Fascinated by the natural world around me for most of my life, I seek to bring that perspective to the viewers of my fine art photography. My early photographic experience centered on bringing natural scenes to park visitors in interpretive programs using 35mm slide photography. Failing to produce acceptable images of a solar eclipse in 1994, I realized that I had much to learn about how to take inspiring photographs. Since then I have taken numerous photo classes at two community colleges and several workshops in various aspects of photography.
I have found that black and white photography has the ability to express strong feelings about a subject and the enhanced detail produced by a large format camera further that interest. My fine art photographic subjects are always “found” objects or scenes such as on landscapes, modern and historic architectural, and most recently, abstract features found in these subjects. Inspired by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Brett Weston, I most often capture natural landscapes during my travels. Focusing on an upside down and backwards image on the ground glass of the large format camera allows me to see and capture scenes that include the elements of design: line, shape, texture and form. This camera takes time to set up and focus, thus slowing me down, forcing me to take the time to better analysis the subject, to compose the image for greater appeal. This camera also permits me to fully utilize the zone system, developed by Ansel Adams to control contract in the negative through proper exposure and development of the film
For many years, I have been interested in an old photo printing technique, first patented in 1873, “Platinum Printing”. With the introduction to digital negatives in a workshop in 2012, I felt this process represented a way of improving my negatives and enlarging them for making contact platinum prints in various sizes without losing the sharpness of the original image. While the process is still time consuming, the results are outstanding. The process has added more warmth and detail to my images, enhancing the visual perspectives for the viewers of my work.
In November 2017, I attended a workshop on "Gum Over Platinum" Printing at Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park presented by Kerik Kouklis. Gum printing is another old photo printing technique first patented in 1855. Combined with Platinum printing, the process is considered a combination print process. I recently begun producing images using this process. I have been working with images from Iceland and concentrating on my new portfolio "An Era Gone".
During the 2017 workshop, Kerik Kouklis showed us another type of combination printing, known as "Platinum Over Pigment". Kerik has placed on-line the step-by-step process he uses. In 2020, I began experimenting with this modern combination print process that combines the digital world with the old Platinum printing process. The digital image is processed in Photoshop to remove the black layer. This is then printed with an inkjet printer, coated with platinum/palladium emulsion. The black layer is used to make a digital negative to be contact printed over the digital print. This process will continue to be part of my tool kit.
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