In our world of digital, point-and-shoot, hip-pocket cameras, we can all take clear, sharp-focus photographs just about whenever we want. But Fine Arts Photojournalist Ryan Spencer Reed has a different vision.
His photographs are black & white, grainy, dark and often a little out of focus.
Ryan Spencer Reed is from Ludington originally. He wanted to be a doctor and made it to Pre-Med. But he got sidetracked by his conscience. When he saw the violence and injustice in East Africa, he had to do something to raise people’s awareness. So, he took his hobby of photography and got more serious about it – becoming a photojournalist. He moved to Africa and began documenting events in Sudan. From that time, he has a collection of works called “Sudan: The Cost of Silence.”
His mission statement comes from Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing.”
Ryan has a very specific reason for making his pictures dark and abstract. It’s more than just an artistic vision.
Ryan says, "If a thing is abstracted carefully enough and intentionally enough, that thing can transcend what it is and it becomes more of a symbol and, also, if the thing is abstracted enough you're not completing the thought for the person who's seeing the work."
He said that a soft-focus, mysterious photograph of a dilapidated inner-city house, for example, can become a symbol for poverty. He said he wants people to, as he said it, “bring their own baggage” when viewing his photographs.
Ryan Spencer Reed’s exhibit “Shades of Grandeur” is opening this week at the A.M. Galleries in Ludington. An opening reception takes place Thursday evening. You can see his work in Brad’s Shoebox Gallery: Click Here