Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"One World, One Lens"

In the May 2007 issue of The Digital Journalist, Donald Winslow's article, One World, One Lens, takes an interesting look at the career of photographer James Whitlow Delano. The article's opening statements really hit home:

"To look at a photograph by James Whitlow Delano is to peer inside a meticulously crafted poem. Viewing a gallery of his images, each one as concise as haiku, is like traveling through scenes from Marco Polo's dream-world. But the eye and the art are Delano's – and only his. The Tokyo-based American-born photographer once told an interviewer, '"I don't change anything for anyone.… I have a point of view and a reason for each undertaking."'

Knowing this, one might find it hard to believe that he shoots everything, regardless of what it is, with one – and only one – lens.

"Much as a poet finds and polishes his voice, Delano has found and polished his singular lens. '"I have two Leica M-2s and two 35mm f2 lenses. They are likely older than me," he told News Photographer. "One lens means speed. Very simple operations. That is critical. If you miss the moment, you cannot get it back. I shoot exclusively with Leica. On the few occasions that I have used a Hasselblad, which is a wonderful camera, I feel like I am driving a Mack truck. But the Leica makes the work possible. You can suggest the energy rippling just below the surface."'

"The absence of an overstuffed camera bag filled with the latest, greatest gadgets is not only evidence of an artist with a clear vision who has found and mastered his essential tools, it's also a reflection of his intent. "

Read the full article here.

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