Alison Shaw makes her home on Martha's Vineyard and has spent decades photographing the island. Her work has evolved from documentary to abstract; she loves using her camera to literally paint with light. She runs a gallery in an old single-engine firehouse, and is a regular contributor to Yankee and Martha's Vineyard magazines.
What inspires you? My inspiration comes primarily from the island I call home. There's something about its geographic boundary that forces me to dig deeper to interpret the same subject matter time and time again: whether that's photographing details in artist studios, playing with camera blur, or exploring the juncture between the beach, ocean, and sky.
Tell us about your process. I made the transition to digital photography late—I bought my first digital camera in the fall of 2007. That means I continue to shoot with the same discipline I learned when using transparency film. I create my images in-camera as opposed to doing a significant amount of digital manipulation and post-processing.
Why make art? I make art because I have to make art; it's deeply a part of who I am. The world is my raw material, and I am constantly viewing it through the "lens" of my art. When I was a teenager, painting and photographing were both serious hobbies for me. Even though today I make my living as a photographer, it still feels like a hobby. I have never lost the passion to push myself creatively, to make art with my camera.
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