James ColeI have always been fascinated with the lens. Even as a kid, I used to get creative with the camera, photographing my toy dinosaurs from interesting angles to make them look bigger and more interesting than they actually were. As an adult I strayed away from stills photography and took up filmmaking as a career. Firstly as a cinematographer but then an editor and visual effects artist.

It was my work in the visual effects field that introduced me to Photoshop way back in the early versions before there was a ‘CS’ anything. The hundreds, if not thousands of hours I spent using Photoshop, opened my mind to so many possibilities beyond film and video graphics and effects. With this, my passion for creating still imagery was reignited.

The one aspect of photography that I always found disappointing was the reality. When seeing something with our eyes, it is filtered through a lifetime of memories and emotions. This is why everyone sees things differently. When taking a photo, especially with a raw digital camera, there is only the reality. By using photoshop, I am able to reintroduce the filter of my emotions and experiences to capture what I was feeling about the image at the time I took it. It may only be the tweaking of the colours or a complete overhaul of the image. My goal is to visually create emotion. I want people to feel something when they look at my art.

I am in love with the purity and beauty in the natural world, even when at first glance, there may be ugliness, decay and destruction. I am a firm believer that there is beauty in everything. Sometimes you just have to shift perspective to see it.

In striking contrast to the beauty of the natural world, I love exploring dark worlds and subjects. In particular, I am fascinated by the apocalypse and the end of civilisation as we know it. I am addicted to post-apocalyptic art and movies. But again it is the beauty that is within a wasteland that I see.

Throughout my life, I have been a big advocate for personal mental and spiritual growth and have gone through many stages of my existence as I'm sure most people have. My art is a reflection of this. My older works are very dark and depressive, while my later ones are much lighter, spiritual and mind opening. Time will only tell where it goes from here.

You can also see more on my film work at my company web site Hysteria Productions.

Or you can visit my Life Coaching website JamesCole.com.au