Rick Dixon: Statement of Artistic Purpose

Pooled Seawater on Eroded Rock
Point Lobos State Reserve, CA, 02/2012

Photographer Paul Caponigro said to Fred Picker while reviewing his portfolio that the water did not look wet. I remembered reading that comment when I started photographing at Point Lobos. My goal in this photograph and others that contain water was that I wanted the water to look wet.

My interest in photography began in high school. Hiding behind the camera allowed me to enter into a world I would not normally dare. I could communicate with others that I would not normally have the opportunity to communicate with. Photography first became a bridge to being accepted.

As I continued to photograph I found I quickly took to the elements that make photography a combination of art and science. I embraced the mechanics, physics and chemistry of the craft. More importantly I began to visualize, the world in a way that I could best comprehend and ultimately record it. An inherent benefit of photography is that one becomes acutely aware in the world.

As a photographer in the Navy, I had the opportunity to live the life of a professional photographer. I was rather good at creating acceptable photographs for the various assignments. I grasped the more advanced techniques required for producing technically good images. What interested me most was the art of photography, of which I had no formal training and little ability at that time. I just knew there was a difference between a photograph and photographic art, as I could see the difference.

For a few years after leaving the Navy I concentrated my photographic efforts on using a 4x5 field view camera. I was engrossed in the Zone System and studied the works of the photographic masters. At the time I began to see in shades of gray. I could feel exposures although I always confirmed them, and I was beginning to see beyond the actual subject matter and instead in shapes and tones. Personal life had its challenges and at some point, I simply stopped photographing. I would continue to do some professional work over the years, but did no personal work.

In the fall of 2010 I finally returned to photography and purchased a digital camera. I am happy I have the technical background and the experience using a 4x5 camera as I approach my use of my digital camera as if it were a view camera. It is almost always on a tripod. I like taking my time looking for what I believe is the best composition that is in front of me.

For me it is a given that a photograph must be as technically correct as possible. It must have a sharp image, proper exposure, and a composition that is pleasing to the eye and supportive to the scene. I prefer black and white photographs over color ones with the exception being that color is imperative to better share the message within the photograph. I am currently working with both digital and a little with large format film photography. I find a special fulfillment photographing abstracts in nature, most specifically flowing water. It is my desire to continue to grow both artistically and technically while enjoying the experiences and challenges of photography

I hope that the photographs contained within this website will speak to you of the joy I have had in their creation. They are a collection of my favorite images over the past six years.

Cherish life. Live it to the fullest. Live feeling blessed to walk on our beautiful Earth.

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