I had the pleasure of meeting artist James Godman recently. Godman is both a photographer and a painter. His pieces are beautiful and provocative. I asked him about his work and here are some excerpts from our exchange:
What inspires you?
What inspires me to create is a general belief that the experience of making art is at once philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic. It fascinates me to see the kind of self-assembly that takes place when I touch a thinned acrylic to a thinned oil. My painting is informed by my photography and vice-versa. I do both because I love both and am passionate about imagery. A line of tar in the street, that was applied without aesthetic intent and only to delay inevitable decay, may be very beautiful and inspirational.
What do you look for?
With my photography, I try to make images that have a certain timelessness and universality. Sometimes I'm trying to enhance and share the feeling I get and the sounds I hear when I am in a particular place, rather than just capturing what is there. Of course, commercial and editorial photography projects contain certain requirements, and this can be limiting, but I always try to put as much of myself in the work as possible.
Do you like digital photography as much as shooting film?
I think digital is really cool and amazing, and I use it quite a bit, especially for commercial projects. But at this point in its evolution, I do find digital limiting for several reasons. I generally prefer the tonal transitions of film. Also, I have encountered many different types of technical problems with many different digital cameras, including color fringing, which consists of a pink line that occurs around subjects, especially in back lit situations.
Also, I generally love the look of a larger piece of film including 4x5, and I believe that instant capture digital is at the moment confined to the smaller side of medium format. But I was able to get some great images in the more controlled setting of my studio. Digital is just another option to consider.
Where can we see your work?
Lensmodern.com is a wonderful site that is both an online gallery for print sales, and a source for licensing imagery of some really terrific photographers. Its quite unique in this regard, and the imagery is very high quality. I'm proud that the founders invited me to join.