Edgar Angelone: “Beyond Darkness and Light”

When I was asked by Edgar Angelone to do a content edit on his forthcoming book, “Beyond Darkness and Light (left),” a few months ago, I was apprehensive because I had not seen the work. I asked him to send me a link to his site. I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised. Even though his name did not ring any bells with me, the quality of his black-and-white photography was impressive. I immediately areed to work with him on the book.

The result of his efforts are beautifully captured in “Beyond Darkness and Light,” a monograph containing fifty-four subtly compelling images of landscapes, shadowy urban locations, and everyday scenes depicting elegant tranquility, at times in the midst of eminent chaos.

Alpine Lake, Study 2, Mt. Tamalpais, California, USA

Angelone has sought to steadfastly pursue his own photographic vision and has acquired a reputation for exquisite platinum and silver gelatin traditional black-and-white prints. With their complex appearance and rich tonality, Angelone’s photographs evoke emotions through feelings and impressions. Familiar scenes are interspersed with lesser-known objects to create a synergy of light and shadow.

“This is my latest, and most favorite, addition to my coffee table display. All who browse through these amazing photographs are inspired by the vision and talent of the eye behind the lens. The photographs are brought to life with the beautiful influence of black-and-white tones. Looking through it once, is not enough. It continuously brings enjoyment to those who have this beautiful book and its photos.” Amazon review…

“As much as the making of Angelone’s images require just the right interplay of darkness and light, these two sides of his own life come through in his work. How can they not? Sure, in his photographs I see narrow cobblestone lanes, concentric archways, rocky seascapes and tree limbs weighed down by snow. But it’s in the shades of gray and shadowed corners, gleaming sweeps and bursts of glint, hovering luster and crepuscular shifts that his work ushers me beyond a sense of place.

Oak Trees, Study 1, Mt. Tamalpais, California, USA

“I love Angelone’s picture of two oak trees (left). The inky branches of one, thick with moss, stretch across the frame as if reaching toward some unseen calling, while the other, veiled in fog, spreads open in its entirety like a white, lacy fan. What struggles have those dark branches known, answered now by the promise of its wholeness?” (…Claire Sykes)

I have already paged through this book on more than several occasions, and have consistently discovered “new” images that speak to me in a very poetic manner. Since I was born in San Francisco, much of the imagery is readily familiar, especially Iron Horse, Study 36, Golden Gate Bridge (cover, top).

Every time I open the pages of “Beyond Darkness and Light,” I am surprised by what Angelone has done with images that are so familiar to me, and ingrained deep in my soul. The locations of the plates in the book are synonymous with my California coast sensibilities: San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, San Rafael, Point Reyes, The Presidio (my birthplace), Muir Beach, and the like. 

Even taken on their own, without a personal provenance, the images are immediately compelling, and draw you into their landscape, a sensuous and languid existence in a place that may only in our dreams.

Beyond Darkness and Light