Influenced by the Image Makers
April 5, 2013
My thinking has been influenced by a cartoonist.
My photography has been influenced by a master.
The work of William Eggleston has influenced my photography. A critic once said of his work that “he doesn’t go out looking for the bazaar, but seems to find it everywhere he looks.” The study of his work has caused me to look for the bazaar – it isn’t hard to find.
Often, mundane objects and situations that otherwise appear benign, suddenly become suspect or threatening when seen from a different point of view.
Escalators are a bit scary, through Gahan Wilson’s eyes.
Reality changes when Mr. Wilson influences the processes of your mind.
Somehow, I wonder if these two men are really Siamese twins connected spiritually.
Two of my images are my way of saluting the work of these two influencers.
The first was taken by my wife with me posing with props arranged just as Eggleston had done years before. No post production editing here.
The second, one I titled “Shadow Sweep,” is the personification of a cartoon drawn by Gahan Wilson. It appeared years ago in Playboy. Followers of my blogs and photography know that I’m not an enthusiastic fan of post production software (PhotoShop).
I do use a much less expensive photo editing program (Paint Shop Pro) to clarify or fine tune images. My main focus, no pun intended, is to offer viewers images that appear as close to what I’ve seen in my viewfinder as possible. Even a novice can detect an image that has been “PhotoShopped to death.”
“Shadow Sweep” is one of the few examples of my use of edits to alter an image in a significant manner. Look twice.
Often times, fans have asked me to direct them to selections of my work that reflect the influence of Messieurs Wilson and Eggleston. Usually I defer and simply say that their influence is present in all my work – it just may not be as obvious in some images as others.
Three images come to mind right away that demonstrate the influence of the aforementioned mentors:
The Sentinel – I passed this scene out in the backwoods of Louisiana, somewhere between Baton Rouge and Bunkie a loyal guardian carries out his duties alone prior to the funeral service.
Madonna Headhunter – Surreal contrasts found in a vintage automobile sitting in a parking space alongside a city street in Asheville, North Carolina.
Living Room – A cold and lonely room in my late aunt’s house in Mangham, Louisiana.
Artists have many influences and I would love to hear about yours.