Still Life – Mushrooms by Dale M. Reid

Today my subject matter features floral, mushroom and pear studies. My mission is to capture and present a unique perspective that engages the viewer and embodies a concept or tells a story.

Photography opened my eyes to the beauty and fragility of the world around me. After I left the structured corporate environment and changed genders, I was fully able to explore and develop my creativity. This sparked a new energy, passion and excitement in my life that continues to grow today and is reflective in my body of artwork.

After experimenting with colored film, using a 35 mm camera, I was introduced to black and white film. I found a new method of expression that enabled me to make an emotional artistic statement without the distraction of color. I now use a medium format film camera. I favor the continued use of black and white film because the tactile approach allows for the continued evolution of my artistic style. Prior to clicking the shutter, I pay careful attention to the composition, the focus, the quality of lighting, and anticipate printing the image in the darkroom. Additionally, the film grain allows me to produce a silver gelatin print with a three-dimensional feel that has depth, motion and warmth.

Today my subject matter features floral, mushroom and pear studies. My mission is to capture and present a unique perspective that engages the viewer and embodies a concept or tells a story. To create this unique perspective, I use a full range of techniques and experiment with staging, lighting, filters, aperture and shutter speed.

The resulting negative is only the halfway point to creating the image. To round out my artistic expression, I use my darkroom skills (i.e., filters, dodging, burning, etc.) to create a rich range of tones. There is a heart-warming feeling to see my vision come alive in front of me.

With the images presented on a white background taking on the look of a sketch or painting; my floral studies are sensual and erotic. My abstract images of the mushroom take on a sensual out-of-this-world feeling, and my innovative pear images are playful, mischievous, fanciful and sensual.

My floral studies are often compared with those of Robert Mapplethorpe and even Man Rey and Georgia O’Keeffe. It has been said that my mushroom images are reminiscent of Edward Weston’s “Bell Pepper” images. Stylistically, my artwork has been compared to the Group f/64. The name of the Group is derived from a diaphragm number of the photographic lens. It signifies to a large extent the qualities of clearness and definition of the photographic image. The group is comprised of a select number of influential photographers such as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham.

I continue to develop my own artistic approach with subjects selected based on what speaks to me emotionally. While the artistic style of my artwork has evolved to echo that of the members of the Group f/64, I continue to experiment with different approaches, presenting new and innovative artwork.

About Dale M. Reid

Contemporary fine art photographer Dale M Reid took charge of her destiny by making a commitment to herself and her life partner and soulmate. Reid’s belief in herself has allowed her to chart a new course in life as a full-time professional artist and transgender woman. As Dale transitioned through her new life journey, she developed technical skills, questioned convention, trusted her instincts, and with her passion, was able to craft a distinctive artistic voice. Her artwork ranges from classical to sensual to erotic and engages the viewer to question what they see. Owning who we are, respecting and trusting our character, and engaging people has allowed Dale to be accepted as a respected woman and professional artist.

Inspired by studying other photographers’ work and other art forms, her artwork has been compared to classical photographers such as Edward Weston, Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams, as well as to contemporary photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Cindy Sherman.

In creating her artwork, Dale exclusively uses black & white film and traditional photography methods. She believes that the lack of color allows the viewer to focus on the variety of textures and the richness of interesting lines and shapes that engage in an elegant, visual synthesis in each photograph.

Early photographic explorations included landscapes and interpretative self portraits. She started to develop her artistic style with a strong focus on creating landscape images. These images ranged from maritime to urban to industrial views. After moving into her studio in 2008, her work has expanded significantly to include floral and still life studies. Today, her artwork is primarily created in the studio where she imbues botanical subjects with unimaginable personality and emotion. Working in the controlled studio environment has allowed Dale more flexibility to experiment with composition and lighting.

Dale’s artwork continues to be recognized internationally by juried art competitions resulting in group exhibitions, nominations and awards. In 2013, Dale was invited to have ten images from her oyster mushroom series featured in a Spanish photography magazine along with thirteen other international photographers. This international exposure has earned Dale several invitations to participate in art fairs throughout North America, Europe and the Far East. Dale M Reid is currently based in Toronto, Canada. [Official Website]

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