Ian Cowling has been a Burlington, ON photographer and teacher for over 30 years. His extensive travels around the world have yielded images that reflect an acute sensitivity to a wide variety of cultures. While his work encompasses a broad range of subjects – from classic cars through landscapes and the people who inhabit them, to fabulous florals – it is his use of colour that captures the eye and gives his photos their strength, intensity and originality.
“I am enchanted by abstractions of colour, line and texture. I am equally intrigued by vast landscapes that command our attention and the tiny episodes of quotidian colour that go unnoticed as we pass by. And I am captivated too by the subtle complexity of a monochrome. I look for smaller narratives that tell the greater story.
My photos usually begin with a pause and a reflection before I make an exposure – and then I make several, from different angles and perspectives. While I always have a sense of the value I see in the initial image, I often need to explore its depths long after I have left the area. Refining the image is a process of discovery, a search for essence.
My greatest satisfaction comes when I have isolated the principal colour and structural elements and pared away any unnecessary embellishments. In doing so, I hope that the photo speaks for itself; that it contains an integrity and solidity that requires no long explanations. I would have the viewer recognize within my work, their own experience.”