February 22, 2024


masterpiece of human

Charlie Taylor’s photographs are more than pictures, they’re works of art


OCEAN SPRINGS, Mississippi — There is probably no a person in Ocean Springs who’s far more of a “people person” than Charlie Taylor.

Taylor and his wife, Ginny — Ms. Ginny to most — have resided in their Lover’s Lane property due to the fact the mid-1980s. Above the a long time, especially during his retirement yrs since the early 90s, Taylor has come to be a fixture in neighborhood espresso stores and pubs, where he and some of his lifelong pals maintain court just about every morning with espresso and afternoon with cocktails.

Along the way, he’s made scores of good friends — several who are 20, most likely 30, years his junior. Taylor enjoys laughing and building other individuals giggle, typically at his personal price. A several several years in the past, he came to the downtown Ocean Springs Halloween function dressed as Uncle Fester of “Addams Family” fame — finish with the lighbulb in his mouth.

So it is one thing of an oddity that this male who so enjoys people and is proficient with a digital camera in his hands hates using pictures of people.

“I’m not intrigued in doing people today,” he reported flatly through a current interview with The Mississippi Push. “I’ve performed it — large college senior shots, marriage ceremony, all of that, but it does not seriously curiosity me.”

But the subjects he enjoys to shoot turn out to be functions of art.

Taylor, 76, was born in Laurel but spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Biloxi, wherever he graduated from Biloxi Significant University ahead of going on to the College of Southern Mississippi, where he was in the Military ROTC plan.

In Might 1967, Taylor graduated from USM, married Ginny, was commissioned at 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and received orders for Vietnam — all in a span of two weeks.

He delivered out to Vietnam on New Year’s Day 1968. With lousy eyesight, he could not get into a combat arms device, so he was assigned to the Quartermaster Corps. Arriving in Vietnam, he was assigned to a logistics unit in La Drang, wherever he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Taylor and his device have been there for the Tet Offensive. He recalled his device killed 600 North Vietnamese during a two-7 days period, an working experience he calls “pretty gruesome.”

Taylor states he remembers being interested in photography from observing his father with an old Kodak, and later on a Browning, as very well as a college good friend who had a Polaroid. But it was for the duration of his tour of obligation in Vietnam he initial acted on that interest.

“I had R&R in Hawaii with Ginny,” he remembered, “and on the way back I went into this little PX and acquired a digital camera and some slide movie and started out working with it all through the minimal bit of time I experienced.”

Ironically, a man whose operate now features birds, plants, butterflies and attractive landscapes alongside the coast took his very first images in a war zone. Taylor explained he continue to has each slide he took in Vietnam.

When he returned after his tour in Vietnam, arriving in the States on Xmas Working day 1968, Taylor experienced to set apart his budding curiosity in pictures, focusing rather on “building a profession and starting off a relatives.” He remained in the Army, climbing to the rank of Captain, stationed at Ft. Gordon in Ga. Taylor may have remained in the Army for a longer period, but circumstances dictated usually.

“They wanted me to go back to Vietnam, but I experienced missing have faith in in the leadership in Washington by that issue, so I acquired out,” he reported. He would remain in the Military Countrywide Guard, retiring in the mid-1990s as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Returning to the Mississippi coast with Ginny, Taylor would in the long run forge a vocation in the property finance loan financial loan business enterprise. He notes his extremely 1st bank loan was to lifetime buddy and fellow Vietnam veteran Ron Skrmetta to create a house.

The Taylors would welcome two sons in the 1970s — J.T., who turns 48 upcoming month, and Jason, now 46. They have two grandchildren, Landon and Charlie — named right after his grandfather, of study course.

It was not until finally he retired from the two the National Guard and the mortage small business Taylor would find his way back again to pictures.

“Ginny and I were at a flea market place in Cellular,” he recalled, “and I observed a very little Minolta movie camera and acquired it. It price tag $26. I got some film and commenced to educate myself again.”

Outdoors of a few seminars, Taylor is entirely self-taught. As his pictures competencies innovative, so did images with the introduction of the electronic age.

“It was around the late 90s I started off getting into a couple of pictures contests and shows, like the Ocean Springs Artwork Affiliation show and the Singing River one,” he said. “I won some awards and did properly with it, so it just form of progressed from there.”

It absolutely did. Taylor estimates he’s won 20-25 awards at many exhibits and prints of his operate — generated on canvas, paper and metallic — can convey in between $100 and $500, in some cases additional. He’s the lone photographer between the featured artists at My Happy Location Gallery in downtown Ocean Springs.

Taylor claimed what truly pleases him about some of the awards he’s received is that they are not typically supplied to photographers. He obviously usually takes satisfaction in the simple fact his photographs are far more than just pics. They are artwork.

But his enthusiasm for images is not driven by awards or money.

“I do it only for the pleasure of it,” he claimed. “The simple fact I’ve been in a position to earn awards and make some funds undertaking it is just a bonus. What I adore is what I call the ‘Wow!’ component. I like to be ready to create one thing with the camera that generates a ‘wow’ from folks when they see it. That retains me going.

“I may well just take 100 pictures and maintain one particular. If it suggests ‘wow’ to me, I know the colors and composition are proper. If it does not say that to me, it is not heading to say it to someone else.”

Although Taylor has fully embraced the electronic age of photography, he hasn’t abandoned the “old school” techniques. Many of the illustrations or photos he’s producing these times are taken with vintage lenses from the 1970s and 1980s that he’s adapted to a electronic digital camera. All of them are handbook target.

In addition, he insists a photographer’s do the job is not entire till there’s a print.

“Some people today are satisfied to consider a picture, put up it to Facebook or Instagram or some other website and that’s it,” Taylor said. “But I think a print is an integral section of photography. I don’t imagine it’s entire till there’s a print, no matter whether it be on metal, canvas or paper.”

He says his feelings to his craft are summarized in a quotation by expressionist painter Camille Pissaro: “Blessed are they who see attractive points in humble areas the place some others see very little.”

But Taylor’s blessings go outside of his ability to “see stunning things in humble areas.”

Taylor admitted to looking at placing his cameras away a pair of yrs back, indicating he was feeling “burned out.” But he credits the entrepreneurs of My Satisfied Position, Dr. Ray and Hyla Weiss, with supplying him a 2nd wind with the digital camera.

“I was going to sell all my products, drink much more whiskey and put out the ‘Gone Fishin’ sign,” he claimed. “But I was at the OSAA awards demonstrate and Ray Weiss came up to me and claimed he was turning the kitchen store into a gallery and required me to be the highlighted photographer. ‘You’d be the only one particular,’ he instructed me.

“I imagined about it and agreed to do it. I’m happy I did. It is saved me going and been a blessing to me.”

His greatest blessing, even so, has been by his side for virtually 55 years. Charlie and Ginny Taylor will celebrate that milestone anniversary in June. Army wife, mother, homemaker, very best buddy and proficient gardener — Ms. Ginny’s backyard garden has usually been the subject of her husband’s images — she has been Charlie’s North Star.

“She’s been my proper hand, my rock,” Charlie claimed. “If it was not for Ginny, I’d either be dead or in prison. She’s just a wonderful, beautiful, wonderful woman. I’m privileged to have at any time achieved her.”


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