Reed Galin - photographer's statement
When I was thirteen my mother dragged me into an art gallery to say hello to a friend. As they talked I gazed indifferently at the walls untill my eyes locked on the only photograph, half hidden in a corner. In it, an opalescent moon dangledin the gloaming above a broad landscape, illuminating what I first thought were small structures... a closer look revealed these were grave markers in an old cemetary.
The photograph spoke.
There are places and moments in the world so beautiful, poingant and fleeting - it seemed to say - that you should fix and keep them always. They may be ordinary places, or common experiences but in a certain mood, a decisive moment, a passing light never repeated they become an experience... to be felt, not just seen.
A card taped below the photograph identified it: “Moonrise, Hernandez, NM" by Ansel Adams. (It would be some years before he - or any - photographers would be recognized as more than craftsmen by the general culture.)
I was astonished to be so touched by an interpretive vision of reality captured fleeting seconds before it escaped into the ether, never again to be seen just so.
It changed my life.
From then on I would vigilantly maintain a waking state. I would try to see the world and not just move through it, practicing the visual equivalent of stopping to smell the flowers. I would focus.
Few photographs are obviously profound or speak to someone other than the maker. But, even the perfunctory photos I make - whether for Art or Commerce - are also experiences. How the air feels, the sweaty hands or frozen toes, a character who engags or runs me off, the light of a natural or unnatural world, the reason I am there and how that came to be whether I'm alone or collaberating with others, joy or disgust, how the scene or subject changed by the second or the season or the purpose and, the light... yes, always - The Light.
I can't imagine how much life I would have missed (or simply forgotten) if not for my endless fascination with fixing moments, experiences, objects and visions that fellow travelors do not even know have passed them by.
Photography is not a just an avocation or a business. It is not a craft, or a dalience. It is a way of life. Art and Commerce all wrapped up together.
It is the reason I always take the long way home.