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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Brian Oglesbee

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Dates:  1951 -
Born:  US, IL, Chicago
Active:  US
Spent 11 years examining the nature of water textures in his Water Series and a selection of the works are included in the book "Aquatique" (Palace Press International). 
Artist statement: 
One of photography's most potent virtues is its unparalleled power to render in astonishing detail what is in front of the camera. Nothing convinces the eye like a photograph. I have been working in the studio for years with large-format cameras to exploit that unique power and present the viewer with believable evidence of unbelievable things.?
Among the ideas I have been exploring is the concept of focus as a layer in the image. The cameras I use allow me to precisely control the plane the camera will focus on. For example, in the Water Series the viewer and a figure are on either side of a body of water. The camera is always carefully focused on the plane of the surface of the water in order to maximize the surprising optical effects of refraction and reflection. The images picture the water's surface as the place where the realms of the physical and spiritual meet. In other new studio work, the Figure/Foliage images, I employ focus to influence the perception of connection and how we are inescapably intertwined with the natural world. Nature and the spirit merge.? The Street-Light pictures extend my work in the studio. Thanks to the evolution of digital cameras and lenses, I am able to work outside the studio. In these new pictures I select a plane to focus on, concentrating on the seemingly insignificant surfaces people move across: a section of sidewalk, street or patch of ground. At first glance the viewer is presented with a composition of formally arranged graphic elements comprised perhaps of shadows, cracks or reflections. But on closer viewing a world of tiny details appears: things we rush by, step on but don't see, grains of sand, traces of our existence, traces of our passing; things that remind us that the world is complex and strange on every scale and we are only conscious of a very small part of it. I look for patterns, some of which seem accidental, others deliberate. Some are created by light and shadow and suggest drawings or paintings, or spatial optical illusions. If in the Water Series I was focusing on the plane where the physical and spiritual meet, in this work I am photographing the plane that binds us to the earth, the face of gravity and how we interact with it; how we mark, delineate, scar and decorate it.
In all my work what you see in the final print is what was presented to the camera. There is no manipulation of the image during or after the initial single exposure.
[Courtesy of Lumiere Photo]

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