THE POWER OF THE PRINT

Canadian Geographic - - CONTENTS -

Jeremy Cowart

“I was in­tim­i­dated by pho­tog­ra­phy — f-stops and shut­ter speeds — but forced to take a class due to my de­sign de­gree. I learned what a cam­era and sto­ry­telling can re­ally do.”

On His Work

“I’m a por­trait pho­tog­ra­pher and I love to put my unique spin on por­traits. I have built my plat­form in com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­phy, shoot­ing celebri­ties, but then I like to use that plat­form to do per­sonal work. I’ve done a lot of work in Africa and Haiti. I love to tell sto­ries that are big­ger than me, big­ger than any­thing I’ve done in the com­mer­cial world. The im­age of the man in the brown hat is from a se­ries I did on rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in Rwanda. I pho­tographed peo­ple who had for­given the killers of their fam­ily dur­ing the ’94 geno­cide. I pho­tographed them where the mur­der hap­pened. I re­mem­ber be­ing in the mo­ment and try­ing to nail the shot tech­ni­cally, but emo­tion­ally speak­ing, I’ll never for­get that face and the fact that he’s for­given the peo­ple that killed his fam­ily.”

On Print­ing in a Dig­i­tal World

“When the print is right, when you nail it, it’s so much bet­ter than any­thing a screen can show. It’s so much more spe­cial to hold an im­age, to hold a print, es­pe­cially when you print the same im­age on four or five dif­fer­ent types of pa­per. It just has a dif­fer­ent qual­ity, a dif­fer­ent feel­ing. You no­tice com­po­si­tion and light and colour. There are cer­tain im­ages that I’ve shot over­seas that be­long on a cer­tain type of pa­per and then there’s some of the more glossy com­mer­cial work I do that wouldn’t work on that same pa­per. You re­ally just have to see it, and once again, it’s one of the things you have to ex­pe­ri­ence to un­der­stand.”

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