The Photography of Leland Ray

Posted On: May 19, 2010
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I’ve been seriously interested in photography since I saw my first copy of PLAYBOY about thirty odd years ago, but I’ve been shooting off and on since the early 60s. The immediacy of photographs, their ability to record reality and their potential for modifying that reality, have always fascinated me, even as a child, and in the late 70s I bought a couple of Nikons and got “serious.” After a few years I put up the cameras in order to continue my education, but in the last three years or so I’ve devoted myself more or less full time to photography.

As a child of the Deep South Bible Belt I’ve always felt that my environment was repressive, unforgiving of anyone who wanted to be unique, something out of the “norms” of what the prevailing society found acceptable, so I concentrated for a while on making “pretty” pictures. All the time I felt that I was being dishonest; the images I produced might have been nice, they reflected what I was feeling and seeing at the instant of exposure, but there was something fundamentally missing which I not only couldn’t define but couldn’t express without throwing out all the societal garbage I’d grown up wallowing in. Finally I gave up trying to please others and started doing what I really wanted to do. These photographs are gritty, grainy, technically imperfect, and even a bit disturbing at times, but they’re real. They’re mine, and I make no explanations, no philosophical comments, no excuses.

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Rating 3.00 out of 5