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Karen Philippi

Seascape Photography


Karen is a commercial and fine art photographer who splits her time between homes in Providence, RI and Uruguay, and traveling for work & play.

The ocean is where I reach back through time and find my present self.

MySeascapes live in contradiction. They are images of the outer world, but they could easily be visualizations of innermost thoughts. They are portraits that can buoy and bathe, erode and destroy. They are at once stirring and restful. Their silence thunders. 

This work is not about capturing an instant. Rather, through long exposures I allow many instants to accrue, so that each photograph creates a moment consisting of many movements through the compression of time.

By literally wading into my subject, I stand on the edge of what is safe and engage it intimately. More than observing the sea, I feel it through my lens. These are images of that communion. 

I use blurring (shallow depth of field, long exposure) not so much to obscure as to optically paint, some are barely recognizable as waves. Sometimes a horizon is visible. Sometimes sand. Occasionally a glowering sky is so low it is indistinguishable from the sea. But always, always the waves. 

This very indistinctness defies definition and leaves the work open to broad interpretation. Foam, ripples, a cresting wave – forms emerge and become an emotive part of the photograph’s structure.

My work is an invitation to rest. For in addition to containing a build-up of instants, each image offers an escape from the clutter of daily life, so clamorous with visual detail. There are no details here. I can lose myself in these waves.

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Workshops & Classes


Works Available Online