Photographer Tom Grill assembles different scene structures into a comprehensive story. Find more of his work by visiting his website.
I spent most of my career as a professional photographer in New York advertising. I also travelled extensively throughout the United States and the world, photographing its natural beauty for my art.
For the past five years, I have lived in Florida where I have concentrated on photographing its defining natural landscape of ocean, sky and the Everglades.
I search for meaning in my subject by mentally digging below its surface. I look there for the underlying geometric structure that betrays its form, much as the rhythmic structure of the nautilus shell gives evidence of the symmetrical mystery in our natural world. In exploring these patterns, I try to create images that are objects for meditation.
I think of myself as a minimalist artist. I try not to look for a single, complex explanation of the scene before me, but strive instead to ferret out its simplicity and capture it in one, sparsely re-assembled image.
I impose the structure I see within a scene onto the scene itself. The human mind has always attempted to find an underlying comprehensible pattern to the universe we live in. I seek this in my art.
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The modern digital camera allows me to not just see a subject and capture it in one shot. The freedom offered by the automated convenience of modern cameras offers the ability to explore a subject—to walk around it, examine it from different angles, different times of day, close-up, far away, overhead.
I don’t “take a picture” anymore. Instead, I explore a scene, take many photographs from different viewpoints and later sort through these images and reassemble them to tell a more comprehensive story of what I experienced.
It might take minutes, hours, or even days to cover a subject this way. The time I spend actually becomes a critical part of the composition itself. Sometimes I might capture distant views of my subject from the overhead perspective of a helicopter and later, on the ground, by walking or hiking through the same landscape for a more intimate, close-up view.
The many photographs I take while covering a subject like this become building blocks for the final image I create. I find that by assembling these myriad viewpoints into a single cohesive composition, and combining it with the overlay of a geometric pattern, I can provide the viewer with more of a complete experience.
Concern for the ecological condition of our world today plays a large role in what I see before me and how I interpret it in my art. This ecological concern is an important part of the world we live in today and it cannot be ignored.
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