David C. Walsh
A Washington-area native, I spent 15 years as a fulltime print reporter, before turning freelance in 1993. Expanding on my interest in journalism, I published travel articles and color photography in magazines and newspapers. I also voiced radio news stories for US and foreign networks. In 1997, I began an interest in fine art photography as well, with a particular focus on Infra-red (I-R).
The photography began as an escape - and a revelation.
As I grew up, the mind's-eye often composed things "artfully;" things I knew would make a good picture. But photography doesn't gladly suffer techno-dolts and the "math challenged". Lightning ratios? Apertures?!! NUMBERS?!!! With a shake of the head, I'd just go about my business.
Fleeing my Washington reporter's job for a country weekend, though, I remembered a "point n' shoot" camera (no calculations!) on the car's back seat. Hmmm - the waterfront B&B looked nice; maybe a few snaps would be fun. In the event, I wrote a freelance article on the place, and the paper bought the photos, too. Even ran them in color. Hey, I could take printable pictures!
A year elapses, and in '93 I forsake the Washington job. Now, I'd fling myself onto freelancing's rocky shoals. Travel writing with photography would occupy a fair amount of time. I also modeled some, staying alert to what the photographer did. Meanwhile, I bought lots of photo books, poring over them endlessly, exasperatedly, until the basics yielded up their secrets. The technical side was, and remains hardest to understand. Along the way, endless color slides got exposed. Sadly, the keepers mined from those tons of photographic ore were scarily few. Except for a pretty good compositional sense, I'd have quit.
But the knowledge increased; so did the keepers. Editorial, promotional and portrait work furthered the self-instruction, and provided a bit of income. In time, I ventured into black & white, Infra-red especially. Somehow, this odd emulsion dovetails with my personality, exploits darker visions. I feel an extra responsibility to show "different" angles, to bring certain subjects into a stronger, more radiant light. Monochrome I-R seems able to capture an ethereal essence, if not deeper truths. It draws something from inside the subject and inside of me.
Why the pull of this striking film is more urgent than color's (of which I've shot incalculably more) is hard to know. At any rate, the results give me pleasure and, in a way comfort. That others feel the same is doubly satisfying.