Posts Tagged ‘analog


Real Art Ways Exhibition

Really quick post right now – I wanted to share the first installation views of my exhibition down in CT!!!

The opening reception last week was amazing and it was unreal in a very good way to finally see my work come together.  I’m so happy with the work and still kind of in shock that it’s up!



I am a total Photo-Nerd

Alrighty.  For the first time ever on the blog, I’m going to get into what I “really” do.  Not that I don’t do any of the other things that I’ve rambled on about here for a few months now, just that in some ways, this is my baby.

Photograms.  Abstraction.  History.  Sheer, blessed nerd-fest.  Kinda the essence of how I think photographically.

Ok, let’s do this proper-like.  My ongoing body of work is titled Concealed at first at last I appear, which is a total geek reference, first to “Burning with Desire” written by Geoffrey Batchen (page 144 in my edition, for those of you who have already embraced their own inner photo-geek) but more importantly, it’s a reference to William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the great-grand-daddies of photography.  He had these words appear/disappear as a photogram in one of his early experiments using text on paper.  Friggin’ amazing.  The ability for something to be permanent and transient simultaneously.  Concrete and abstract.  Talbot was a genius and recognizing and accepting the duality that was present in photography from the get-go.  As Batchen says on page 91, “Photography was, for Talbot, the desire for an impossible conjunction of transience and fixity.”  First off, I just think that sentiment is beautiful – to desire the impossible, to accept that you will never be satisfied, that a fixed resolution will never happen.  And this is really where I realized where my own work was going.

as yet untitled new mural…..

I think that I am a bit of a twisted soul – I want to deliberately frustrate the viewer to a certain degree.  Not completely, just a little.  “You mean I’m making photograms, images that are a direct trace of light onto paper, no camera, no negative?  And yet you can’t tell what the blasted thing is of?!  What is going on here!?”

I love the idea that light itself can create a visual image via a chemical process.  That with a photogram, you have a direct one-to-one relationship with the “thing” that existed in reality.

And I love the fact that I can make an image today, without Photoshop, without using pixels, that is so abstract that many folks have asked me what these images are of (one of my favorite questions!)….

as yet untitled new mural…..

So, to sum up so far – large-scale photograms made with black and white fiber paper that are abstractions of space and time.  That’s one of my few one-liners that I can throw out when people ask me what I do…..

And I keep going…I started these last year, and in the past few weeks I’ve started cranking them out again, and I’ve gotten crazy excited about the results.  New space, new light, new patterns and images.  Any of you out there in cyber-world have any thoughts, criticisms, feedback or the like, feel free to drop me a message below, otherwise, thanks for reading this far 🙂

as yet untitled new mural diptych…..


Moaning, whining and other despairing noises

Ok, this totally stinks.

I do photography in some semblance or another for a living.  Teaching, creating, making, thinking.  It’s up there right after “Eat, Sleep, Breathe.”

So, when I start investigating my known locales for the best of the best black and white, yummy silver gelatin paper to work on the next stage of my long term project, it is beyond crushing to discover that in the course of one year, my options have been shrunk, yet again.  It was bad enough with Agfa disappeared.  Now Kentmere seems to be dwindling in their offerings, as well as Efke.  Ilford is not my fav, and is crazy expensive these days.  Now granted, I am looking for REALLY large paper, but seriously folks, do you know anyone who can afford to spend $700 on photo paper?!?!  Certainly not me.

I get that this is a business.  That people have to be able to turn a profit to keep a company running.  It just makes my heart hurt a little when long time folks in the biz drop out because they’ve shifted their “priorities” to digital (ahem, I’m thinking of you Kodak).  Again, no knock on digital.  But does it seriously have to be such a racket???

Here’s what I see, mostly while teaching.  People can now afford nice digital cameras.  But the way that information is presented, or sold to you, you will always be lured and seduced to spend more, upgrade, enhance, get new software, get new firmware, buy a bigger camera with a full sized sensor, get a new lens, get that fancy new printer, buy more ink for the printer, etc etc etc.  You don’t have to do any of that, but can you imagine the way that the bottom line guys would salivate over their profit margins in this world?!  There will always be something new as technology advances, so someone, somewhere will always upgrade and spend more money.

It just doesn’t work that way with film, at least not in my mind.  I have old cameras, that I love because I know intrinsically how they work.  I buy chemicals for the darkroom.  I buy paper and film.  Fundamentally, these things won’t change.  There may be variations between brands that I would experiment with, but the technique, the process is set.  Technological innovation will not change how I work in the darkroom.  Which means less money to the big guys.  Which means fewer options for me, the little guy.

As my mom would say, “Life is not fair.”  True, but I still feel like complaining today, and I’ll say it just to get it out of my system.  This sucks, and it’s SO not fair.


Tiny photograms

So, here are two new, tiny little photograms.  I’m still trying to figure out how to get my big production line set up here in Boston, so until I work out the kinks there I’ve been playing in the darkroom on a microscopic level, enlarging things that shift and change when looked at a different scale….


The analog vs. digital debate…

You knew it was coming.  How can a self-professed photo nerd/art geek not get involved in the “which is better” debate – analog or digital?

Here’s the thing.  Neither, if you have half a clue.

Something that I absolutely love about photography – the fact that there are so many styles, so many processes, so many techniques that give you such dramatically different results are all considered “photography.”  Tin-types, platinum prints, inkjet prints, digital-c prints, online web galleries, silver gelatin prints.  These are all forms of photography, different manifestations of an image.

So why are we debating this again?  Oh yeah, because it really sets some hardcore photographers off.  I used to be one of them.  I learned silver first.  I still love silver.  I’m a black and white girl at heart.  When digital first emerged, I said that it just wasn’t the same – and granted, it wasn’t.  The quality was so radically different that there wasn’t any real reason to switch unless you were an innate computer junkie.  Then every aspect of digital imaging got better.  So good now, that you can distinguish digital from analog, but it’s become a debate about inherent characteristics rather than fundamental quality.  And yet it really wasn’t until 2006 that I finally realized that I didn’t hate digital photography, and in fact thought it was kind of badass.  Nowadays, I do both: the classes I teach are almost exclusively digital (because that’s the way the industry has gone, for good reason) and do projects to keep myself up to date but almost all of my personal work is analog because at heart I am a process oriented person, and being in the darkroom keeps me sane.

Some of you may have thought I was copping out when I said that neither was better.  I’m really not.  I think that any type of camera that you use, and technique that you learn, or machine you utilize is simply a tool to help you express an image that is already in your head somewhere.  Some ideas innately call for the use of digital.  Others times, I’ve jumped from digital transparencies to collage then to photograms until I hit upon the right medium to express an idea.  One form of photography can’t be better than another when they are all just different means of expression.  What really matters is the idea and the image.  I could care less if my camera has 21 megapixels or 7, I care what I can do with it, what can I pull out of that machine and how does it relate to my idea.  The same goes for whether I pick up my 35mm or my 4×5 camera – the project almost always dictates the format, the idea relates to the equipment I use.  There’s a relationship there, and if there isn’t, that’s the real problem in my mind….

Who I am…

I am a self-professed geek. I happen to be an artist. I like to geek out about art, specifically photography.

I have another location on the interwebs here

And if you need a photography tutor, check me out

Enter your email address to subscribe to my ramblings via email.

Join 31 other followers

i tweet