Paul Taylor Photographer

Commercial and Fine Art Photography
Baton Rouge, LA

My Artist's Statement

Growing up in the 1960's, I remember being inspired by the wonderful color travel photography featured in dozens of National Geographic magazines that I perused voraciously. Admittedly, I didn't read a lot of the articles, but admired the works of photographers such as William Albert Allard, who didn't just document the people and places he visited, but "painted with light" in some of the most difficult lighting situations imaginable. Because of this, I might not actually think about the subject I am shooting, but instead I consider the weather, time of day or angle and color of the light. In the right situation, a mundane object becomes a magical symbol that challenges the imagination.

I was born into a family of artists, so I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree. After my father, noted colored-pencil artist Proctor P. Taylor, Jr. taught me and my brothers how to shoot, develop and print black-and-white photos, I continued as a teenager and then as a young adult seeking my personal vision of the world first through black-and-white photography, then color. I shot for local newspapers, graduated to a contractor staff photographer for NASA, and eventually found myself shooting commercially in New Orleans, LA.

I refined my black-and-white techniques by studying books by Ansel Adams, where I learned the Zone System of tone control, and got a good general photographic education. I gradually began to realize that shape and form were best realized in black-and-white, but I began to see more and more color that I wanted to convey. Vivid colors were best realized with the positive transparency film of the time, so I pushed forward, converting what I had learned from Adams to refine my color images and produce permanent, gallery-quality prints. Adams' images, principals and techniques as well as work by Allard and other photographers have always inspired my work and continue to influence my recent forays into digital imaging.

Currently based in Baton Rouge, LA, I concentrate on cityscapes, landscapes, old and new architecture, and the Mississippi River. This part of the Deep South exudes a rich heritage and mystery while overlaid with recent progress, alternately soaked in blistering sunlight, soothing fog, or cooler twilight hues, all of which I try to capture with my camera.

Paul Taylor