American Photo Debuts Monthly Musings by Matthew Rolston

matthew rolston.bmpCelebrity photographer Matthew Rolston recently called up American Photo editor David Schonauer “to say he wanted to try something new and write about photography.” Done! The magazine has given Rolston a column (or at least a page to himself), which debuts in the July/August issue and Schonauer describes as a place for Rolston to “mus[e] about the essentials of photography, and by that I do not mean f/stops and Photoshop layers. Rather, he will be offering some thoughts you won’t find in most how-to photo books—thoughts about why we love to make photographs and why photographs speak so powerfully.”

We were eager to read what Schonauer goes on to describe as “about the heat of creativity and the importance of inspiration,” and got our hands on a hard copy of the net yet online issue. Rolston’s debut is a series of nine free associations about light, a topic that takes him to beauty (“Light is beauty. Beauty is light.”), fire (“the essence of light…which means above all survival”), and “that certain Hollywood glamour spotlight.” His stream-of-consciousness approach, now stacked into a “column” of unrelated paragraphs, could function better as a series of captions to images selected by Rolston to represent the broad ideas he discusses. “The right light can make anyone or anything beautiful,” writes Rolston, capping off one of his thoughts. If that’s not a sentence that begs for visual accompaniment, we don’t know what is.