All images copyright John Kuchle Photography. All rights reserved.
“My father was guiding me, my heart was pounding-- it was a picture of a bumble bee on a thistle blossom.” I was nine when I took that first photograph. I remember the excitement of learning the basics of printing from my father. I have vivid memories of warm summer nights doing prints with the safe light over the kitchen sink.
My new found skills in photography allowed me to record the events of another passion– entomology. I would position the insect in the middle of the frame and shoot. Most of the time I wasn’t satisfied with the results, but it wasn’t until later that I understood why. In college I began working as a departmental scientific photographer and had the great fortune to have a mentor who was both an entomologist and an artist. Without knowing it, he made me aware of another part of me that needed to express itself. The means to that expression came when I moved to medium format. The change forced me to move my attention away from the object alone to the object in the frame.
I am endlessly fascinated by the textures and patterns that I see in nature and the way light plays on them. I find the perfection that one sees in patterns and objects, in spite of the odds of their being so, very exciting. Add to this the nuances of struggle, aging, growth, color, irregularity, and abstraction, and you have described the source of my photographic attention.
Isolating natural objects intrigues me. I love the notion of focusing all of one’s attention on the object by taking it out of its natural context. As a natural extension of years of training as a biologist, I find myself moving in to fill the frame just as often as I move away.
I always hope that my images are interesting enough to capture one’s attention and imagination for more than a moment. If I can somehow transport that person to a microcosm of nature that I have found and see what I was trying to see....or perhaps my image becomes a visual metaphor to ignite other experiences in the viewer’s mind.
Photographers commonly make reference to light in the titles they choose for their work, but nature is so ethereal and fleeting that I think of myself as taking tiny slices of time home with me on my film. I am always amazed at how often I can pass the same place and see it in a new light.
I think it is important that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. After all, there is a place for whimsy, humor, and just plain fun. And this is just too much fun to pass up.