William Ropp, often known as “the shadow sculptor,” has a unique style of portraiture. Ropp often places his subjects in complete darkness taking photographs by using long exposures for up to ten minutes.
He uses a 50-year-old Czech flashlight for dramatic illumination effects. Ropp will start “painting” using “the dance of light” in his photos working either in a studio or on site in locations like Mali or Mexico. He uses simple equipment and elicits the “soul” of his sitters while making his psychological portraits.
Children and Dreamt Memories from Africa
Two of the photographer’s outstanding series entitled, Children and Dreamt Memories from Africa are haunting, emotional, and humanistic portraits. They depict children gazing directly at the viewer appearing thoughtful and fully aware of the world. Ropp shows children as the true subjects of the photographs and avoids the hackneyed and obvious. They are beginning their journey of life with all of its imperfections and difficulties becoming potentialities as they navigate life’s horizons.