About Terry Gipson
Here I am a photographic artist. In the rest of life I am a physician.
I began life with a very holistic perception and interpretation of life and my own experience. I had to learn the typical Western way of thinking and using words. It was not innate early in life and has been a struggle even to this time.
I became fascinated with biology and science as a way to verbalize my experience in nature. Western spirituality at the time seemed better at putting words to the meanings in life. At the same time my friends encouraged me to be more verbal and write about my experiences outside of the biologic and scientific perception of reality. It was quite a challenge and for a long time not very successful. Biology and science had some of the words but not all.
I loved to take pictures at that time, but never took to the darkroom. Despite that, one of my images of a climber ascending an overhang won a Denver Post photography contest. After that my early photographic endeavors did not progress.
Early in life I sought clarity through a mixture of studying science and reading mysticism. Originally it began with a degree in biology and science, eventually getting a degree in medicine. Even through it all I continued to read Christian mysticism and Jungian psychology on the side. Soon my desires spread to reading of other religious traditions as a break from the study of medicine.
Eventually I decided I needed to focus only on medicine. My creative endeavors waned to nil for a number of years.
When the digital era of photography came in the mid-later 1990’s, I became fascinated with the possibilities it offered. I learned Photoshop and Lightroom from early in their inception as a way to develop my images outside the darkroom. I spent a lot of time on family photography. I also spent a lot of time reading articles on the internet and books I had purchased or borrowed. But my photography stagnated in the realm of family and travel photography. Still there was a yearning for something more.
I joined and attended some local photo clubs’ meetings. But even there I did not learn anything as the print reviews were basically based on a competitive model. Those who won received more comments. But those of us novices got only a cursory comment. It provided no direction for improvement and the development of something personal.
Only when I came across Alain Briot in about 2010 through some of his early articles on the Luminous Landscape website that I began to have hope that I might be able to move forward in my photography. His comments espoused a non-competitive model of photographic art. He said that there is no competition in developing one’s personal style, except from within the artist. He showed an artistic approach to photography. He spoke of photographers as artists. No one else has so clearly and deeply placed so much emphasis on art and the artist in photography. I became hooked.
I soon realized that I had no training in art. I had become a photographic technician with random smatterings of art thrown unbeknownst here and there. So I began spending serious time at his workshops and on his Mastery DVD’s. I had tons of reading knowledge, but no understanding of the art of photography. I spent more time with him in one-on-one consultations to get more direct feedback about my work. Slowly and inevitably I began to understand and put that understanding into my work.
I have always been an advocate of the master-apprentice model of learning from my early times. It helps maintain a teachable perspective, always being in a position where one has to admit that someone else knows more. I decided to stop reading everything on the internet about cameras and photography and put my focus on Alain’s teaching and feedback. I cancelled my photography magazine subscriptions and only kept up a rudimentary knowledge of the latest technology. I began going to museums and looking at art from other disciplines. I began reading about other artists whose work or life piqued my interest.
This change in focus and the personal feedback I was receiving finally began to bear fruit. Over my years of study, Alain and Natalie’s feedback has been consistently founded in honesty and support. Several times a year I spend extended time with them and others, who I have met along the way. We critique and revel in the progression we see in each other’s work. Several of them and I continue to maintain active communication and sharing our work across the distances.
Through all this journey I have developed a personal style that shows an artistic approach to my photography. My work is the expression of my experiences in nature. It expresses the enticement, hope, and enfolding of my life in the natural world. It expresses the wordless experience of what is seen into the words of color and form on paper and screen.