I Love Building Images

GE McKerrihan
4 min readMay 20, 2019

I’ve always been a maker, especially with a camera.

I grew up in a family of makers and I was encouraged from early on to make things myself. My favorite Christmas present came from my Grandfather when I was six years old. He had made me a carpenter’s tool box, painted white, with a red holly berry and two green holly leaves stenciled on both sides. And it was full of a selection of tools he had selected for young hands. I was ecstatic! These tools became a map to making as a way of life.

I have now spent a lifetime making things. Pots, furniture, instruments, cabinets, houses, and yes, photographs. In each medium and process I went full on, these were not hobbies. Each occupying anywhere from three to eight years of my life and provided a livelihood.

Photography was no different. When I first picked up the camera with intent, I was immediately drawn to the Still Life. I was able to build a scene, assemble the components, light it, and then make the exposure.

Somewhat later I began to write stories to go with these images, describing how they came to be. These became a series of Still Life Stories.

I have a deep love for big, old cameras that require me to focus under a dark cloth. I also have a deep love for building things, especially images.

This image started with a large sheet of hand-marbled paper. A rectangle was cut out of the right side, to reveal a nineteenth century magazine illustration of a young woman.

The well used contact printing frame, was placed to frame her image, and the glass was laid on the frame to diffuse her slightly. The folding back was set to the left, with a torn palladium print of eggs and a reminder to, ‘take the next dose.’

The dried agave spikes added to the asymmetry, while their specs played off the marbled background. The tiny bird wing was laid inside out to show off its soft delicacy. The calla lily blossom added to gently balance the wing.

And that is the trail my mind followed . . . on this particular day.

GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.