Mastery of dramatic shadowing
Vernon Trent continues to work with film in a time when the argentique has become so rare that manufacturers have ceased making some of the paper. In choosing film and developing it as toned gum prints, he gives us a depth and texture that we associate with earlier photography; at the same time we recognize his vision as distinctly modern.
Many photographers understand light; not all understand the nuances of darkness as Vernon Trent does. His “Dreams of Infinity”, with its voyeuristic perspective, shows his mastery of dramatic shadowing. Sometimes the “WOW” factor in his work is basic geometry: “The Immortal” is a stunning composition of lines that create subtle, multiple triangles.
Vernon Trent evokes the qualities of New Wave film but with greater softness – such veiled light and warm shadow. This is what makes his work feel so vintage yet so contemporary all at the same time. The emotion his work conveys captures the strength of the human heart in the face of life’s torments and losses. This emotional power, as much as his technical tour de force, makes him one of the most fascinating photographers working today.
There is always something more
Each time I look at Vernon Trent’s images, I see something new — usually an artifact of the gritty side of life. It’s not just that so much of his photography is shot in darker tones, but that he utilizes shadows and light in such a way that I feel like I’m seeing so much more of the subject than I would even if I were standing right before it.
Perhaps it is the years of experience that he has behind a camera, but it might be the way he looks at the world. He has a keen insight into the corners of life that many of us miss. So often his photography is not simply that of a moment; he sheds the veneer of the external shell and delves deeper into what is actually being communicated by a subject, whether it is a person, a piece of architecture, or an abstract.
There is always something more to Vernon’s photography.
The photographic tales by Vernon Trent
(…) Vernon Trent has an infallible intuition for composition, hitting his mark almost all the time. He works quickly, rigorously and effectively, always remaining courteous and relaxed. His attitude towards the model demonstrated me he’s a director you can interact with, while he’s explaining his intentions and he’s tuning in with the model. He can afford a refusal. This has happened and it was remarkably irrelevant. This confident behavior with people shows in his work: you can capture only what you comprehend. And the understanding of the human and the human as a being, shows through his body of work one way or another.
Rauh wie Schmirgelpapier
Trent arbeitet so wie ein Restaurator für wertvolle Möbelstücke. Behutsam aber mit Nachdruck schleift er mit Schmirgelpapier den unwerten Lack ab, um an die feinen Maserungen des Holzes zu gelangen. Erst wenn dieser langwierige Prozess erledigt ist, wird Leinöl auf das Holz gestrichen und die Linien der Jahresringe zeigen das filigrane Muster des Lebens. Genauso fotografiert Vernon Trent die Bilder, die in meinem Gedächtnis leben. Und ganz oft sind es dann genau die Bilder, bei denen er nicht die Spuren des Schmirgelpapiers verdecken will.