Judy Dater

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

At the beginning of the semester I was a firm believer that you don‘t have to know or study other photographers to be able to create ground breaking work yourself. A few of my colleagues also shared this approach to the art but I think it comes from an insecurity in creating something new and original, fearing that staring at the work of others might influence you too hard and you’ll copy them or even worse, seeing something that you did was already done before. That began to change when I was introduced to Gordon Parks, something about his images resonate within me and the same thing happened last week when professor Sternbach showed me a video interview with Judy Dater.

Something about her work immediately caught my eye and made me think “this is something different.” The first thing that jumped out to me is all of her work is on Large format cameras.

Another important factor for Judy’s work is that it’s all shot in black and white. She says while she does understand colour, it’s the deeper understanding of black and white that keeps her shooting with those films. She stated in the interview that, when she’s working with black and white without developing the images she knows what the outcome is going to be. A true master of the craft.

I have a project for a startup publication in December based around the idea of connection and Judy’s work seems to fall right between those lines. Connection of human with earth, connection between old and young, connection in a relationship. It seems like it’s a subject that is very important to her as well.

I’m definitely still doing some more research into her other projects and a deeper dive into her entire portfolio of work but I’m loving what I’ve seen so far.

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