Biography - Sherry Justus
I live in Oyster Bay, New York on the grounds of Theodore Roosevelt's farm, working for
the National Park Service by day and taking photographs in my "spare
time." I have a Master of Fine Arts in film from Columbia
University. Surrealism is one of my primary influences, and I
wish that one day I could wake up and it would be 1963. My current passions are lifting the emulsion from Polaroid prints and placing it on various media and hand coloring some black and white prints from my darkroom. And I still see more potential pictures in urban environments than I do in nature.
About My Work
I have often been asked, "What kind of photographs do you take?" This is difficult to answer. I used to answer by saying what I didn't photograph: pictures with people in them, or posed portraits. But that is not entirely the case anymore. I would characterize my photographs as documentary, but I am not a documentary photographer per se. I don't take pictures to "get the story" or to shed light on social conditions.
I have been told I have a good eye, but perhaps my epitaph will read, "Proof That A Good Eye Was Not Enough." To have "a good eye" is to see pictures that others may miss. But merely having a good eye does not guarantee that you can communicate emotion. The core of meaningful photography is a good eye, good technique, and the ability to capture emotion.
If "earth is shot through with flashes of heaven,"* then my photographs seek to capture some of that illumination. My goal is to expose reality so that viewers might savor this clarity. You be the judge of whether I have succeeded.
*from "How the Irish
Saved Civilization," Thomas Cahill