Graeme Fordyce grew up in the northwest of England, west Texas, and northern California. His background in photography began while studying at the College of Creative Studies in Santa Barbara. Aside from shooting fine-art images of natural landscapes, he worked for years as a photographer and writer for Outdoor Photographer magazine.
Fordyce’s landscape photography of the western United States is rooted in a desire to show compositions and dispositions uncommonly recognized in photography of the natural world. His imagery achieves its uniqueness by finding meditative angles in everyday graphical landscapes. His focus on anti-iconic subject matter accentuates attitudes and ambiguities that strive to become stand-ins for truth different from the grandiose visions routinely encountered in landscape photography and the overwhelming catch-all nature of visual experience itself.
Fordyce’s prints seek to include the viewer rather than display scenes to him. Breaking the usual tableau of nature photography, the expectation of attention to certain features, elements, and traditional subject matter, he asks that the viewer come in closer, slow down, consider that photography of the natural world is as much about internal travel as external, that a soliloquy is usually better whispered than shouted.
Many of Fordyce’s prints focus on scenes and details that aren’t conventionally glamorous. His images are often studies of the wrinkles and warts in natural and urban landscapes where, the argument goes, the real emotional texture lies. The darkness in much of Fordyce’s imagery suggests that although light and emotion are critical in photography, beauty is often not at all pretty – there is considerable allure in the bleak and harsh.
Fordyce has shown private galleries in San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as solo and shared galleries in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Although trained in the darkroom he mixes traditional and current technology to produce prints: he shoots film cameras, scans with Scitex scanners, processes images on the computer, and outputs with cutting-edge printers, inks, and paper media.