Self Portrait with Coffee

Tom Lascell

Black and White Photography


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Thoughts on Photography

I believe, at its root, photography chronicles whatever the lens sees. On its surface, a picture has no morality, no judgment, no meaning. It just is. But the scene has been able to separate itself from the background of our usual experience to become more visible. The camera plucks that image out of normal reality to portray our heightened awareness. It seeks the vitality of an object or a scene, and captures it on film.

To me, an effective photograph emits that emotional "pin prick". It crystallizes a changed, and somewhat charged, reality. It has a life of its own. If I'm successful, I convey to others what I first saw before I raised the camera to my eye. This is that magical moment that first drew me to photography. I find it in my viewfinder; I find it in the developing tray.

I normally deal in realism, often in a romantic style. People and street scenes, a snippet of time, capturing an instant, hoping to convey a momentary truth; an authentic glimpse of the relationship of man to his surroundings at a moment in time. Sometimes that truth is apparent. Sometimes it's only in the eye of the beholder. In developing an image, I do sometimes crop, or dodge or burn in details, but only to highlight what first attracted me to the scene.

I often use a shallow depth of field to focus on texture or an accident of light and shadow. In the detail I sometimes find the universal.

I traditionally work in black and white, 35 mm film, using natural light almost exclusively. In recent years, I have also experimented with medium formats and alternative photographic processes.


Puff Ball Puff Ball

Saranac Lake, NY



Copyright © Tom Lascell | 5 Pleasant Street, Canton, NY 13617 | 315.854.4279