Like many artists, photographers tend to find a comfort zone and therefore become classified according to a particular style or subject. However, I find it very refreshing when a photographer steps out of that zone and looks at a subject in a new way or attempts a new style.
I’m sure that many of you are familiar with the work of Art Wolfe. He has a PBS series running called Travels to the Edge where a video crew follows him to remote locations as he photographs the amazing cultures, landscapes and wildlife from around the world. While I have never met Art, I have spoken to him on the phone and have many of his books, including Migrations which he sent me an autographed copy.
I always thought of Art as a wildlife/travel photographer, that is until recently! A fellow co-worker told me that her son was hired by Art to pose in his Seattle studio for a new series he was working on called The Abstract Man Exhibit. When some of his images were finally displayed on his website, I was blown away. His amazing black and white studies were totally outside of my concept of an Art Wolfe image.
Yet, when I returned to look at his Migrations book, or at the fine images in his online gallery, there is an element of his new work that was really there all along and I just never noticed. In the Migrations book he has wonderfully abstract images of thousands, or tens of thousands animals or birds that lose their individual identities and instead become wonderful patterns of colors and forms. In fact, very much like the extension of the fantastic new Abstract Man images.
I recommend going to Art’s gallery (Art’s Gallery) and then go and pick up your camera and try something new as well.