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BetterPhoto Member: Ernest Pile

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The eye is a camera. I learned this as one of my first lessons in human biology as I trained toward my occupation as a medical research scientist. Photography, for me, was only a casual pastime but it was a hard earned road for my father as his professional occupation. Because of his work, I was always fascinated with what I saw in pictures from the travel log of National Geographic images to pictures of objects in outer space. I was amazed at the range of what the eye was able to see because of the technical capacity of the camera to produce.

Growing up, I always had a camera in hand to take the occasional picture of things that I thought were interesting, a puddle of water, a lone tree in an open field, but it was not until 2001 that I realized my part-time hobby was becoming an art form through which I could express the vision that was, and is, my world.

Vision
My intention when I shoot is to see an ordinary object at an ordinary moment in time and have that object tell me itís story.

When I am shooting for myself, the images that I see through my cameraís lens reflect geometric shapes, body movements, the wings of a bird in flight, unusual color combinations, or things that simply move me emotionally at that point in time. I am interested in how shapes and spaces interact and define each other, their relationships, and the tension between them. These images are neither computer-manipulated nor enhanced. In this way of shooting what I see, the camera is an extension of my eye, an extension of me.

Influences
I am always looking back on the images by Gordon Parks because of his photojournalistic style of picture-taking. His images of life and fashion are raw and real and in the moment. Other influences include, architectural photographer Jim DelGuidice, Chicago jazz photographer Bill Neal, landscape photographer William Neill, Former U.N. Photographer John Issac, and wildlife photographers Joe and Mary Ann McDonald (who also imparted to me lessons in capturing the beauty of all of Godís creatures in their natural environment).

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