Interview with Bill McIntyre
I am a product of American suburbia, meaning I am equally uncomfortable in both the city and the country. I shoot mostly b&w film. 35mm camera with a 35 mm lens. I shoot intuitively-I never create or orchestrate shots. I shoot with my left eye. Beyond basic burning/dodging type improvements I do not manipulate or crop my images.
Art was my worst subject in grade school, and I never took an art class in high school, so it was a bit of a surprise to everyone including myself when I wound up at one of the top art schools in the world. So I have a master’s degree in photography and have taught photography in college.
A few years ago I realized my shadowy existence was leading me down the road to being the male equivalent of Vivian Maier, so I started the process of getting my work seen by others by scanning my negatives and showing work on places like Flickr.
It is about capturing a moment or a situation or a mood. So whether the shot was done in Peru or Providence doesn’t really matter ultimately. The ostensible subject matter is just the raw material for the shot.
My interest in photography grew out of my love for travel. In the beginning I would take trips and bring a camera along to record the journey. Simple documentation/representation. Kodachromes. National Geographic stuff. Over time I became more and more interested in the photographs and they became as or more important than the trip itself. So now it has turned around-I don’t photograph my travels, I travel to photograph.
When shooting, if I think about what I am doing or try for a certain result it comes out heavy and forced. I have to have a blank mind and go with the flow. It’s kind of a Zen thing. Occasionally form meets content and the result is mysterious and mesmerizing.
For me photography is a way to communicate with others. The hope is that maybe there are some kindred spirits out there who will respond to the images and understand…and then, perhaps, through that connection, I’m not completely alone in the universe. Also, if your house is burning down and you have just a few minutes to save things what do you do? You grab the kids and the photo albums. That’s why.