Some thoughts behind my mission

 

I have some things to say about photography and I thought this blog would be a good place to start. I aways welcome the opportunity to share the thinking and process behind my work and to learn what others are doing with theirs.

I’ve been doing photography in one form or another for fifty years. I started with film and darkroom processing back in my college days and evolved with the technology though the years. Because I was a Graphic Designer by profession I was able to grow and develop my Photoshop skills going back to the mid 1990’s.

At age 70 I’ve seen plenty of change in my life, with few areas effected more than photography. When I was a boy in the small town of Monett, Missouri one of the wealthiest people in town was a photographer named Sinclair Rogers. He photographed every wedding, took every school kids picture in the county and made a killing doing it. Back in those days you had to be a trained “professional” to do quality photography, and because the photographer also made the prints a simple 8 x 10 inch print would cost you the equivalent of $100 in todays money.

Flash forward to 2022 and everybody is a photographer. The newest iPhone has technology that exceeds some of the finest quality digital cameras from only ten years ago. Today alone, 3.2 billion photos were shared on social media. Now while a good number of those are cat pictures or what somebody had for lunch, serious artistic photographs are everywhere and our ability to share them is endless. It seems like every person, place, and thing on this earth has been photographed, and in some instances, a million times.

So how do you pursue photography as an artist in that environment? How do you make photography interesting in a world where everybody has seen everything? For me, it has been a shift away from taking photographs to making them. My imagination, artistic ability, and technical skills have enabled me to dissect, re-purpose, and reconstruct multiple photographs into an image not seen through the lens. The term for this is Photo Montage and it is the platform for every image I make.

In a world where image content is being generated at the speed of light, the ability to use and access that content for multiple purposes has never been greater. Photographers can generate additional revenue by selling the usage rights of their photographs through stock photo companies like Shutterstock. These companies have data bases with tens of millions of images that are cataloged and available for use at less than a dollar an image. This surplus has become a salvage yard of images that can be reused for commercial purposes, or re-imagined and re-purposed into the photo montages I create. In every instance I secure and pay for the usage rights to every part of the montages I create.