Art has always been my interest, persuit and product. At five, I copied letters from the newspaper. Drawing, I began by tracing, copying from other drawings, especially Bill Mauldin's dog faced GIs, World War 2 airplanes, Time-Life books and National Geographic were my sources to study, copy and muse. When I was about 12 or 13, I got a Kodak Instamatic. It used 126 film and flash cubes. I photographed my model airplanes against the blue sky and recreated air battles, torching model airplanes, burning rich black and dripping hot plastic in the agony of defeat. I used this camera when I went to boarding school at Allen Military Academy. until the year book and art teacher, Emily Lyons let me use a school 35mm camera. It had such a solid feel and I saw from the viewfinder exactly what I was photographing, unlike the side window viewing of the Instamatic. This was exciting. Even the sound of the shutter declared a new level of making pictures.

When I joined the service, I bought my own 35mm and learned about lenses, exposures and depth of field. I made photos of people and places I wanted to draw and paint. It was a means to an end. A few years later I bought a medium format camera and realised a new level of percision and quality. Still, it took some time and many rolls of film to dawn on me that the camera was not just a way to make pictures to draw and paint from, but was itself a wonderful medium of art. Photography was Art. Photography is Art, or can be if applied by an artist to make art, as opposed to decoration or illustration. Much art is decorative and some is illustrative, but these are not its primary purpose. Art's purpose is to engage, encourage or enrage - to provoke to revolution or simply point out in passing, an artist's gift is not just form, but also a message - meaningful content. When art works best, form and content are polished and fit and effective in encouraging, depressing, alarming, reminding or any number of instructive declerations from the artist to himself and to the world about our world we share. Art is sharing about our world. And these pictures, I share with you.

 

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Alfred Bolch, Jr © 2011                                                                                                                                           Human Photography - A Spectrum of People in Phases, Modes and Representations