michael levy - biography



moi-06-feb

Michael’s introduction to the photographic process took place when he was a young man living with his family in Belgium. In 1984 he enrolled in a basic black & white darkroom course and processed his first roll of film and printed his first B&W photos. As soon as he witnessed one of his images appear slowly, as if by magic, on a blank piece of paper, he knew that it was a pursuit that would be with him for the remainder of his life.

He has focused primarily on nature, wildlife & landscape photography using only natural light. The challenge of composing and adjusting according to the various conditions is one of the great aspects of photography that Michael enjoys: observing rather than directing the action in front of his lens.

His current work focuses on the textures found in Nature and how they can be incorporated with other more literal photographs to produce more creative pieces that ask the viewer to ponder the interrelationship of the myriad facets of the natural world: an eagle and a cat’s fur, a heron superimposed on a craggy macro landscape, trees & ocean intertwined, all calling on the audience to question what they are seeing in each print, to wonder at the scale of each component and to appreciate the new, unique creation before their eyes. His method involves collecting found textures as well as creating some through tusche washes in his studio; he then “sandwiches” photos together much as he would have in the darkroom many years ago. He strives to keep his work as pure as possible: minimal manipulations so that the final prints reflect as much as possible what he saw when looking through the camera’s viewfinder.

Another ongoing project of artists, artisans and craftspeople in their studios highlights his focus on observation and natural light. Most sessions involve an easy going approach with lots of friendly, informative banter between photographer and subject. The final series will be presented as a show or published as a book...time will tell.

Michael is in the midst of preparing a new book for publication in early 2017 as well as a new series of Folio prints and a collaborative show slated for October 2016.

Influences include but are not limited to:

Edward Weston
Alexander Rodchenko
Andre Kertesz
Edward Steichen
Alfred Stieglitz
Nick Brandt
Sheila Metzner
Andy Goldsworthy