The M. Reichmann Grant
For Emerging Photographers
American Landscape: Where Water Meets Shore
Jan Bell - Ohio, USA
The United States holds an endless array of unique landscapes. While I have photographed extensively in California, the Southwest, and Lake Superior, there's a vast amount of landscape waiting to be explored.
My current body of work explores ethereal places where water meets shore. Changing weather makes for varied moods. This grant will allow me to continue this series of B&W images along the Oregon and Washington coast. Resulting photos will add to my body of work generated from a two year
My professional career had it's roots in a film studio. There I learned the importance of detail. That was followed by a thirty year career as an design director with the PBS network. There I had the luxury of working on projects that hopefully educated and enlightened the mind.
The past fourteen years have been a time of personal growth. Iíve had the pleasure of attending numerous workshops, with some the country's best photographers. That, combined with a lot of hard work, has produced varied portfolios of work. My style builds upon the work that was done by the f-64 group in the last century. Studying their work built a foundation which inspired me to branch out and find a style of my own. Their style was characterized by sharp focus and carefully framed images.
Whether itís a plant, a landscape, or a manmade structure, my photos represent an opportunity to consider the subject Ė almost apart from its meaning or function Ė in terms of the beauty of its form. Whether it be the inner folds of a plant, a sand-swept dune, or a distant coastline, I focus on an intimate view. By narrowing oneís scope, I allow the viewer to see only elements of a shape, a pattern, or a texture.
I have trekked to the western part of the United States on numerous occasions to shoot the iconic landscapes that inspired me as a young boy. In recent years, I have ventured off the beaten path and explored on my own. It has been these times in the wilderness that have allowed me to connect with the land and compose my images. My interest in saving this undeveloped land is of utmost concern.
I feel honored to have won the Ansel Adams Photo Competition for my ďAgaveĒ photo. This award was presented by the Adamsí family in 2010. The competition promoted the galleryís mission to cultivate artistic appreciation for the natural world. That same year, I won two top prizes in a competition held by the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography; and that led to a solo show in the gallery. My work was included in B+W Magazine in 2014; and has been purchased by numerous corporate collections. These awards top a list of many others that I have received over the past fourteen years.
Now that I am retired I have more time for my art, but less disposable income. Because of this, Iíve found it necessary to reduce my travel over the past couple of years. Additionally, outstanding photos requires premium products -- cameras, lenses, printers, printing paper, pigment inks, framing supplies. Without them, I could not produce the photographs that you see today. Itís these products bring my artistic visions to life.
I have dreamed of photographing the Pacific Northwest for some time. I feel that Oregon/Washington coastal landscapes will augment my recent Lake Superior photos. Once I complete this project, I would like to produce a portfolio style book of my recent work -- a book that could be handed down from generation to generation.
If I should be fortunate enough to receive a Luminous Landscape grant, I will use the money to continue my love of photography. It will allow me to spend a few weeks shooting in coastal Oregon and Washington and move me closer to realizing my dream. I will also have a larger photographic portfolio, which hopefully will allow for additional gallery opportunities.
I thank you for this opportunity. It's people like you who allow artists to pursue our dreams.