I photograph the landscape at night and at dawn. The camera captures the frames as stills, freezing time, regardless of the length of the exposure, and creating an image different from what the eye perceives. I like to believe that these resulting images are from a moment suspended between night and day.
The camera is a mirror that allows me to see my surroundings with new eyes while at the same time becoming more aware of myself. Out at night, alone, the day's cares recede and the sense of time fades. Allowing a heightened awareness to take over, I direct my attention to conveying the quiet and solitude of the night. It is this shift in attention, I believe, that allows me to experience the moment with a different vision.
My exposure and printing decisions enable me to take the surroundings I know so well and present them as they have not been seen before. What fascinates me about this process is that magical element of surprise. I venture out in search of scenes that contain an unknown light source of have some other mysterious quality. Of course there are times when I don't find anything. Since the night sets the stage, I never know where I will wind up. It reminds me so much of life.
Bob Avakian and his wife Gail visited Martha’s Vineyard for the summer in 1973 and it has been home ever since. Trained in architecture, engineering and building, for years he worked in the construction field as a custom homebuilder. After finding himself in management, removed from the satisfaction of hands-on involvement, he turned to photography as a means of self-expression. As his photographic vision has evolved he has been drawn to the natural landscape and an exploration of night photography.
Bob has recently exhibited work from his series "Between Night and Day" at the Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson NY in a two person show with photographer Stephen DiRado. This past summer he had a solo show of the series at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset MA. In March 2013 he was Featured Artist for the Photographic Resource Center, Boston's online site prcneo.org. The Boston Athenaeum has acquired two of his photographs for their collection.
Bob was recently awarded 2nd place for his night photography in the International Photo Awards 2013 annual competition. He is also a Photolucida Critical Mass Finalist for 2013. Two of Bob’s photos have been selected for the Danforth Museum’s 2013 Photo Biennial. In 2012 he received honorable mention in a number of categories in the IPA's 10th annual competition and was a Critical Mass Finalist as well. He has been featured in Aline Smithson's blog, “Lenscratch” and in Wilson Cummer's New Landscape Photography blog. He has exhibited his photographs in juried exhibitions at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester MA; SOHO Photo in NY; South Shore Arts Center in Cohasset and The Cape Cod Art Association in Hyannis MA.
He is a juried member of the Cape Cod Art Association and the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset, Ma.
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