After photographer Timothy Bulone shoots and edits a picture, he develops a spiritual connection with it. In his perspective, it is no longer just an image; it is a “symbol of the land.”
Bulone’s work will be on display at the El Dorado Nature Center, 7550 Spring St., from Saturday, July 6 until the end of the month. The show includes 25 pieces depicting the theme “Art and Nature.”
Bulone grew up in Anaheim but has lived in Long Beach since 2006. Although the works in his current show mostly consist of animals, flowers, sea and landscapes, he generally works with a variety of styles such as black-and-white and abstract.
How did you become interested in photography?
I was interested actually from a young age. I remember taking– like one of the teachers offered a little elective for taking photography, and it interested me back then. I became a newspaper photographer, and I just worked for this small-town newspaper. That’s really the start of my professional career. Then I took a fine-art photography class, and then it just rocked my world. I changed how I took pictures…I found that time flew by when I was taking art pictures rather than news pictures.
Do you practice any other forms of art other than photography?
I have painted in acrylic. That’s really, in terms of visual art, it’s only been painting. I, of course, do it like a mad man– especially when I’m on the telephone, but it’s been primarily painting and photography. I enjoy painting but I am much better at photography. As a matter of fact, I’m embarrassed to show some of my acrylic work, actually. I mean there are some images of my acrylic work that are on my website, but I just don’t consider myself as good a painter.
Who and what are your inspirations?
It started out when I was pretty young because my father and his brothers were all artists of different sorts. They inspired me, in a way. To me, watching them work was like magic. They could just do these incredible things with art. My Uncle Tony could sketch. You could say, “Draw a dog.” He would just sketch it. And it would be comical-looking. All of my uncles had that talent. They actually did study art, most of them, but they already had that talent. Other [inspirations are] photographers I’ve met– the person who taught my fine-art class. He had actually been a crime-scene photographer, but he had gone into black-and-white, fine-art photography. So he, as an inspiration, he really did open my eyes. And then, I think my art is sort of connected in a spiritual way. Those people in my life helped me develop in a spiritual way. Like, when I go out and shoot, I feel that connectedness with what I’m shooting. I feel really connected to the scene itself. And then when I work on the picture, I feel very attached. To me, that image then becomes a symbol for the actual land. Its like Mount San Gorgonio has a distinguishing landmark in Southern California, for example. It just connects me to that place. It could be Mount San Gorgonio but it could also be a dragonfly. I’m just transfixed by it.
Do you have any favorite pieces?
There are some that I think are personal favorites. Some are because of the people around me when I took them. There’s one on my website, for example, called “The Old Brewery.” I shot that with my sister. It was just a special moment. I was visiting her in the state of Washington, and they were having this tremendous day, and I stumbled upon that picture. I took the shot, and every time I look at that scene I think about my sister and the kind of day we were having. So, in that sense, there are some that are favorites.
Is there anything that you’re currently working on?
Oh, sure. I feel like, at 55, I am just starting out in my art career. This is my first solo show that I’m having. So, I’m really excited about that. I’ve been in group shows, and it’s wonderful, but it’s nice to be selected to show just my work. And then I would like to show internationally. I’ve actually had a few sales internationally. There’s that, but for me, it will always be about getting the shot out there. Take the shot and work on the shot, work on the image and come up with something that speaks to me. If I’m traveling at all, I have my camera with me. If I’m visiting old haunts or whatever, there are a few places that I like to go into. But I’m not working on a specific project right now. I have some ideas in mind.