Jerry Berry: The Chi of Koi and Smoke

Jerry Berry’s inspiration for these images comes from his interest in Zen, Asian culture, and painting.  Koi have been an inspiration for artists for millennia; especially in the Asian traditions. The beauty of color, form, and movement of these fish bring much joy to the viewer. Berry’s interpretations of Koi have been developed based on his growth as a photographer and artist.  He says that “as photographers we are taught that our camera is the perfect tool to capture the ‘defining moment’ and is unequaled at reproducing finely focused images of sharpness and detail. We subsequently strive to perfect our craft with this in mind.”

He feels that the story of time and motion could be lost if the photographer freezes an image defining that moment. The spontaneity of movement and life can be lost when it is defined as an instant of time by the fast shutter speed of a camera. By allowing his camera to capture a longer portion of time/life and letting the koi become his brush stroking the canvas of his camera sensor; he blends the strengths of photographic art with those of a painter. Alan Watts in The Way of Zen, best describes Berry’s approach to his subjects as he describes Zen in the following passage: “…for Zen there is no duality, no conflict between the natural element of chance and the human element of control.”

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