Feature First Fridays – May 2011
Even before the recent, well-deserved, publicity Glyn Davies’ photography has received I was going to feature him here this month. In case you didn’t know, the Prime Minster of the UK, David Cameron, purchased the two volumes of “Anglesey Landscapes [Tirluniau Mon]“ by Glyn Davies as wedding gifts for Prince William and Catherine Middleton. You can see a video on the Daily Telegraph where he discloses this purchase here.
Glyn first came to my attention right as I was leaving the UK for New York just over 8 years ago. He had just opened his gallery in Menai Bridge, where my parents live, and I wandered in one day as I walked through the village. I was so captivated by the photographs on display that I bought a print of “Snowden Evening” to remind me of home. Then, a couple of years ago, after I had got into photography, I thought it would be a good idea to see if Glyn had an online presence. I was really happy to find his blog, website and images on Flickr. The image I asked Glyn if I could feature in this post, above, was the first one of his that I commented on after re-discovering his work. It was one that stopped me in my tracks as you can see by my comments here. Like all of his images it conveys not just the beauty of landscape but its mood and emotion too, possibly more so than usual due to the face-like structure protruding from the valley side. The more I look at images the more I am able to recognize passing trends and fads and landscape photography is no exception to that. However, I keep coming back to Glyn’s images because there is always something more to explore in them than just their beauty and he rarely relies on a new technique to accomplish his vision. He photographs from the heart – what he feels as he is connected to the land in that moment he is compelled to make a photograph – and I certainly think that comes across in his work. If you take a moment to read his blog you will find that it is this connection to the land that is exactly what makes him tick. I get lost in the narratives he tells after he has gone out with his camera to be in the land he loves. He connects me to my family home and the land around it, but his photography also transcends that connection for me. I hope you enjoy both his images and words.
Glyn Davies blog “Musings from the Anglesey Photo-Artist”
Glyn Davies Photoshelter website
Robert Rodriguez Jr is another photographer who also conveys a lot more than just the beauty of the landscape in his images. Like Glyn he does not rely on a new overused technique or fad to create his images. They are made from the heart and with great feeling for where he is. Robert is also very instructive on his blog and through his video podcasts. He is very generous with his tips for landscape photographers, especially those with little experience in winter hiking for example. He primarily works along the Hudson Valley from his studio and home in Beacon, NY. So many photographers try to follow the example of Ansel Adams and his many acolytes by heading for the National Parks in the west. This has resulted in a flood of images from places like Yosemite, Death Valley, Monument Valley and more. However, Robert’s images are much closer to home for me being that the majority of the land he photographs is just over an hour north of New York city. It is striking to feel the mood and emotion of the land that is so close to you and has helped me appreciate it more than I had in the previous 8 years I have been here.
Robert Rodriguez Jr blog “Beyond the Lens”
Robert Rodriguez Jr website
Finally, earlier this month Rob Haggert of A Photo Editor posted an extremely interesting three part interview with Dan Winters. You can read each part in the following links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The full interview is an insight into the creative mind and whirlwind of a photographer who is very well known for his magazine work. He is justly famous for the intricate sets he designs for his productions and the energy he puts into those shoots. However, alongside this he also engages in other creative projects: building and photographing constructions; drawings and other paper works; and a series on honeybees photographed using a scanning electron microscope. All of these are discussed in the interview, but it was the latter project that really made me sit up and take notice. One of the things I would like to explore is photographing scientific research or ideas using a fine art photographic medium. Dan did this with the honeybees after he heard about colony collapse syndrome and then wrote an article about it for Texas Monthly. He had a history of using electron microscopy too in a story for Discovery on Med Flies [Mediterranean fruit flies]. I was really interested in the fact he approached it from the opposite angle to what I intuitively thought a photographer would do. He used a scientific instrument to photograph a subject in a science story rather than using a more traditional camera. While the bees themselves don’t overtly show signs of any colony collapse syndrome symptoms, which they may not have had anyway, the artistic way in which he photographed the subject gives one pause for thought. You become intrigued to know more about the bees, which look so ethereal in the images. This in turn may lead to people wanting to know more about colony collapse syndrome and the science behind the efforts to find out the cause(s). I really enjoyed reading about how he accomplishes projects, from conception to execution to final printing.
Dan Winters website