H. L. Arledge studied at the prestigious Brooks Institute in California after working 30 years as a photojournalist. Through it all, his experiences taught him two things: (1) Never leave home without a camera and tripod and (2) capture everything. You never know when you will photograph something amazing.
Born and raised in South Louisiana, Arledge developed a strong fascination and admiration for great music and colorful characters very early in life. Moving to California in 2000, and soon after experien
cing his first wilderness backpacking trip into California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, he fell in love with Yosemite National Park’s breathtaking landscapes. Throughout this journey, sought to capture everything with his camera.
Arledge’s documentary works have been published in newspapers throughout Louisiana and California, Louisiana’s Sauce Piquante Magazine, the Yosemite Conservancy Magazine, and in the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Guide. His fine art works have been featured in exhibits in the Spectrum fine art gallery in Fresno, California and in the Stellar Gallery in Oakhurst, California outside the gates of Yosemite National Park. Additionally, he private portrait work is found in private collections throughout Central California.
In 2012, Arledge returned home to South Louisiana, leaving the beauty of the Yosemite Valley behind him, but Photography remains his passion.
Arledge also has a career in Computer Science Leadership and holds a degree in Journalism.
“A sound work of art is captivating each time it is viewed. Such a work has the ability to produce an array of emotions from the viewer and the magic to form a relationship with each of them. Through my work I wish to tell stories, encouraging dialogue about the beauty, diversity and hardship of our times. The more meaning born in my images, the deeper that dialogue may be. My hope is those conversations will ultimately inspire interest in the bigger picture of improving humanity.
From my first photograph more than 30 years ago, I have been keenly interested in the different ways in which people find meaning in their lives, how an individual explores his or her existence through tradition, religion or culture. Through my lens, I work to show human forms as engaging and mysterious as the lives they lead, so that each image is made with reverence for that subject. I want those being photographed to feel at ease, to remain themselves, unchanged before the camera. To photograph a person this way requires a trust between the subject and the photographer. Building that trust is the key to capturing the raw emotion on display in my work.
My series, Blacks and Whites and Blues, is a timely example of this. In an era when the world is again struggling with race relations, this series shines a light on a culture where those problems no longer persist. For over a century, Blues Music has brought people together. Every new sound born in the last hundred years had its roots in the blues, making that basic 12-bar rhythm the common ground where the world instinctively comes together. In every Juke Joint, Blues Jam, Club, or Festival I’ve attended, there were no Blacks. No Whites. No Hispanics. No “foreigners”. Everyone demonstrated a sincere respect for their fellow music connoisseurs. Everyone was blue—and that’s what I’ve set out to show in this series.
Although the earliest images in the series were captured on film, the majority were made digitally. All were digitally processed, aged, and given a cyanotype tint to recall the timelessness of the subject. The completed works are Giclee prints, hand-crafted on Somerset Velvet paper, archival at 100% cotton with a smooth fine-art texture.”