Jim Stone's photographs are as honest as his intentions and as unpretentious as his approach. The following is a statement from Jim, which he describes as, 'Random musings I hope you will be able to civilize for your publication.'
'For the past couple of years I have been photographing on the road, using a 4x5 camera and Polaroid Type 55 Positive/Negative film. The camera and its attendant accessories are a cumbersome lot, and provoke a methodical way of working. In my pictures, I try to overcome and mask the painstaking nature of large-format photography to make photographs which step lightly. I am often photographing around people I don't know, many times including them in the pictures. The value of the Polaroid film in this situation cannot be overestimated. It provides me, within twenty seconds, a small print and a printable negative of exceptional quality. I check my results against my expectations while there is still time to alter them, and I can share my work immediately with others. It is disarming, even to the most suspicious, that I am not only making plain what I am doing, but I give away my results for nothing.
My photography is like John McPhee's writing; a kind of personalized non-fiction. I don't think much about art when I work, I think about the subject and about how to make the best picture. Working is for me a way of learning about my surroundings, and if I just follow my curiosity, I know I will either learn about something, or I will learn about something and make a picture. I never come back empty handed.'
Stone's work has been exhibited, published and collected extensively. He received a National Endowment for the Arts photographic survey grant in 1980 and a photographer's fellowship grant from the Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation in 1976, Stone presently serves on the Board of Directors at the Photographic Resources Center in Boston.
Jeffrey Hoone (c)1984
Jim Stone, Associate professor in Photography at the University of New Mexico