Steve O’Bryan

A Few Things I Could Say About My Photography

For the last twenty-plus years or so, I’ve taught ancient Greek and Roman history at a university in Denver. From that long perspective, there’s not much new under the sun.
But I also take photographs—-and I’m as passionate about those as I am the ancient Romans. My company, Wild Basin Photography and Gallery, is located in the North Boulder Art District. My portfolio is filled with images of Boulder, Colorado, and the Rocky Mountain West. But it also includes images from Rome, Florence and Northern New Mexico (Santa Fe, Abiquiu, and Ghost Ranch—-Georgia O’Keefe’s landscape).
My new series of photographs will have its first full public showing this fall (2014). It focuses on two elements from the mythic imagination of the American West, big sky and big water. In Spring, 2015, I will present a Boulder exhibition highlighting Rome—both ancient monuments and current street scenes.

Taking Pictures:
For me, the best thing about photography is out taking photographs. You are immediately surrounded by a pulsing, 360-degree-multi-sensory environment. The art of photography is reducing this mind’s- eye sensory experience into an aesthetically pleasing, two-dimensional image by blending technology with deliberate, intentional, personal artistic seeing.

Photographs are about light as it filters through the mind’s-eye and intention of the artist. Ideally, this “dynamic” quality transcends the literal framing of elements to create an image that is both “familiar” and universal; maybe, transcendent.

Meaning: The beauty and/or interest of a scene is one thing, but meaning is another. Memorable photographs come from within the photographer—quite literally from the inside out, a kind of self-portraiture. Whatever “meaning” any photograph may have comes from the photographer and the viewer.

Recent Influences:
Georgia O’Keefe’s reduction of form into essential color and line; Joseph Campbell’s ideas about the “mythic quality” and “creative imagination” of human experience. Both encourage us to live the life we intended. Art can break us open to this life.

Art: For me, framing a scene through a camera intensifies the experience of seeing, everything else falls away into new awareness, the clock stops ticking, and for a while, I’m free. If there’s art, this is when and where it happens.

Talking the Art of Photography: The next best thing to taking photographs is to talk about them. NoBo Art District’s First Friday Open Studios creates great opportunities to talk about “the art of photography”.

Type: Photography

Steve O’Bryan

Boulder, CO 80304