New Hampshire Home July-August 2023 - 109

MASTER OF HIS CRAFT
photograph. I'm always looking for a
quality of light. I feel like film can render
that more subtly, more beautifully, than
digital sometimes.
NHH: Are traditional photographic
methods coming back?
GS: I think more people are curious about
film. Because I started shooting film when
I was 16, it's what I know best. And it's
something that I have great affection for.
So I'm just more inclined to use film. It's
part of who I am. I really love the tactile
aspects of traditional photography.
NHH: What are the advantages of using
large- and medium-format cameras?
GS: Shooting film with a view camera is
part of a long tradition that goes back to
the 19th century, the beginning of photography,
and I really like being connected to
the historical roots of the medium. It also
slows me down. It gives me more time to
think about how I'm going to present or
interpret the subject to the viewer.
R&B musician Deacon John Moore smiles in New Orleans in a 2014 photograph. Samson made this digital
portrait for the book, Talking New Orleans Music: Crescent City Musicians Talk about Their Lives, Their Music,
and Their City for the American Made Music series.
NHH: What are other new projects
you're excited about?
GS: Recently, St. Anselm College and
library raised money so that I could
make a film about French Canadian
photographer Ulric Bourgeois, who for 50
years photographed Manchester and its
people. For over 40 years, I've wanted to
make a film about his life and share his
photographs. Because I'm also of FrenchCanadian
descent and a photographer,
he's a hero to me. I'm hoping to start that
in the summer.
NHH: What has made your
career so successful?
GS: Even when I was in the darkroom,
106 New Hampshire Home | July / August 2023
even starting out, my passion was
photography as a fine art. I was looking
at Ansel Adams, I was looking at Paul
Strand, Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz.
Dorothea Lang, the great photographer
from the Depression-era, made the
greatest photographs of people suffering.
These people have found a way to express
themselves through photography. I'm not
so good with words, but maybe I can say
something about the world through my
photographs.
NHH: Does digital photography
help portrait photography?
GS: Digital allows you the ability to
retouch the photograph or to edit the
NHH: How do you define
what an artist is?
GS: True artists are completely thrown
into their art. They're emotionally tied to
their art. An artist is a composite of all
the experiences in their life. For me, all the
experiences that I've had have been filtered
down, so that I see the world in a particular
way. I've had so many great opportunities
given to me. I could have a portrait of
Brianna on the wall, but that photograph
might represent 2,000 photographs that I
also had to work hard on. This is all that I
have after I'm gone. It's my legacy.
Photography has been my passport
to travel and learn about the world. It's
allowed me to meet people. I'm grateful
that I could take advantage of that, and
grateful to have met really fascinating
people that have changed my life and
made my life that much richer.
NHH
RESOURCES
Gary Samson Photography
garysamsonphotography.com
New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists
nhspa.wildapricot.org
http://www.garysamsonphotography.com http://nhspa.wildapricot.org

New Hampshire Home July-August 2023

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