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My Take

 

Thinking back to when I first discovered photography, many images flash to mind. I will share some of them here in my early B&W work, and more moments I continue to pursue, now working digitally and in color as well. But let me try to explain: really what first comes to mind as an ongoing theme is solitude, that sense of otherness, of separateness the photograph provides as window and reflexive mirror. The act of photographing is a participation in that exploration. As if the act of naming something that is implicit in the making and sharing of a photographic image was a way to come to grips with an unknown power over that other self and find some sense of belonging. Wishful thinking to be sure, as exploring any reality with a camera is no cure for loneliness. And whatever rules the world can only be glimpsed in what I think of as rare gifts of aliveness.

Kindred spirits shared in this silent language, one of the most influential being the artist and photographer Charles Gagnon, who always seemed to grasp the essence of what was being said or was trying to find a voice. His support was instrumental in charting my course. Other teachers followed, such as Tom Gibson and influence from Gabor Szilasi and painters Guido Molinari and John Heward, historian Gary Walters. I studied other photographers, discovering a world of great talents. My Master’s thesis at Concordia was on Winogrand and synchronicity, or how the good fortune of chance rewards those on seeking it with meaning. Not an easy sell in our more conceptual age. Manipulation is not my thing either; the sky that was is the sky I offer.

I found like souls in pursuit of my other passion: acting. This complements my same needs as a human animal at the best of times. But still I am compelled to pick up my camera and seek out those moving moments when I feel I have somehow pierced the veil and glimpsed some little something beyond. Maybe it is all in my imagination, but isn’t that where this all begins?

I embrace the randomness of being and imperfection of truth, and only hope to strike a chord.

Gentle and not-so-gentle ironies, moments of light and air, of empathy, silent understanding and even denunciation, all find their way into my worldview. People disappear and life goes on.

Young Man Sipping Coffee - a prtrait of the artist as a young man perhaps? From the Berlin series done before the wall came down.
Prayer - taken at the tip of Cape Horn, this nun concentrated the power of her rosary on the rocky cliffs across the passage, where sailors had surely met their demise.
James Rae framing a photograph in Daytona Beach
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