PHOTOGRAPHER FOCUS · Garth (Eikona)
Garth is not a photographer of who can be said that concentrates his activity in a single genre. In his archives you can admire landscape photography, urban street photo, portraits and travel photography. But as soon as you’ll take a look at them here and there, you will realize that there is a common denominator, something that establishes an underlying link between all of them, no matter to what genre they belong, and it is that each and every one of these images intend to evoke a story, a representation of something to which the viewer can feel connected; mostly involved emotionally.
And Garth works mostly in black & white, though reviewing his brilliant work, you will discover magnificent color photographs. There is no doubt that working in monochrome facilitates this emotional bond with the viewer of which I spoke before, adding to the image some subjectivity in front of which we have no other choice but to take sides. Garth uses that prism to ensure that the viewer does not feel excluded from the photographed scene, or distances himself emotionally from it to such an extent that it can not remain indifferent about the photographer’s position in relation to what has been photographed. Garth bets strong to ensure that such a connection with the viewer will be maintained: from a purely visual standpoint, his photographs are often strongly contrasted and characterized by its limited tonal ranges that are often combined with the use of creative underexposition. Thus his snapshots always reveal themselves intense, beautifully expressive and it is well as he gets that such emotional quality of his photography can be noted far beyond those genres in which would be more natural to focus on the person considered as a subject (portraits, street photography …), to transcend to other photographic fields in which perhaps might seem more difficult to perceive. You can see it in his magnificent architectural photographs, not infrequently characterized by the extensive use of wide focals and forced perspective, techniques that underline its gigantism as an element that amplifies their expressiveness. I believe that, beyond the expressiveness and intensity that characterize his work in monochrome, in that shots can be seen in a second level, a certain hint of criticism, as if Garth would like to make us partakers of his censorship to the way in which these buildings represent an environment, a landscape, in some way hostile to man.
But where that link - the emotional connection with the viewer-, can be noted most genuinely is in its street photography. In it, Garth effectively exploit its interest in people, certainly not in a neutral way. There are always in those photographs a clear sign of the photographer’s position in front the photographed reality, of the feelings caused in him by what he saw through the viewfinder of his camera, whether be tenderness, joy, serenity, cheerfulness or even sensuality. Those same feelings connect us directly to these images; leading to all that we look at them to be emotionally involved, especially in the case of those in which may be perceived an intimate connection between street photography and portraiture, in such a way that the line between this two genres almost vanishes. Sometimes the photographed are aware of the gaze of photographer; they pose. In other cases, through the eye of the camera we witness a scene in which its participants are completely oblivious to our presence, but that does not weaken the way we connect with it, although we may be assaulted by the fear of interrupting what’s going on, just like if we where intruders.
Garth uses cameras Sony NEX 5 or NEX 6 -with Rokkor or old Russian lenses coupled through an adapter to them-, to capture its magnificent images, which he tries to edit minimally to remain close and faithful to the essence of the moment in which he pressed the shutter.
Thank you Juan, I am most humbled by this feature. Thank you to all my fellow photographers tags who like and reblog my work it is deeply appreciated.