Artist Statement - Joe Lategan

My calling is to create FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHS of the moments I captured on camera, overwhelmingly to celebrate life, the most valuable privilege to share with the world now and with the generations to come. I want to leave behind split seconds and sometimes minutes of my blessed life on this most beautiful planet and universe. I am a creationist to the core and grow in faith with every image I capture. The images on display took years..even decades, thousands of kilometers, many vehicles, sweat, determination, persistence, the right light and extremely expensive equipment, prayers and serendipity to capture..just for you! I am witness to the fact that photographs touch the souls of many people daily just like nature does, as a photograph can literally speak in many different ways to different people. It heals people physically, mentally and enhances them spiritually. The spiritual message from the beauty of the earth is extremely powerful and I have been healed and rejuvenated many times over by the beauty of the universe in all aspects. I believe photography can help us reclaim and remember our identities of the natural world.  

To me capturing an image is an uncontrollable act of love, forcing me to travel, to stop, look, and look again, to feel whatever it is that I’m seeing, and perhaps even to assimilate some aspect of the scene into the core of my being. It is a way of saying; wait lets pay attention- I saw this, this moment, had this experience and it was important to me and it must be important to if there are persons that must see the scene. It will never be enough to capture the image just for myself. As a matter of fact if there were no people on earth besides myself I wouldn’t have taken any photographs. It is meant to share with others and sometimes only one specific person! This is the reason I believe photography is a calling and only those that responds to it being a calling can be truly inspirational. Photographs remind people that they are losing the memory of what makes nature natural. Animals and Indigenous plants make way for parking lots and office blocks increasingly every day. Clean blue skies are being choked by unwelcome molecules produced by man.  Hearts that were beating in the chests of species for eons are being silenced every day... for good! The natural world disappears as we humans live our modern lives that demand more and more resources to built homes and toys that are bigger and look better than the previous model or that of the neighbours. Beautiful historical buildings are being stripped down by the force of entropy. We are succumbing to a perverse nature of deficit disorder. Our inner landscapes are also choked by the speed of the digital age. With this our personalities and characters also changes. So when you look at my images you unintentionally but serendipitous become part of my world...our world! I thus hope they talk to you in the same way the scene’s overwhelmed me during the moments I captured them.

Finally something to ponder on; each image captured took billions of years to evolve including the technology I used, as well as the genetic knowledge and talent or passion implanted in me. Truly awe-inspiring!  

Joe Lategan


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