"I’ve always been fascinated by optical mysteries. Reflections enable multiple visual planes to exist simultaneously. Visible puzzles in my photographs challenge what’s immediately identified and taken for granted. I love the concept of finding illusionary abstractions around us in unexpected, ordinary locations – like parking lots or street puddles. Surrealism viewable to the naked human eye!
The first reflective surface I photographed was an autumn Massachusetts pond with colorful birch trees. The yellow and white squiggly ripples in the water captivated me – soothing yet unpredictable. Diving deeper into water reflections, I was amazed to find images coming out of my camera that reminded me of impressionist favorites like Van Gogh and Monet. At first, I always maintained recognizable elements (lily pads, branches).
Over time, the boundaries between realism and abstraction blurred as I concentrated on distorted water patterns. Then I broadened my horizons, discovering other reflective materials – like glass, metal, ice, and wet surfaces. With colors, textures, and shapes highlighted for their own sake, my images became more painterly. Friends who viewed my work liked the “alternative reality” I was capturing and often saw imaginative things that I didn’t.
I photograph light reflected off dark shiny surfaces with a Canon digital camera & lens, usually on a tripod. Slightly different angles and times of day (or year) change reflected compositions greatly. So, I keep experimenting. As a child, I loved to explore and what I do now is similar – I search for dramatic colors and textures. Hues get intensified when reflected and may seem “unbelievable”.
Some people assume my images are computer-generated or significantly altered. They are not. As photographers have always done, I edit my images to retouch, crop/rotate and make tonal/color corrections. My objective in editing is to show what I saw. Photographic prints on archival aluminum complete my work with a vibrant luminosity that rivals the original scene.
Ripples offer us more than peaceful undulating waves that appear on a surface like water. Inevitably the radiating lines get disturbed. With bounced light, magic can happen. Curving or bending light and the resulting shapes & form open a doorway for our subjective minds. Whimsical or mysterious possibilities abound."
Tom Wyatt is a photographic artist from Warwick Massachusetts. He grew up traveling the world with his family, exploring cultural sites & art museums. His critical eye and aesthetic interest grew over the years while teaching, building a home, raising a family and working in retail sales. Tom jumped at the chance to dive headlong into photography in 1995 and completed the intensive program at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. Then he started and ran a business as a commercial photographer for the next several years.
Tom eventually shifted his attention and camera’s viewfinder toward the mysteries inherent in reflected surfaces. His artistic passion was rekindled. By focusing on distortions that arise in water, ice, glass and metal, he captures images from painterly impressionism to fully abstract designs of line, color and shape – all based on what can be seen by the naked eye. Whether seen in puddles, lakes, windowpanes or shiny cars, Tom discovers creativity that would otherwise remain hidden in our busy world. He is a founding member of the Pioneer Valley Photographic Artists and long-term member of the Warwick Arts Council. See more on Tom's website.