|Capturing motions best moment takes patience and planning. McCollough devised a formula for capturing the fragility of glass. The secret? A microphone triggered the cameras flash in a darkroom as he dropped glasses to a hard surface filled with colored liquid. They shatter and break as liquid elegantly splays out.
Theres more than meets the eye in Ferrell McColloughs photography
by Carrie Steele
Silvery smoke plumes, wildflowers and shattering glass are spontaneous and carefully studied muses of photographer Ferrell McCollough, from Laurel, who both captures the Calvert Cliffs area of Bay Country and turns studio into laboratory for photography experiments.
Ever notice how smoke wafting from its source weaves and wanders into shapes? McCollough caught his incense smoke defined over a black background on film, making shapes of both saxophone and the silhouette curves of a womans body.
Capturing motions best moment takes patience and planning. McCollough devised a formula for capturing the fragility of glass in Seven Glasses. The secret? A microphone triggered the cameras flash in a darkroom as he dropped seven glasses to a hard surface six wine glasses filled with colored liquid and one martini glass to shatter and break as liquid elegantly splays out. See more of his wine-glass studies out in the 49 Wests main dining room.
In the intellectual coffeehouse 49 West, McColloughs some 40 works keep guard over tables and chairs that line the walls. Walk to the back to see his Bay Country works arranged over brick. This includes one of his favorites: The Non-Conformist, a lone tree growing in the center of two arrow-straight rows reaching off into the distance.
Like many of his natural images, Non-Conformist isnt a pure photograph. Its a compound formula made up of two images: a layer underneath the trees is an image of crackling clay from Calvert Cliffs. McColloughs art layers images and plays with shadows and exposure.
His art stretches minds as well as realities. Your Last Move, for example, illustrates a glass chessboard with pieces strewn and a single plume of smoke rising from behind. This checkmate has gone awry.
McColloughs photography turns experiment into art for sharp eyes and minds.