Perspective is the only thing we have to inform us. The way we see the world and its components influences our beliefs, values, and opinions. Therefore, the ability to manipulate and control certain perspectives through my lens gives me the power to share my own unique view of the world. Photography is a way for me to convey my experiences without the use of words. As a photographer, I see everything in varying shades of beauty. As Susan Sontag once said, “Beauty is not inherent in anything. It is to be found by another way of seeing.” And I see it in the soft glow of morning light, in the millisecond of a butterfly flying away, or in the shy, insecure smirks of young women unaware of their own beauty. Beauty also means depth. Photographs can be flat. Some may lack dimension, and some are simply void of emotion. I try to capture not only a picture, but a story, a meaning, a feeling. Wildlife photography is one of my favorite concentrations, mainly because it represents freedom. I visit the Birmingham Zoo frequently, and there’s something kind of sad about seeing all the animals locked away behind glass cages to be ogled all day. Through my lens, I’m able to present the animals in a way that shows their strength and pride, not their captivity. I try to take the cages away. The motivation for my obsession with freedom developed from years of being placed in a box of my own, and as I grew older and learned how to break down the walls that confined me, it only felt right to do the same for the animals. Their portraits represent the value of untouched wilderness, the beauty of the products of nature.
- Bob and Laurie Kliss
- Tom Spanbauer