Harold Ross


The negative effects of time have often been addressed by artists and writers. However, I’m convinced that beauty isn’t necessarily diminished when something is “past its prime.” Indeed, I feel that the effects of the “ravages of time” can be quite exquisite. Photography, by its very nature, is born of and lives in the technical realm, and the use and control of light is at the very core of my work. Like many photographers, I make images by adding light to darkness – but I do it differently. The process I use is known as “painting with light;” though I think of it more as “sculpting with light.” It’s a technique I’ve mastered over the last twenty-plus years, and involves “painting” the light onto the subject during a time exposure.

In my process, the camera is stationary and I’m in motion, applying the light, choosing what to highlight and what to obscure. I’m shaping the scene in a way that takes it beyond the limits of our everyday vision, for what you see in my photographs cannot exist in nature nor in one moment in time. Instead, it’s the result of a merging or gathering of light.

In the “Forged” series, my images are, in one sense, portraits of machines, work spaces and tools that are generally not thought of as beautiful. They are functional objects which, for me, have a quiet, iconic presence.

Also in this issue: Night

View more of Harold’s work here

Harold Ross on Fogged Clarity

Harold Ross is a photographer living in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he runs his photography studio. He is represented by Gallery 50 Contemporary Art.