We are pleased to share with you the work of Arthur Meyerson.
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Since 1974, I’ve been a commercial photographer doing assignments for advertising agencies, major corporations, and magazines. Besides my professional assignments, I have continually taught workshops, lead photo tours,and mentored. It’s a nice way to “give back” to the profession and at the same time I learn from my students. Also during that time, I have continued to shoot for myself creating a large body of personal work that reflects the three themes that interest me most in photography… light, color, and moments. In 2012, I published my book, The Color of Light, made up of a selection of those photographs.
All of this reminds me how lucky I have been to have lived the photographic life.
What first brought you to photography?
Growing up in the 50’s, I remember the impression that the big picture magazines (Life, Look, etc.) had on me… especially the photographs and who made them. Later as a journalism student in college, I took a course in “photojournalism”, which was really nothing more than black and white printing and processing. Watching the image come up in the developer was magic! And, I think pretty much was the turning point that led me to photography as a career.
Would you share how you go about editing?
Editing is one of the great mysteries in photography and everyone has their own opinion on how to do it. For me, I begin with the technical… exposure, focus, composition, etc. Next is the aesthetic. Did I capture the moment? Do the foreground, middleground, and background connect? Does the image reflect what I was trying to illustrate?
Which photographers’ and other artists’ work do you admire?
The photographers that had the biggest impact on me are Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn, Robert Frank, Arnold Newman, Ernst Haas, and Jay Maisel. Other artists, writers and musicians: Leonardo, Rembrandt, Picasso, Hopper, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ernest Hemingway, Cormac McCarthy, Miles Davis, and Bob Dylan.
Did you have any mentors when you first started out?
I was very fortunate. Early on, I traveled to Japan with a group of photographers led by the renowned color photographer Ernst Haas. From that time, until his death, he became a friend and mentor. So much of what I learned from him, I still carry with me today. He was an amazing man and a great inspiration.
What makes a great photograph in your view?
One that continually resonates with you… you can’t get it out of your mind… light, color, and a moment all come together.
What challenges have you faced as a photographer?
Initially, just gaining confidence. Other than that “photojournalism” course back in college, I am self-taught. So there has always been a learning curve. Nowadays keeping up with all things digital is a full-time project. And, the important thing is to continue to be out there shooting, editing, and learning.
Would you tell us about your workspace?
About 20 plus years ago, I bought a building that once belonged to an alarm security company and converted it to my studio. My wife and I now live upstairs and maintain the studio downstairs.
How does your art affect the way you see the world?
Simple. It’s taught me how to see.
How important is it to your art form to have “creative community”?
I think that a creative community can be helpful as a place to “bounce ideas” and share work.
If no one else saw your work would you still create it?
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have any choice… it’s just something I enjoy doing no matter what.
Is there another type of photography or subject matter you would like to tackle?
I don’t know. My subject matter is pretty diverse and I like that.
Where can we see your work, and would you like to share any upcoming projects?
My website is at Arthur Meyerson.
Recently, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston selected 17 prints from my book.
Any advice or just a statement you would like to share with us?
Shoot as often as possible, be your own toughest critic, be persistent, don’t be afraid to fail and avoid pre-conceptions. That way you’re less likely to be disappointed by what you don’t find and more open to what is actually there.