© Thomas La Barbera
Dance the Night | 40″ x 24″
Through My Lens
After 30 years as a photojournalist, Tom La Barbera of Binghamton, NY, still has a passion f0r photography which has given him a wide breadth of experience from creating a living memory of everyday life to capturing moments of grit and raw emotions.
As an artist, I thrive on making art that bursts with energy. Using a process I call contemporary in-camera art, I create pieces that uniquely possess the vibrant flowing qualities of color and movement. These photographs offer a new experience of seeing life through a different lens.
“Set your imagination free and let the artwork speak to you…”
— Tom La Barbera
With Chuck Haupt, Photo Editor
Q: Since you spent most of your career as a photojournalist and event photographer, what got you started shooting abstract images?
A: Back to my childhood days, I remember wanting to be a painter. Today I am a photographer. I wanted to be different than most photographer artists and be able to produce images outside the box of my normal style.
Q: Is there an image or a photographer that has the most influence on your recent work?
A: I don’t particularly have an image or photographer that influences me. My favorite work is from photographer Ansel Adams.
Q: How was that first abstract shot made? You call it “contemporary in-camera art” but what is that process?
A: It was all by accident. I was photographing a low light subject with slow shutter speeds and was not happy with the results. I decided to move the camera as I was shooting and liked what I saw. I continued moving the camera with different movements at different subjects. I tried different techniques and found what works for the style that I have and love now.
Q: What inspires you? Do you just come across a scene or are you planning out a shot and go looking for the situation?
A: Nature is what inspires me the most. Although my last inspiration came from the presidential election, I attempted my first indoor shoot with taking over 800 photos and only a handful of successful images are in red, white and blue. Being a photojournalist, I try to stay neutral when creating images with controversial content. My images are interpreted and viewed differently by individuals who view them. “My motto is ‘Set your imagination free and let the art work speak to you…’”
Q: What more can we expect to see from your photography in the future?
A: This year, I am planning to visit my birthplace in Sicily, Castellamare del Golfo. I plan to bring a Mediterranean flavor to my future work.
Through My Lens
All images used with permission. © 2016-2017 Thomas La Barbera
Visit the photographer’s website at thomaslabarbera.com