From the Masters; Harry Callahan

October 20, 2015  •  4 Comments

I was so thankful to be asked to participate as a guest photographer in this month's "From the Masters" circle. Each month this group of ladies studies a master of photography and gains inspiration to shoot and see in a way that is new to them. This month we studied Harry Callahan. I found his life so interesting and there were certain elements of his style that fascinated me; his use of light and dark, the way he saw lines and form, how he was known for both his color and black and white work which is unusual for that time period, and his experimentation with double exposure. Reading about his life, I especially loved reading that he looked at his photography as a "life's work" and that making art is almost a spiritual experience. This resonated with me. Sometimes I am in such a hurry to think that a project should be finished at some point, or have an ending and yet, to look at it as a life's work can give us peace of mind. The thought that we are always learning, creating, looking deeper, seeing in new ways. It is never ending and will last our lifetime. It made me realize that this is only the beginning of my project. What will next year bring? in 10 years? At the end of my life? I love that. He wrote:

My project could only be to photograph as I felt and desired; to regulate a pleasant form of living: to get up in the morning—free, to feel the trees, the grass, the water, sky or buildings, people—everything that affect us. This, I know, is not a definite project because life itself is not definite, but it could be the part of a lifetime project.

He was very inspired by Walt Whitman who wrote  "Leaves of Grass", which was his life work. I love what Walt Whitman says here. It really is how I hope someone will feel when they look at one of my images, like they are looking in the mirror by my side, seeing how I see and feel. I think it is what every artist hopes. 

"What I tell I tell for precisely what it is. What I experience or portray shall go from my composition. You shall stand by my side and look in the mirror with me.

Now please follow the circle around to my good friend Antonieta Esis here. I love how she experimented with double exposure this week. So wonderful.


celeste pavlik(non-registered)
wow wow wow, these are fantastic. the 2nd from the bottom blows me away!!
your eye is incredible. the first made me gasp. so good, melissa.
Antonieta Esis(non-registered)
Melissa you are amazing!...these images are beyond beautiful . so honored to have you this month with us :)
Holly Donovan(non-registered)
I cannot express into words how incredible I think these are, and your vision is. I love your uniqueness and fresh perspective ALWAYS Melissa! I really love your double exposures and ways you played with lines and movement in these. So glad you joined in this month <3
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