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Michael Zambrelli has been “looking and watching” since he was a child. He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Creative Writing, but spent the majority of his time learning his visual craft at the college’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

After school, Michael taught photography in Cambridge and began working primarily as a fashion photographer there and in New York. He gravitated into writing and directing, eventually opening his own advertising agency. While still maintaining a successful advertising career, Michael has been developing an exciting current body of personal work.

Whether it is the “unseen” depths of the ocean’s surface, the unending length of an island sky, the seemingly placid surface of a pond in a park, the “sotto pelle” movement of a plant, the mysteriously ambiguous beauty of a lady in red or the apparently mundane interior of a city bus, Michael tries to capture the “secret life”, the “hidden light”, of every scene, every moment that he photographs.

“I take still photographs,” says Michael, “but I see nothing as static.The movement and flow of light and shadow and color – and very often of the camera, itself – forms connections and implies emotions – evokes reactions in the viewer.”

Michael uses the precision of photography to create these “imprecisions” – to reflect more closely how we really see – a mix of palettes, a shifting perspective, always changing. The viewer knows it is a photograph, but perceives it more like a painting – with a textural quality, a movement of smaller “strokes” or shapes that make up the larger image.

Michael brings an “old school” philosophy to his digital technique. All his images – from the most realistic to the most abstract – are conceived and composed “in camera”. Prints are uncropped with no manipulation and no (or minimal) retouching.

“It’s all in understanding the language of the light – the natural light. My objective, my challenge, is to recognize and capture those moments when the light is – in the literal sense of the word – “super-natural”.

Michael’s work is in the collections of private collectors and clients.

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