Edward Gillum, who has had a camera in his hand practically all of his life, grew up in Paris, Illinois. This is where he began photographing the landscape.
Edward’s career began in the late 1950’s when he took a position with a large advertising firm in Paris, where he designed, developed and did the production for calendars and national ad campaigns for leading corporations.
In the 1960’s, Edward left the firm in Paris and headed for California, where he landed a job with a motion picture art studio, and eventually was asked to come to work at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. It was while at Disney’s that his interest in photographing the California landscape grew. His love for the great outdoors and the large format camera and negative turned his eye to the fine print for gallery exhibition.
After his tenure at Disney’s Gillum opened his own studio and spent many years doing wedding photography, product work, annual reports, corporate and architectural assignments, as well as portrait work for many top show business entertainers including album covers for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and work for friend singer Rick Nelson.
Gillum, whose work resembles tht of his mentor, the late Ansel Adams, turned from color photography to black and white because the medium gave him more control over the negative and print. “It was really Ansel Adams’ work that turned me to black and white photography.”Gillum said. “When I first met Ansel on the beach in Carmel, California, in the early 1070’s, and later saw some of his original prints at his home, a whole new interest in photography was created that excited me very much. I was so inspired by his approach to the medium that there was no doubt that with control and visualization, black and white could be superior to any other form. I found that art and creativity were everywhere in the fine print. I continue to feel a tremendous exuberance every time I see a new negative or print in the developer.”
Gillum studied Adams approach and his Zone System technique of exposure and development, and attended workshops both in Yosemite and at his home in Carmel.
Gillum works with all types of camera and formats, but prefers 4×5. Edwards work has been shown in both group and one-man exhibits in the United States and in Europe for over 35 years. He has written numerous magazine articles on photographing the landscape, and has published a hardcover book, “IMAGES: Expressive Moments From the Mind’s Eye”.
Gillum has been photographing some of the eastern areas of the country, but still prefers the environment of the west, especially New Mexico, and the adobe architecture, and the remote areas of Arizona. He is now working in his 53rd year as a master photographer and print maker.
Edward Gillum, who has been represented by The Gerald Peters Gallery and Photogenesis, both in Santa Fe, New Mexico, continues to photography, print, and exhibit in galleries nationally. A Thirty-Year Retrospective featuring 65 prints entitled “Silver Nuances: The Museum Set”, was exhibited at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology college in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Making a photograph is much more than just taking a picture, or making a factual record of a subject. The mystery of a subject can greatly influence ones perception and render that subject very personal. For me, it becomes an emotional experience. I feel that what I am doing is taking a small bit of time and freezing it forever. It is that special moment in time that is the present. There is a connection of one element to another–myself, and here and now.
From film to darkroom, all of my efforts revolve around light. I am fascinated by natural light, and how, in shaping the subject, it gives three-dimensional realism on a two dimensional surface.
I have come to realize over the years, that not only is the technique of how I get it on film important, but what does the subject say to me and the viewer.