It's production season over here at the studio. What does that look like? Well, it kind of looks like this:
Black and white photography at it's best: Hasselblad dog portraits, created by hand in my darkroom.
Viewing entries tagged
With the new website underway, we'll be doing a lot of "behind the scenes" content to bring you into our exciting and nerdy studio world. Here's a little darkroom video I did this morning- one of my favorite things to do is open the darkroom door to find a set of dry, perfectly printed photographs hanging on the line. When the fiber paper dries, it curls slightly and has a subtle sheen. The weight and smoothness of the prints, along with the comforting smell of the darkroom, always puts me in a wonderful mood. Is it better than a cup of coffee in the morning? I'm not sure, but it's close. Enjoy!
Sometimes I sit back and wonder- "Why do I always do things the hard way?" Why use film, why use a fully manual camera that weighs a million pounds, why use a slow lens, why spend so much money on darkroom chemistry, why order only the best, warmest toned, gorgeous hard to find photo paper, why cut my own matts and frames? When so many other photographers out there are doing the exact opposite, why is it so important for me to stay true to my Fine Art roots? I think and think and think. And then I realize- this is not a difficult question.
I am an artist. I am inspired by the tactile nature of my medium, by the mystery of my camera, the magic that can only be found through my lens. If I took all these 'old fashioned' methods away, I would be sacrificing my style. And as an artist, style is a crucial companion.
I've been reading Diane Arbus' biography (see here), and am continually inspired by her explanations of photography. Her thoughts on technique always help me refocus my own creative work. Whether I'm making emotional portraits of our beloved animal companions, or instant Polaroid landscapes, or stories of my home town- I keep coming back to Arbus' words:
“What moves me about...what's called technique...is that it comes from some mysterious deep place. I mean it can have something to do with the paper and the developer and all that stuff, but it comes mostly from some very deep choices somebody has made that take a long time and keep haunting them.”- Diane Arbus
As an artist, working with animals is incredibly inspiring and emotional. I often find myself getting a little misty-eyed when hearing of a client's love for their dog. It is a beautiful and mysterious thing. Just like traditional photography, just like an old manual clunky camera, just like the darkroom. And that synchronicity always reminds me that sometimes a little extra work makes all the difference.