When he's not busy teaching biology to his students or looking after his new grandson, #BKCMember Bob Loudon is likely to be out exploring the city with his camera and producing lots of great images. In fact, he is one of our key members that consistently delivers thoughtful photos with unique perspectives for our monthly assignments. Check out the interview below to learn more about Bob's interests in the environment and humanity and how it has influenced his work.
#BKCShoutout is a weekly check-in with our students and active BKC members, posting their works-in-progress and achievements. We hope to learn a little more about each photographer, and share about their inspiration, process and goals. To be considered for a future #BKCShoutout, contact Lanna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do you make photographs? What drives you?
As I’ve gotten older, I think what matters most are the connections we make with our humanity, with people. To me, photography is about sharing; sharing what I see when I travel to other parts of the world as well as when I walk out into my neighborhood.
Who was your earliest inspiration and why?
I’m assuming photographic inspiration? Probably some of the great landscape and environmentalists photographers like Galen Rowell and Ansel Adams. I got my beginnings primarily as a landscape photographer and these two photographers, in particular, spoke to me with their love of nature and importance of protecting it. How they portrayed the essence of the natural world really and, in some cases, distant cultures not our own touched me. In recent years, a number of the great street photographers and photojournalists (Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Robert Doisneau, Edouard Boubat, Eugene Richards, Peter Turnley to name a few) are centermost in my life.
Name 3 things that are essential to you:
1) Others who love me in spite of myself.
2) Minimum of two cups of coffee a day.
3) To be able to go to sleep at the end of the day feeling that I’ve made the most of my time each day.
Selected Works by Bob Loudon (click to see full view)
What makes you happy?
Being a grandparent, traveling (and then coming home!), making photographs.
How do you prepare yourself for each day?
Always, always coffee first before I do anything! Usually, I skim over the news (scary to do these days!), try to have at least one hour of quiet, personal time before I head out of the house (I don’t like to rush out in the morning).
What themes or ideas do you strive to communicate in your work?
I think the idea of people in the context of a place or particular environment. A lot of the cityscapes/street photos I make reflect this. In recent years, I’ve been greatly affected by the work of Peter Turnley and the connections he makes with people through his photography. There is a soulfulness, a love and respect for humanity in his work. I am, only very recently, attempting to infuse my work more with these beautiful ideas. How to make photographs that people can relate to and connect with and that portray the essence of humanity: this is what I am grappling with now.
Complete the sentence: I've never tried it before but I would love to ...
So, I’ve never tried it but I would love to put together and publish a photo book of some of my work.
What do you do when you find yourself in a creative rut?
First, I put the camera down (sometimes for a few days) and I look at the work of those I admire. Then, I may just begin photographing anything. It could be a fence, the city skyline, whatever, and I try to do it in ways that I’ve never done it before. Generally, I find that pausing from my photography for a short time and then doing a project that’s very limited in scope (such as what I mentioned above) helps get me back into the flow.
What 3 websites / blogs / media platforms do you visit most?
- Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson (facebook)
- Eugene Richards (facebook)
- Most anything ICP (International Center of Photography) related -- I know, that’s four but….
What’s the one most important thing you learned through BKC?
I think to not be afraid to explore and try new things. It’s not always about lenses and f-stops; to try to allow your life to inform your photography and make a human connection through my work.
What do you want to learn next?