James Schot Gallery
Photographer-artist James Schot began his journey to South Florida in Indonesia (a.k.a. Malaysia). Between his birth there and new residence here he has traveled extensively and lived in Europe and in many areas of the United States. His career in photography began in Los Angeles, where after service in the Vietnam conflict and a degree in TV/Film Production, he took a position as in-house photographer for the R&D Division of Vivitar Corporation, a large manufacturer of photography products.
Through this position he began acquiring a wealth of knowledge and experience in photography. In 1978, he left to strike out on his own as a freelance photographer working in the commercial field for companies such as Estee Lauder.
In 1984 he moved east, making his home on Martha’s Vineyard Island. It was ten years after beginning his freelance career when James Schot felt ready, mentally equipped and compelled to enter the challenging realm of fine art photography.
The results can be seen and enjoyed in his book “Illusions of Martha’s Vineyard”, which was accepted for inclusion by the renowned Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England, and in other artistic and scenic pieces, including works from a series he calls Double Vision, Fossils, and Alien photographs.
Often the works of artists are termed “unique”. It is fitting, this use of the word when viewing the fine art photography by James Schot. It is not that his images are otherworldly or exceedingly clever, but when you unveil their construction they have you saying “gee whiz”. His work exemplifies the foundations of photo making processes of the capturing instruments, meaning the camera, optics, and lights up through the time of exposure.
This is opposed to the post processes after exposure that were formerly, traditionally darkroom processes, but today are most often accomplished by digital means such as PhotoShop after the image taking.
James has taken many striking photographs. These images have included nature, landscapes, cityscapes, and industrial and event images. This type of photography without question does become masterful and exquisitely beautiful with skill, experience, an understanding of the subject and patience. Nevertheless, he feels a large part of the final image with this type of photography always reflects what was made by life forces or heavenly creator.
With respect to his Fine Art Photography, including Fossils and Alien photographs, the Illusions and Double Vision series James likes to note that he is making photographs (before taking them).
Noting the difference helps to better understand, connect with and appreciate his work. All the photographs are pre-visualized. Then the process is planned, coordinated, constructed and created with lighting, optical and camera techniques up through the exposure. Making his photographs this way leaves little to be done after the image after it his taken. He feels with his process, making through pre-visualization with the instrument and its accessories, he is more in harmony with the “art” of photography. All of the pieces included in Fossils, Aliens, and Double Vision are made on film using medium and large format equipment. Like those for the Illusions the canvas for each again was a single piece of film that included some 35mm format. The latest series Aurora w/Eos and Body parts were the first to use full sensor 35mm digital equipment with long exposure fiber optic lighting, but also made in-camera. Bottom line this is photographic art, not to be confused with compagraphy.