I will never forget the first time that I watched an image developing in the darkroom as if it was some magical apparition-taking place before my eyes. I was immediately hooked. While I was studying architectural design at the time, photography became a major influence on my creative life. I was fascinated every time that I pulled a snippet of the world around me into my camera and saw it as a final image which had captured a piece of the continuous human drama that never seemed to end.
Art is and has to be a growth process. One’s vision changes over the years as experience and knowledge change. It fascinates me that I can take the same negative that I printed ten years ago and find new meaning and purpose in it now or that I can go to the same location that I photographed in the past and find new images that I never saw. Art cannot be static. It requires taking chances, learning from the past, and pushing the limits. It reflects new experiences and new ideas. It has to be dynamic if it is not to be repetitive and irrelevant.
I think that James Agee the writer-poet friend of Walker Evans and Helen Levitt said it best. “It is a peculiar part of the good photographer’s adventure to know where luck is most likely to lie in the stream, to hook it, and to bring it in without unfair play and without too much subduing it.”
Shop Evanston Made: Michael Berns