This week, photographer Richard C. Johnson tells how he looks for and catalogs special locations to come back to with his camera, how and why he has switched between ways of making images, and the advantages of Flickr over Instagram.
RCJ: I have lived and worked as an artist in Duluth for more than 35 years. My education and training as an artist was in both printmaking and photography. I have always thought of myself as first and foremost a photographer, even through those times I was not actively photographing. In the latter half of the 1980s, I found myself without access to a viable darkroom, and was living in a house that had no suitable place to build one. I spent a few years working with collage, mixed media, and assemblages, with varying degrees of success. In 1992 I purchased a Mac computer along with a flatbed scanner. For the next 8 years I worked exclusively within the realm of digital montage. When I did photograph, it was to make images to be part of a montage, not as singular works in themselves. By the turn of the century, 2000-’01, I felt a bit burned out with this work, spending too much time in front of a computer, and living too much in my head. I felt that what I needed was to return to photography, and reconnect with the world.