Reality and fantasy?


Winged Migration by Tom Chambers

I was absolutely delighted when Tom Chambers gave permission for me to use some of his amazing photo-montage images on Photo-Dialogue. Tom has developed his photo-montage work over the last eleven years and he brings themes of identity, spirituality and our connection to the natural world hauntingly into question.

Tom applies his unique eye to issues of sustainability and responsibility; he suggests that man has ignored the fragility of the environment and that this carelessness is causing the animal kingdom to undergo negative changes. His pictures deliver a powerful message with devastating creativity.

When Tom's images appeared on Burn they provoked some confusion around the fantasy dream states that they evoke. For me this is a critical element of any photographer's process; even with the most open-minded approach we still carefully extract, frame and crop from 'reality', and then edit and present our work to portray what has become a 'remembered' fantasy. The digital file that I find on the back of my camera is only one step in a longer process of re-imaging (re-imagining?) what I thought I had seen as I clicked the shutter. Developing an awareness of my own assumptions here has been crucial to my development as a photographer and consultant; Tom pushes us to question these choices even more deeply.

Choosing images for Photo-Dialogue gave me the opportunity to spend some time working my way through Tom's website. It was a delight; time very well-spent. But just to tempt you further, here is another image -  appropriately entitled Food for Thought.

P.S. Read Tom's Huffington Post interview, where he outlines his intent to connect emotionally with his viewers, (and some of his brilliant technique) here...

Steve MarshallComment