Tuesday, April 17, 2018

True Colors

Classical black and white photography is my passion.  Not only do I strive to practice it as an art, but I am an avid collector as well.  To be in my collection the print must be made on film and hand printed by the artist in their darkroom.  Not only does this yield  the unique quality of the traditional print, but also a special connection to the artist.

There is, however, one color photographer in my collection.  He works in film and prints on the last of the Cibachrome in his darkroom.  His name is Christopher Burkett.  I would go so far as to say that you really haven't seen a brilliant color photograph until you've seen Cibachrome print.  And you have not seen the ultimate manifestation of color until you've seen a print by Christopher.

Recently, the PBS Newshour Weekend Edition did a fine interview with Christopher.  Here is a link:



Not only does the article highlight Christopher's achievements, it also offers the viewer insights into the painstaking process the artist must master to produce fine prints in the darkroom; the iterative process to achieve the expression the artist is striving for, the precision of the dodging and burning, and the craftsmanship necessary to achieve a masterful work of art.

There are those who say traditional photography is a dying art.  This is complete rubbish, especially for black and white!  But they do not make Cibachrome anymore and this unique form of photographic expression will no longer be accessible to photographic artists.  I find myself grateful that the last of this wonderful paper is in the hands of a truly great artist.

This is a splendid interview with Christopher.  He shares his perspective on the art of photography and the traditional expressions of the fine art print.  I agree with him entirely - could not have said it better myself.

I hope you enjoy the interview!  Better still, if you have an opportunity to see first hand Christopher's work I whole heartedly encourage you to seize the moment.  You will be amazed!

Here is a link to Christopher Burkett's website where you can see much of his work:  http://christopherburkett.com

Take Care,
~Jeff


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Into the Valley

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few days in and around Death Valley.  A badly need break from the daily grind and the chance to craft images in one of my favorite forums - the desert.
Panamint Range, Death Valley
photo credit : Kim


All deserts are exercises in contrasts. The hot and cold extremes, low contrast landscapes in high contrast light, muted colors accented by tiny bits of brilliant color.  Ferociously difficult to photograph in black & white but immensely satisfying to do so with the proper subject. What's not to like, right? 




Working on an image at the Beehives
photo credit: Kim
Each desert has its own personality.  Death Valley is a particular gem because the visitor can access with relative ease extraordinary examples of geological wonders, sublime desert offerings, and see the remains of the extreme efforts that man has exerted to try and exploit this harsh place. But make no mistake, off the paved paths this place can offer even more incredible sights and experiences - but it can also do you in.  Death Valley is a place to be greeted with awe and treated with respect.

Having just completed developing the trip's negatives I can say that I am pleased.  Some potentially fine material to add to The Lonely Places project.

Take Care,

~Jeff