Walter Jakubowski: A Stranger in a Strange Land

Sapphiric Real by Walter Jakubowski

Walter Jakubowski’s intriguing photography exhibit which includes many abstract images from his ongoing series entitled “A Stranger in a Strange Land,” is on display at Image City Photography Gallery during the Holiday Show from November 29-December 23, 2022. 

Though Walter mainly considers himself a landscape photographer, his interest in photographers such as Eliot Porter, Ernst Haas, David Muench and illustrator Maxfield Parrish inspired his photography. Porter and Muench’s work awakened him to the more intimate vs. grand landscape tradition. Over time his compositions started to lean more into the abstract. 

The images included in this exhibit are initially macro captures of paint; cracked, flaked or otherwise deteriorating on rusting metal. The textures are inherent and the colors, tonality and composition are the result of his initial and subsequent response to the subject matter. 

Several years ago, Walter became captivated with shooting this type of image.  Eventually he realized that he needed a macro lens and a macro focusing rail to capture the compositions that he was discovering. Through the use of the rail, he is able to break up the image into segments and later stitch them together. This process, together with raising or lowering his tripod column, permits him to shoot horizontal or vertical panoramas and mosaic images.  In post processing he experiments with aspect ratio and white balance to alter the colors to his preference. For aesthetic purposes, he makes compositional changes.

Solitude by Walter Jakubowski

One of the images in Walter’s exhibit, entitled “Solitude” is an example of how Walter incorporates his landscape photography into an abstract photo.  When he first viewed his image, it seemed to resemble a different worldly landscape.  At the right side of the image the viewer might notice what appears to be a bird of some sort.  It was actually a fiber that had adhered to the rusted metal.  After using a Wacom tablet pen, it became a bird and inspired a title for his image. 

Though Walter finds landscapes in his abstract images, he keeps himself open to other possibilities that come along. As he searches for interesting compositions, he recalls the words of Minor White, “One should not only photograph things for what they are, but for what else they are.”  

Walter has always been fascinated with life’s mysteries that often lie outside of our culture’s established norms.   He says he finds that “abstraction departs from the prosaic to challenge our perceptions of our everyday world.”  His passion is to create images that are “more compelling, both emotionally and visually, endeavoring to provide a portal for transmuting the temporal to the empyreal.

Land Under the Wave by Walter Jakubowski

Walter says that he is an “explorer in a landscape barren of familiarity” as he “journeys through his own mindful metaphors. The viewer is invited to do so as well. 

To see some of Walter’s additional images, including his award-winning photos, click here:

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