Why you are a photographer -- do you like seeing the world through the lens?
I am a photographer by accident. I never had a plan to be a photographer. In middle school my friend was into filming skateboarding and encouraged me to get a film camera because they were better cameras for less money. I liked the feel of film and stuck with it. I learned basic techniques from the books of Ansel Adams. I kept shooting more and more film.
In some way, I have photography to thank for nourishing my love of science and laboratories. I developed a deep connection with the darkroom at St. John's College and had a hard time when I left it. The place was stained with memories of the times I spent there and the people I knew. I think its presence in my life is evident in my work from that time-- the strange loneliness I felt while reading those difficult books, and the real struggle to seek after things beautiful. I am probably a photographer rather than a painter or a sculptor because I love light and chemistry. I painted as a boy taking private art lessons third through fifth grade. I am not sure I will ever go back to that medium, but it was a foundation for me to study light.
Photographers often talk about how they present a way of looking at the world. I believe that the tools we use shape the way we see things, and I'm interested in our relationship to those tools. Photographers are, at least in some way, operators of machinery. But unlike factory workers who operate machinery to make things in a very orderly and routine way, photographers feed on surprises. Luck can be a big part of making a photo: one doesn't plan to stumble upon something odd or intriguing. There needs to be chaos on the scene to make things interesting. The photographer's task is to take surprises and imaginings and stamp their own image on them. That process is a reflection of creation.
Would you say that your interest in photography is indicative of your character or soul in any way? What part of you desires to photograph the world and why?
I like this question and think about it often. The part of me that desires to photograph is similar to the scientific part, even if there are some important differences. I find that I am more myself when I am observing the world around me. But I want to share those observations. If it were just for myself, I might not need a camera at all. Photographs function as a means to communicate what I see.
I wouldn't say that I'm an especially creative person. That is, I'm not the sort of person who synthesizes various elements into new forms. I'm better at taking something that I can observe and showing it in a way that makes the ordinary less common. Photography is unique because its direct translation from sight to image is made possible by the power of light and the lens. Photography is the art that depends most directly on seeing, responding, and transforming; it is a process that can be controlled only by responding to the moment while in the moment. That directly is important; the photographer acts as a mediator between the subject and the observer. In that way, photography is a kind of imitative demonstration. Photographers show others how they see the world in their frames, and that sharing is the purpose of image crafting.
The images on this site are scans from negatives. They are property of Adam Maraschky. Please do not reproduce or manipulate any of the images on this site without permission.