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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Zooming in: James Atherton

Slender and fit, with silver-white hair and beard, Jim Atherton often appears from the outside to be deep in thoughtful repose. But if you had the super hero gift of reading minds, of “seeing” what is going on inside his head, you might rear back in surprise. Jim’s brain is on steroids—he’s seeing line and form, light and shadow, pattern and design as only a fine art photographer can. You can almost hear the click and whir of digital ASA settings and shutter speeds crackling through his brain as he calculates frame, angle, and negative space.

Atherton works in a private studio in Boulder, Colorado, which he says “becomes a stage where intimate performances play out under lights and in front of backdrops.” Because he does not want to simply report what he sees, but to penetrate the emotion and essence behind his subject matter, Jim loves photographing people. He works directorially, with a light hand, coaxing his subjects to forget he is there and to drop any self-consciousness or inhibition. He seeks revelation, something in the eyes, the line of a belly, the electric connection between people. Although Atherton says his passion is photographing people, the elegant shot to the right speaks volumes about his skillfully rendered still lifes.

Whether photographing individuals, mothers and their babies, a ruby-red cluster of tulips patterned against a stark black background, or the clasping of time-weathered hands, Jim Atherton (to the left) brings sophistication and an empathetic eye to the finished product, bridging the gap between subject and ultimate viewer with a message beyond the surface.

To see more of this fine art photographer’s work or to contact him:
http://www.jamesatherton.com

3 comments:

Jerrie said...

Love pure black and white photos. Hope we never think they're old fashioned like black and white movies.

ClaireWalter said...

I see a B&W counterpart to a Georgia O'Keeffe painting in that lily. Anyone else?

AMIT said...

You have posted such a clean pictures with article.

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