by John Dugdale (Self Portrait)
In my last year of high school, I had a wonderful photography teacher who used to leave the back door open to the school so I could go to the darkroom. I’d decided after graduation that I’d go to the Culinary Institute of America to be a chef, but this teacher said, “Why don’t you go to art school instead?” I answered, “But I can’t draw.” And he said, “Don’t be silly. What about photography!” That was it.-John Dugdale
The last issue of American Photo has a very interesting article about fine art photographer John Dale. Working with alternative processes and large format photography he has a successful career in fine art photography despite his progressive and significant loss of sight. Past are the times of highly paid commercial work by big clients like Ralph Lauren and Marta Stewart, when AIDS took a hit on his health and ultimately his sight, but not in his vision and strength.
My inner voice was saying, you didn’t do what you meant to.
A really inspirational history, John Dugdale conveys his inner vision and an exquisite sensitivity of beauty into emotional photographs.
The little bit of sight I have now might last for another year, or it might last for another five. But most of the time I have a big smile on my face, because I’m experiencing elevated levels of clarity.- John Dugdale
His poor eyesight requires that his assistant Dan Levin, with good vision actually take the shot since he is legally blind. Even with his limited eye sight his images have turned fuller of feeling and soul.
Even so I have explained the concept to Dan so exactly that it is my image, and it is this, my art, which has saved my life.-John Dugdale
It is difficult to find good web galleries of John’s work, but you can see some images at the American Photo article as well as some galleries like Robert Klein. The Digital Journalist has several videos online with the artist. John Dugdale has published two books of his work, Lengthening Shadows Before Nightfalls and Life’s Evening Hour.
by John Dugdale