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West Boylston’s Dick Taylor Combines Analog and Digital Photography

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

 

Over his years as a photographer, West Boylston's Dick Taylor has proven that, in the digital age, truly anything within the world around us, from the artificial to the natural, the mundane and superficial to the majestic and obscure, can be the ideal subject for an artist to use to express his creativity.

For instance, when we walk through the city of Worcester, for very few of us is the term "picturesque" the first thing to come to mind, but for Dick Taylor the city holds many fascinating possibilities for the artistic photographer.

"Worcester is a city full of treasures for a photographer, where landmarks and obscurities live side by side," he said.

Of course being a native of Millbury and now living in West Boylston, for Taylor, inspiration lurks not just around the city, but around every corner of Worcester County, especially considering what he is trying to capture.

"A lot of what I photograph locally are favorite haunts from the past that bring back great memories or places that I am very familiar with," he said.

Taylor had his first showing of these 26 images, entitled "Greetings from Worcester", at the CC Lowell "First Show" gallery in May 2008.

Taylor, though, is not limited to photographing man-made urban settings. He also loves nature or, more specifically, how nature and the man-made world interact.

You can see some of this at work with his images he displayed at the Nature and the City exhibition at the Goddard House in Worcester in the Spring of 2012. As one will be able to tell, there is a particular aspect of nature that Taylor finds most appealing.

"I also seem to have an attraction to birds for some reason and many of my images have stories to go along with them," he points out.

No matter what he chooses to photograph, Taylor always has the same mission in mind and the same desired result, both for himself and for those who choose to view his work.

"Ultimately, the images that I capture or create feel like personal attachments, and I hope that people that see them can get some measure of enjoyment out of them, whether through reflection, excitement or just comfort," he said.

His creative side has always been manifesting itself in some way in Taylor's life, though not necessarily through the realm of photography.

"I always enjoyed drawing and music all the way back to grade school," he said, "so I suppose I have been attracted to the arts for a long time. Later on I became interested in photography and dabbled, but it wasn't until the last several years that I had the time to explore and experiment."

What has allowed Taylor and other photographers to explore with photography as an artistic medium more than ever is the advent of digital photography. Experimentation is the name of the game.

"The digital world is really what opened up that door. It started with a software program called Microsoft Image. Today I work primarily with Photoshop to enhance my photos."

But, indeed, even as we entered the digital age and new and unique possibilities began to manifest themselves in the world of photographic art, Taylor still had trouble abandoning the old ways. He bought his first camera, a 35mm Minolta, in 1983, and traveled the world with it, taking pictures wherever he went. He gained a special affection for the camera, as an object that chronicled both the most intimate family moments, and memorable and exciting adventures. But the call of the digital age became simply too much.

"When I first heard about digital cameras I swore I'd stay true to my old standby, but time has a way of changing things,” he said. “In 2006, I broke down and bought a Sony Cyber-shot as a back-up camera and haven't looked back since."

Taylor has discovered that digital photography and the computer technology that comes along with it allows his innate creativity to flourish.

"Black & white photography will always be a favorite of mine for its stark qualities, but layering and blending images always brings out interesting and many times unexpected results," he states of his style.

"I began layering images with photos of cracked cement, scratched metal and inks and acrylics on paper or canvas. The development of textures in an image can really enhance the feeling it projects and I'll sometimes rework the same piece several times until I am satisfied."

Though all this is only possible thanks to technology, this is not to say photographic art is somehow easy. It takes the same creative mind and that special "eye" that allows one to know when a subject is worthy of or able to be expressed in a creative fashion, or a way that will catch the eye of the viewer and produce the desired feelings and emotions within him or her.

In addition to what has already been mentioned, Taylor's acclaimed work has been shown at countless other exhibitions in the Central Mass area, most recently at the Goddard House and the Aurora galleries in Worcester.

To view more of Dick Taylor's work, visit his website

 

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