Big Bend: Photographs by Jack Ridley
Photography Do Not Bend Gallery
June 23 through September 1, 2012
On June 23, 2012 Photographs Do Not Bend (PDNB) Gallery will host a solo exhibition in PDNB’s John Albok gallery for Texas photographer, Jack Ridley (b. 1948 Dayton, Ohio).
This will be Ridley’s first solo exhibition at PDNB, and will feature his large format photographs of Texas’ beloved Big Bend National Park. Ridley has been photographing Big Bend’s 800,000-acre breath-taking landscape for over twenty-five years.
At least twice a year, Ridley ventures to Big Bend with his 8 x 10 view camera capturing stunning, expansive black and white images of this National Park including the Rio Grande River, the Chisos Mountain range, Dog Canyon, Emory Peak, Pine Canyon, Cattail Falls, and Punta de la Sierra. He prefers the “nuances of texture and tone” that black and white photography lends. Ridley states, “The absence of color demands that the qualities of illumination and tone produce the emotional response instead of a response to color alone.” His 8 x 10 view camera offers almost infinite, sweeping detail and depth of field of the landscape, more than the human eye is capable of seeing.
Jack Ridley’s choice of the 8 x 10 format follows the tradition of the 19th Century photographers who documented the American West, including Carlton Watkins, Timothy O’Sullivan, and Eadweard Muybridge. They carried large, cumbersome view cameras, glass plates and equipment on horse-drawn wagons, developing their work on location. Due to modern technology, Ridley’s expeditions of Big Bend are not quite as challenging. His choice of camera confirms his demand for the same quality of the 19th Century masters before him.
Ridley’s photographs address Big Bend’s sublime grandeur. Other great vistas exist in National Parks throughout the west, but this is one of Texas’ most treasured attractions.
Jack Ridley resides in Dallas, Texas with his family.