Friday, June 19, 2020

Deliberate

I was reading the old issue of B&W magazine and came across a photographer named Lisa Elmaleh whose work had immediate appeal.  Maybe it is her subject matter - remote and fragile places.  Maybe it is her technique - she does 8x10 wet plate photographs using a darkroom on the back of her truck.  Both are sources for a connection.

Two words I often used to describe my own work are "slow" and "deliberate."  It is something people just don't seem to understand, how the tools and techniques you use are so integral to how you relate, understand, and interpret your subject.

Lisa understands.  When you must invest significant effort to make a photograph, you go slower and become more intimate with your surroundings.  And with that comes a connection and an understanding.

Visit her website: http://lisaelmaleh.com 

Lisa Elmaleh and her 1996 Toyota Tacoma "Harriet."
Note the darkroom in the back of the truck.
(LE, Hope you don't mind me using your photograph - thanks!)

Monday, June 8, 2020

Editor's Choice

Negatives (developed in pyro) on the lightbox for editing.
I was talking with my good friend T.H. and we got on the topic of editing our work.

As a film and darkroom photographer, careful editing comes part-n-parcel with the business because I have to make the best use of limited time and can't waste energy on mediocre images. In fact, the same is true for any artist producing fine art prints, regardless of the media.

But it can take extra effort for the strictly digital photographer who only shows their work on electronic platforms.  Let's face it, it's just too easy to rack up thousands of images.  And with storage media so cheap there is little incentive to clean things up - at least from the hardware view.

But there are some very important reasons to "clean things up."  Editing one's work is a skill that takes time to master and requires that you take a hard, objective look at your image making skills.  Are you setting too low a standard?  Are you getting images you want or simply settling for images you just happened to get?

I was very impressed with T.H.'s editing efforts.  In addition to cleaning out the stuff that did not make the grade, his standard for "making the grade" keeps getting higher and higher.  T.H. takes his photography seriously and he knows that objective editing is one of most important tools in the serious photographer's toolbox.