Welcome to briankilligrew.com! I am very excited about this site, and happy to share my work with so many people.
Of the various photographic formats I have used, my 4x5 work is the most personal part of me.
The first time I used a large-format camera exclusively was in Yosemite National Park in 1986. I had previous experience using a 4x5 camera, but photographing with it in Yosemite was a completely different story!
Yosemite was, and still is, my favorite spot on the planet. It was in Yosemite with its majestic views--towering granite cliffs, delicate meadows, and thundering waterfalls--that I not only learned to appreciate light, but to notice its subtle changes from moment to moment.
Yosemite taught me how to work with light.
A year later, I took a workshop with photographer John Sexton. John's prints are a thing of beauty, he is truly a master craftsman. He stressed that having a firm grasp of the fundamentals of photographic technique is essential for doing creative work. John showed me how to control the technical aspects of the camera and darkroom -- to use the craft of photography to further my progress.
John Sexton helped me to learn the rules of the photographic process.
The following year, I traveled to Virginia City, Nevada, to take a workshop with Oliver Gagliani. Oliver is a truly remarkable artist in every sense of the word--he does things his own way, and definitely "dances to his own drummer." Not one to be bound by tradition, Oliver sometimes develops his negatives for as little as one minute to as much as a full day to achieve the effect he desires.
Oliver Gagliani gave me a very valuable insight--he showed me how to "break" the rules.
Another turning point for me was when I first saw a remarkable image by noted photographer Paul Caponigro. As I looked at the image--dark, mysterious, with light seemingly emanating from it--I was transported to another world, a universe unto itself.
At the moment I saw Caponigro's apple, I began to realize the incredible power of photography as an art form.
As much as I love to photograph, I also love to print. For me, printing my own work is the completion of the creative process that starts when I set up my tripod to make an image. When I am in the darkroom printing a image that is successful in translating onto paper something magical--I am just about as happy as a person can be. In the darkroom I recreate what I saw on my ground glass--then add a little extra--myself.
It is the synergy of photographing and printing that makes photography so special to me.
I feel that through the years I have developed my own voice in my work. I think the most important attribute needed to do almost anything well in life is passion. One must have talent, of course, but talent without passion leaves a void. Passion without talent is a crescendo without music--it has no support. It is when talent, passion and technical ability meet, that a symphony of beauty and inspiration can be created.
My hope is that the passion and energy I put into my work in some way resonates with you, the viewer.
There are three portfolios on this site.
Landscape: I find the beauty of the landscape to be quite moving. I believe as humans we need beauty in our lives, it can inspire and help us through life's many twists and turns.
Abstract: I believe knowledge is very important, yet how dull would life be without a little mystery! In my abstract work I try to reveal the world beneath the surface of ordinary, and not so ordinary objects. I believe abstract work can be very powerful, because it is the viewer that completes the work with their imagination.
Figure Studies: I find the human form fascinating. I believe the female form, in particular, is an incredible work of art, and very inspirational.
There are a few images made with a smaller camera on this site, and are clearly labeled as such. I have included them because I feel they are important images (notably Rebirth), and should be shown.
In the Writings section there are excerpts from my journals from photographic trips I made in 1988, and an adventure I had while traveling in Iceland the same year.
Enjoy the site!
July 4, 2002 New York City
United States of America
Copyright(c) Brian Killigrew 2002. All Rights Reserved.