Robert Beauchene is a lifelong photographer and musician originally from Poughkeepsie, NY. His black & white work can be seen throughout the area under the brand CAPE FEAR NOIR and his abstract work has received international recognition. He also builds custom furniture! He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Polly.
For decades, the world of “fine art” photography has fallen into a fairly small list of genres. Landscapes, wildlife, portraits and occasional street scenes are the typical purview of most photographers who are out to create something beautiful with a single image by itself. However, in the past few years there has emerged a style of photography that is not new but is growing in popularity because it is uniquely suited to the capabilities of digital cameras.
Artists have always experimented with the tools that they use in an attempt to arrive at something new, different, fresh or unexpected. It’s an integral part of art as an act of creativity, expression and skill. Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) is a genre of image making that combines slower shutter speeds and intentionally moving the camera while the photo is being shot. Talk about “breaking the rules!” The result is a spectrum of abstraction that can go from creating “impressionist” style photos to “abstract expressionist” style photos.
Unlike many ICM photographers who choose to retain the recognizable forms and subjects of their photos – simply “blurring” fairly traditional subjects (like those listed above), Robert Beauchene centers his attention on light – it’s shape, tone, texture and intensity. The results of this approach are images that are often absent of any recognizable form but are full of interesting lines, colors and patterns. Think abstract expressionist painting – but with a camera.
As with any photographic technique, Beauchene utilizes light, location, camera settings, etc. to intentionally arrive at a pre-conceived “vision”. In other words, these photos are not “accidents” – they are the result of careful planning and the precise use of the tools at hand. All of his images are created in camera with very little, if any, post processing or digital manipulation of any kind.
This particular approach to picture making is appealing because it is an alternative representation of an actual reality. Not an interpretation but an actual capture of something real. The camera is just a tool/ recording device and visual “reality” is processed and constrained by our eyes and brains to perceive things in a particular way. This is NOT the only way, however. For example, insects see things differently than we do because their eyes are designed differently. In this way, the camera allows the photographer to take a real subject and capture it in such a way that it becomes something else – something abstract.
In the end, however, the goal is nothing more than to create something beautiful!
View more of Robert’s work on his personal website! www.mycamerasongs.com