Gestures to the Spirit: Photography and Beyond

Gestures to the Spirit: Photography and Beyond
John Wimberley Interviewed by Stephen Quinn
8x10 Inches, 116 Pages, 34,660 Words, 35 Photographs

Only a relatively few photographic artists have dared to inquire deeply into the cognitive, psychological and spiritual aspects of making pictures. The published writings of photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston and Minor White offered valuable insights, but little regarding how to actually put them into practice. Now for decades those voices have been silent. Gestures to the Spirit: Photography and Beyond updates and expands upon that body of knowledge and raises it to a new level of comprehension and coherence. Included are the concepts and techniques taught in John Wimberley's Sight & Insight workshops and much more. A few of the topics explored include the limiting effects of egotism, how to use the eyes, and how to recognize signals regarding what, when and how to photograph.

As a solitary artist who never sought the company or approval of his peers, John Wimberley has photographed for fifty years with minimal influence from other people's ideas or work. That gave him the freedom to photograph with fewer preconceptions regarding the inner potentials latent within the process of making pictures. Thus he was enabled to find his own way and to reach his own conclusions.

The result is Gestures to the Spirit: Photography and Beyond, in which he shares the results of that half-century of investigation and experience. Eighteen months in the making, Gestures to the Spirit: Photography and Beyond consists of an extended interview conducted by writer Stephen Quinn. In six sections containing more than forty brilliant, probing groups of questions, John Wimberley's candid responses reveal the experiences, lessons and techniques that shaped his approach to photography. Chapter titles include:

     Interviewer's Introduction
I    Talent and Discipline in the Pursuit of Art
II   The Artist and the Subject: An Intimate Relationship
III  Making Art: On the Far Side of Complexity
IV   The Artist and the Audience: Giving and Receiving the Gift of Art
V    Mastery and Continuity: Art as Culture
VI   Art and Craftsmanship in Photography & Beyond
      Interviewer's Afterword

Designed by John Wimberley, Gestures to the Spirit: Photography and Beyond is beautifully printed on Proline Pearl semi-gloss 140# paper and features reproductions that are nearly indistinguishable from his original gelatin/silver prints. This one-time Artist's Edition is limited to one hundred signed and numbered copies. It is appropriate for anyone, photographer or not, with an interest in the creative process.

A book saying what you have said is long overdue - your comments on soft eyes and flirts and right relationship are all absolute gems and I immediately regretted that I had never heard these ideas expressed as succinctly before... Beautifully done John.

— Gordon Undy. Photographer and Director, Point Light Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Price + Shipping Information

$140 USD delivered within USA, $150 USD to Canada, $160 USD to other countries.

A Metaphysic of Light

A Metaphysic of Light: Photographs 1970 - 1988

The newly redesigned monograph of John Wimberley's work from 1970 - 1988 is now printed on premium paper with all new image files. A Metaphysic of Light contains 70 superb, large format reproductions which rival the quality of his original gelatin/silver prints. Publication is limited to a single edition of 750 numbered and autographed copies. Hardcover with dust jacket, 13" X 11", 80 pages. Design by John Wimberley.

Collector's Edition

Numbers 1-50: Includes a handmade, unmounted, signed, 11"x14" gelatin/silver archival print of "Dunes and Horizontal Ripples, 1979" : $300.00 plus shipping and handling.

Limited Edition

Numbers 51-750: $170.00 plus shipping and handling.

"A metaphysic of Light is an exquisite piece of art. What a masterful tribute to everything, visible and invisible! I am grateful to you for compiling and sharing your extraordinary vision."

— Joan Franklin

"Every page is a prayer."

— Neera Theresia

Evidence of Magic


Recipient of the 2010 Oliver Award from the American Rock Art Research Association for "exceptional rock art photography."

The American Great Basin consists of almost the entire state of Nevada along with portions of adjacent states. Throughout this vast region are found beautiful rock engravings known as petroglyphs. They are records of the prayers, dreams and visions of ancient Native Americans. From 1999 through 2008, John Wimberley searched for and photographed these precious human and cultural artifacts. Newly redesigned and printed on premium paper, Evidence of Magic now contains 63 superb reproductions, a map of the Great Basin showing regions photographed and an author's preface. Publication is limited to a single edition of 500 numbered and autographed copies. Hardcover with dust jacket, 8" x 10", 80 pages. Design by John Wimberley.

Collector's Edition

Numbers 1-100: Includes a handmade, unmounted, signed, 8"x10" archival gelatin/silver print of "Lone Grave Butte #660, 2008": $260.00 plus shipping and handling.

Limited Edition

Numbers 101-1000: $65.00 plus shipping and handling.

"It has been a very long time since a collection of images has affected me so. You are delving into another type of medium, neither photography nor rock art, but something more akin to shamanism or shamanic art. The images and voices that you have conjured from the distant and remote past are here to heal us."

— Michael Stathatos