Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Huntington Witherill

Huntington Witherill is a photographer whose work I find extraordinarily rich and diverse. While his images are often landscapes, he also has several projects, such as ‘Hand Of Man’ and ‘Virtual Reality’, that are not related to nature photography. Among these projects is Chariots of Desire, a series of black and white abstract vintage car images that are every bit as compelling as his high key sand dune photos, for which he is perhaps better known. His style emphasizes the abstract organization of lines, tones, and shapes, even though the image itself may not necessarily present itself as an abstraction. He notes in a LensWork interview that his style is related to his training in graphic design. He goes on to say that “I like to look at the world in terms of negative and positive space, different planes of focus, gesture of line, that sort of thing”.

I am also intrigued that he speaks of his near-sightedness as playing a role in his style. During the interview he notes, when talking about his poor vision, that “I’ve turned this into an advantage. It’s helpful for me to be able to look at things as big blobs of shape without a lot of detail in them. It helps distill planes of focus and different shapes of positive and negative space, so that I can more easily arrange them within the frame. It’s a process of distillation that happens physically for me because of my eyesight. I often don’t see all the details that other people do”.

Ahhh…so there is still hope for those of us with less than 20/20 vision!

I definitely recommend taking a look at Huntington’s work and reading his interview with Brooks Jensen of Lenswork, all of which can be seen on his website, which does not seem to allow linking to individual pages but is easy to navigate from the main page. I should also add that I own a copy of his book Orchestrating Icons and it is a magnificent monograph that I highly recommend.