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Jeff Bark

Between Painting and Photography

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In this film, photographer Jeff Bark sits down to discuss his provocative work with FotoTV founder, Marc Ludwig.

Bark’s photography likens the traditions of the old masters style of painting, photographing on a studio set of enormous proportions he pays meticulous attention to detail. It is more about removing light, than adding it. Bark explains, “When I am ready to photograph my subject, there is practically not much light coming from strobes. I use long exposures and that is what gives the effect of a painting. It looks as if the light is illuminating from the subject rather than onto it.”

Bark also shoots his share of nudes, but he does not consider it to be an attempt at eroticism.Bark says, “My nudes are not intended to be erotic. I like to photograph people who are more average, like the guy next-door type. To shoot a model nude again would be boring, not at all challenging. It’s like photographing Cuba; everybody makes good photos of Cuba.”

Most of Bark’s models come from people responding to his ads placed on the Internet, all types, shapes and ages. Bark is challenged when he can, as he puts it, “create something out of nothing”. Most of his models have never posed professionally, let alone nude and the whole experience of being the focus of attention is surely to remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Bark’s use of light and shadow are created manually and not digitally. Whether saturated in mute color, or rich with the blue hues of the moonlight, Bark’s work draws out the volatile beauty of his subjects and settings in juxtaposition as a visual inspiration from past art movements.


One of the most interesting photographer interviews

I am deeply impressed. I love the way that Bark approaches creation: "make other people see what it was for you", "show your memories" - wonderful! Another thing that impressed me is his courage. Rent a studio for 5 days in order to stage a swamp - I wouldn't dare to do that. I'd be afraid that my roadmap would look like "2 days setting up, 2 days screwing up and one day cleaning up". I wish you good light! -- Michael