Artist's Statement Jack Blair
As a viewer of my images, you will see them within the context of your own history and experience. You may find yourself looking beyond their aesthetics to a personal experience or memory. Individual emotions will vary, but if I can connect in some way with people through my photographs, I’m satisfied.
When making a photograph in the field, I can manage where the camera is positioned relative to the scene I’m considering, the moment I trigger the shutter, and sometimes where the lens is focussed. Both in the field and in post processing I manage the light and the colour in order to create the sensation that I want to achieve.
My photographs are, in some cases, a chance moment of good positioning, good lighting, and effective atmospherics. However, most are the result of careful positioning, waiting for the desired lighting effect and getting out in conditions that provide the most effective atmospherics. Some required me to return again and again until I found the right place and the right conditions for what I was trying to achieve with my image. Often viewers speak of a ‘lucky shot’, but I think that ‘luck’ requires a lot of skill development, invested time, and patience. When everything comes together, that is when I can create that ‘magic’ image.
I photograph in both black and white, and colour. My preference is for black and white images, but sometimes colour brings so much to the viewer that it must be used. I use the medium that I think will speak most strongly to the viewer.
I started in photography using black and white film and processing in a darkroom. I progressed beyond the basics and was starting to explore the nuances of darkroom techniques to improve my prints. I was spending more and more of my time locked in my darkroom with my paper and chemicals, working as a darkroom technician. It was then that digital photography arrived. Now, my post processing time is flexible and the art I’ve been able to develop, for both black and white and colour, has extended far beyond what I was learning in the darkroom. I have been able to reduce my efforts as a technician and focus on the art in my photography.