The Desert Light November/December 2018 - Page 8

making a painting,
you take something
and add to it. In
photography,
we take something and
reduce it to its basic
graphic element.”
Using a large format
view camera and
carrying all the
supplies that the
system requires took
a lot of time and
strength to move it
Cima Road Sunset
over any distance.
The images were
accurate studies, but the technology was growing more and more constrained. About nine
years ago Kathleen went all digital. She now uses a Canon 5Ds. It has freed her from
the cumbersome equipment and allowed her to explore rougher and more remote terrain.
Sometimes she thinks to herself, “I don’t deserve this camera,” but we at the Desert Light
disagree.
“Some photographers add shadows where there is no shadow,” Fischer says, “I think that’s
cheating. I will occasionally remove a piece of trash or something like that from a frame, but
I don’t add things.” Kathleen has made an art out of finding the graphic component in her
landscape photography, finding its underlying truth.
“I was once at a famous national park standing on the edge of a gorge at sunset. All the
people there with me had their eyes trained on the sun as it sank below the horizon. I spent
the time looking in the opposite direction because the light was so much more interesting
in that direction.” These kinds of moments are essential to any great photography. When
the photographer can look behind herself and find a new perspective, this is where we find
Kathleen in Mojave for her show, “Life Reveals Itself.”
Having traveled across the country to Mojave four times for her Residency, she arrived for
the second trip in her trailer with her husband and a 90lb dog, Oliver and they spent two
weeks at Hole in the Wall campground capturing images all over the preserve. “I have no
lights, no tripod, just an eagerness to capture the infinite space of the west.”
Her question to herself was, “Where do I start?” A Visit to Kelso and a conversation with a
ranger at the station answered that question. The ranger said, “Mojave, unlike Death Valley,
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THE DESERT LIGHT
| Nov/Dec 2018