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SOAR Welcomes Photographer Stephen Edwards!

Stephen Edwards - Image from Elin's Studio

Stephen Edwards - Image from "Elin's Studio" collection

The Southern Oregon Artists Resource is pleased to welcome Stephen Edwards, not only to our Photography category, but to the Southern Oregon area. He recently relocated to Jacksonville from San Francisco, and reports that the transition here has been a smooth one.

Stephen Edwards spent over 30 years behind a black and white viewfinder in his career as a corporate and broadcast news cameraman and as owner of Pro Video Productions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Making the transition to still black and white film photography was a natural progression.

While framing up scenes for video production Stephen would often feel a pull toward a certain composition in the scene—a scene within the scene– that he felt could be more fully developed with a still shot. A recent move to Jacksonville, Oregon, was just the catalyst he needed to start a new career in fine art photography.

Taking the classic black and white format a bit further, Stephen prefers to shoot on traditional film. “Film has soul. It has organic qualities like grain, texture, and depth, that digital does not fully capture”. While acknowledging there are computer programs that try to mimic these qualities, Stephen feels that the benefits of shooting with film far outweigh the flexibility that shooting in a digital format provides. “It just makes you really slow down, allows a feeling to emerge, and provides the opportunity to plan and frame the shot to capture that feeling. It’s not like taking multiple shots of something and relying on Photoshop to enhance it.” But Stephen admits there is also a bit of sentimentality involved in his choice of shooting on film. From a very early age Stephen was exposed to his grandfather’s photography and darkroom and coveted his Voigtlander Bessa camera that was later handed down to him.

“I’ve seen the world in black and white my whole life. I feel most expressive, creative, and comfortable in the black and white format because I like the abstract nature it conjures up.”

Through the use of selective focus, contrast, light, and composition, Stephen’s work is truly engaging.

Edwards is showcasing his interpretation of the artistic works of Elin Babcock during the month of July at the Ashland Art Works Gallery. “I was absolutely compelled to shoot ‘Elin’s Studio’. I think every artist prays for creative inspiration at times. From the moment I stepped into Elin’s space, I felt that divine inspiration—a true gift. I am honored to exhibit her work within my work—or the scene within the scene.”

“I enjoy creating a ‘visual twist’ with my shots. I don’t want to be a documentarian as my previous career required.”

 

Please take a moment to see Stephen’s listing and make a note of his contact information; soon the Ashland Art Works website will be updated with his information so you can learn more about our new neighbor and talented member of the Southern Oregon art community! Meanwhile, plan to stop in at Ashland Art Works during the Ashland First Friday Art Walk in July to meet Stephen and see his magnificent photography.

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