Monday, March 16, 2009

Inspirations #1

At our monthly Imageworks meetings we always have a business portion, a program, and mandatory scheduled member print showings. Recently we came up with the idea of letting groups of members select and present programs on a quarterly basis. One of the ideas I came up with was to do a presentation on "inspirations" or "influences". As photographers, and artists, we are all influenced by other artists' work. I thought it would be a good idea to explore this as it not only shows us where we came from [as artists] but, more importantly, where we are going, as well. At our next meeting Juan Garcia, Greg Hunter, and I will be presenting our inspirations.

In preparation for this meeting I thought I would start by offering them on my blog. I hope you enjoy, and are "inspired" as I have been...

Wall Scrawls, Hornitas, CA, 1940, Edward Weston

Foundation, Paterson, NJ, 1983, Richard M. Coda

When I was just starting out in large format photography in the early 1980s I had started reading about Edward Weston. I bought several books on his work, including the [required reading] Daybooks. I was intrigued by his images of ordinary objects and scenes. His use of line, shape and tone were incredible, transforming the subjects into something more. I began looking at my surroundings more carefully, even while driving to and from work. This image was a few blocks from where I worked in Paterson, NJ. I can't tell you how many times I drove past it before I finally decided to go in early and bring the 4x5" camera to work. There are probably 150 years worth of building materials exposed on this foundation wall, and I realized that one day, and without notice, this would all be gone. I am glad that I was able to capture the image and that I was inspired to do so.

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