Personal Influences Part 2B

Many years ago, around 1990, I founded the photography group INVISION. The idea was to form a group of photographers that would support each other and, as a group, occasionally exhibit our photography. Thanks to that loosely formed organization I was fortunate to make friends with a group of folks that, in various ways, have influenced my perspective, understanding and appreciation of photography. Recently we had a casual reunion of sorts and have hopefully started the process of renewal. Here are some brief comments about these talented people.

Dale Bernstein – Dale is an incredibly accomplished photographer. His understanding and control of his craft and and how he applies that craft to making creative images is inspiring. Using some of the most difficult photographic processes, such as daguerreotype, ambrotype, wetplate collodion and tintype, Dale produces amazing images. His ability to expertly combine all of the elements that he chooses to make an expressive image, led me to think more deeply about the entire process of making a picture.

Dale printed and assisted for several of history’s greatest contemporary photographers – Avedon, Penn, Horst. He has always been willing to share stories, etc. about working with these great photographers thereby giving insight into the creative process of a world that I can only imagine.

Stephen Rose – Steve was a professor of photography in Boston and has been a dealer of fine photography for many years. Steve’s understanding of photography is on a plane far above mine. His perspective, comments and observations, to this day, cause me to evaluate my views and look deeper into many aspects of photography. Steve also made excellent photographs. Studying the images that he produced, realizing his vast understanding of the art form, is always interesting and makes me realize that making an image should be a very personal thing rather than an impersonal amalgamation of what one has learned and studied.  Stephen passed away on July 21, 2013.  I miss him greatly.

Denis Ryan Kelly Jr. – It’s really hard to know where to start with Denis regarding his influence on my work. Is it his incredibly warm, welcoming and friendly personality, his unflagging dedication to his vision and art, his willingness to share? With Denis, all of these elements are parts of the entire package.

Denis has traveled the world making wonderful photographs capturing the essence and spirit of his objects of discovery and study. Trying to find words to adequately describe Denis’ work is beyond my limited writing capability. At this time he is installing his large format, multi-media exhibit, “Holy Lands, Journeys of a Pilgrim Artist” at his alma mater, Wabash College. He is presenting a colloquium on Friday the 5th of June at 1:00PM in Hayes Hall.

Part 2C, about Invision members Mike and Karen Stroup, and Ted Orland, will continue very soon in a future post.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you Ron! You are a marvel of encouragement! You are also insightful, broad minded and able to perceive aesthetic relationships across bodies of work and reveal understanding to us. Your dedication to art making seems only surpassed by your dedication to your wife. It is beautiful to see you two together. Of course she is a catalyst for much artistic volition. And an abundant example herself. I feel very grateful to call you friends! Peace, Denis

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