Monday, March 28, 2011

John Pfahl

John Pfahl, an American photographer born in early 1939, earned his big name in the photography industry through his popular series done in 1974  known to many as the "Altered Landscapes" (featured above) After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University in the school of art and then receiving his Masters degree in the school of communications at the same university, he began his journey into photography. He also taught at Rochester Institute of Technology for several years. One of his highest achievements is that his work is featured in over 45 different corporate and and public collections. 
At first, I admit, I didn't really know what to think of Pfahl's work. I really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed exploring my own interpretations of what his legendary "Altered Landscapes" series was all about, but the fact that it was almost difficult to find nearly as much about him as some of the other photographers I've researched, made me question if the man was really all he was cracked up to be. But I didn't let my questioning stop me. I looked through several archives of his work, all the way from basic floral pieces to the varied strange things that affected the many landscapes he chose to focus on, and I started to realize that I was starting to love his work more and more. Especially the Altered Landscape pieces. It was almost like a "Where's Waldo" kind of exploration. I found myself very curious to see the various things that would change the next "world" in some way. And not to mention his eye for landscape compositions struck me. I love the positions he placed the horizon lines in. I especially fell in love with the first one above. The landscape almost becomes a painting of layers rather than simply a photograph of water and sand and lace overlay across the beach.