Monday, June 22, 2009

Here's Looking at You!

"A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you."

-----Brigitte Bardot

"Under the August Sun" July 1965 by Clyde Keller

I was saying to myself just the other day (yeh, I do talk to myself occasionally) that I wished I had better digital photography skills. The whole macro thing has got me in a spin, frankly. I love making dolls. Photographing them, not so much. Wouldn't you know just about the time I was feeling woefully inadequate in the photography arts, I ran into (no, not literally--on the internet, silly) the Fabulous Clyde Keller, Photographer Extraordinaire.

I initially found Clyde on his Etsy site ( I checked out his work and his profile and then went to his main site ( looking for more information.

I am a people person. I love to see what people are capable of. I love being inspired by their seemingly endless creativity; but I also want to know all the tidbits. I want to get the real scoop!

For someone whose professional career has spanned 40-plus years, whose work has received world-wide recognition, I have to say, I don't think Clyde is one to do much flaunting. Maybe he prefers his photos to do the talking...In any case, after viewing an extensive selection of his photographs, I'm here to report that Clyde is a PHENOMENAL photographer, a true master of his craft, and should seriously consider doing a little flaunting!

What I like most about Clyde's work is that he seems to truly care about the people and places he photographs. His lens, as an extension, mirrors that caring beautifully. As the American photographer Paul Strand said, "It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness." In that capacity, Clyde Keller is unquestionably gifted.

Vancouver BC, VICTOR'S WORLD, Delany's Coffee House regular,
Clyde Keller 2007 Photo.

"One of my favorite images from the many trips to Vancouver, Canada... Victor offered great conversation and an undeniable graphic appeal with his checkered shirt and flowing beard. In this impromptu photo, I struck up a conversation with Victor and was able to photograph him as we made our exchanges."

Scoggin Valley Pioneer FELIX McCULLOUGH with 1925 Tractor,
Clyde Keller 1977 Photo.

"One of my favorite images from the 1978 Valley People Documentary Series, this portrait of Felix McCullough, was quite popular when it was featured in our "VALLEY PEOPLE" Photographic Calendar. Now, 30 years later, with much of Washington County engulfed by change, these photographs are a precious historical rememberance, capturing the unvarnished flavor of its heritage. Scoggin Valley in now under water... McCullough's farm no longer exists. I asked Felix if he would demonstrate his 1925 tractor for a photograph... the resulting portrait memorializing the event and the end of an era."

Clyde takes photographs of a lot of things. His home base is in a lovely, scenic part of the world known as Bend, Oregon. He has taken photos galore documenting his time with the people and landscapes in those parts. My favorites are the ones he has made of people. I get the sense from his photographs that he takes people just as they are, without judgement, finding their unique tendencies interesting and worth documenting.

Of special interest to Clyde has been photodocumenting historical political events. Many of his photos have gained him world-wide acclaim, particularly his extensive collection of Robert F. Kennedy photographs.In 2008 when the Triborough Bridge was renamed the RFK Bridge, Clyde worked with the RFK Center for Human Rights and the New York Transportation Authority in their promotion, thereby placing his photos throughout the NY subway system.

I'm going to leave you with a few of Clyde's non-people photos that I especially like so you can get a view of just how talented and versatile this guy is.
Please head over to Clyde's sites and take a gander at the incredible wealth of photographic art you will find there. If you love photography, I'm pretty sure you are not going to find a better bang for your buck.

Thanks, Clyde, for doing your part to make the world a more lovely place to be!

Here's looking at you!

1 comment:

  1. wow, these photos are amazing! thanks for introducing to clyde keller's fantastic world and his view. i really think it is hard to do your dolls and photograph them as well-work on your doll and maybe do a trade for some photography-do what you do best!
    take care,