Artist Wayne Fisher presents a collection of striking and black and white architectural photography. Find more of his work on his website.
I am an artist—I create because this is what I believe I am meant to do.
My journey began in South Africa, where I grew up sketching and exploring creative forms of self-expression. I was constantly drawing my parents, and eventually moved onto the scenery and architecture around me. I began to discover the value of my work when as a teenager, one of my pieces got stolen from our house.
After completing military service in The South African Airforce, I attended art school. I graduated with a National Diploma in Photography where I specialized in fashion. I spent six months as a photojournalist in Johannesburg during my final year, where I truly witnessed the strict and oppressive society I lived in. On December 18, 1990, I got mugged, and three weeks later I immigrated to Canada.
Shortly after moving to Canada, I met and fell in love with my wife. She had a five month-old baby at the time, who is now the oldest of our three kids. I began doing commercial photography, and as our family grew, I switched fields to provide a more stable income.
While I lost touch with my creative passion during this time, I wouldn’t be the man and artist I am today without the part of my journey that made me a father.
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When my youngest daughter was growing up, I began sketching again and rediscovering my passion for art through her. In 2016, I attended the Professional Photographers of Canada conference in Calgary where my photographic journey was reignited.
I began taking architectural photographs, an interest precedented from my childhood sketches, and was drawn to the beauty of black and white photography. Growing up witnessing apartheid and the emphasis on black and white, I utilized photography to explore all the shades in between.
My daughter urged me to start an Instagram account and share my work—this was a pivotal step in my journey. It allowed me to build a community. I soon gained the opportunity to give presentations at photo clubs and launch a series of architectural photography workshops in downtown Toronto.
I have been creating for over thirty-five years and believe that each stage of my journey has provided a building block, inevitably leading me to architectural photography. When I am creating, I feel a sense of exhilaration and know this genre is where I feel at home. Early on, I was influenced by Ansel Adams. The pursuit to emulate the tonality he achieved in his black and white photos continues to inspire me.
I employ the rules of photography as I recall my education and experience in the rigid society of South Africa, and break the rules to emphasize the freedom I gained moving to Canada. I don’t always succeed, but I learn from my failures and my peers. And I continue to challenge myself by shooting everyday and putting myself and my work out into the world.
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