Dale M Reid
Photography opened my eyes to the beauty and fragility of the world around me. After I left the structured corporate environment and changed genders, it allowed me to explore and develop my creativity. This sparked a new energy, passion and excitement in my life that continues to grow today and is reflective in the body of my artwork.
After experimenting with colored film, using a 35 mm camera, I was introduced to black and white film. I found a new method of expression that enabled me to make an emotional artistic statement without the distraction of color. I now use a medium format film camera. I favor the continued use of black and white film because the tactile approach allows for the continued evolution of my artistic style. Prior to clicking the shutter, I pay careful attention to the composition, the focus, the quality of lighting and anticipate printing the image in the darkroom. Additionally, the film grain allows me to produce a silver gelatin print with a three-dimensional feel that has depth, motion and warmth.
Today my subject matter features floral, mushroom and pear studies. My mission is to capture and present a unique perspective that engages the viewer and embodies a concept or tells a story. To create this unique perspective, I use a full range of techniques and experiment with staging, lighting, filters, aperture and shutter speed.
The resulting negative is only the halfway point to creating the image. To round out my artistic expression, I use my darkroom skills (i.e., filters, dodging, burning, etc.) to create a rich range of tones. There is a heart-warming feeling to see my vision come alive in front of me.
My floral studies are sensual and erotic; with the images presented on a white background taking on the look of a sketch or painting. My abstract images of the mushroom take on a sensual out-of-this-world feeling. My innovative pear images are playful, mischievous, fanciful and sensual.
My floral studies are often compared with those of Robert Mapplethorpe and even Man Rey and Georgia O’Keeffe. It has been said that my mushroom images are reminiscent of Edward Weston’s “Bell Pepper” images. From a style perspective, my artwork has been compared to the Group f/64. The name of the Group is derived from a diaphragm number of the photographic lens. It signifies to a large extent the qualities of clearness and definition of the photographic image. The group is comprised of a select number of influential photographers such as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham.
I continue to develop my own artistic approach with subjects selected based on what speaks to me emotionally. My artistic style of my artwork has evolved to echo that of the members of the Group f/64. However, I continue to experiment with different approaches, presenting new and innovative artwork.
Contemporary fine art photographer Dale M Reid has gone through many transitions in life: from leaving the corporate world and entering the art world, to the discovery of inter-femininity and a new outlook on life.
Photography has always played an important role in Dale’s life; however, since 1999 she has developed and moved into a second career as a fine art photographer. Dale’s outlook on life changed drastically when her life partner and soulmate was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Despite the challenges over the years, their relationship continues to grow stronger.
Inspired by studying other photographers work and other art forms, her artwork has been compared to classical photographers such as Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, as well as to contemporary photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Cindy Sherman.
In creating her artwork, Dale exclusively uses black & white film and traditional photography methods. The lack of color allows the viewer to focus on the variety of textures and the richness of interesting lines and shapes that engage in an elegant visual synthesis onto each photograph.
Early photographic explorations included landscapes and interpretative self portraits. She started to develop her artistic style with a strong focus on creating landscape images. These images ranged from maritime to urban to industrial views. After moving into her studio in 2008, her work has expanded significantly to include floral and still life studies. Today, her artwork is primarily created in the studio where she creates botanical subjects with unimaginable personality and emotion. Working in the controlled studio environment has allowed Dale more flexibility to experiment with composition and lighting.
Moving beyond the traditional vibrant and brilliant colors of the flower, Dale’s black & white floral studies focus on the artistic expression of the flower. Elegant white or black backgrounds highlight her subjects, allowing them to monopolize the photographs, filing the space with their unique voices and stories.
Life, energy and emotions are captured in Dale’s Pears series – photographs that are far from still! Several of Dale’s pear images have a whimsical feel, particularly evident in ‘Marching Pears, ‘Dessert Pears’ and ‘Pears Dancing in the Rain’.
The portrayal of food as an art form is deeply rooted in cultural history. In Dale’s most recent series, she pursues this theme by creating erotic and thought provoking images of the oyster mushroom, depicting the texture and allure of an otherwise under-appreciated subject.
Dale’s artwork continues to be recognized internationally by juried art competitions resulting in the participations in group exhibitions, awards and nominations. In 2013, Dale was invited to have ten images from her oyster mushroom series featured in a Spanish photography magazine along with thirteen other international photographers. This international exposure has earned Dale several invitations to participate in art fairs throughout North America, Europe and the Far East.
Dale M Reid is currently based in Toronto, Canada.