About Richard

Quiet Conversations in Color
– An interpretive and meditative approach to photography –

Richard LawsonMy passion in life is to inspire and nourish people both through my work as a photographer and as a clinical psychologist. Touching people’s hearts through creative  expression and clinical service has brought me my deepest fulfillment.

I believe my camera is a divining rod to beauty. Appreciating beauty can open the heart and when our hearts are open we are more receptive to love and deep inspiration.

I strive to capture the essential qualities of Nature, whether it’s a landscape, seascape, or floral. When I take a photograph, a continual back and forth communication takes place between my heart’s aesthetic sensibilities and my mind’s technical craftsmanship. When a  photograph comes out as I experienced it in the moment or as I pre-visualized it in my mind’s eye, the resulting image conveys the deepest emotional impact on the viewer and myself. It is as if an inner knowing reveals itself to me, and it all comes together with the single click of the shutter.

The most common response to my images is “They look like paintings.” This painterly effect is accomplished through a number of factors.

In the past, when I used film, I would typically go for high saturation to obtain extremely rich colors. When I switched to digital photography and had access to the “digital darkroom,” I found I was able to develop the particular skill set of a painter who works with the various tonal values of color. This lightening and darkening of specific areas within an image can be quite dramatic, and echoes the way that black and white fine art photographers worked in the traditional “wet darkroom,” with chemical baths and exposures. The resulting effect can make images appear to be more three dimensional.

Another component to my painterly style is to personally print all images on the highest quality archival smooth or textured fine art papers, canvas, and most recently on metallic papers. The combination of effects in the final photograph can be transformative and creates a richer visual experience of the image both in color and detail.

Throughout my life, I have always been strongly influenced by Asian art. In particular, the concept of “less is more”, wherein, I attempt to capture the totality of a scene, object or flower by focusing on one small aspect that captures the essence of the larger composition. By focusing on the smaller aspect, the mind is engaged to imagine the whole.  I find this approach very fulfilling, since it ideally brings forth a more interpretive and meditative experience for both the viewer and myself.  This is probably the most significant aspect of why so many of my images do appear to be paintings.

Galleries and Installations:

Oasis Art Gallery, Seattle, WA: “Allure” Exhibition, January 24, 2010 to April 18, 2010.

ArtsWest Gallery, Seattle, WA: “Of Nature and Notions”, May 14, 2006 to June 17, 2006.

Swedish Hospital Breast Care Clinic, Seattle, WA: permanent installation; 12 images in hallways and exam rooms. 2005