A childlike understanding

The Face of Darkness

News pictures from the 70's

Press pictures from the 80's

The Look of Revelation
More to come...
 

Primarily I am a black-and-white photographer. To me, the context of the subject is best conveyed without the visual clutter of colors to distract from the point I am trying to make. Without exception, I use Kodak Tri-X pan film and process each roll by hand in Acufine developer with an effective ASA 800 rating. This high-speed combination allows me to go indoors or out without changing the film in the camera. Over time, I have learned by heart the few limitations of this film/developer combination and instinctively know how it will respond to almost every lighting situation I will come across on any given assignment. This memorized insight allows me to stay focused on my subject in the cosmic now moment rather than be mentally distracted trying to adapt to another film interjected into my seeing the picture equation.

Over the years I have found that I work best when I keep most essential camera details very simple. I use two identical Nikon 35 mm camera bodies. For most shooting assignments I have a 28 mm wide angle lens on one camera body and a 105 mm short telephoto lens on the other. These two lenses most typify how we as humans see. The wide angle is what I refer to as a female lens and the telephoto is a male lens. Women see life from a wide angle lens outlook. That is, they see everything around the subject, the foreground, background, sky above and ground below...with almost everything in focus. On the other hand, the telephoto lens views from a typically male perspective, seeing very little foreground or background while focusing only on the subject.

When photographing in most situations I will use both lenses to capture a total perspective of the subject. When editing for the definitive picture I will chose the visual aspect that I feel best reflects the subject from my own consensus. Later, once again in the darkroom, I will then custom hand print each selected negative, often spending countless hours recreating the picture just the way I envision it to be.

I relate to each person I'm photographing as if he or she is the most important person imaginable at that moment. I feel it's hardly rocket science to get a good portrait, particularly when I give people reverence and I see them the way they want to be seen. Consequently in the end, together, we make the picture we both wanted.

Today, photography is the universal terminology that immediately transcends all cultural and vocabulary limitations to reflect our deepest spiritual desires: to see truthfully and be seen honestly. Photography is the language of our soul.
Email:jerry@jerrygay.com
Phone: 206-972-3650
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