My name is Len Bernstein, and when I began to photograph almost 40 years ago, I felt I found a way of expressing myself that met something so deep inside me that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life. Walking with my camera, the city streets seemed transformed — friendlier, more interesting — and I spent hours searching for dramatic situations, trying to capture the right moment. Looking through the viewfinder, what I saw had new value for me, boredom and loneliness seemed to vanish, and I wished I could feel that way all the time. And hoping to learn what made a photograph successful, I avidly studied the history and technique of photography.
My hopes were met when I first heard this principle stated by Eli Siegel, the American critic and founder of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” I've had the thrill of testing this principle in thousands of instances, from the first known photograph taken by Nicéphore Niépce around 1826 to the most modern work of today. It explains what makes a photograph good and how our personal questions are the questions of art — dignified and cultural!
I invite you to click on the links above which will take you to my images, information about my new book, published articles, workshops and talks I’ve given, and links to landmark art talks by some of the finest critics. You will learn more about the magnificent education that explains the deep, practical relation between art and how we hope to see the world we are meeting every moment of every day.