Ken Gibson

“Each person photographs only what he sees, and each person sees only what accords with his own essence”   Gotthard Schuh
 
VIGNETTES
I find inspiration in Robert Frank’s work, beginning with The Americans but certainly not ending there.  Reminds me that photography is personal.  Sometime I will tell the story of how I talked to R. Frank on the phone.  I called and he picked up just like that.  I froze.
Love looking at Bill Burke's Polaroid portraits – rough around the edges and reminds me of what I can’t do.   Just as important.  I saw Bill give a presentation a long time ago.  I wouldn’t want to talk about slides of my work.  I wouldn’t be comfortable talking about my work in front of others.  What is there to say?  Bill was a good speaker.
 
I once got a therapeutic massage from Nancy Rexroth...continue reading 
 



PHILOSOPHY
 
The act of taking the picture is really what it is all about, for me anyway. I’ve gone a year of taking pictures without even developing the film. That part seemed redundant at the time. Now I don’t have to develop at all. That is the miracle of the digital age. Leaves more time for taking pictures. Not making pictures. Irony of ironies.
 
The subject matter I see, and miss, haunt me to a degree infinitely greater than any satsifaction that might be derived from the images actually captured.  I still remember the expressway billboard of Marilyn Monroe floating over a Tennessee twilight. How about the formal dressed quintet playing on a second story Berlin balcony? Then there is the image of the dozen or so people dressed in white who were in an orchestrated Tai Chi dance at the River Downs racetrack stable fields one late afternoon.  Worst of all are the images I assumed would always be there for the taking like the Dream Street sign. Of course, there are the scenes not capturable - some things just don't cling to film or memory chips except to the ones in our head (minds's eye). That's how it should be.

I don’t consider myself a photographer, as such. I certainly don’t make my living with photography (perhaps like Meatyard the optician photographer, I remain unencumbered by financial necessity to image-making) but I do use a camera to capture what I want (and in that I do hope to make a difference with photography).
 
There is no "decisive" moment for me.  Rather, the challenge is to provide clarity to each moment I frame. Framing by necessity excludes. I exclude a lot but only seek what is essential. That's why the Gotthard Schuh statement resonates with me. Can it be any other way?

Is the image taken with conviction? With sincerity? With my heart? My gut? My eyes? If so, authenticity will prevail.  That is all I can do and that is enough. Well, that and the nod of my muse. She asks why I don’t get my work out there? I reply I am not good at that. She says I must. So I am trying to learn how to share. I wonder why you would care. God bless you if you do. I understand if you don’t.