For more than two decades, I have been looking for beauty in the most obscure and overlooked places.
My interest in photography came comparably later than my other artistic pursuits of music and graphic design, as a young man in my twenties. Unlike some other photographers, it was not the interest in being technically proficient but the interest in capturing a moment in time that attracted me. Even now, the technical aspects of the craft take a backseat to creativity.
Attending college allowed me to connect with photography and work with many formats including small, medium and large format cameras. I found the darkroom process to be incredibly rewarding as I uncovered what I captured on film. Many times I was disappointed, but times I weren’t were worth it.
These were the times I made the perfect mistakes. Those times when I thought all was lost, but as the chemicals settled, an accidental beauty appeared. These precious experiences drove me forward in my creative quest.
Originally I was disinterested in digital photography. I wasn’t able to capture the magic of those special moments in the darkroom. But like any craftsman, I dabbled with it, exploring the possibilities that might lie within.
Trained as a professional graphic designer, it was only a matter of time before I discovered the relationship between digital photography and Adobe Photoshop. Of course I knew they were used together, but it was the power and dance that happened when they were used properly and effectively that blew my mind as I became more proficient with the tools.
All of a sudden, I was now able to allow my images to become what my eye had seen when I looked through the camera. Too many times I captured images and, although they were nice, I knew I had failed to capture the image as my mind had seen it. But now – now the pieces were beginning to resemble what I had seen the moment I first clicked the shutter.
They say when the student is willing a teacher will appear, and at this critical point in my training, I became acquainted with Bill Simone, a well known photographer in South Central Pennsylvania, who brought to light many of the elements I overlooked with my own work.
A master at the behavior of light, Bill taught me the secrets the best photographers use to utilize this valuable resource. With his tutelage, my images now appeared precisely as they had when I looked through the camera. Finally, it was happening.
And with the passion and the tools and the knowledge of how to use those tools, all that remained was practice. Lots and lots of practice.
Now it was about combining all of these areas without thousands of trials and misfires. It was like starting all over, but with greater results. I never imaged anything could take the place of the darkroom, let alone be better. How could it be possible to have such powerful tools housed in such a small package? The ability to make gains was much easier. The fear of making mistakes was less scary. The ability to focus on creativity was easier. And the ability to bounce back from failure was that much quicker. Walking away from film and working with a digital camera and a computer as my darkroom was so inspiring, especially after learning my mentors and favorite photographers had made the same move.
When passion, knowledge and practice are paired together, what emerges is something that artists refer to as “style.” Unintentional as it may be, it’s true in art and in life that we become the sum of all of our experiences and when you’re a creative, you will reflect those same experiences in your work. I simply attempt to reflect my experiences to satisfy myself. Some may say this is selfish, but, if you can’t satisfy yourself, it will be virtually impossible to satisfy others.
Truth be told, I never had the patience to copy someone else’s style. This is true even when talking about my music. I have borrowed and collected elements from players I enjoy and am influenced by, but never have I entirely copied and cloned what makes up their style.
I love to talk “shop” with fellow creatives. I feel everyone has something that we can take away. A person doesn’t have to be a technical superstar or a professional to learn from them. Many times the innocence of a beginner allows that person to try new things more easily than someone who is very set in their ways on how they may capture an image.
Currently, I am completely immersed with capturing images of people being themselves, doing ordinary things. There is such beauty to the calming, contentment of a woman reading a book on the beach, even if she is the only one around for miles. Perhaps it is a man selling bread at his open air market on a chilly spring day. The people call you into the image but the creativity only begins with the subject choice. What is in the background? How is your focal point positioned? Is the image to be color? Or black and white? These decisions create the mood or and inform the tension in the image. There is so much more we are able to do to create the image we see in our mind or what we really have seen with our eyes.
The options are limitless. Go create!
For LC Ferrari, photography is a personal energy release, and outlet through which creativity flows without rules or guidelines. It’s an opportunity to create freely, grow spontaneously, and live naturally, while providing an escape from the realities of day-to-day life.
A professional artist and musician, he makes a living as a graphic designer and calls Lititz, Pennsylvania his home. His first camera was a Polaroid 1 Step introduced to him as a child. You can check out LC’s other works here: