I have hunted compelling images since my high school yearbook days, when I spent many hours in the darkroom watching images emerge in the developer bath. The cost and lag time involved in working in film taught me the importance planning, preparation and visualizing images before the first exposure. While I love the instant feedback and near-zero cost per exposure that digital photography offers, I retained those early lessons and now spends hours scouting potential shoots, pondering the best camera angles, checking sun and moon schedules and trajectories for optimum light, and tracking weather forecasts.
Throughout my career my image hunt was limited to family snapshots, travel shots, and occasional forays in the wake of big weather. A recent move to Linville, NC – in the heart of some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes and dire poverty – rekindled my passion for photography. I got busy searching out fresh perspectives on striking scenery and capturing the pathos and mystery of the area’s abandoned spaces.
I love to create photos that provide an instant WOW factor but also those that slowly draw you in. I love shooting big, bright landscapes, as well as eerie, unsettling abandoned spaces. When I stumble onto an abandoned house or factory, I wonder about the lives of the people who inhabited those spaces – what joys and tragedies brought them there and compelled them to leave abruptly.
I’m constantly on the hunt for unusual perspectives and undiscovered or long forgotten places. When I travel, I shoot people and places that highlight the differences in our cultures and landscapes as well as the similarities in our human condition. I strive to bring something fresh and engaging to every image, a combination of subject, composition and light that makes you feel something in your gut and begs you to come back for another look.
More of Jim’s work can be found at : gallery.magrudercreative.com