I am always drawn to subjects I find to be incongruous, and always like to experiment. As I’m taking pictures I think a lot about the passage of time and how things ended up the way they are. What happened to the people who lived in these places and what were they experiencing? I’ve often been told that I see things that other people don’t pay attention to. The images I capture come to me subconsciously perhaps; they speak to me in a variety of ways, fulfilling an insatiable curiosity about the world and everything in it.
Through the viewfinder the world is in color, but I imagine what I see in monotone. I work with color as well, but feel that black and white gives my work a gravitas that can’t be achieved with color. Black and white is solid, timeless. I have studied the work of the great Parisian photographer Eugene Atget (1857-1927) and especially like his use of color (or non-color) that came from his printing process. It took me a long time to develop a similar palette, and I use it with my own ideas.
As I photograph, I make adjustments with the composition and cropping. I also make changes based on how I forsee the printed image. I take up to 50 photographs of each subject (which is a lot when you consider that each file is high resolution (120 megabytes). I’ve used a lot of cameras over the years but have come to prefer digital because I like the quality and the immediate results. Perhaps this is because when I started getting serious about photography digital cameras didn’t exist. I used computers early on but they were primitive by today’s standards.
I like to come back to themes. I’ve been working on the “Passages” and “Sylvester Manor” series for several years. For me, it’s exciting to see how places and things change over time and sometimes disappear altogether. I prefer quiet places where I can spend time thinking about each subject without interruption, but sometimes that’s not possible. Some places I know about and some places I find by accident. I think I’m most successful with what I find by chance.
Gary Beeber is an award-winning American photographer/filmmaker who has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. His films have screened at over 75 film festivals. Solo (photography) exhibitions include two at Generous Miracles Gallery (NYC), the Griffin Museum of Photography (2017), and Rhode Island Center for Photography (2020). Beeber’s work has also been included in juried exhibitions throughout the country. Among Fortune 500 companies who collect his work are Pfizer Pharmaceutical, Goldman Sachs and Chase Bank.