James Scott Geras
By Richard Pitnick for
Black And White Magazine
Issue 32 August
Landscape photography is an art form that transcends time and space, “says James Scott Geras, whose moody and evocative nature scenes truly incorporate the notion of time and space as the representational foundation of reality. Working with a unique combination of artistic vision and refinement of photographic technique, all of Geras’s photographs are taken with a long exposures commencing just at the break of sunrise, He often spends weeks scouting locations and potential camera placements prior to execution of the definitive exposure. “I set up my camera in the darkness, just before sunrise, and the long exposure creates an effect of the image emerging from afar.” Where most landscape photographer’s revel in a pastoral modulation of light and texture, Geras purposely seeks out a starker and bolder expressionism of the arboreal scenery. “ I photograph winter landscapes because I like to see the ‘bones’ of nature – the skeleton of a tree, for instance, looks very much like the x-ray of the landscape,” explains Geras. All of Geras’s work is printed on Bergger paper, a European manufactured product that has the highest silver content of any comically available paper. Geras works closely with San Francisco master printer Leslie Kossoff in producing final prints, with particular attention to the selenium toaning. “Each print receives a different toning treatment, a degree determined by the image, with some being more heavily toned than others.” Geras points out.
Geras embarked on a career in photography already at the age of 19, finding early success when a Beverly Hills art Gallery Geras had taken his work to for framing offered him a show. “I was doing photography right out of high school,” Geras recalls. “My first gallery show was a sellout.” Geras is somewhat unique as far as art photographers go in having been able to successfully establish his own art gallery to sell and promote his own work as well as the work of other photographers and artists. He first opened a gallery in Los Angeles 25 years ago, and after 6 years relocated the gallery to San Francisco. Just recently, a new space was acquired in downtown Palm Springs, CA. “Photographers often lack good business sense,” says Geras. “I was fortunate to grow up in a family with business experience, so I have that background. I’m very business oriented, and I’m one of the lucky few that can make art and also market myself. Having my own gallery, I enjoy complete control over how my work is hung and framed, I also have the opportunity to independently select and represent other artists.”
Geras’s portfolio of winter landscapes, which includes views primarily from France, but also locales from the Pacific Northwest and Northeast, was published in book form through his gallery. Geras is currently working on two new projects scheduled for publication – one is on floral, the other on the nude. “Landscape and florals have been my primary passion all along,” remarks Geras, who is shooting his Florals in a studio setting to maximize technical control. As a fine art and freelance photographer, Geras has exhibited internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Barcelona and Tokyo. His commercial clients include Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Cosmopolitan, Architectural Digest, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. To name just a few of his impressive and long list of commercial and celebrity clients. “I like my pictures to tell stories, and I want people to see their own story in them,” says Geras of his artistic goals. “I have learned at an early age that not all things are exactly as they seem. Although my work has evolved through the years, there’s one aspect that has remained consistent. That there’s no constant and that reality is always just beyond the boundary of imagination. As such, my work is a reflection of my life, and continues to be a work in progress.”