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Artist ID: 2408

“If given a choice, I will choose the bold path.” Digital photography is the painter’s canvas by other means, and my goal is to unearth what is unique and powerful in a raw image. To do this, I must consider not only subject, composition and light, but intention. By intention, I mean a photographer must go beyond fundamentals of photography, and treat the environment and subject as an inseparable whole. Intention is a fusion of subject and environment by treating them equally in order to make the viewer feel the image.
Sometimes, my settings and editing revolve around the environment, and not the subject, but in the process the subject fully comes to life. To be bold, one must be brave. To do this, I often employ strong contrast, razor-sharp clarity, powerful light and equally deep darkness, along with ample use of negative space. Every composition and camera setting is crafted with intention in mind before I press the shutter button. With the right camera setting, even the mundane can come alive with excitement and drama. This process includes editing. I know how I will edit an image before taking the shot. The editing process is where I liberate what the camera’s software often conspires to hide.

I do not have a formal education in art. Yet, I study the art of photography with great passion. I draw most of my inspiration and technical know-how from portrait photographers because these skills are readily applicable to all subjects, animate or inanimate. I draw inspiration from the drama of Laszlo Willinger, Peter Lindbergh’s minimalism, to the bold simplicity of George Hurrell, just to name a few. Of note, the work of the late Herb Ritts inspires me on several levels. Like me, he was self-taught. Especially in his black and whites, he merged light and space with his subject, and not just as backdrop.

The candidate images I’ve selected for the 2022 Wiregrass Biennial are very different from one another, but I believe all boldly fuse environment and subject to capture the image’s spirit. It is my hope these images in some way capture the viewer’s imagination.

Brian Braden’s family settled in the Wiregrass in the late 1970s. He graduated from Enterprise High School and then from Troy State University before following his father’s footsteps into the Air Force. Brian eventually retired from the military, settling for good back in the Wiregrass. As he transitioned to civilian life, he pursued his dream of becoming a writer and photographer. He has published numerous articles in various magazines and journals. He has written four novels, to include the epic fantasy “Black Sea Gods”, which was a semi-finalist for 2013 Kindle Novel of the Year. His awards for fiction include the Alabama Penman Award and The Darron L. Wright Award. He has just released an audiobook version of his novel “The Golden Princess”, which was nominated for InD’Tale Magazine’s Audiobook of the Year.

An award-winning photographer, Brian’s first non-fiction book is an odyssey-in-images called “Abandon Wiregrass: The Deepest South’s Lost and Forgotten Places.” It is now available from FontHill/Arcadia Publishing.
He has been married for over thirty years and has three children.

Click image(s) to enlarge.