Barbara E. Leven Photography

© Copyright 2023 Barbara E. Leven. All rights reserved.


 Since childhood, I have sought to create images. As a teenager and young adult, I avidly studied art. Photography is my preferred medium. Through the viewfinder, I seek to understand my world; to look for things I have never seen before; to see the significance in the ordinary, the beauty in the mundane and the spiritual in the material.

Like an animist, I look for the life force not only in plants and animals, but in places and material objects as well. Ruins are seductive in the stories they have to tell. Every street has its own energy. Every object its own existence.

Going out to photograph is like collecting. Only I am collecting images and each image that I add strengthens the whole of the collection. Much of this is done on a subconscious level. I pick a location to visit, such as a forgotten neighborhood of New York City. Sometimes the focus is on dilapidation and ruin, sometimes on still life, sometimes on the people, sometimes the streets.

As Isabel Allende said in her novel, Portrait in Sepia, “If you observe an ordinary object or body very closely, it is transformed into something sacred. The camera can reveal secrets the naked eye or mind cannot capture, everything disappears except for the thing that is the focus of the picture.”

In that same novel, Don Juan Ribero declares, “Light is the language of photography, the soul of the world. There is no light without shadow, just as there is no happiness without pain."