Introducing Eric McCollum from Washington DC.
I am a photographer based in the greater Washington, DC area in the United States.
I began taking photographs as a child and studied photography briefly in college in the ‘70s but left it behind as other pursuits took my attention. During that time, however, I had the amazing experience of taking a course in the History of Photography from Beaumont Newhall, then teaching at the University of New Mexico. It was a wonderful chance to touch the very roots of American photography.
About 7 years ago, I came back to the camera as I was searching for a creative outlet. I specifically decided to concentrate on the nude figure . . . there is the mystery of the nude, the performance of the shoot, and the wonderful intersection of light and skin. I like to think my images have to do both with form and intimacy. I collaborate with my models . . . they inspire me . . . and I want some essence of who they are to linger in what we create together.
Eric's favourite images
I was inspired years ago by an image of Wynn Bullock’s – a nude girl sitting in meditation pose on a beach with the sea foam coming in to create patterns around her. I never forgot it. Beth in the water is my homage to that image from my past. I love the chaotic flow around her as she sits still.
Meditation Model: Beth Caldwell
I have found the selective focus of the Lensbaby often fits my vision. I like the tones and texture the Lensbaby gives to this image.
Nude with Black Flower Model: Katileania
I was drawn to the mystery of the pale figure emerging from the shadows in this image. Shot beneath the trees beside a stream just before a thunderstorm.
By the Stream Model: Zinn Star
Another image shot beside a stream, this time with the wonderful model Rhus. We in the Washington DC area in the US are truly blessed to have so many fine figure models available to us. I like the emotion in this image and how Rhus’ gaze is turned out of the frame.
I don’t only work in natural light. I find the studio is also a wonderful arena for my work with a feeling of intimacy that locations sometimes don’t provide. In this image, I was playing with the tone and texture of the stark white dried blossom against the background of the figure in shadow.
There is something interesting about the masked nude figure . . . the contrast of anonymity and exposure. Rhus’ pose brings a hint of dark energy to the image.
Sometimes it’s fun to play a little on the glamour side of things. Katlyn Lacoste is a terrifically versatile model and we had fun one day with the white plastic chair.
Model: Katlyn Lacoste
Cocoon Series #17 Model: Rhus
My latest project is the Cocoon Series. The prop is a nylon body cocoon that lends an air of mystery as well as a sculptural space to the body. This image was lit from a single window in an old warehouse. As with much of my work, the figure emerging from deep shadow draws my eye.