L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' FIRST PLACE: ALEC DANN 'FOG LIGHT'
FOG LIGHT by Alec Dann
(Click on image for larger view)

Review by Curator Dulce Stein: "I chose your image as first place because it expressed the monumental beauty of nature opening it's arms to the infinite.

Can you tell me what inspired you to take this image?"

Alec Dann says, "Early morning fog with a bright blue sky above got me out of bed and down to the shoreline where I saw this fallen-over tree that I’d never paid much attention to previously.  It’s form, outlined against the white of the fog, connect me to universal pattern that resonates within many living things. 

One of the joys of photography for me is the possibility of moments like this, when what I might have passed by, unnoticed, can be captured in an evocative image."

Stein asks, "Do you usually shoot in nature and if so, what do you get out of that?"

Dann says, "I’m a fairly omnivorous photographer, but the work that is closest to my heart is done in natural settings.  There are multiple parts of the experience that appeal to me. 

While I’m shooting, I’m hyper-focused and aware of my senses.  I’m living in 360 degrees, because, often, the best thing you can do as a photographer is turn around to see what’s behind you.  I’m also trying to surface the underlying forms and patterns in what I see, which can be like a meditation.

Later, when I’ve brought the images into Lightroom I try to mold the raw clay of the original capture into a new experience, one that feels natural but has the vividness of an important memory.  I seek out organic forms because the human eye is attracted to the shapes and structure of living forms and connects with them in a sensual, even sexual, way."

Additonal review by curator Peter Bennett:

"When I first viewed 'Fog Light' by Alec Dann, I found myself trying to get my bearings. My initial take was I was looking up a tree, and as one would expect, the sky. But as with great photos that make you dig a bit deeper, the visual clues didn’t add up. Was that a tall cliff directly behind it,
joining the tree in its rise in the thick fog? What were those silhouettes of trees doing in the background?

I realized I was looking at a tree that was extending out over a body of water, stretching as far from the shoreline as it could, as if trying reach the other side of what looks to be a foggy lake. The cliff is in
fact the shallow bottom of that body of water, and the silhouettes marks that unreachable shoreline. A beautiful symbol of life extending out with every branch it can grow, always unfulfilled, but the lapping sound of water underneath, always there to soothe the spirit."

Dann says, "My image-making is fueled by an intense response to the forms and colors of the natural world.
I start with a factual statement about a place and time and make an image about a moment of vivid awareness. Form, color and subtle twisting of perspective resonate to create a deeper, subconscious connection to the natural world.
I seek out organic forms because the human eye is attracted to the shapes and structure of living forms and connects with them in a sensual, even sexual, way.
I want to arouse a visceral reaction from viewers, below the level of language, so they stop, look and are affected without knowing why."
Alec Dann is an artist working in digital photography.  He lives and works in Washington DC.
Dann grew up in family of makers who were painters, potters, woodworkers. He didn’t find his own way to make art until he discovered photography.
From childhood, Dann felt a strong spiritual connection to natural settings. Photography gave Dann a way to connect with the natural world and something concrete came out of the process, an image that could precipitate a new experience on its own.
After an early focus on silver black and white prints, Dann focused on image sequencing and alternative presentation forms like books and offset lithography.
Dann developed a unique offset technique to create a multi-colored montage from monochrome photographic mezzotints printed over each other. This work explored sequencing, repetition and interwoven perspectives.
Dann’s digital color work initially centered on the land-, sea- and cloudscape of the Chesapeake Bay.  His images of moving weather and open horizons have received recognition in several juried shows.
Inspired by the beauty and simplicity of classical sculpture encountered on a trip to Rome,  Dann began work on a series of closely cropped shots of mature crape myrtles with thick, muscular trunks, shot as portraits with flash subtly added to bring out the curved surfaces and carefully processed to surface the variations in bark color.
The sensuality of the tree trunks is a note that Dann looks to sustain as he continues to explore this series.
Career Highlights
Selected Group Exhibitions
New York Center for Photographic Arts / Jadite Gallery, Trees 2019,
Juror Selection (Traer Scott, juror), September 2019
Black Box Gallery, Portland OR, Color Burst, June 2019
New York Center for Photographic Arts / Jadite Gallery, Primary Colors 2019,
Second Prize – Blue (Stephen Perloff, juror), April 2019
Loosen Art / MFR19 Festival, Rome, Italy, Perceptions Juried Exhibition, March 2019
Hill Center Gallery, Washington DC, 2019 Regional Juried Exhibition, January 2019
Black Box Gallery, Portland OR, Color, January 2019
The Photo Review, 2018 Competition Issue
Southeast Photography Center, Greenville, SC, Memory of Place (2 images), May 2018
Southeast Photography Center, Greenville, SC, Seasons, May 2018
Teaching / Community
Glen Echo Photoworks, Cabin John, MD, Instructor in digital photography techniques
Glen Echo Photoworks, Board of Directors
Bachelor of Arts / American History, Cornell University
Master of Fine Arts, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester / SUNY Buffalo