James was born in Philadelphia in1950 and graduated from Washington University with BA’s in Comparative Religion and English Literature. He started working in the darkroom in 1973 under the direction of a student of Minor White. He has been traveling and making photographs for the last four decades. His work speaks of the essence of place and his portraits poignantly communicate the diversity of the human condition.
There has always been a great debate about photography’s connection to reality. There are those that feel photography must portray the “real” world without manipulation and others who feel that a photograph cannot even be considered art without contrivance and concept. Personally, I take an approach to photography that could be called contemplative. This approach begins with the view that the world is inherently fresh, radiant and open and that the creation of an image can be direct and experiential.
At times the ephemeral quality of light moving across the perceptual landscape seems not only to illuminate the subject but also to reveal an inner radiance. I try to capture this feeling of radiance with the mystery it adds to a moment of place. The subjects that interest me are usually found in transitions–the change of night to day, the early morning fog vaguely veiling a more solid reality–the fleeting moments that blur the border between waking and dreaming.