I am a large format black and white photographer specializing in natural landscapes and the built environment. I have worked in Italy, Greece, Switzerland, the American West and New England. In recent years, I have begun to concentrate as well on Providence, my city of residence, in its continuing period of vibrant transformation and development.
Prior to 1993, I divided my time between photography and a medical practice in radiology — a specialty I originally selected in part because of its visual nature. Since retiring from medicine, I have devoted myself fully to my passion for fine art photography.
I began my education in photography in the early 1970s by studying the texts and published images of photography’s best known modernist figures including Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston Harry Callahan and many others. I spent considerable hands-on time with two of Ansel Adams’ former students, Joe Englander and Gary E. Adams, and I participated in many workshops including the well-known Fred Picker gatherings in Vermont. These experiences, including workshops in the American Southwest as student and later as teacher, form the basis of an education and development that has spanned over thirty-five years.
My choice of subject often accommodates my penchant for depicting extremely fine detail to capture an essence of texture and tactility that seems at times to go beyond one’s recollection of nature. Effects of natural light play a central role in the unfolding drama and no parcel of the print, however apparently subordinate, is allowed the luxury of devaluation: information is available in the darkest darks, and often in the whitest whites as well.
In contemplating my career in photography, I believe that it has been a metaphor for my personal spiritual development over the years. I am awed by the manifestations of the earth and the cosmos. I am constantly reminded of how time flows so differently for the earth than it does for its inhabitants, and how all that man creates – including himself – eventually reverts to dust. Equally important however, I am encouraged by the indomitable spirit of man, and his attempts to understand nature and be at peace with his mortality.
My passion for photography has not only been my personal quest for spiritual understanding, but also the desire through my work to convey to others how precious life is, and how fortunate we are to be here.
I have purposely removed the distraction of color in order to focus more on the message and spirituality of these images. Whether I am working in the American southwest, New England or Europe – whether I am photographing vast vistas, quiet secluded streams or old man-made structures in various ghost towns, I believe that they all share these universal themes.
Philip J. Jameson