A Personal Retrospective

A retrospective look at 40 years of personal work, as a survey of Twentieth Century Photography.

Exploring representative samples of Twentieth Century Photography as shown in the Encyclopedia of the same name, in the order in which they appear (not all images are responded to) the Retrospective aims to collate examples of my own work, that have either: a) similar direct subject, b) similar treatment, or c) similar theme;  then digitally rework my resultant images, for contact printing on a hard substrate.

The Retrospective aims to explore in some way, direct and indirect(osmotic) influences on my own work over the past 40 years. Some of the images have no direct conscious connection, at least as far as I recall, other than coincidence, similar subject matter, or selection as a result of being inspired by a famous image, while other images are a deliberate attempt to either reproduce a similar image, or similar image treatment. As this gallery evolves and the Retrospective grows, all images will carry in their descriptions detailed discussion of how the image came about and where it may be considered a direct copy, then full acknowledgement of the original shall be give along with reasons for the making of the copy.

Touching back on the narrative for this Retrospective, the question must be asked, “How conscious are we of the sources of our inspiration for image creation?” When I was younger, I did read books on Photography, but I cannot say with any certitude that this or that photograph directly influenced the resultant photography. It is only in these later days, that photographers the world over are becoming more cognizant of imitation, appropriation, and plagiarism.

But, where do you draw the line, how do you distinguish between such usage in this day and age? Let me state quite candidly that I do draw inspiration from the work of other photographers (example: Caren Alpert‘s  “terra cibus no.30 Star Anise” by electron microscope, and my focus stacked version on Flickr) and when moved to reproduce something they have created, the act of replication has taught me significantly more about being a photographer and the the photographers craft. BUT to then go forward and claim such reproductive work as an original all of my on doing? That’s not my style. “Give credit where credit is due.” “Quote your sources” and learn from the amazing efforts of others. That is my firm and judicious belief.

I hope you find these images interesting and feel moved to search out the sources where relevant. Please let me recommend that you look into The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Photography, that you enjoy browsing its pages, and compare this poor Retrospective with the images therein, created by photographers far greater, than what I could aspire to ever be.