
modes require mastering different creative skill sets to do them complete
MY INITIAL EARLY EKTACOLOUR WORK
Luckily for me and helped along by my anti-social temperament and an acute overly sensitive nature regarding human to human contact, I only weathered ten years in the commercial photography world.
My first "fine art" portfolio created in the late 1960s came forth
instinctively from within a genuine creative but young and naive core.
The work had no name tag that I could give it. It was not in the realm
of traditional photography in the conventional sense, but in my mind
was a blending and knitting together of both creative vision and photographic
Using the commercially available Ektacolour printing process I started
doing multiple exposure images on colour printing paper. By combining
different images I literally created my own way of seeing. I then
further enhanced the result by using lithe film and hand bleaching
for masking purposes or I used transparency film but developed it
as a negative and then sandwiched that together with solarized colour
negative film and threw in conventionally processed black and white
film. In this hand done method I was able to create unearthly, Martian-like
atmospheres in my colour images. Sometimes with great success, but
often just failures. Each time I tried something I came across new
ideas and was then able to apply that knowledge on the next creation.
However, unless you are independently wealthy or have a source of
income from outside employment, the burden of day-to-day survival
can be extremely rough for those driven to forsake everything in order
to formulate and master the creation of photographic art. In my case,
I had something else, a working spouse who shared with me total financial
and mental support. We both made a commitment and I left the world
of business driven photography and entered one that centred around
a personal artistic photographic pathway.
ABOUT MAKING THE BREAK TO FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY
Seeking praise for my work I was shown more traditional
photographic image concepts, both technically and visually. My youthful ambitions were influenced by the traditional thinking
that black and white imagery empowered the difference between commercial
and fine art photography. And that image making had to be choosing
a particular subject theme and then literally "photocopying" the same
kind of thing over and over again rather than my early approach to
creation which was to conceptualise a theme and work it out one image
at a time using multiple printing techniques.
The hesitation and reticence of the museums to collect colour work
in the early seventies affected my creative direction. I remember
showing my early works at the Museum Of Modern Art in the late 1960s
and was told if I really wanted to do something for photography that
I would come up with a full colour process that was more permanent
than the one I was currently using. I lament now, if only what they
had wanted was a new way of photographic visualising or deeper seeing.
But alas all they were interested in was just a more permanent colour
MY PROCESS ORIENTATED YEARS
So the hunt was on to find a permanent colour process. Several of the alternative photographic processes, cyanotype, platinum, and gum printing snagged my youthful attention. After much experimentation I would commit myself to full colour gum printing. It suited me personally, an all hands on printing method where you are in control of every single aspect of a prints creation. I got to a point where I could produce a permanent gum based colour print that literally rivalled the more impermanent chromogenic colour processes. And just as I was getting somewhere with it the museums came to the startling realisation they could indeed collect dye based chromogenic colour work as long as they stored them in temperature and humidity controlled cold storage vaults or in vacuum sealed bags in a deep freezer.
While I reached new heights of working with the gum process my image
path remained influenced by convention. Attached to each of the processes
were its own set of images, more or less traditional looking combinations
of twenty four pictures all in small signed editions. I can actually
count at least sixteen different photographic portfolios I have completed
between 1967 and 1989. Each of them photographed carefully and lovingly,
painstakingly hand printed and then signed and editioned. All the
while travelling hundreds of thousands of miles all the way out to
the abyss of creative repetition and back just to find and gather
up yet another group of traditional photographic looking images.
I was good at this. I made my way along the path following in the
time warn footsteps involved with equipment, processes, and the traditional
simple click style imagery. Picture making that's evolved from searching,
finding, and then clicking the shutter. I worked with 6x6cm, 4x5,
12x20, 5x7, 8x10 camera models. I alternated between old photographic
processes and contemporary black and white toned silver work. The
changes of equipment, alternative processes or finding a new subject
matter to "click" had replaced my intuitive creative instincts. I
tried to fill the void of internal core based creativity with external
equipment and travel satisfaction. I was left continually searching
for something I knew existed but could not define at that time. Like
reaching out for an orgasm that you know exists but just will not
I produced my first full colour gum dichromate portfolio in 1980.
Twenty selected portraits taken at various theme parks in the Eastern
seaboard of America. Each image was 30x30 inches in scale printed
in editions of ten. I laboriously printed all of the full colour gum
prints before moving on to something else. It swallowed two years
of my life.
I recall travelling one hundred thousand miles over a two year period
throughout Canada and much of North America photographing "Joints",
the gaming booths you find at the little country fairs. I did them
using an 8x10 Deardorff field camera and a large flash set up to illuminate
the insides of the tents. Eventually producing a 30x40 inch portfolio
of beautifully selenium toned silver prints all signed and editioned.
I was praised and encouraged to keep working on the same subject with
the eventual hope of producing a photographic book.
It all became more about just trying to get there, in a position to
take the image, spending time to obtain permission to photograph,
and more about finding the funds to travel. The image became a secondary
concern, my creative emphasis fell into the procedural aspects.
However, I had a constant battle blazing within myself as to just
exactly what photography was and just where it fit in the creative
fine art realm. There were times I adamantly believed that the black
and white photo copy style of photographic image creation was all
there was and even insisted that was all it should be. On the other
hand I had my moments, alone in the dead of night where I saw a wall
full of interrelated images and the creative image potential which
that dream of vision entailed.
Was I going to just continually keep adding to the conventional image
conception supporting the silver-based traditional foundation that
belonged to the history of photography? Or could I allow myself the
freedom to remove the shackles I had imposed from those external influences
and possibly reach into the inner core of my own creativity? Could
I keep committing my life and energy (and it was a lot of hard toil)
to always working on so bloody little in respect to my creative abilities?
It literally took me six more years to finally find an answer to these
questions. In the mean time though I simply moved away from the "Joint"
photographing to something else.
As I pondered what I would do next a chance encounter with a travel brochure send me down another visual path. I learnt there were fifty thousand festivals each year in India and it became the "thing" to chase in my mind.
The research began, a trip was planned for 1984. In truth I started off photographing in India exactly the same way
I had worked in North America. I worked that way for six years, producing
four different portfolios. The first images were of specific Hindu
festivals; I printed these in black and white toned silver. The second
imagery centred around a Hindu festival in Calcutta called the Kali
Puja. I printed these in the full colour gum process. The third, another
portfolio of full colour gum prints, portraits of the people of Calcutta.
Then I turned to the ancient Indian icons I found while travelling
around the country side and printed them in large (48"x60") free form
I had enough work from India to secure a major museum show, one that
would eventually tour across Canada. The image content had been chosen,
the catalogue all laid out, and the theme pieced together from the
work I had all ready completed. But I awoke one hot Summer night in
a sheer panic. Cradling my head in my hands my soul screamed out,
"why should I always have to gear my inner creative self to, as I
saw it, somebody else's pedestrian visual ideals?" I was hungry and
yearned to provide more than I had been doing.
I couldn't convince the museum of photography to support my idea of
returning once more to photograph and to do it differently this time.
I tried to describe what I could see in my mind, large photographic
colour murals, pieces that overlapped and created their own vision.
I was not successful in convincing them, but for the first time in
many years I knew what I had to do.
The murals would represent a scale that actually suited my particular
vision and I hoped would also make me proud. So I went back to India
in spite of everything that was standing in my way, returning to the
Kali Puja, working in a manner that would eventually resurrect and
salvage my own inner intuitive creativity from photographic traditionalism.
And oh yes, the museum did in the end include three of the new murals
in the final show.
In the past I had always been unable to commit to subject matter in
a meaningful sense, that is until I travelled to India. On our first
trip we visited Calcutta (now renamed Kolicutt) to attend one of the
largest Hindu festivals, Durga Puja. Eating dinner one night an older
American chemist and his wife sitting at our hotel communal table
questioned why we were not staying on for the upcoming Kali Puja.
Frankly we had never heard of this Goddess but from his descriptions
decided to alter our route and return to Calcutta two weeks later.
That first encounter with Kali and the religious festival that surrounds
her was like a visual feast and represents to me my first genuine
It was here I encountered Kali's faithful attendants, her Yoginis.
I related instantly to these grotesque deities that acted as her guardians,
they were visually hideous but spiritually they were fighting for
goodness over evil. In truth they are generally misunderstood (I could
personally very easily relate to this) and visually they stimulated,
excited and enticed me with their repulsive appearance. I was drawn
to them exactly like a moth to a flame. Under their spell I kept returning
to visit year after year captivated by their earthy visual allure.
Kali herself is a powerful Hindu Goddesses. She is a metaphorical
symbol and representation for all of Cosmic creation, preservation,
and destruction. From that symbolism came my visual pathway. Now let
me make this clear, this was not a religious experience for me. I
was not in the least interested in Hinduism. I am not a religious
convert. But I was definitely caught in a visual photographic spell
inspired by Hinduism's earth bound folk art.
In my younger years I had listened attentively to the curators, gallery
owners, and well meaning collectors. At forty, with India on my creative
plate seducing me and satisfying a visual hunger I no longer heard
their words of caution; especially the thought that if I did not stop
photographing in India that I would have no career.
Today I can acknowledge that they were right; but only about aspirations
for having financial stability. My goal in life had always been very
clear, to arrive at a point with my work that would appease and satisfy
the creative demons who always taunted me for even more than I could
ever hope to offer them.
This commitment, perhaps it was more of a visual obsession, ultimately
pushed me over the edge creatively. I simply literally became that
Hindu Goddess Kali. I find a scene that captures my imagination, the
thing itself before me, but instead of one click to captured it on
film, I literally photographically dissected it into pieces. Each
section kept as a complete whole, the photographic integrity being
paramount. Back in the studio I print the scene and assemble it just
as it was photographed. It is at this point that the destruction and
creative evolution begins. I dissolve and then rearrange the image
in front of me to recreate images never before seen.
My first mural works were created using nine, twelve, or fifteen 30x40
inch sections. I used an 8x10 inch Deardorff view camera to slowly
capture each section piece by piece. These finished murals measured
eight by ten, twelve, or sixteen feet when finished and I printed
them in the full colour gum dichromate process. It was a time consuming
activity. The actual photographing of the scene took three to four
hours per mural. The printing itself took many months to accomplish
and was extremely expensive because of the large colour separation
It was not long before I switched to a 35 mm camera to capture the
images. The camera had finally become just the image recording tool
and I was making equipment decisions based on creative intelligence.
Although still using a tripod in my work I began to fracture the images
into smaller and smaller pieces, often capturing eight hundred images
on a given subject.
The creative juices that had laid quiet for so long became organically
alive, like a profuse excited spurting wet gush. I decided to come
out of the metaphorical closet. I did not discard tradition, but my
personal suffocation only stopped when I began to reformulate my vision.
I was on my way, soaring out towards my unleashed creativity. It felt
good to be unveiled. The probing questions of my searching seemed
inconsequential to the act of actually creating. The need to define
exactly what photographic image creation really meant more or less
dissolved into the impetus of being able to shape my own visual world.
I no longer wondered who I was? I knew the answer and so could knowingly
and confidently return home from my travels.
MY DOG TAJ AND MOTHER EARTH
It was around this time that I came across a waif like snow white fluffy stray dog roaming around outside the studio. At first thought I ignored him, hoping he would simply move on. But within the hour I was out searching the local neighbourhood in the pouring rain. I knew that as a responsible being I had to deal with what I had seen. We dutifully cornered and then took him to the local animal control shelter thinking someone would surly come and claim him. At the end of each day I called the centre to learn of his plight. On day four, the last day they would keep him alive I went out and paid to adopt that little dog.
It wasn't really what we needed; we had five cats and another mouth
to feed would only strain our already tight food budget. However,
as it turned out Taj became a pivotal catalyst creatively. Anyone
with a dog knows they have to be walked. So Taj and I walked, short
walks but many times a day. We walked to the park at the end of our
studio building. It's a river park with forested areas, wild flowers,
and trails twisting and meandering along the river bank.
It was during these walks with Taj that visual notions of continually
changing ephemeral landscape reasserted themselves back into my creative
consciousness. Without a camera in my hands I watched carefully as
the seasons changed. The land presented itself to me as a mature fully
rounded female body who then exhibited herself stark naked in the
fall winter and spring seasons right in front of my creative reasoning
for further consideration. I became firmly mentally aroused in anticipation
of the sheer joy of what was beginning to occur before my eyes. It
was as if another dimension leading out to visual infinity had swung
open allowing me to see through the wind billowing veil separating
this dimension and an other, seeing if only briefly, into a different
visual realm, one so close at hand. It had been there all along, but
all it needed was to have the traditional layers being peeled away.
DEFEATING THE IMAGE
Where I am right now in my thoughts on this medium is that creativity should be driven and formed from an inner personal vision and not by relying on simply photocopying the external subject matter. In truth the image itself that's in front of the camera has always in the end defeated photographers, they have not fought and wrestled to eventually defeat and master the image. I also believe that one should commit to having an intimate technical knowledge of the medium. Only when these two points of view are married can the creative conduit, yourself, rise and soar on the artistic thermals.
In traditional modes of fine art photographic thinking and working,
the subject matter itself seems to be the dominating factor exerting
integral authority and dominance over creative sensibilities. The
found thing or chosen subject should only be the raw material in the
mix for eventual artistic creation. Otherwise the photographic method
of actually doing becomes the "thing" that is in full control of the
creation. It has the photographer fussing with equipment, tweaking
the process and bleeding their creative energies and powers away from
the art work itself. In turn when you have disrespect or a disinterest
and lack commitment to the technical know-how, just using photographic
methodology as an easy to employ reproduction tool, control of creation
is weakened and the medium's integrity becomes compromised. It is
a delicate balance to ensure that you are not defrauding the medium
of it's true creative potential and worth.
In order to rise on artistic thermals and glide out to visual infinity
the photographer must learn to defeat that external image by exerting
their own creative power and authority over the final outcome. Creation
is about the magic of original inner inspiration. It should stem from
within the image creator, the photographer, the artist. The individual
must master and become the driving and controlling force, generating
the impetus towards harnessing those motivational drives from one's
inner intuitive aesthetic sensibilities and doing so from a firm foundation
of respect, even dare I say it, with ardent love for the medium of