Having studied photography in the early 1970’s with such notables as Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Steve Crouch and Al Weber, Huntington Witherill has, since 1970, remained faithful to his classical roots while progressively transitioning toward a more contemporary approach to the medium. His photographs have been featured in more than 100 individual and group exhibitions in museums and galleries throughout the world, and his work has been the subject of three published monographs: Orchestrating Icons (2000) Botanical Dances (2002) and Photo Synthesis (2010).
Witherill maintains a diverse and constantly evolving approach to the medium, and he works in both black & white and color. In 1999 Witherill was the recipient of the “Artist of the Year” award presented by the Center for Photographic Art.
For further information and/or to view an extensive collection of Huntington Witherill’s photographs please visit his comprehensive gallery and web site at: www.huntingtonwitherill.com
Flowers represent one of the most universally embraced forms of subject matter that can be explored by visual artists. Inherently possessing boundless varieties of aesthetic nuance and visual opulence, flowers and other botanical specimens readily lend themselves to some of the most fundamental objectives of artistic expression. Moreover, the diverse range of color, form, line, and texture that these objects manifest cause them to naturally adapt to the photographic medium. How then does a photographer approach this particular subject matter in such a way as not to impersonate a currently existing wealth of recorded expression?
As a photographer who was initially trained in what might best be described as a classical approach – using a view camera, the Zone System and the western landscape as a primary subject – my approach to the series: Photo Synthesis has lead me down a decidedly different path from that of my classical roots in the West Coast School of photography.
Employing a process and methodology more indicative of painting and sculpture, or perhaps even jazz improvisation, the series: Photo Synthesis eschews pre-visualized and representational aspects of conventional photography in favor of a more intuitive, symbolic and spontaneous approach to the subject. Using digital tools and materials exclusively, the initial camera-based images in this series have been significantly altered, distorted, re-structured, and re-formatted so as to present a primordial landscape of abstracted natural forms, fantasy-based illusions, and altered perceptions.
Whether new ground has been broken with this photography-based approach to a previously well documented subject will be for the viewer to decide. Ultimately, it is the ongoing process of self-exploration and visual discovery that holds the key to my unwavering passion for the photographic medium. Hence, should this work serve no other purpose than to lead me in new directions, I will have succeeded.