Accidental Beauty

"Capture the Moment." That is a common goal in photography. To capture the moment when the light is just right or moving objects align in a spectacular and interesting way. I try to do that with my photographs. But there is another moment I want to capture also. That is the moment of recognition within myself. The moment that I see clearly the photographic possibilities and composition inherent in a scene. Just as with natural light and shifting scenes, this moment is fleeting. The possibility springs out at me unexpectedly and I capture the scene. I have returned sometimes to the same place later and do not "see" the composition that was there earlier. The photo is proof that I once did.

I do not look for typically "beautiful" scenes; landscapes, flowers, animals but find more potential in the random and accidental arrangements of chairs in a courtyard, a pile of cardboard boxes or the still life arrangement of common, mundane and even homely objects found at hardware stores, grocers, garden supply stores, bait and tackle shops and antique shops. An alley or construction site are more appealing places for me to find that "moment". In my latest pursuit creating still life photographs, I convey a feeling of surprise by juxtaposing those common, mundane and homely objects in unexpected ways or by removing them from the contexts in which they are typically found.  

Whether the subject is architecture, still life, nature or portraiture, I try to create highly unconventional images. Rather than photograph an entire building, I focus on a spider web like arrangement of electrical wires clinging like vines to the side of a building or a deep crack in a wall held together by huge clamps and threaded rods. My still life images do not contain the typical arrangement of bottles, fruit and dishes but rather consist of balls of kite string, or a single, large, highly geometric cupcake mold or a set of calipers. A typical nature shot is not a bird on a branch but rather a highly abstract shot of milkweed seeds against a black velvet background. And finally, my portraits avoid the gauzy, soft focus, smooth skin look typical of many portraits but rely on a harsher portrayal that accentuates the model’s imperfections but captures more of their true character. I have always believed that the only way to discover something new about the world is to take a path that no one else has blazed. Whether in my chosen profession as an engineer or in my photographic pursuits, the goal is to explore, investigate and avoid the conventional in order to develop a unique voice and honest self-expression.

I hope you enjoy my photographs and find beauty, joy and surprise in these unconventional images.


Andy Wohl