Some years ago i discovered the figure of Michael Kenna, a minimalist photographer. Perhaps it is the best way to define him is exquisite black and white medium format. And long exposures. I invite you to discover the gaze of one of the heirs of the great photographers of the past: Michael Kenna.
Introduce Michael Kenna
Being different when taking a photo always attracts attention. In an age where everything is in a hurry, in which images fly from the sensor to the mobile so that they are immediately seen by your followers, Michael Kenna has not left the origins. Black and white film, an old Hasselblad, tripod and an infinite time to record those photographs closer to a haiku than to a 21st century image on silver halides. Ancients will call him one; unique, we think others.
Michael Kenna’s biography
Of Irish origin, he was born in 1953 into a family of six brothers. His Catholic training led him to the seminary, where he cultivated above all his passion for art. At the age of 17 he studied at the Banbury School of Art in Oxfordshire, where photography became his passion. But he touched all the sticks of the Fine Arts. He met the work of great photographers such as Bill Brandt, Josef Sudek, Eugene Atget and Alfred Stieglitz. He specialized in the London College of Printing.
He himself acknowledges that he does not know the number of creators that may have influenced him throughout his life. And he notes that a photographer must have a solid artistic background to achieve his own style. I never understood those who never set foot in a museum in their life.
In view of the results, one of the best decisions of his life was to leave his land and venture into the United States, where he worked in New York, San Francisco, Oregon … until he settled in Washington. He began working as a printer and commercial photographer, but over time his work reached galleries, and he was able to dedicate himself fully to landscape photography, with his own language. The dream of any of us.
It may seem like a coincidence, but the first time I saw Michael Kenna’s work was in an exhibition in Italy. I saw those quiet black and white landscape printing in excellent quality Then was a video of him sinking into the snow to photograph a lonely tree on a remote island in Japan, Hokkaido. After that I fell in love with his minimalism. Since then I look for the essence of the landscape with his work as inspiration.
His work is pure minimalism. Its light is that of dawn, although it can shoot at any hour if the light is good. Rarely do you leave a camera as classic as the Hasselblad 500 in your room, loaded with black and white reels. And he shoots out, loaded with his tripod in search of the minimum expression of the landscape, where lines, whites and pure blacks predominate to create photographs that can only be expressed in a few words.
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