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Featured Artist: Michael L. Williams

Artist Statement

I became interested in photography at the age of 12, when my family won a Minolta SRT101 during my Little League opening day festivities; and like a proper New England Yankee I could not let something free go to waste. It was through Ansel Adam’s three books of photography; The Negative, The Camera and The Print, that I developed an understanding of the sciences behind this art form. I have also been greatly influenced by Eadweard Muybridge, who is most notable for the development of stop action photography and his studies of the animal and human forms during movement. My admiration of Adams and Muybridge does not solely rest in their rich images, but it is in their mastery of the mechanics of the equipment and processes which enabled them to push and find new limits.

With the extinction of talented local developing labs, my ever waning personal time and the advent of outstanding inkjet printers and ink, I have converted from the traditional film format to digital media. The lessons I have learned from studying Adams and Muybridge have shown me that it is important to experiment and push the capabilities current technology to achieve the image in my mind. My methods remain immersed in film, in the sense that I work slowly and I don’t rely on automatic settings. Like good barbeque, my photography technique is low and slow; meaning that I use small apertures and long shutter speeds to saturate the digital sensor with light giving it the opportunity to capture as much information as possible. My patient pace forces the use of a tripod, allowing me to study the shot before I click the shutter.

My current work explores the effects of time as it scrapes it way against the things we construct and the way Mother Nature tends to overtake what has been neglected. There are traces existing on common things that we overlook everyday which provide cues of forgotten stories and hard lived lives. My intent is not to dictate what the stories of these artifacts are, but to just provide the evidence for the viewer to interpret their own sense of history. Although I try to make every image rich in tone, detail and composition, it is my hope that these traits become transparent and reveal the tale of the subject’s past.

Michael L. Williams

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Artwork copyright © Michael L. Williams. No images may be reproduced in any form without written permission.