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Meet the Artist: Jim Trombo

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

From black and white images to the full spectrum of color, the lens sees all.

I was nine years old in 1970 when my uncle first handed me a camera and told me to go and take pictures of anything I wanted. I remember heading into the woods in our back yard and feeling empowered by the magical device in my hands.

In the early 80’s I was off to college and began taking photography classes as soon as I could. That was when I first witnessed the magic of the image appearing before my eyes in the darkroom. I was hooked! I immersed myself in any and all information I could find related to black and white photography.

I subscribed to every photography magazine available. I studied the masters and Ansel Adams was undoubtedly my first and biggest inspiration. I studied his Zone System and practiced his darkroom techniques to the point of exhaustion. I graduated from Hiram College with a Business major and a minor in Art (Photography).

Living in Geauga County most of my life, I’ve gained a full appreciation for all the beauty that nature has to offer throughout the seasons. Most of my images were taken in the Northeast Ohio region and surrounding rural areas.

I enjoy the challenge of finding the beauty and uniqueness in otherwise simple places and things. Sometimes it’s just a different angle or waiting for the light to be right that makes all the difference, other times it’s controlling the scene through the creative controls of the camera and composition. Regardless of how or where I take the picture, my intention is to capture an image at a special moment in time.

Some of my images are inspired by the spacious vision that a landscape painter possesses, while others are strong, more direct compositions. As I matured in my vision, I realized that by keeping an open mind, many otherwise unseen images have presented themselves.

Once I locate a potential subject, I know immediately whether the image will be color or black and white. When shooting in color, I try to take full advantage of all the beautiful hues and intensities that nature is willing to provide. I only shoot in color if it will indeed enhance the image. When you view my photographs, it should be immediately evident that the use of color, whether it’s subtle or bold, is a key component in the image. That is my intention.

Although I create many color images, my background and heart is still often in the black and white world. Visualizing in black and white is a trained skill that I learned many years ago and has always stayed with me. Seeing in black and white “infrared” is another skill that required much practice to perfect. Analyzing texture, tones and composition in black and white is still the most difficult but rewarding skill I feel I possess. Hopefully this is evident in my work.

I get just as much pleasure out of processing the images as I do when I shoot them. I loved spending countless hours in the darkroom back in the day and I still spend many hours perfecting my images today – I’m just not in the dark anymore!

Jim's Photography was featured on the walls of UH Geauga Medical Center from October 10th - December 19th, 2022.

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