Artist Charles Boyd, a native of New York, is drawn to photographing landscapes and architecture though is not limited to just that. Though he started by working in commercial photography, he felt that retiring to become an independent photographer better suited him.
Growing up in New York, Boyd was captivated by the passing of time and the ever-changing development of the city. This inspiration draws him to photograph subjects that bring out emotion on a more personal level for both him and his viewers.
Boyd's piece, Easter Parade, is an archival digital print of one person at the annual Easter Parade in St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Lexington Art League (LAL): What drew you to capture this photo?
Charles Boyd (CB): Rarely have I seen someone as striking as this man. A lot of thought and care went into the making of the dress, the makeup and the very unique bonnet; alongside the fun and raucousness of the event itself, to me, there is also a dreamlike, ominous, in-your-face quality about this person. I also sense a vulnerability present under the outrageousness.
LAL: Would you say you have a certain theme in what you photograph? If so, what would that be?
CB: I photograph things that interest me and which I think exemplify the situation I am in. Street photography can be, but for me rarely is, analytic - it is intuitive: more about a feeling or recognition. In this case, the act of making the photograph was instantaneous and I took only this one shot and then moved on - at the time though, I knew it was a good photograph.
LAL: While looking at this photo, it was almost if a story was being told about this person. When photographing, do you connect with the people you are photographing and what draws you to photograph these certain people?
CB: Sometimes I make a connection and spend time with people I am photographing, other times the fluidity of the moment requires taking a grab-shot. So the situation often dictates the approach. On this day, so many people were clamoring for this guy’s attention and focus that it was just a quick moment that he and I had within which to interact - he was there to be photographed and I was there to photograph; the personal connection, although very brief, was there for that instant.
LAL: If you had to choose, what would you say is the most rewarding things to photograph? People or places?
CB: I do both street and landscape photography and each is rewarding in its own right. Happily, I do not have to choose.
LAL: What is the main message you would like your viewer to take away from Easter Parade?
CB: There is no message I want a viewer to take away - everyone brings their own set of experiences, ideas and expectations to an image and, to some degree, this determines how they will interact with it.
LAL: In your opinion, what makes the best photograph? More so, how do you select certain photos for your collection?
CB: I think a photograph must appeal on several levels: emotional, graphic and human. It should bring something to the viewer that is recognizable on these levels. In my work, I look for photographs that contain those elements.
LAL: Where was Easter Parade taken and what significance does it have to you?
CB: It was taken at the annual Easter Parade outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. I think this photograph caught the mood and flavor of the event.
LAL: What process do you go to in order to capture the perfect shot?
CB: There is never a perfect shot - you just keep working to see how it all will evolve. For me, it is about personal growth, improving my vision and avoiding repetitive subject matter and images.
Check out Charles' website: www.chboyd.com
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The Kentucky Arts Council, a state arts agency, provides operating support to the Lexington Art League with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support provided by Lexington Parks & Recreation.