On May 17th, at Sacred Cinema:
Sacred Cinema / Besant Lodge
2560 North Beachwood Drive
Los Angeles, CA
Parking in the neighborhood as always
What first drew you to photography?
I started my life in Moab, Utah in the 1950s. At that time Moab was a Uranium town. My mother had gone to art school and wanted to be an artist. Bringing up children changed that and she became an elementary school teacher. Between teaching and taking care of us children she would work on her art, wood blocks, sculpting, writing and illustrating children’s stories. My father was a prospector and also had a wonderful sense of the arts. He would always be going to flea markets and come home with things like faded reproductions of impressionist paintings, small folk art sculptures mixed with corroded prospectors’ claw picks, beat up gold panning pans, broken geiger counters, coyote skulls and what not. Needless to say I was surrounded by wonderfully eclectic artifacts, great art, and a fantastic landscape. At an early age, six or so, I started taking pictures with a Brownie camera and became fascinated with taking photographs. That impulse has never left me.
What are you looking for in a photograph?
I am capturing something that captures me.
What other artists inform or influence your work?
I do not differentiate photography from other art mediums which gives me the freedom to become immersed in all forms of art. My influences range from the abstract impressionists to primitive art, from Edward Weston to Helmut Newton, from unknown past work to unknown future work. My list is probably infinite.
What types of photographic techniques are you exploring the most?
My philosophy of photographic technique is that it should be used as a tool and not an end. My interest started as a color photographer. I shot with Kodachrome film and developed my own Cibachrome prints (a printing process for positive film). Kodachrome was never meant to printed it was meant to be projected. When Cibachrome came out it was able to capture the drastic contrast range of Kodachrome. To print Kodachrome I needed an image that had even lighting, so I started seeing in Kodachrome and Cibachrome and shot accordingly. For instance here are two color photographers who come to mind who have a very different end product, Joel Meyerowitz and Richard Misrach. They both shoot color negative film. A much less contrasty process. They were probably seeing in color negative film and C Prints (a printing process for color negative) which are inherently softer in look. When the digital world opened up I dropped all film and went to the digital process. Not because I did not like Kodachrome but I got captured by a newer process that had much more range. With each technique I seek out the best of its qualities to match the vision that I see.
What is the best advice you have for a young person who wants to be a photographer professionally?
I am not per se a professional photographer, meaning one that shoots commercial work. Commercial work is wonderful and very disciplined work. When I do commercial work I am always happy with the experience because it pushes me in directions that I would not have gone on my own and I learn a lot by the experience. I consider myself a fine art photographer. In other words I do my own work and try to get away with making a living at it in the art world. An accountant would say you are crazy to pick this as a career. I have been working as a fine art photographer for over 40 years and there are certain things I have gleaned from it; it picks you, you do not pick it. Another is when and if it picks you, as hard as things get, you should remind yourself you are doing exactly what you want to be doing and very few people can say that. Lastly, if you do pick this road, as hard as things get, something always gets you by.
What do you seek to express in a gallery exhibition of your work?
I’m not really sure that I seek to express anything in particular. I want to lay bare my newest photographs that have caught my fascination these last couple of years.
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Winter Lazerus, MA, Venture Creative; is a Grammy nominated, multi-gold and platinum awarded record producer, artist, musician and composer. He has worked all over the world on creative projects from Manhattan to Paris, Iceland to Ireland. Winter’s focus in multi-media concepts and his work in venues like the Vortex Immersive Dome have garnered recognition with diverse audiences and fellow artists. Most recently, he has completed a neo-Opera based on C.G. Jung’s Red Book called “Red Book Visions.”
Academically, Winter has a Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies and has worked with some of the greatest minds of our generation in the field. Winter has developed an artful technique for exploring how imagination creates reality in the present moment via a group or individual structure and calls this “Vision Seeds” explorations.