VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS by Dick Eger
When shape, pattern, form, color and texture take top billing, an abstract image is close at hand. instead of easily recognizable people, objects, landscapes or reality itself, abstracts capture something in a way that would not usually be seen. They can be dreamy or harsh, vivid or murky and come in black and whit or color. After all, they were conjured from someone's imagination. You can accept them as they present themselves -- unique pieces of art, or you can try to interpret, decode, decipher, break down then reconstruct it. There are no rules.
What I love about abstracts is how their puzzlement is their beauty. Abstracts abound in nature. Georgia O'Keefe's work is among the best of the painterly examples. But there have been exceptional abstract photographers -- Aaron Siskind, László Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray and many more who daringly made their mark in this arena. Abstract or conceptional images often challenge one's preconceived idea of photography itself. They require an open mind, an expanded acceptance of what beauty includes. They call for more imagination and less logic to fully process and fully appreciate the image. The greatest creative geniuses have walked in these corridor and even for the doubtful and uninitiated, it is a trip worth taking.
For fifty-six years, photography has been my quiet, personal passion. With camera in hand and a Zen mindset, I have occasionally composed and captured an enduring picture. Weeks, months and years will pass before I revisit that contact sheet with a more objective eye. Memories of place, surroundings, atmosphere, circumstances and people flood back as the time elapsed allows so much more to be revealed. Each photo must meet my own subjective and fluid criteria. Is it aesthetic? Does it ooze a special aura? Does the face reveal emotion? Is there humor or whimsy? Is it absurd? Is it unique, curious, compelling? Is it good?
For more than forty years I shot in black and white using a twin-lens Rolleiflex -- a fine, relatively heavy, medium-format, manual camera that produces exceptional 2.25-inch square negatives or slides. Each roll of film has only 12 exposures before needing to reload. The challenges of traveling world-wide with the Rollei led me to begin using a very small digital camera ad iPhone, and I switched to color.
My sensibilities remain the same -- they are my constant. Observing life is an art in itself. I am intensely curios and aware of my surroundings. To me, nature is sublime and one of my favorite subjects, Some other ever-morphing categories of my work include street scenes and street people, interiors, abstracts, landscapes, objects, animals, portraits and even a rare self-portrait. But these genre are hardly pure and usually overlap, blending and creating other hybrid groups.
One measure of a photograph's appeal is whether it provokes a reaction. The visceral chemistry that sparks between the image and the observer is deeply personal. It is the moment when image and life communicate.
VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS by Dick Eger