Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photographer Jane Strauss

I am continuing my presentation of powerful autistic voices, by next introducing an artist and powerful  parent advocate creating beautiful photographs while raising a neurodivergent son. I hope to be able to ask Jane to share faith, parenting an autistic child, and maintaining her focus on her work in an interview coming soon. 

Jane Strauss is a woman who makes photographic art in a way that is uniquely neurodivergent. There is a meticulous attention to detail that makes the world according to Jane rich, sharp, open, and breathtaking. Please see her photographs at janesprints or follow her fan page on Facebook here.

In her own words, here is Jane:

I have been interested in art since forever. I first picked up a camera in the late 1960s on the East Coast,
photo courtesy of the artist all rights reserved
Jane rocking braids  © Jane Strauss
when at the age of fifteen I learned to shoot and develop 35 mm black and white film. I’ve been enamored of graphic arts ever after. Since then, I have tried to be practical, pursued multiple academic courses of study, relocated to the Twin Cities in the mid-1970s, raised a family, worked with community organizations, nonprofits, and in the practice of law, before returning to my first love, art.

Before 2009, I had no formal training in digital photography, other than one course in use of Adobe Photoshop . I had very limited, informal training in the technical aspects of film photography years ago, limited to use of the darkroom for black and white film developing and printing. My formal art training consisted of general art and drawing classes in high school and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, in the 1960s.

My work has been shot with an Olympus D-SLR for the past several years. Recently, I have begun to produce more images of nature, as we spend increased time on 49 acres in the Ozarks.

My art flows from who I am, a person placed on the autistic spectrum in midlife who has often wondered why I see detail many folks miss. I look at the trees and the forest, and see the geometric shapes between and within them. I wait for the animals to settle, and come right up to them for a look. I notice small details and parts of things that for the usual person blend in with their surroundings. I look up to the sky when many would look down or straight ahead. I focus on reflections. Once images are digitized, I use Photoshop to crop, enlarge and adjust them to reflect what I saw, rarely using other aspects unless they substantially strengthen the primary image, or provide a strongly-contrasting accompanying image. 

I make images of nature, architecture, classic cars, and human artifacts.
© Jane Strauss

One of my fans puts it this way:

"Jane Strauss captures images with her camera that most of us would never take the time to look close enough to see - the detail on an old car's hood ornament, the lush growth along a flooded waterway, the frosted roses as winter approaches, and the delicate tendrils of wildgrass. Her images are sharp, crisp, and sigh-inspiring, making the viewer wonder how much beauty and detail they have missed by not looking closely enough at our environment. It is a wonderful gift to be able to see these details and hidden images through Jane's eyes. Her renderings using digital software allow her to bring certain elements to light so that what might seem to others like the simplest subject - a bird on a tree, or old tools, turns into true art."

I will be presenting a Jane Strauss original to a lucky winner during the month of June. Stay tuned to The Amplify Autistic Voices Blog for more summer beauty through autistic eyes.

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