The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay
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Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Nov 2013 back issue
by Raymond Gehman
Artist's Statement, October 14, 2013
While teaching at the Palm Beach Photo Centre in West Palm Beach during the month of July, I got into a different
visual groove than I usually shoot in when I'm in Florida. It was way too hot for photographing wildlife and natural lush
landscapes, so I started shooting lots of random things, like people, buildings, streets, sidewalks, alleys, parking lots,
airports, churches, and of course, the students I was teaching! When I returned home to Pennsylvania in August, I
liked these random moments so much that I spent the next six weeks totally tuned into Photoshop, processing image
after image. (Seriously, that's all I did, besides mow the grass!) I tried lots of new techniques, including the addition of
Nik Color Efx filters, in an effort to interpret the photos beyond the processes I normally do in Photoshop. In the end, I
realized I had created a very cool and cohesive portfolio of photographs from the fringes of Florida life.
The photographs in this portfolio have two things in common: They are from Palm Beach County, Florida, and they are
spontaneous. They are not studied or planned compositions. They are not routine street photographs, nor are they
classic landscapes. Their commonality is the moment. That moment could be something which happens in the
external world, playing out before my eyes. There it is, and then it's gone. Or, that moment could be internal,
determined by when I decide to click the shutter, and for how long I leave it open. I often use the camera's pop-flash
during my long exposure times to add another dimension of reality. The sudden flash of light freezes part of the
scene, while the long shutter speed blurs the rest. The result is a surreal image of an extended moment, a moment
that illustrates life beyond real time. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I did in creating them!
A "Super Moon" rises over the Atlantic Ocean on June 23, 2013, photographed from the beach at Coral Cove, in
Jupiter, Florida. A four second exposure captured the moonlight playing on the water.
Huge waves pounded the Florida coast on the weekend of Oct 26, 2012. The spectacular surf was generated by high
winds from Hurricane Sandy, which bypassed the Florida coast but wreaked havoc on the coasts of New Jersey, New
York, and other northeast states. A slow shutter speed of 1/8th second gave some motion to the breaking wave, as
churned-up sand turned red in the sunset light at Pompano Beach.
A juvenile tri-colored heron who's unsure of his flying ability chooses to ‘walk the line’ away from an approaching
photographer, on the boardwalk at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida.
Pop goes the flamingo! A store front poster gives sidewalk passers by an eyeful on Clematis Street, in downtown West
Palm Beach, Florida.
Space aliens appear ready to invade a Delray Beach, Florida carnival while posing as blow up balloons!
A ceramic-tiled water fountain in Delray Beach, Florida comes to life with a long exposure time and a bit of strobe light.
The blossom of a water lily glows with afternoon light in a pond at Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach,
Florida. Southern Florida is rich in sub-tropical plants and flowers.
Palm tree fronds dance in the glow of sunset at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida. The effect of
motion in all of these photographs is achieved in-camera, and not created in Photoshop.
Crimson groundcover shimmies and shimmers around a small palm tree at The Breakers, a posh resort in Palm Beach.
This floral centerpiece is in one of The Breakers grand ballrooms, in Palm Beach, Florida.
A metal sculpture in the lobby of a resort hotel in Delray Beach, Florida.
Water lily pads float on the fiery surface of a wetland reflecting sunset at Grassy Waters Preserve, in West Palm
An old rusty bicycle sits on the porch of a house in Yesteryear Village, a history park in West Palm Beach that
celebrates Florida life from 1895 to 1945.
An orange cautionary curb snakes along beside the asphalt on a street in West Palm Beach, Florida.
A palm tree at The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea stands at twilight against low clouds lit by the city lights
of Palm Beach. The historic landmark church, in the Spanish Gothic style, was the first church in Palm Beach County,
and opened for services on Christmas Day 1926.