People often describe me as a quiet observer, a reliable person, confident in her beliefs. I am not easily persuaded to change these beliefs, to follow fashions or suggestions. I know what I like. I may not be squealing with delight over every other thing I find exciting, but I ground myself in pleasure as much and as often as anyone. This is seen often in my work, which I consider akin to meditation. I focus attention from one pleasant perspective and composition to another, not as interested in the ‘what’ of the images but more of the ‘how’, the movement, and the subtle satisfaction of lines in relationship to each other.

I’ve never been fully comfortable linking art with the personal. It seemed trite, especially after sitting through endless rounds of art school critiques: dream analysis and vague allusions to rough childhoods or body issues. My perspective is simpler than that; I enjoy finding an overlooked composition along with interesting details in the somewhat mundane. But I also realize my perspective is built on the personal, while not entirely happy listing my past experiences and how they may or may not influence me today, I do feel confident in sharing an authentic expression of my thoughts, interests and focus of attention within my images.
I find myself often working with medium format to achieve a shallow depth of field, sometimes narrowing the focus to just a sliver. I spend a lot of time with analog film, but have spent my fair share with digital media as well. While digital tools can make the process easier, faster and more precise, I find myself at odds with it sometimes because it can lack the unique personality inherent in each and every roll of film.

My work is not as interested in narrative or objects as it is in the process, the continual loop of focus and blur, attention, losing attention, so that it may be regained. In finding attention again, you can ground yourself in the moment of your experience, in the simple joy of two lines meeting in a pleasant way and realizing that this is everywhere. And that we are always surrounded by satisfying, meditative images on which to refocus our ever-drifting attention. I sometimes think images within photographs are similar to consciousness; both host an intangible abstract representation of reality with a limited scope of attention. Meaning, the moments captured are filtered through my personal lens and the camera allows me to show you a representation of my mind’s eye. Communication may not be my forte but I love the idea that I can literally share a thought by sharing a picture.
caitlin crowley - midwest film photographer. all rights reserved 2018.