There are a millions of waves in the world and it sometimes seems there are as many images of them. So many of these images, whether they be paintings or photographs are simple pictures showing us the perfect smooth lines, the crest, and the big or small splash that follows. There is so often something generic about them, like a Thomas Kincaid of a perfect wave, a fantasy, unconcerned about anything other than the superficial. In Bill Dewey’s photographs, we are asked to meet the waves, upfront and personal, to get to know them intimately.
In talking about his images, he talks about the personality of the individual waves, much like we might talk about peoples portraits. Frozen in time like dense green and uneven sheets of molten glass rising up towards us, these walls of water, start to reveal themselves. The organic detritus of the sea is seen through this wall of glass, and reminds us that the sea, is not a perfect, generic, fantasy, but a dynamic turbulent arena where vitality and decay both reside side by side. Then there are the infinitesimally subtle surfaces, dimples, warts, bubbles, and mottled surfaces. The camera here has parted the sea, allowing us a moment, to ponder its power, and this amazing complexity. This is where photography comes into it’s own. We are a visually privileged generation to be living at a time, where natures exquisite mark making is visible to us for our perusal, and contemplation. Thank you Nikon. Thank you Carl Zeiss!
Bill talks of the forces that come together to make these waves with the kind of words that come from a man touched by a sense of wonder. This sense of wonder is the best part of us, and his wave photographs remind us of this. They show us the unrelenting, unrepeatable and ungraspable forms, colors and nuances of something that happens every second, day in day out. Is it really this amazing all over the world all the time?
At a time where most photographs are taken to either avoid actually looking or instead of looking, these captured moments in time are a real treat.