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Imagery by Bill Bernbeck
In Pursuit …
My interest in photography started like that of many others. I wanted to capture and share my experiences. I wanted to impart my feelings from those experiences. I wanted to say, “Look at what I have seen!”
I clicked away with a camera at anything and everything. It soon became apparent that I was missing the point. I was shooting, but I was not catching the essence of the image. My pictures were “flat”, and did not convey the impact or message I thought they should.
That led to an introspective look at what I was trying to capture. I learned to think about the picture, about the point of the image, and ultimately, on the presentation of the work. If the photographs were to convey the experience, I would have to bring art into the photographs.
I studied the work of other photographers. The alluring cityscapes of Alfred Stiegltz; the attention to detail by Ansel Adams and Eugene Smith; the remarkable insight of Margaret Bourke-White and Dorothea Lange; the personality and expression in the portraits of Edward Curtis and Yousuf Karsh; these, and many others, have given me a foundation for inspiration.
I further studied work accomplished by artists in other media. The Dutch Golden Age treatment of still life, of everyday life, and of scenics made me very aware of the importance and drama of lighting. I have long admired Impressionism, with its strong use of color and form to convey the essential elements of the image. I like the purity and elegance of Asian calligraphic pen and ink.
I keep my “eye” open for an image that gathers interest. I do not limit myself to any one subject or technique. I look for the inherent qualities of the picture and utilize the tools I think will best present it.
I seldom think of myself as an artist, rather, I am finding the art in my experience. My subject matter is in the world around me. I am a student striving to reach the level of expression achieved by those whose work I admire. I see it as an ongoing challenge, where the pursuit itself is the true measure of accomplishment.
I am still saying, “Look at what I have seen!”
Image City Photography Gallery ♦
722 University Avenue ♦ Rochester,
NY 14607 ♦ 585.271.2540