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Christy Lee Rogers’s Underwater Fine Art Photography

June 5th, 2013 No Comments

Yesterday’s post on our BPro sister site featured three news items and galleries about Underwater Photography.  We’re continuing that theme today but with an extreme twist.  The images we’re looking at are not regulation underwater photos, i.e. there are no pin-sharp depictions of marine life here.  Instead, Christy Lee Rogers uses water-based refraction, diffusion and distortion to artistic advantage to create what is accurately termed ‘Underwater Fine Art Photography’ or ‘Fine Art Underwater Photography’.

The trick here is that Rogers herself is not in the water; she photographs from land while her subjects pose in a pool.

Jordan G. Teicher on Slate says that Rogers’s images “look like Baroque masterpieces” and that is only a slight exaggeration, for the photographs are indeed that good.  The gallery on Slate is loaded with high-res images.

Some of Rogers’s photos look like, well, what they are: underwater photos.  Others, however, resemble a painting that is a cross between an ‘Old Master’ and an Impressionistic canvas.

Teicher writes that Rogers’s “visual style . . . is often compared to that of the Baroque painter Caravaggio,” which makes sense.  However, there’s clearly some of Michelangelo’s chiaroscuro in a few photographs, such as The Innocents.  Apart from the light-and-shadow effects, a troubling mystery lurks in this image – something is not quite right.

If we’re going to talk of paintings and the masters, the photographs here will bring to mind more than one.  For instance, doesn’t the lovely Drowning in her Sea suggest William Waterhouse in an uncharacteristically impressionistic mood?

A few images are more like Abstract Art than Baroque or Old Master paintings.  Reckless Unbound is a visually luscious arrangement of hues both arresting and calming – brilliant carmine anchoring pastel greens and limpid blues. 

How much of her work and which images are the result of anticipation and execution, and how much and which ones are the outcome of happy chance, only Rogers knows.  To the viewer, the visual delights brought by these photographs are completely independent of their provenance.


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