Ventura RAWards 2012

Once again, Bombay’s Bar and Grill turned hip underground art scene for one night only to host the annual RAW: Natural Born Artist competition, touted as the biggest indie art show in the world and by far one of our favorite events of the year. Nine winners represent Ventura County and the surrounding areas in the Visual Art, Photography, Accessories, Fashion, Music, Film, Hair, Make-up and Performing Arts categories. We interviewed some of the winners...

Winner/Photography: Cliff Montgomery

Cliff finds beauty and adventure in photography

How would you describe your style and how it might stand out from others?

CM- My style is a form of what’s called HDR or High Dynamic Range. HDR is multiple photographs stacked on top of each other to capture the range of light. The camera can only capture a quarter of what the eye can so I take images of the same spot at different exposures. I try to make it so you might see as you would from the human eye. I’m not only taking the HDR photos to get that effect but taking that and turning it into a panoramic. I don’t see a lot of people doing that right now. I’m sure they are but I just don’t see a lot of it.

What are some of the events or moments in your life that led you down your artistic path?

CM- I started photography back in high school but it’s really difficult to set up a dark room in your house. I got into digital photography when I moved to Ventura. Digital is much more cost effective and I don’t have to mix chemicals. I try to get out and photograph as much as I can, at least once a week.

Are there photographers that have inspired you?

CM-I’m a huge fan of Peter Lik. He does these large beautiful forms. I really do feel like he’s the Ansel Adams of modern times. I also love all kinds of art.

In looking at your own work, what are some of your favorite pieces?

CM- I just got back from Europe with a bunch of my friends and we went to Prague. I took a picture of Charles Bridge and that’s probably my favorite right now.

When your fans look at your photos what would you like then to know about you?
CM- My art is not really a representation of me. I think art is beautiful and I love the adventure of it. Every picture has a story behind it. I have a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. My friend and I were sitting out there for 3-1/2 hours and it was like 40-degrees. The next thing you know we’re turning around and about to leave because we got it and then something changed and we stayed to shoot it some more. It’s an adventure. That’s the thing about photography, it’s not about the photo but finding that perfect shot and all the things that happen in between. That’s why I fell in love with it.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

CM- I’d love to get my pictures in a gallery. I’ve never shown in an official gallery. I’m really just starting to try to push my photography. I think I have enough pieces now. Ten years from now, I’m just hoping I have a gallery that will show my stuff.

If we want to see your pieces now, where would we go?

CM- Right now, I have a website and I have a Face Book page. Every now and then someone one will hang a piece in town. I post that on Face Book.

You mentioned you moved to Ventura. Where did you grow up?

CM- I grew up in Culver City and my aunt lived in Ventura. I moved out here with my mom and my brother. I’ve been in Ventura for a long time now. I love Ventura. It’s beautiful with a nice community feel but has enough so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. There are a lot of great artists in Ventura. Ventura College has some great artists and teachers. The art community downtown is very helpful. Ventura’s great.

Here's a RAW Artists Video featuring Cliff ...

Read about  More Ventura Artists