John D.C. Masters Photography

I live in an instant century.  There seems to be less time and space available to breathe and wait patiently.  I find myself choking on an endless stream of banal, real-time, information.  In the digital age, the electronic camera can store hundreds, if not thousands, of images.  My goal is to stop, look, and then decide whether or not to make a photograph.  I have decided to take fewer pictures.


This portrait project is an attempt to re-align my own photographic compass.  By using the large-format 4x5 field camera I make one exposure at a time.  There are no rapid fire functions, no auto-focus.  The process takes planning, contemplation, dreaming.  From carefully loading the film, setting up the camera, taking exposure readings, choosing the f/Stop and shutter speeds, arranging the subject and then waiting...yes waiting, for the light.  The shutter opens and closes and then I begin the developing process.  Between the first and last steps it may be days until I see an image, the negative.  At this point I decide whether to print a positive.  More time, more reflection.  This undertaking, for me, is about mindfulness.  I respect the subject and therefore take the time to respect the process.


I am in no hurry.  The elements of time are of no concern to me, nor are politics.  I cannot control them.  There is nothing edgy or controversial about this work.  There is no larger social agenda, no hidden motive behind my lens or layered in the gelatin emulsion of my film.  In this portfolio are faces of people here on Paros.  I have been fortunate to have met them and befriended them over the past few years.  This project is a sincere ‘thank you’ to all of them.


I am eternally grateful to the people of Paros, especially those who have patiently allowed me to photograph them.  I am especially indebted to the faculty and students of the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts, without whom none of this would be possible.  



Paroikia, 2013