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Ronn Beams

Ronn Beams



I shoot ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary ways in ordinary places. I live in a vast land full of these people, people who do the work that needs done and who still manage time for the little things that season their lives. They are THE Americans. I am of them. My color images are of a different thought. I shoot them because I need the respite. That my images receive appreciative nods is a gentle surprise to me, not because I think my work fails to measure up but because my work catches Americans simply being Americans. I make no pretense that what I do is anything else. To me, it's americana. It's what I love doing, almost always within a short drive from where I live.

A Black and White Guy

Published November 22nd, 2013

I'm self-taught, meaning I learned more from my mistakes than the my few early successes. I stared with a modestly priced Minolta Twin Lens Reflex camera that used 120 film and loaded a dozen 2¼ by 2¼ exposures per roll.

I bought photography magazines and read them from cover to cover, including all of the ads, and I do mean ALL of the ads. I didn't know a Leica from a Linhoff, so everything was new and confusing and oh-so frustrating. In an attempt to overcome this, I read all of the magazines a second time. And a third. My picture-taking didn't get a whole lot better.

Nonetheless, I stuck with it and gradually became quite expert at the talk. I could talk about hyperfocal distance, orthochromatic film, negative sandwiches, projecting color slides onto skin tones, solarizing negatives and prints, photograms, infrared lens adjustments -- just all sorts of stuff. My picture-taking didn't get a whole lot better.

I got a nice shot every now and then. They were all surprises to me. In f ...

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