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Jim Welninski

I am a fine art photographer living in the Chicago area. More specifically, I am an artist who happens to use a camera. The creative vision I have for my work is very specific and has been developing for more than 20 years. My photography is about capturing that vision in a photographic print. The camera is merely a tool for expressing that vision. At its core, my work is my attempt to artistically realize my inner life and my quest to make sense of the spiritual and metaphysical forces at work in each of us and in the world at large.

For me, the act of making a photograph is a long , deliberate, and meditative process. It's not uncommon for me to visit a location several times over a period of many months in pursuit of getting the right shot. What comes out of the camera is only a starting point. Only then does the crafting of the final work begin. I have often been asked if I use Photoshop. Yes, I use Photoshop. It's the darkroom of the photographer in the digital age. Since it's my vision that I'm chasing, I’m not interested in making an accurate visual representation of my subject. I would use a rolled up newspaper and a magic marker if I thought they would get me where I want to go. The post-production of a piece of work can take several weeks and each step moves me further away from reality and closer to the inner experience I had when I made the original exposure. This is why dark tones are so pervasive in my work and why I work primarily in black and white. I combine long exposure techniques, high dynamic range exposures, and sculpting of light and shadow in post-production to arrive at a print that reflects my vision.

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  • Streamwood, Illinois, United States