Seeing The World In A New Light

Everything has come together beautifully on this trip. Yesterday I went a saw La Maison Europeene De La Photographie Ville D Paris (Museum of European Photography) that was astonishing and mind-boggling. It is one the finest and most beautiful photography museums I have ever seen in the world. The gallery space is laid out over many levels of a beautiful large house with some of the most extraordinary spaces. The black and white images of Xaxier Lambour (celebrity and political portraits) in the basement were some of the best black and white images I have scene printed, shot with a square medium format Hasselblad. The depth and tone where vibrant and rich. Obviously shot on film before the digital era. I have never seen such blacks printed so richly before. These were portraits of men. When I first began printing I was always afraid to take my blacks so deep for fear of them becoming too ruddy. I will have a lot to experiment with when I get home. My images contain softness in many of their tones, but it has become my style and part of my signature of printing. I will bring a new use of light and exposure for my images that will become intensified as I begin to draw deeper into the image. One of the other artists featured in many of the galleries was a photographer from NY who came to Paris and photographed for 7 years named Jane Evelyn Atwood. Each gallery seem to feature a different subject: an intense look into photographing the first man to go public who was dying of AIDS, Prostitution in the Montmartra area, and women in prisons from all over the world. From an inside perspective-seeing people stripped of humanity and dignity, stark, haunting, riveting. The final exhibit on the top floor was about L’ombre de la Guerre (Shadow of War): 70 images collected from all over the world dealing with war. Many of these I have seen in the Pulitzers Prize Photo Collection last year in Montana. So many of these images are disturbing and haunting. I was so moved by all these collections that it impacted me the remainder of the afternoon. I began to go out and photograph people around me in the street hoping some of the greatness I had seen would be inspired and inform my photography. It’s like suddenly you begin to pay attention to things that you may not have noticed before. I moved slowly and often stood in one place to observe study and focus on what was happing around me.

Paris has turned into a good source of inspiration; everyone I have met during this trip has given me new insight into what I do best. I am seeing the importance of my work and reconnected with the power of photography as an art. There is such a vast difference between what we see on a screen and what is printed and displayed. I hope that somehow we will not lose our insight into this perspective. It feels like in the United States, we vary rarely get out and see extraordinary things. We have become a culture that is mostly reliant on our media devises and this unfortunately is the only way we see the world.