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© 2019 Jim Ferguson

Jim Ferguson Insight LLC                                      

Statements

The Harmony Series

In New Orleans jazz many layers of music and instruments come together in harmony creating something much more compelling than its individual parts.  That’s exactly my goal in my new series which I’ve named “Harmony”.  Done in-camera, the disparate elements in the image and multiple layers unite becoming visually and compellingly complex.

Music as a metaphor works for me.  I see my individual images as combining visual elements in harmony.  Each image is like a different songs with my visual playlist of images growing in new ways as I continue on my creative journey.

 

I have the same philosophy about photography as Alex Webb.  Webb believes that “photography is a creative journey, one that’s intuitive rather than rational, spontaneous rather than preconceived.”  Shooting intuitively, exploring and discovering, I wait until a scene raises its hand and warrants a pause.  I see the world as my visual playground. 

Having been born cross-eyed, corrective surgery left me with no depth perception.  I’ve taken this handicap and turned it into an advantage.  Since my vision is different than my viewers, I want the images to spark the viewers own relationship with the photograph. 

Reconstructed Space Statement

Unbeknownst to me at the time, my photographic vision was established at birth.  Born cross-eyed corrective eye surgery at two years of age left me with no depth perception.  It’s with this altered sense of depth perception that I photograph.  

An anonymous LensCulture reviewer stated of my work “you have the kind of “mechanism” that disturbs our sense of place and time, leading to a feeling of the uncanny, thinking that we might know these spaces, but cannot ever.”  This statement appeals to me because the sense of place and time are unimportant to me.  The locations are ambiguous while I strive to make the images both familiar but elusive... transcending and uniting disparate elements into timeless prominence.

I am often asked why these scenes?  Shooting intuitively, exploring and discovering, I wait until a scene raises its hand and then I work the scene.  Reconstructing the space in-camera I make the images layered, graphic, dislocated from place, and disregarding of time while maintaining the truth of the scene. 

Ultimately, I want the image be a catalyst for the viewer to spark their own relationship to the photograph.  My goal is to show images that are both enigmatic and engaging.

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Water Series Statement

What attracted me to water towers is up close they have a strong presence and obvious strength to the structures because of their utilitarian purpose.  The fact they are ignore by most everyone also gives them a sense of isolation and almost loneliness. 

Water Towers are a part of the landscape seen but ignored by most everyone.  Viewed from a distance these structure stand above everything else in suburban and rural settings.  They make towns known that would be invisible to us; especially today as we drive by following a line on our GPS maps. 

My effort is not to document water towers like the Becher photographs.  I utilize them to capture the essence of these structures and transform them into something beyond their original shape and purpose.  I focus on their strength, beauty, and graphic qualities rarely seen in these structures.

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Unfamiliar Places Statement

Unfamiliar Places is a body of autobiographical memories that have been altered by the passage of time rather than by a proactive chemical or digital process. The images were stored on undeveloped film for 20 years, resulting in the degradation of the “latent” image.  This work reflects the serendipity that is unique to working with the analogue process and highlights its inherent materiality.  The unique process of the degradation of the film over 20 years mirrors the historical content of the images.

 

The images are a result of my photographic journey, the degradation of the emulsion embedded in negatives and the layering of history with the film wrapper’s film numbers and dots.  They were taken in France, Mexico and the U.S. 

 

Over the past two decades I continued to photograph, standing guard against the instinct for gratification and instead allowing the pictures to rest peacefully in a dark place. It is now thrilling to finally see that the choice to wait offers its rewards: here are both subtle diminishments and vital revelations in the aging process.  Time has left marks on these images just as the events of a life do.

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Wide Range Statement

Traveling through the Southwest for the first time I was photographically hot.  My imagery gelled into the beginning of a body of work.   This first trip was truly life changing.  The Southwest appealed to me so much I moved to Albuquerque.  It served as home base for travels in the West; thus beginning my Wide Range series.

I call this series Wide Range because of the open range nature of the West and the wide variety of subjects I choose to photograph.  Man’s isolated impacts on the environment stood out more in the broad expanses of the landscape.  I sought not to highlight the negative impacts but to utilize the man-made objects to create my images.  The juxtaposition of these man-made objects vs. dramatic backgrounds allowed me to visually compact space into layered unity.  This series began the visual path I’ve traveled with my photography.