I grew up in Vancouver, Canada – a large ethnically diverse port city on the edge of wilderness. In my family, the free exchange of voices and ideas was always esteemed; compassionate acts, creative indulgence, teamwork, and entrepreneurial boldness were values in action that were encouraged and supported. Creativity almost always had a purpose – it was a talent to be applied to practical problems.
I have never thought of myself as an artist. I still don’t, really. Richard Porter “the Artist,” is just one of several ways I, and others, conceive me. I am a creative problem solver, and an idea experimenter, and a visioneer, and have been most of my life. Practical problems demand creative solutions. Artistry and art are part of that continuum. I am sometimes all business and sometimes all play – I usually exist somewhere in between. I have rarely created alone, but have almost always been a part of talented teams.
It has been through the lens of photography that artistic play has dominated my creative expression, and through which my vision alone has surfaced. I shoot to tell a story; to elicit emotion, as any author would, only with the primitive words of a fragmented moment. The camera, and, nowadays, processing software, become my pen, my brush and my chisel. While the camera documents a moment, there is much the camera does not decide: what to include, what to stage, what to exclude, where to focus, how much focus, what light and how much, point of view, how to compress time, …. In my digital studio, I can demand from the moment its truth as I found it, as I choose to interpret it.
Recently, I returned to business school. This meant spending less time with my “big” cameras. In doing so, I found myself using my iphone’s camera and processing images with it more often. I have come to appreciate the unique opportunities and constrained space that iphonography (as it is often called) affords. It has dominated my photography for the last year, and changed the way I use cameras to capture and manipulate images. While there are many apps that apply canned effects to images, I don’t use these. Instead I use an app to manually control the settings for the camera, and one of several apps in post (there is not yet a singular app that does everything Photoshop can do – but we’re almost there).
This is Week 45 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Richard’s story today. To connect with him and see more of his work, please see the links below: