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Max Steele

I love photography because I enjoy discovering beauty in an aging bronzed drinking fountain or thrill at discovering intrigue in a rippled reflection and find irony in a porthole that promises a bright and colorful opportunity only to see it surrounded by the reality of worn down diamond-plate metal decking.

I have been fortunate to travel the globe several times convening design work as an architect. I started shooting photos while studying architecture and design in the early 60’s. I have been shooting ever since using a variety of 35mm film cameras including Nikon and Leica and recently using compact digital cameras including Lumix LX5. As a result, I have acquired a substantial image library and have not only participated in group shows but used the images in teaching and design work.

I am passionate about making images whether by sketching, drawing, painting or photographing. By doing so, I discover interesting relationships, beautiful lines, colors or patterns; images that celebrate and bring joy and also provoke and challenge. The search for a picture keeps me looking for unusual views from obtuse angles while exploring unknown visual-scapes. I am energized with compelling light and shadow, shapes and patterns, line and color. I am eager to be surprised by something that I don’t expect. To capture a moment in time that both surprises and delights, drives me to constantly be aware of my surroundings.

For me, the highest reward is when I am able to make ‘the ordinary’ look extraordinary. I love seeing familiar things and simple events in new and different ways. The lens of the camera allows me to capture a view that transforms an ordinary object, place or moment into an image that inspires ideas, provokes thoughts, and evokes feelings and yes, maybe even stories. Then the captured image allows all of us, viewers included, to add our own thoughts about what happens next or what may have transpired before the picture was snapped, composing and arranging in our minds additional aspects that could make up a compelling story.

Growing up in a small town in the Midwest taught me to appreciate the simple and ordinary things in our environment. My nearly five decades as architect and designer of interiors, products and graphics, has honed my visual acuity and expanded my appetite for all kinds of visual imagery. Photographs provide inspirational ‘sparks’ igniting new worlds of fantastic places and objects that make people happy.

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  • Seattle, WA