John Trotter — Brief Statement — June 2010

Three books seem to have been constantly open on our coffee table during my childhood. They were Life's Picture History of World War Two, Art Treasures of the Louvre, and The Family of Man. Somehow these first sources stirred in me an awareness of meanings beyond words. I am still in pursuit of these meanings, using the camera and the digital darkroom to find the way.

In the beginning I worked exclusively in black and white. I was inspired especially by the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gene Smith, Ansel Adams, and Paul Strand. In those days the domains of black and white and color photography were physically and chemically separate and distinct. With digital photography these material separations no longer exist, although in most people's minds there are still esthetic distinctions. Rather than dwell on these distinctions, I have chosen to explore the spectra of both tones and colors in my photographs. I would like to think that meaning in my photographs may be experienced without ever raising the question whether it is a color or black and white image.

The portfolios displayed here represent themes that I have been working with over the past several years. Desert Light involves the sensuous surfaces of the sand dunes of Death Valley and White Sands in all lights, as well as other mysteries that are seen by the light of the desert. The photographs in The Sky portfolio express the music and poetry in the ever-changing relationships of clouds and earth. The portfolio In the Company of Trees contains photographs that explore the strong connection I feel with trees.