Cedric Haboush, Photographer
This whole idea of seeing myself as an artist, rather than a craftsman or a technician, is difficult for me. I come from a family of artists yet I never wanted to be one; what I wanted to be as a child was some kind of scientist or a race car driver. I loved things with lots of intricate parts – clocks, old televisions and radios, and gasoline engines. I liked taking them apart and seeing the beauty in the minute details of the parts; the colors of the wires, the engravings in the metal, the myriad of moving components.
When I was 13, I started playing around with one of my father’s cameras. He bought me my own and found classes for me to learn how to develop film. I always liked the technical aspects of photography, the mechanics of the camera and working in the darkroom. In my teens and early twenties I worked in my father’s television commercial production company where I had a great deal of freedom to learn and involve myself in several aspects of the commercial creation process. I assisted Grips, Gaffers, Sound Mixers, Animators, Producers, Cinematographers, and learned the business from the true bottom up. At 22, I developed a need to connect with a larger, less familiar world and joined the Navy (Yes, Ours) and enjoyed the challenges, travel, and variety which change affords. All along the way I kept taking photographs and squirreled them away in boxes where no one would ever see them.
It took me ten years of taking pictures and analyzing my work – looking at light, color, composition, movement, mood - to get to the point where I had the technical skills to recreate the images that I saw in my head. It’s a gradual, incremental process and lots of people get frustrated because it feels they’re not making any progress. I can remember the day when it all seemed to come together for me. I was stationed in the San Francisco Bay area, out shooting photographs. I wasn’t thinking about film, focal length, or f-stop but about what I was seeing, and everything just lined up. As Henri Matisse described it, “My whole life has been like this; a moment of despair followed by a happy flash of revelation, which allows me to do something that surpasses my understanding… the price that creators experience when they are only a few steps away from success.”
I love capturing what I see – things that are amusing, the pattern etched on a circuit board, the joy in the face of a child, the one photograph out of fifty that catches the essence of a person’s being and becomes a portrait.
My goal is to create a body of work that speaks universally to people, that stands on its own. Too often art – painting, sculpture, writing - needs to be explained to be appreciated. For me, the pinnacle of being an artist is creating an image that touches something in each of us; that makes us laugh, lets us see a moment of beauty in our everyday lives, or simply evokes a moment that had slipped out of memory.
© CEDRIC HABOUSH 2013