“Photography As ART” script shows how James creates his art using only light, camera, and optics, in addition to considerable logistical planning, technical experimentation, patience and dedication.
INT – STUDIO – DARK
B&W shot of James sitting, dramatically lit in dark studio. Camera dollies forward until a HS is achieved.
Creative impulses come from within. Family, friends suggest “why don’t you do this or that,” meaning a shot of flowers, or landscape, a celebrity possibly? “This is what people want,” as if successfully satisfying a Market should be the motivator and measure the value of what I created.
I can tell you why do I create what I do, but I can’t justify the way I go about doing it. Why did Jackson Pollock favor a drip-style painting technique, while Vincent van Gogh used forceful impasto in applying his paints? My method is an illuminating technique.
Image 12 shows the LIGHTHOUSE Illusion, overall and in various shots, pans and tilts.
The “Illusions” came next, and through them James wanted to experiment with all the possibilities that could be applied in creating photographic art. All tell a story, simply as a classical representation, or in a historical context, or by visualizing a myth, otherwise by adding a surprising, sometimes humorous twist to a scene, which are constructed and staged by logistical planning and using various camera, optical and lighting techniques.
The series began with the Lighthouse Illusion taken in 1987, which is a play on the damsel in distress, locked away in castle tower, but a majority of the illusions are in natural settings and James considers the following quote well encapsulates his thinking for this series…
“A scene in nature is made up of various parts, each part has an individual character and its possible ideal. It is unlikely that accident should bring together the best possible ideals of each separate part, merely considering them as isolated facts, and it is still more unlikely that accident should group a number of these possible ideals in such a way that not only one or two but that all should be harmoniously related one to the other. It is evident, however, that an attempt to accomplish this artificially is not impossible… The result would be a work of art…” Frederick Law Olmsted
Image 13 shows the BLACK POND BRIDGE Illusion, overall and in various shots, pans and tilts, mixed in with image 14 of THE THREE GRACES.
Among those included in this series representing classical art, were “the nude” is often used to represent ideal forms, balance, and harmony with nature, is Black Pond Bridge.
This photograph depicts the three charities, beauty, charm, and grace as painted by Peter Paul Rubens, embodied in a single form…
Image 15 shows the WASHED UP illusion, overall and in various shots, pans and tilts, mixed in with Image 16-DANAE RECEIVING ZEUS and Image 17-LA VAGUE (The Wave).
“Washed Up” beautifully represents another classic subject that has been a subject for the arts, the reclining nude. In the early Renaissance Titian painted “Danae.” Goya painted “La maja desnuda” and Manet his “Olympia,” stripped of idealized mythology A more recent in nature a different take on Danae Receiving Zeus In The Form of the Shower in Gold by Titian. Although the muse in Washed Up is not confronting the viewer, she is completely unmasked, and her perfect form in this setting can only be an illusion. Look at the incredible wave in the background, among those laying this vision before our eyes.
Image 18 shows the LILY POND illusion, overall and in various pans and tilts, mixed in with Image 19-LES GRANDES BAIGNUESES and Image 20-HYLAS AND THE NYMPHS.
One final classical example is the “Lily Pond” illusion.
Though “Hylas and the Nymphs,” painted by William Waterhouse, has a similar setting as this photograph, James views it parallels a Renoir painting “Les Grandes Baignueses.”
Pierre Auguste Renoir was an impressionist, but in this piece his female forms are brushed in the classical style and only the background is impressionistic. The same effect was created in this photograph. Note: The canoe is a clear reminder that this was taken in an America setting, and by the way, the balance to creating this photograph was to fill its bow with concrete blocks for proper staging.
THE END of Scene Three