Noir/Chroma Spotlight: Kerry Hayes

Jan 3 – Feb 28 2019

Opening reception January 17 2019

Peter Dušek, Alan Dunlop, Susan Kerr, Kerry Hayes, Marlene Hilton Moore, Leah Oates

kerry hayes colour

What is your process

I never feel more present then when hunting with my camera. Senses on high alert, ready to pull the trigger to capture a fleeting instance when light, composition, gesture and moment come together. I am a non discriminatory predator, almost any game will do but it is strictly capture and release. Never more present then with with my camera I work with an empty, quiet mind, open to unconscious influences, seeking to capture an image that is greater then the sum of it’s parts. Or as Garry Winogrand’s beautifully expressed it, when “the photograph isn’t what was photographed, it is something else, a new fact”.
I shoot with three digital cameras but eschew any significance to particular brand or type of light recording device I use. I switch between two popular brands of high resolution digital cameras and a smart phone depending on the circumstance. The ultimate impact or enjoyment of my photography rests little on camera brand. The only really significant recording device is a photographers eye which can not be bought.
After editing tens of thousand of frames mere dozens get further attention. I work in Adobe Lightroom, adjusting the increasing breadth of variables which along with the sophistication of controls that software sliders give one today allows for tremendous post production manipulation to refine your vision.


Sometimes that is all an image needs. Other photos may need the further digital equivalent of the “burning and dodging” from the traditional darkroom, highlighting or darkening selected areas I wish to bring attention to or obscure. On some I may remove something I find distracting, again fairly equivalent to spotting a print in the analog world..
Black and white imagery is fairly new to me since adopting digital photography. To date I have not shot black and white images in a preconceived fashion but rather chose certain images after the fact as suitable for such rendition. The final step in my process is printing on an Epson Sure Colour p800 printer.
Here, decisions are made about paper and possible further adjustments once the image is seen in its final rendered state, ink on paper. In this exhibit prints have been made by impresario Bob Carnie.
Do you see common themes in your work

Themes in my photography are not preconceived. They come together, often unconsciously, in the course of shooting thousands of images. Over time a pattern of related visual or conceptual attractions become apparent in the editing process. These themes can be quite unrelated. For example I have two exhibitions in the CONTACT Photography Festival next May. One titled Nurture, explores this quality through images of one woman’s extraordinary gift for this quality over 35 years. The other is a series of landscapes taken over several years in Maine titled Cape (Rosier) Light. Some might call me a street photographer as Winogrand truly was. That label has always felt too narrow for me.

kerry hayes black and white
In your opinion what makes an image powerful.

The images I find powerful are those where the basic elements of a any photograph, light, composition, gesture and moment flawlessly come together. The more brilliant each of these criteria ….. the more powerful the photograph. My most affecting images often have some intangible quality as well, a bit of mystery, a puzzle, a painterly quality, that give a viewer pause as they become aware the photographer has seen something they would not have and indeed created a new fact. It is the visual equivalent of what a stand up comic can achieve with words, taking the mundane facts of daily existence and framing them in a way we have not have thought of allowing us to see them in a new light and it makes us laugh.

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