The Human Element

When we moved into our house three years ago, we kept our eyes open for artwork.  We both love the ocean ... blues, greens, and warm tones ... fluidity, calm, and zen spirit ... a mirror of where we live and where we, spiritually, try to be. Jim has always loved surfing. And surf photos. My only stipulation: "I don't want any people  in the pictures." Perhaps it was a little more emphatic than a stipulation. I viewed people in art photography as a distraction - faces to whom I had no particular attachment ... and yet, there they would be: Everyday. In our home. Drinking morning coffee with us, cooking dinner with me, curled up reading a good book, leering over my shoulder.



Ocean Beach, California

I actually love people. I love the "being human" experience we all share - the joy, the consideration, the vulnerability. Still, I avoided people in my own photography ... trying to capture the experience of the setting or environment based purely on its attributes. If someone crept in, I'd crop them out ... ultimately disturbing the intended point of view or vastness of the scene. The intentionally blurred image has allowed me to capture the human experience (or at least how I perceive it) in context. There is no distraction by features or form ... just an image distilled into its basic elements - and often, it is the human element that creates the ambiance and gives feeling to the physical surrounding. It is, more often than not, the desired focal point. 

Above the couch in our living room, is a gold toned print (Uluwatu, Bali) by Aaron Chang. Perched atop the turquoise wave is a surfer. A person. Drinking morning coffee with us, wondering what's for dinner.