I’ve never been a photography buff. I have never been an anything buff, admittedly, but I have always loved beautiful things. With photography, I guess, it was always too easy for me to focus on the subject matter rather than on the composition or the skill behind it. So, you take a wonderful picture of a sunset, I can’t say you took a good picture because you’re an awesome photographer, I can only say it must have been a beautiful sunset. If, on top of that, you do digital photography and manipulate the end results, I will still say it’s a beautiful sunset… because I don’t have the eye or the skill to appreciate how you’ve manipulated it.
And, finally, if you manipulate it so that I know there are unreal elements in your photo, again, it’s very difficult for me to build up any kind of passion, despite the amount of skill, work, passion and professionalism that I’m sure is involved on your part.
There is one person who is a huge exception to all of this.
Oddly enough, when he began, I would berate him for abandoning his painting, which I tend to prefer as an art form. Then he turned down the chance to make quick and easy money, photographing, simply because he wouldn’t compromise his methods, analogue black and white and printing every single photo print himself, with chemicals and dark room and all that, nor would he compromise his subject matters: landscapes, very rare portraits, in black and white, in unlikely places.
I quickly learnt to increasingly appreciate and love Toby Deveson’s photography, despite, like I said, not being a photography buff.
A lot of his works, in increasing frequency in later years, are just breathtaking.
Occasionally, however, there are a few take take your soul away. In order to regain that soul, you have to have that photograph on your wall.
This has happened to me with more of his photos than I (or he, for that matter, printing them the way he does takes an enormous amount of work and money) can possibly afford. I am lucky to have a couple of his photos at home, photos I have chosen in which my soul has been captured and is safe and secure within the paper and ink.
In the latest batch, there is such a one, and I have to tell you about it. It is this one:
If I could afford it, my house would not only be filled with Toby Deveson’s photographs, but it would be furnished around them.